Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
With the growth of influencer marketing seemingly an unstoppable force in online communications, companies large and small are all keen to get a piece of the pie. Still, as useful as influencers can be, marketing strategy teams must realize that not every influencer is right for every company: selecting the right influencer to partner with your firm is just as important as the development of the rest of your marketing strategy.
The popularity of influencers as a communications tool is based on their invaluable role in helping companies build brands that customers can trust. Today, the influencers’ role has expanded and matured beyond mere online popularity: while influencer marketing may have started out with empty endorsements by celebrities, fashion icons, and sports stars, with a single influencer being the face of a single firm, today’s firms can engage any number of influencers.
In fact, spreading your brand across several influencers isn’t brand dilution: it’s smart influencer marketing.
The reason is simple. While each influencer is important, they only represent one slice of the consumer market pie. This is especially true of micro-influencers, users with a smaller follower count than big-time players, but covering a specific niche audience and possessing a deep connection to their following.
As such, the best return-on-investment (ROI) available to a brand ready to launch a campaign is to hire a group of micro-influencers. The concept that an influencer must have millions of followers to be valuable to a brand is misleading: in fact, the larger the following, the lower the engagement rate typically is.
When looking for your team of micro-influencers, you should assess your own followers on social media. Who is already following the brand and who might be an excellent potential representative? Who looks to be interested in telling the brand’s story, and may already be talking about it? These are essential questions to ask when filtering your own follower base in search of the right micro-influencers for your campaign.
Once identified, the best way to establish and build relationships with micro-influencers is to engage with them, follow them, and show your appreciation for their content. When micro-influencers receive a direct message from a brand, they are far more likely to reply in the event of an actual campaign being built.
Paving your micro-influencer strategy is another important step. Speaking with your micro-influencer of choice is often the best method of articulating the boundaries of a mutually beneficial relationship – they may, for example, suggest taking over your brand’s social media account for a fixed period of time.
Brands also recruit micro-influences to sample products and take photos to post on their social media accounts. Photos that show a product in an organic, true-to-life situation are typically the best performers, resonating with followers and consumers in a way that leans on the trust established by each influencer.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes can, and should, get into the influencer marketing world. The most successful ones will be those that appreciate it as the ultimate tool for human connection that it is.