How Your Company Can Leverage Micro-Influencers to Create Buzz & Increase Brand Awareness

Tips for Utilizing the Fastest Growing Marketing Tactic from the Experts of Digital Marketing Pittsburgh

July 17, 2019

The nature of social media isn’t what it was in 2008. While people are still sharing life updates and interacting with people they already know, social media is evolving to be at the cornerstone of sales and digital marketing for the biggest brands in the world. There’s no avoiding this simple fact; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms are infiltrated with ads. 

Are all of these promotional posts such a bad thing, though? The biggest trend in digital marketing - influencer marketing - suggests that these ads aren’t all bad.

If you’ve taken a moment to explore your Instagram discover page in the past year or so, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a few memes, an inspirational quote or two, and several paid promotional posts. These paid promotional posts are often from influencers and, while essentially advertisements, people are purposefully interacting with these influencers and the ads. So what gives?

The experts of digital marketing Pittsburgh at Responsival are here to break down the ins and outs of influencer marketing, showing you how your brand can benefit from this enigma of a marketing tactic.

What is a micro-influencer?

Understanding the Influencer Craze at its Most Tangible Level

Kiehl's instagram ad

Social media influencers are digital thought leaders that use paid social media posts to promote brands’ products and services. Influencers are commonly used in industries like fashion, food, and entertainment, but span across all industries and the niche interests that these industries create. 

While seemingly omnipresent on Instagram, influencers exist across all social media platforms. While influencers were traditionally already-famous celebrities like Kim Kardashian and ex-reality stars, the past few years have brought rise to the micro-influencer.

Micro-influencers are influencers with follower counts anywhere between 1,000 and 100,000 Instagram followers and typically exist within niche markets. However, micro-influencers are known to have an extremely engaged audience that is interested in and bases buying decisions on the types of products the influencer is using. This is exactly why businesses are flocking to influencers to promote their products.

It seems silly for someone to base their purchasing behavior on the ideas of a thought-leader within an industry. However, influencer marketing rounded out to be a more than $5 billion industry in 2018 -- meaning it must be doing something right for businesses, social media, customers, and the influencers themselves.

How can my business benefit from a micro-influencer campaign?

How the Experts of Digital Marketing Pittsburgh Use Influencer Campaigns

Influencer sponsored IG post
Image Source: influencerdb

The wonderful thing about micro-influencer marketing is that it is not only effective but can be an affordable way to increase brand awareness and sales. In 2016, 94% of marketers reported that their use of influencer marketing was an effective use of marketing efforts. This success occurs for a variety of reasons:

  • Influencer campaigns increase credibility. Social proof is the idea that if you can see that other people like and respect a brand, you have more of a reason to trust and purchase from the brand. Influencer campaigns help increase this trust and credibility in brands -- especially small businesses and up-and-comers.
  • Influencers drive the purchase behavior of regular people. A study found that 82% of consumers are highly likely to follow a recommendation from an influencer. If you want to reach new markets, finding someone to promote your product to that market is key.
  • Influencers help you reach a niche. Micro-influencers are sound to be some of the most valuable sellers because of their ability to reach small niches with highly-engaged audiences. The more engaged this audience is, the higher your ROI.
  • Influencer campaigns can be affordable. Depending on how popular your micro-influencer is, many will do promoted posts for free products. Otherwise, 84% of Instagram influencers complete paid posts for less than $250.

What are my first steps in launching a micro-influencer campaign?

How to Launch an Influencer Campaign with the Experts of Digital Marketing Pittsburgh

Male Influencer
Screengrab from @cholpak on Instagram

It’s clear that utilizing an influencer campaign can be a clear path to success for many businesses. However, with so many influencers to choose from, it can be difficult to think strategically. To make it easy, here are a three steps for getting started:

  1. Define Your Objectives. Decide what the objective of your influencer campaign will be. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Sell a product? Reach a new market? Once decided, consider your budget and goals for ROI. These metrics will help you avoid making poorly thought out decisions down the road.
  2. Find Your Influencers. The hard part can be finding the right influencers for your campaign. There are online databases of influencers where you can search through the personas that match your brand initiatives, messaging, and goals for your campaign. Don’t be afraid to be selective! You want to get a good deal on your posts, so it may take some digging to find the right influencer for you.
  3. Define Your Terms. Make it very clear what you expect from your influencers: how many posts, what the posts should look like, what brand guidelines they will need to follow, etc. It’s important to be specific, yet not limit the creative license of an influencer who knows how to engage an audience.

Influencer marketing - while simple in nature - can be a difficult, complex, and time-consuming marketing tactic. Get in touch with the experts of digital marketing Pittsburgh at Responsival today to learn how we can launch the ultimate influencer campaign for your business.