Have you ever seen public figures on Instagram promoting a new product they tried, or maybe a video on YouTube sponsored by a certain brand? If so, and perhaps without even realizing, you've been targeted by microinfluencers, a common social media marketing trend that is as efficient as it is inexpensive.
"Microinfluencers are individuals who have a smaller reach than typical influencers – such as celebrities, athletes and major public figures – but tend to have a stronger influence on their network," said Susan English, senior vice president and director of PR and social media for Gatesman.
These social elites are often idolized and trusted within their niche, with an audience that is open to their suggestions. They're the perfect addition to your marketing strategy, costing little money (some even advertise products just for a free sample of it) and attracting consumers in your market.
Celebrities with millions of followers might be out-of-reach for your small business, and that's OK. Microinfluencers offer an authentic, affordable promotion that's great for any brand. Here are the pros and cons of microinfluencers, and the best platforms to leverage when using this marketing tactic. [See Related Story: Best Social Media Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses 2018]
Higher levels of engagement
Microinfluencers generally have higher engagement than celebrities, said Nate Masterson, marketing manager for Maple Holistics. This is because they have a more intimate relationship with their followers, gaining both their trust and respect.
Especially if you run a small business, you want your marketing costs to be small. You're not going to afford the Kardashians to advertise your startup; but you can increase sales by connecting with niche influencers and staying within your budget.
"Microinfluencers are simply more affordable than influencers or celebrities, a major consideration for small businesses with limited marketing budgets," said Masterson.
More targeted marketing
Microinfluencers' audiences are predominately interested in the same area of expertise (e.g. beauty, fitness, tech) and not just following them for fame. According to Masterson, because they often operate in an exclusive niche, a higher percentage of their followers will be willing to check out your brand.
It's much easier to get in touch with a microinfluencer than a well-known celebrity, and they are typically more willing to hear your pitch. Familiarize yourself with the platforms that work best for your brand, and recruit a microinfluencer on a particular platform to help reach your target audience, said Joe Sinkwitz, CEO of Intellifluence.
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While you might have higher engagement with microinfluencers, you'll be pitching to a smaller audience, limiting the amount of people exposed to your brand, said Masterson. As a result, you might need to reach out to multiple influencers to broaden your clientele.
Working with a microinfluencer in a particular niche might give the impression that you're also a niched brand. While this isn't necessarily an issue, it's something you should consider before implementing it into your business, said Masterson.
Choosing social media platforms
Instagram is a popular site for microinfluencers, but there are others that breed success as well, from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Snapchat. When choosing an influencer for your business, consider the types of products you sell, and which platforms they would bode well on.
"When it comes to which social platforms are best for microinfluencers, there is no one-size-fits-all approach," said English. "Brands should research on which platforms the microinfluencer has the greatest, most active following, and whether or not that platform makes sense for their business objectives."
For example, a YouTuber with thousands of subscribers would more likely promote makeup products in a video-tutorial on their channel, rather than posting about it on their Twitter account.
"I've seen successful campaigns carried out where microinfluencers are used on YouTube to perform unboxing reviews for an electronics company product launch, on Instagram to provide social proof of a new cosmetic product, on Twitter sharing views of a breakfast routine, on Pinterest with an inspired weekend dress, and, well, you get the picture," said Sinkwitz.
So long as you are willing to research your target audience, finding out where they spend most of their time online, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a microinfluencer to promote your products.