Talented people who led ordinary lives but then discovered a global platform on channels like YouTube and Instagram are the ones known as influencers today. An influencer is no less than a superstar—and while that is a powerful thing, brands must shell out a huge price for any kind of collaboration with influencers, if at all they’re willing to come on board. This explains why micro-influencers are emerging as the real superstars for small brands and startups. Brands with limited funds can benefit greatly by collaborating with micro-influencers at near-zero cost.
A micro-influencer is defined as a creative person in the relevant field with up to 30,000 followers. Because of this relatively smaller number of followers that micro-influencers have, they retain a sense of authenticity whenever they decide to associate with a brand or product. At the same time, micro-influencers are much easier to reach out to and connect with, as compared to influencers with a massive following. That’s not it– according to HelloSociety, micro-influencers are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with a large number of followers.
Collaborating with micro-influencers can reap several benefits for the brand, but the trick is to do it effectively in order to avoid the common pitfalls.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind for effective collaboration with micro-influencers:
1.Keep in mind that micro-influencers are not your employees: It’s important to remember that micro-influencers will want to work with your brand if they genuinely like it and take pride in the association. Companies can often make the mistake of treating the micro-influencers like their employees, which in turn makes them treat these promotions like work. Once that happens, the motivation and ingenuity that was driving their creative content will drop significantly. The idea is to keep your association with the micro-influencers light and fun-filled, and making sure to reward them in unique (non-monetary) ways. Don’t interfere with the creative processes of the micro-influencers, and allow them to retain their freedom when it comes to talking about your brand.
2.Streamline the onboarding process: Ease your chosen micro-influencers into the collaboration process. Start out by giving the micro-influencers an easy-to-complete task, and let them take the initiative on how they’d like to take the association forward. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t set the expectations and state your guidelines clearly. The idea is to allow them to get comfortable with your brand and your processes as quickly and as easily as possible. Regular communication and a steady inflow of work is a good way to do that. At the outset, make the micro-influencer feel welcome to the community and appreciate them for what they bring to the table.
3.Focus on building a sense of community: It is vital to engage in certain community-building exercises with your micro-influencers. This should be done both online and offline. Enabling the micro-influencers to feel like they are a part of community will keep them motivated about the work they do for you. This is also a helpful way for you to get useful feedback and insights into your brand/products. A great way to build a sense of community is to create a private Facebook group for all the micro-influencers you work with.
4.Ply them with non-monetary rewards: Micro-influencers are obviously looking for something in return when they work with you, but it isn’t always money. The key to keeping them happy and at their creative best is to ply them with a variety of non-monetary rewards. You could start with something as simple as a free sample or trial of your product/service. But don’t lose sight of the fact that you still can’t dictate terms to them only because you’re giving them freebies. Another thing that micro-influencers will really appreciate is publicity—it’s precisely what they need to grow.
5.Enable them to share your content easily: If a micro-influencer has signed up to work with your brand, one can assume that they are proud of the content they’re creating for you (if not, then that’s a big problem!). At your end, you must make it as easy as possible for them to share your content across all the relevant social media platforms. Without that, you will be losing out on the benefits of this collaboration.
When you’re working with a micro-influencer, the most important thing for you to do is to keep them motivated. Given that the nature of these collaborations will predominantly be non-monetary, the creativity of the content and the authenticity of the project must be your foremost concerns. By following some of the aforementioned tips, you can reap excellent benefits upon working with micro-influencers.