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Feb 18, 2019

What the Shell is a Micro-Influencer… And How Do I Get One?

So maybe you know your inbound from your outbound marketing. You know what SEO stands for and you’re down with PPC ads. But of all the new terms that marketing has invented, micro-influencer is by far the most puzzling. Is it like a micro-brew? Or a micro-USB cable? Wait, it’s influential, but why would anyone want a micro-amount of marketing influence.

Yeah, we know where you’re coming from. You’re wondering what the shell a micro influencer is and, if they are so darn important, how can you net your brand a good one? Maybe one that’s not so micro. The octopus creative team is here to help. Micro-influencers are actually one of the coolest new developments of inbound marketing for satisfying no-promo advertising.

Is a Micro-Influencer a Kind of Fish?

Nope, but a talking fish with a Facebook page could theoretically become a micro-influencer. Essentially, a micro-influencer is an almost-nobody. A normal person. Who happens to have several thousand online followers who read their Tweets and watch their videos every single day. Because in the social-media reality we now live in, that it totally possible.

In fact, it’s so possible that there are thousands of these people. All over the world. In every state, famous for absolutely every kind of content. Home DIY pros with a friendly style and an avid following of how-to video watchers. Or a mom with picky kids with a low-key but popular recipe blog. Or a student biochemist who does fun science experiment videos. There is literally a micro-influencer for everything under the sun. So there’s bound to be a few that are perfect for your brand.

But how, you ask? If micro-influencers are so normal, what’s so special about them? 

Yep, there’s more beyond the thousands of eager followers who identify with these bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and amateur documentarians.

Why Micro-Influencers Hold Serious Sway

Micro-influencers have power because they are genuine. They are normal people who decided to share something cool with the world. They share a video diary, or document their own home renovations, or show off recipes they figured out for themselves. In other words, they are therefore a lot like a living, breathing 5-star review for anything they like.

A micro-influencer can promote products without seeming to “sell out” like a celebrity would because normal people have product preferences, and their audiences accept that.

You see, micro-influencers have the opposite of star-power. They have the power to be trusted as every-day people. Which in the no-promo marketing environment of today, is very important. With modern audiences sick of being marketed to, that genuine normal-person enthusiasm is the most assuring thing we can possibly see.

How to Get a Micro-Influencer of Your Own

So the next question, naturally, is where to get your micro-influencer. They’re good, you want one. But it’s not like they’re for sale. In fact, a creative agency can’t even design one for you. The good news is that no two are the same, and there’s definitely more than one who could become your perfect marketing partner.

The best way to partner with a micro-influencer is to find someone who already focuses on your niche and who is genuinely excited about your product. (ex: introducing a new kitchen gadget to a recipe-sharing micro-influencer.) If they love your product, they will promote it honestly and enthusiastically to their following. And the following trusts them because the enthusiasm is genuine, not bought.

This means you want to look for people who fit inside your target audience and who make media for your target audience. Check the content. If your product could be used, mentioned, or enthused about in a way that fits naturally into the normal content, then you’ve found your micro-influencer.

Now you just have to impress them to get that awesome influence from being genuine.

Working Together With Your Micro-Influencer

For a micro-influencer, getting paid is a bonus, not the focus. They love what they do and sharing information with their audience. But it’s also nice to get paid for doing what you love. Which is why they take on brand and affiliate partners.

Micro-influences mostly make their cash through affiliate links, most commonly spotted with popular bloggers. But you can also pay them for a partnership and plan promotional collaborations. Both are effective but require different approaches and work differently depending on the type of micro-influencer you’re working with.

Types of Micro-Influencers

  • Bloggers / Vloggers
  • Video Series Creators
  • Podcasters
  • Instagram Photographers
  • Social Media Hubs
  • Journalists / Technical Writers

Affiliate Links in Blogs and Video Descriptions

Affiliate links are one of the most common ways to work with a micro-influencer. It can work with any media type that includes text but works best in blogs and video descriptions.

An affiliate is a business partner, like yourself, who works with a micro-influencer. You give the micro-influencer a unique link they can share. So that every time a new customer comes through that route, you know it was your influencer’s blog that linked them. And you pay them for it. So it’s basically a pay-per-click deal with a blogger or vlogger.

You only pay them when the link is clicked, but they also have a reason to include your link every time they mention your product. The way to make this good organic SEO and not like a backroom deal is to make sure your micro-influencer really loves your product. They might even be someone who’s been sharing your product links for free until you officially recruited them.

In-Content Promotions

Finally, let’s talk about working directly with your micro-influencer to plan specific promotions. Casual mentions and affiliate links are great, but sometimes you want to shape the results. The best way to do that is to take a lot of advice from the micro-influencer themselves.

Say that you want a bigger promotion, or to push something special like an event or product release. Ask how they would advise making that a rewarding (and believable) part of the show for the audience. Because the influencer knows their audience and their show-style best.

Whatever you plan, do your best to make sure it matches the natural flow of the micro-influencer’s style. If you did your homework, you will be well-versed in what that style is, what the audience is in it for, and how to make your promotions a fun natural part of the content.

Believe it or not, there are even more things you can do with a micro-influencer partner once you get the hang of the basics. But you’ll have to join us for a different article to get them because this one is just for getting started. Hopefully, you now understand what the shell a micro-influencer really is. What they can do for your brand. And how to work with your influencers to get the best possible results from their amazing networking powers. Contact us today for more cool insights on digital marketing and how to custom-craft these techniques for your brand.

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