Ever heard the term “micro-influencer”?
These are individuals with relatively small audiences (between 5,000 and 20,000 followers on Instagram, for example), who can be promotional partners for your cause or your business.
Sometimes (if you’re lucky!) they already know about you, and have talked you up to their followers or shared photos of your products.
Finding and working with micro-influencers might be a great option for you if you:
Have a little bit of budget for digital advertising and want to try something other than Facebook or Twitter ads, and,
Are trying to reach a very specific, niche audience of very interested, passionate people.
These micro-influencers have carefully cultivated and engaged audiences that, while small, are high, high, high quality. The kinds of micro-influencers we’re talking about care a LOT about their audience’s trust, so they won’t get involved in just any promotion; it has to be the right brand and partner. But that’s what makes micro-influencers so valuable: If they post something, their audience knows that it’s good.
There are influencer marketing tools that you can use to find and contact influencers (here’s a short list if you’re so inclined), but it’s actually pretty easy to find, follow, and work with micro-influencers. The key is to find the right people, who are the most likely to appreciate what you’re offering and who are cultivating an audience that will, too.
How to identify the right micro-influencers
It’s research time! Let’s use a hypothetical promo campaign to help us think about how to find the right micro-influencer.
Imagine that you’re a wedding planner, aiming to work with brides getting married in Mexico. (TGL founder Katie was one of these brides very recently, so it’s fresh for us!)
If you’re planning a promotion to reach more brides, you might want to create and post helpful content about planning a destination wedding so they can see that you know your stuff and call you for help.
First, look at your own audience on your social channels to see if any of your followers that leave comments or engage with you have a good following of their own. That’s a good starting point no matter what you’re planning!
Next, open up Instagram and start searching using keywords related to your potential campaign, like “mexico wedding photographer” or “mexico wedding hair stylist.” Check out the profiles that pop up, and see if any individuals with small (but still substantial) followings might fit the bill.
Questions to ask yourself while you’re researching:
Does this micro-influencer post consistently (at least a few times a week, every week)?
Do they post original, high-quality content that fits your style? (Is this someone you would follow if you’re weren’t trying to work with them?)
Are comments and replies to their posts from genuine people? (Is their audience real and engaged?)
Do they take the time to reply to their own audience? (Are they building their audience credibly and organically?)
Are they passionate about their content? (Are they excited and enthusiastic in their own videos?)
Here is a micro-influencer that fits our example: Raka GTZ, a make-up and hair artist in Monterrey (give her a follow!):
Ideally, you should make a list of at least 20 micro-influencers who fit your criteria and would make good partners. Start following them to get an idea of what they post each day.
We can see that Raka puts serious time and effort into her content, and that she engages with her audience, too:
Next, create a simple spreadsheet to help you track your research. Include names, email addresses, social handles, notes about their specific areas of interest and how they post, and how you plan to contact them.
For Raka, we can tell from her Instagram profile that she posts in Spanish and English, she really likes Instagram Stories, she has a YouTube channel, and that she also has a product line called Beauty by Raka.
We can see from her content that she posts beauty tutorials, works with brides, and offers frequent giveaways. These are all good signs!
And, because she’s so active on Instagram, she’ll probably see and respond to your messages.
Notes and observations like this are more important than you might think.
Sometimes, it might take weeks, months, or even years to finally work with someone after that initial outreach! PR and sales professionals use anything from spreadsheets to complicated customer-relationship management tools, so that they always are ready when the right opportunity comes.
And, you might observe something that gives you a great idea for your promotion.
For our example, since Raka does beauty tutorials, you could propose partnering up on a pre-wedding skincare series, to teach destination brides how to prepare their skin at home and minimize stress before the big day. You could do joint live videos sharing tips, host some joint product giveaways, and even create co-branded content together in Spanish and English!
For Raka, it would be a great way to reach more potential clients for her wedding services. And you’ll be able to reach her audience of women in their twenties and thirties, who (ta-da!) might just be getting married sometime soon.
So, whether you start reaching out via email or Instagram DM, keep your spreadsheet open and track everything, including the ideas that come to you as you’re researching. When it’s time to actually reach out to these folks, you’ll know exactly where to start.
Next week, we’ll give you some more ideas for the kinds of campaigns you could run with a micro-influencer like Raka, and a template for your outreach, too.