How to Grow Your Startup with Micro-Influencers on Instagram
Influencer marketing has emerged as one of the most important and influential marketing techniques of this era.
From eCommerce retailers to B2B companies, all types of businesses use influencer marketing these days.
What makes influencer marketing so popular?
Well, there are many benefits that it offers. First, influencer marketing can help you cost-effectively achieve numerous marketing goals.
Second, influencers can market your brand on social media and create a positive brand image for your brand.
That’s not all. People trust influencer recommendations more than they trust brand promotions. So, influencer marketing is also more effective than traditional marketing methods.
As a startup, you can’t choose to ignore influencer marketing anymore. It is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to achieve your marketing goals and grow your startup.
In this post, we will discuss what the term “micro-influencers” means and why they are the preferred choice for brands.
You will also learn some of the most effective strategies to work with micro-influencers on Instagram, the most popular influencer marketing platform.
Are you excited to learn more? Keep reading.
What are Micro-Influencers?
Influencer marketing is a continuously evolving field, and you need to keep up with the latest trends.
Traditionally, influencer marketing referred to collaborating with celebrities and viral internet personalities, now known as “mega-influencers.”
However, marketers have now realised that it is more cost-effective to work with several smaller influencers than one popular and expensive one.
That is where micro-influencers come into the picture.
Micro-influencers on Instagram are people with engaged and loyal followers between 10 and 100 thousand.
These are not celebrities or popular influencers with an insane follower base, but they have a substantial influence on the people who follow them.
Brands are now realising the potential of micro-influencers and prefer working with them instead of paying much money to celebrities or mega-influencers.
Want to find out what makes micro-influencers so practical and helpful?
Find that out in the next section.
Why Should You Work with Micro-Influencers?
This section will discuss the reasons behind the growing popularity of micro-influencers and what they bring to the table.
Micro-influencers offer certain advantages over traditional mega-influencers, which makes them the preferred choice for marketers.
Here are some of the numerous benefits of collaborating with micro-influencers and why you should consider leveraging them to grow your startup.
Micro-influencers appear to be more authentic than popular ones as they are regular people that their followers relate to.
How does this help?
This means that their audiences trust their recommendations and have enough influence to sway their audiences’ opinions.
As a startup, your priority is to build brand awareness and trust, and micro-influencers can help you accomplish that.
So, micro-influencers need to be a core part of your business’ branding strategy.
Micro-influencers have a small but engaged audience interested in the content that their favourite influencers post.
According to a recent study, influencers’ engagement rates decrease with an increase in followers.
This means that the influencers with a small but targeted follower base get more engagement than mega-influencers.
While this suggests that nano-influencers get the highest engagement rates, they can only help you reach a few thousand people.
Micro-influencers, therefore, are the best alternative to maintain a good balance between reach and engagement.
Unlike mega-influencers, who may have tons of irrelevant followers, micro-influencers tend to have more genuine followers.
This means that people who follow them are genuinely interested in the content they share or the topic they talk about.
Micro-influencers, therefore, can help you reach your exact target audience on Instagram.
For example, consider a famous travel influencer with millions of followers. Many people may be following their account to see beautiful travel pictures.
Consider a micro-influencer that talks only about backpacking, which is a niche in the travel industry.
Though this influencer may have much fewer followers, they will be genuinely interested in backpacking as a mode of travel and would likely be backpackers themselves.
For a business that has backpackers as their audience, the second influencer is much more effective.
Last but not least, micro-influencers are cost-effective and much less expensive than mega-influencers, who sometimes charge exorbitant fees.
Micro-influencers often agree to be paid in kind if you offer a mutually beneficial value proposition.
Overall, micro-influencers can help you reach the right people and have the power to influence their purchase decisions in your favour.
Include micro-influencers in your social media marketing strategy, and you will see the results first-hand.
But, where can you find the right micro-influencers?
Find out in the next section.
How to Find the Right Micro-Influencers
It is not difficult to find influencers in this day and age as there are tons of free and paid influencer-finding platforms.
These platforms can use filters like industry, the number of followers, engagement rate, etc., to find a list of influencers for your business.
However, if you want to find micro-influencers who perfectly fit your brand personality, you need to dig deeper. Here are some excellent ways to find the perfect micro-influencers for your brand:
- Search your followers on Instagram and find those who have a decent following and interact with your brand frequently.
- Look into your customers to find the loyal ones whom you can turn into brand ambassadors.
- Search for micro-influencers on Instagram using niche hashtags to look for posts that use those hashtags and have significant likes and comments.
You can, of course, also use platforms to find influencers, in addition to these tactics. Also, don’t forget to vet your influencers and check their authenticity before you start working with them.
