Micro-influencers present a unique opportunity to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Unlike mainstream influencers like Kim Kardashian, Doug the Pug, or Elon Musk, micro-influencers have a more niche content focus and a smaller, more engaged audience.
In fact, 82% of respondents in a recent study were “highly likely” to follow a micro-influencer’s recommendation. This is because of the trust and credibility micro-influencers have with their followers: they know what they’re talking about and aren’t willing to sacrifice their authenticity for the sake of a brand sponsorship.
However, micro-influencer marketing doesn’t make sense for every business in every industry. As such, there are certain considerations you should weigh before you start looking for a micro-influencer to promote your brand.
Business considerations for micro-influencer marketing
Micro-influencer marketing can generate a great deal of social proof to your brand or product, but not all social proof needs to come from micro-influencers. Sure, it’s been proven that the majority of customers look at the opinions of their peers before making a purchase. But sometimes those reviews come organically from loyal customers who may not be as active on social media.
Instead of pursuing micro-influencer marketing in these situations, consider letting the reviews of average customers speak for themselves. You can still use your marketing dollars to amplify these messages across your digital marketing channels, but you won’t be putting all of your proverbial eggs in one basket.
Similarly, if you don’t offer your good or service nationally, spending your time and money on an influencer campaign probably won’t be worthwhile. Instead, focus your resources on geo-targeting and search engine marketing (SEM). This will give you the best chance of increasing your visibility with prospective customers in your geographic region.
Ultimately any micro-influencer marketing strategy should align naturally with your business goals. If it feels forced, it probably is. Consider what will feel authentic (or inauthentic) to your target audience, and proceed accordingly.
Micro-influencer campaign considerations
If you’re still not sure whether micro-influencer marketing is right for your business, think about what your goals and limitations would be for a potential campaign. Keep the following questions in mind as you build your micro-influencer campaign to make sure you’re on the right track.
What are your growth needs?
Micro-influencers can help create brand awareness and introduce your business to new customers you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. They can also drive sales or generate leads for a specific product or service you want to promote.
However, micro-influencer campaigns are less valuable for increasing engagement across your own social channels. After all, the whole point is to leverage their social media platforms and engage with their audience. If your goal is to grow your own social media channels, there are other strategies that will be more effective.
Are you willing to risk your brand reputation?
Another consideration is the risk involved with tying your business to another person outside your company. By partnering with an influencer, you’re essentially extending the boundaries of your brand identity. If something happens and their reputation tanks, there’s a chance that your business’s reputation could be in jeopardy too. And if something happens mid-campaign, you might not get the full return on your investment.
How much control do you need?
There’s no way to eliminate all risk involved with micro-influencer marketing, but there are measures you can take to protect your business. For example, you can specify that you want final approval of all creative assets before they’re published. This will give you peace of mind that your brand isn’t represented in a way that makes you uncomfortable. To avoid a worst-case scenario, be sure to outline specific controls in your campaign agreement before paying any money to a prospective influencer.
How much money can you spend?
Last but not least, budget is a major factor in whether micro-influencer marketing is a good fit for you. Some influencers are willing to work on a campaign for as little as $50, but you should expect to pay more to work with influencers who have a bigger following.
If you want an influencer to take their own pictures or videos and write their own captions, they’ll most likely want to be compensated accordingly. Also, if your strategy is to offer free products in exchange for a review, don’t expect to have any control over what they say or do with that product.
When micro-influencer marketing works
Micro-influencer marketing can be a powerful strategy for growing your business if you approach it with appropriate expectations. You can gain exposure and sell to people who are essentially guaranteed to fit your target market. Plus, when you understand that consumers want to hear from people like them, micro-influencer marketing seems like a no-brainer.
Read next: How to Launch a Micro-Influencer Campaign