This is a guest post by Georgi Todorov.
Marketers are already well-versed when it comes to working with celebrity influencers. After all, who wouldn’t want Kim Kardashian to show their product in one of her photos?
But the truth is, working with traditional influencers is often cost-prohibitive and inefficient, and it’s simply out of reach for many smaller businesses. That’s where micro-influencers come in – those slightly less famous people who still have a huge amount of influence (and followers) in their niche.
Defining micro-influencers as those with under 30,000 followers, Adweek explains that they deliver a 60% higher engagement rate and are 6.7x more cost effective. Convince & Convert, meanwhile, reminds us that micro-influencers also have more targeted audiences, which allows them to aim for relevance when it comes to the brands that they work with. In addition, influencer marketing is the fastest growing channel for customer acquisition.
And it really works. Let me show you one example:
One of the best ways to engage with micro-influencers is to work on a roundup post like we did on time management (see Guy Kawasaki's involvement in the image below) where you list the biggest bloggers and personalities in your niche. If you invite experts and influencers to contribute on a roundup post, it works for you because they’ll share it with their audiences – and it works for them because it gives them another platform to air their expertise.
The results come easy. The hard part is finding the influencers in the first place and pulling together an offer that they can’t refuse. That’s where this blog comes in. Here are just a few of the best ways to find social media influencers to work with.
How to Find Micro-Influencers
1. Search Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are a godsend for marketers because they make it easier than ever to discover (and join) conversations. Draft a shortlist of hashtags which are relevant to your business and then identify users with plenty of followers (and engagement on their updates) who use the hashtags often. Reach out to them and see if there’s a way for you to work together.
2. Run Searches
Sometimes it’s as simple as keying in some search terms and looking through the first few pages of results. If a micro-influencer is consistently ranking high for different search terms, it’s a good sign that they’re an authority in your niche. If you can work with them to create some content on their website – as well as your own – then you’ll earn inbound links to your website while simultaneously boosting brand exposure in search engine results pages.
3. Imitate Competitors
This is where it gets interesting. By using tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer, you can look at the inbound links that are pointing to a competitor’s site and approach any micro-influencers who are talking about them. The chances are that if they’re interested in your competitor’s products, they might also be interested in your own. You can also find influencers who are talking about competitors on social networking sites. If it works for them, it could work for you.
4. Analyse Your Fans
Use tools like Followerwonk to analyse your social media following and to identify the most influential. You can then approach these people – who are already aware of you – and offer to work together. The worst that can happen is that they can say no – but if they feel good about your brand, they might bite your hand off at the opportunity and do most of your marketing for you. There’s nothing more valuable than word of mouth.
5. Check Who You’re Currently Reading
If you’re already reading blogs, following Instagrammers or watching YouTubers who talk about your industry, you’re already aware of a number of micro-influencers. Take the time to share and comment on their content and then approach them once they’ve got a good idea of who you are and what you’re about. If you’ve already demonstrated your knowledge by taking part in their discussions then they’re much more likely to want to work with you.
6. Check Directories
Many micro-influencers are featured in lists or as entries in directories. As such, pick a few keywords that relate to your industry and search for “[keyword] blogger list”. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a number of different resources and to cross-reference entries to find out who’s the most well-known in your industry. Then it’s just a case of picking up the phone or dropping them an email. If you’re not sure where to start, try PickABlogger.com or BloggingFusion.com – and consider listing your own blog while you’re at it.
7. Ask your customers
If in doubt, ask! Your social media following will be more than happy to help, and you can approach customers directly and ask them for the sites they visit and the influencers they follow. By tapping into the wisdom of the crowd, you improve your chances of finding micro-influencers that are worth reaching out to.
Remember, every micro-influencer is different so you’ll want to tailor your approach for everyone that you reach out to. Working with influencers is a fine art that takes time to master, so be patient, be bespoke and above all else, be human.
People respond well to other humans. And after all – isn’t that the reason why you want to work with micro-influencers in the first place?
How do you work with micro-influencers?