Pro Tip: Find the perfect influencers manually and then use the tools to vet those influencers on key performance metrics.
4 Strategies to Leverage Micro-Influencers on Instagram
Now that we are clear on why micro-influencers are essential to grow your startup let’s focus on the how.
How can you leverage micro-influencers in the best way?
Well, here are four practical ways to collaborate with micro-influencers on Instagram to grow your startup.
1 – Ask Them to Review Your Products
One of the best ways to use micro-influencers on Instagram is to ask them to review your products.
Many micro-influencers will agree to post a review if you send them free product samples.
This makes it a cost-effective way to leverage micro-influencers on Instagram to grow your business.
Ask influencers to write positive product reviews and post them from their respective Instagram accounts.
This way, you can reach their audiences, build brand awareness, and instil trust in your brand, all in one fell swoop.
You can promote these review posts on your Instagram and other social media channels as well.
To get the most out of every single product review, you can ask micro-influencers to create a review post for Instagram and a detailed review for your website.
You can publish the detailed review post on your website and ask the influencer to add the link in their Instagram post.
Ensure that the influencers add high-quality product pictures in their reviews and show the products in use. Don’t forget to compress your images when posting them on your website to maintain good site speed.
Want an example?
Here’s a quick review post in which the influencer shared a product image and mentioned its critical features in the post caption.
The influencer also tagged the brand and disclosed the paid partnership, which further adds to the influencer’s credibility and her recommendation.
Pro Tip: If you are confident about your products, ask influencers to try them and write honest reviews, as those look more authentic.
2 – Collaborate on Joint Giveaways
One of the simplest ways to work with micro-influencers on Instagram is to host a joint giveaway or contest.
How does it work?
You co-host a giveaway and promote it on your respective Instagram accounts. The participants need to follow both your and the influencer’s accounts.
You can also add additional participation criteria like sharing the post in Stories, tagging friends, etc.
It will be a mutually beneficial tactic where both parties get more followers and engagement.
Also, make sure that you give your products as the giveaway’s prize, as this will help get your target customers to try your products and buy again if they like them.
Here’s an example of a joint giveaway Instagram post for your reference.
3 – Get Them to Promote Your Offers
If your goal is to generate some quick sales, nothing works like a good discount or offer.
But, how can you inform your target customers about your offers?
You can work with micro-influencers on Instagram to promote your offers and discounts. They can inform their audiences about your brand and promote your latest offers.
You can even provide each influencer with a unique discount code to share with their respective followers.
A unique discount code makes people feel special as they are being rewarded for following an influencer, and no one else gets that particular discount.
Moreover, unique discount codes will also help you track each influencer’s performance and assess who brought in the maximum number of new customers.
Here’s an example of an influencer promoting a brand’s offer on Instagram using a unique discount code.
This is one of the fastest ways to reach more people on Instagram and generate more sales.
Want to know the best part?
There are many ways to use this strategy and implement it, regardless of your business type.
There’s always some incentive that you can offer to get more customers and influencers to help amplify your campaign’s reach. So, try this tactic and see the results for yourself.
4 – Run a Hashtag Campaign
This strategy is simple:
Create a unique branded, campaign-specific hashtag and work with a network of micro-influencers on Instagram to promote your campaign using that hashtag.
Some of the most successful Instagram influencer campaigns use this strategy.
Working with multiple influencers is a great way to create some buzz. Using a campaign-specific hashtag allows you to track all Instagram posts related to your campaign.
But, it is better to explain it via an example than in theory. So, here is one brilliant example.
Daniel Wellington is a watch brand that has mastered the art of influencer marketing.
They promote all new products using a specific hashtag. They ask both their customers and influencers to use it when posting a picture with that product or range of products.
Here’s an example of a post where an influencer uses the hashtag #DWQuadro to promote their latest product range.
You should also use popular hashtags on Instagram for all of your content and ask influencers to do the same to get more reach for each post.
Pro Tip: Create a hashtag for every new product using simply the product name and run a hashtag influencer campaign to promote it.
Ready to Work with Micro-Influencers on Instagram?
Influencer marketing is the next frontier of digital marketing, and micro-influencer are leading the way forward.
Almost anyone with a decent following, a well-defined niche, and engaging content is a micro-influence these days.
What’s more, they actively seek collaboration opportunities and work for fair compensation instead of charging exorbitant fees.
Micro-influencers can put your startup on the map by introducing your brand and products to their audiences.
They can get people to try your products and give your startup that initial push before establishing a known brand.
So, if you are not yet collaborating with micro-influencers on Instagram, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Start collaborating with micro-influencers on Instagram to grow your startup right now. All the best!
Author Bio: Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.