Ok so I’m getting a lot of questions from brands that are confused, such as:
I feel super dumb asking this question, but here goes… How would I go about finding SMI (social media influencers) (micro and/or macro) on IG to grow a social media following for a specific shoe service company? I don’t even know where to start.
It’s called Influencer Marketing — so why don’t marketers approach it like marketing?
Influencer Marketing is – no doubt – here to stay for the foreseeable future. It also may be the hottest, most trendy topic in marketing: in a recent survey 74% of marketing decision makers state that they have allocated a budget for influencer marketing (source: OnBrand). Yet time and again I hear people — even very good marketing professionals — confuse marketing and sales when it comes to SMI* (and make serious mistakes as a result). That is because they have not thought clearly about their influencer marketing strategy.
There is no “outreach” to an Influencer, there is hiring. Think hiring instead of outreach
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about how to communicate with SMI
For some reason, people think they need to do outreach influencer hiring …. To woo or charm an SMI (social media influencer). I think they hope that if you compliment an Influencer on their writing and fame, and make them think you are helping them, that will grab their attention, and then they’ll endorse your amazing product for free… That’s a myth and is is a fundamental misunderstanding about SMI. There is no outreach — there is “hiring.”
The SMI are BUSY, they get dozens if not hundreds of emails that try to do “outreach” to them. You can avoid all of that by treating them like professionals. Just like you’d do with graphic designers, SEO specialists, and software developers, send the SMI a short, to the point message and state that you want to HIRE them …and then do exactly that!
Exchange of Products? It may not be the best way of hiring an influencer!
When you are clear and straightforward, they know that you don’t expect them to work for free.
And you shouldn’t. It doesn’t make sense to ask SMI to spend their time creating content for free, or in exchange for a sample of your product. It’s disrespectful. Most SMI have their own financial obligations, and are professionals. They work hard to create content and build their following. They value their time. You should too.
The above is my 2c from my 6 years of experience as a brand working with online SMI, and as the creator of DearMishu, a Micro-Influencer.
When a brand reaches out to Mishu, what I DO want is to get to know them and their goals and understand their product and their key selling points and marketing strategy. I also want to get down to business pretty quickly. Are they interested in hiring our services? If so, then we need to understand their goals and build a relationship. If not, there isn’t really a point. What I DON’T want to do is have a lot of back and forth that ends up going nowhere. It’s just not a good use of anybody’s time.
‘Dear Mishu’ is a social media account that I created. Mishu is a character — based on my dog — who provides inspiration and advice through Instagram posts. That includes: advice to humans about dogs, advice to dogs about humans, and advice to humans about friendship, dating, career, living in the moment and being true to yourself.
As an “advice” focused account, Dear Mishu is perfectly situated to recommend a wide variety of brands and products, including: – products for dogs – lifestyle brands – apps – travel – fitness and outdoors Dear Mishu has ~80k followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and regularly receives hundreds of likes and comments on posts. Please contact us if you would like to discuss sponsorship or to review our media kit.
Type 1: Mega-influencers, also called “celebs”… We’ve all seen them. They have over million followers and usually look like this:
Type 2: Macro-influencers: they have up to 100k followers. They have a lot of strengths, but are lacking some of the best qualities of micro influencers.
Type 3: Micro-influencers… According to current definitions, they have fewer than 100k followers, and – to simplify things – they are “small size” SMI.
P. S. There’s a sub-category of micro-influencers, for even smaller size SMI, with fewer than 10k followers. They’re often called “nano-influencers” but it’s fine to refer to them as micro-influencers — let’s just keep it simple.
Now there was a time when micro-influencers were ignored… people only considered mega- and macro-influencers with over a hundred thousand followers to have value to offer.
But more recently they’ve become hot… they’re in demand (at least the good ones). Let me explain why:
Why Micro-Influencers are HOT:
There are three main reasons that micro-influencers and nano-influencers are suddenly hot.
1. Micro-influencers INFLUENCE
Because they run a small shop (i.e. a community of several hundred or thousand followers), they can make those followers feel like home. They are deeply connected, answering their followers’ questions and comments, one by one (almost), giving them a feeling of belonging.
Because they build their communities around a very, very specific niche topic, on which they are experts and which they are passionate about.
Because they picked a job (social media) that they really good at.
And because of all that…
…they have influence, they can change behavior, they can introduce new conversations about the your brand or product. And that – my friends – is called influence!
And mind you, having tons of followers (or having great ‘reach’), while hard to achieve, is NOT influence.
2. Micro-influencers Bring Impactful Content
Hiring micro-influencers is as much about the content they deliver as it is about the influence! The content provided by micro-influencers can be wonderful. Why? Because it’s native, non-intrusive, with a great point-of-view and un-ordinary attention to detail!
They’re experts in their trade/passion, and provide deep, intriguing, and super interesting content!
Tip: The best way to benefit from working with micro-influencers is to reuse, re-purpose, re-post the content they create for you. Post it everywhere: on social media, your website, your storefront, TV ads, conferences, stickers, and what not. It has huge potential value.
3. Micro-influencers are Cost Effective
The amount of money spent micro-influencers is, on average, less than $500 per campaign. That’s much more cost-effective than ads…