How to find micro-influencers and activate them for your brand?

Micro-influencer marketing has fast become one of the most used and beneficial strategies for marketers.  Yes, their audience may be smaller, don’t let that fool you! Partnering with creators with smaller communities on social media can have a huge impact. It’s common knowledge now that authentic, visual posts resonate more with audiences more than sponsored ads. Micro influencers are a distinct influencer category, and while they may have a ‘micro’ audience, they shouldn’t be underestimated. Influencers with a smaller number of followers can be valuable brand partners thanks to their tight-knit audiences who are highly engaged in a niche area. To begin building authentic connections and converting new customers, you first need to find micro-influencers for your brand and activate them in your campaigns. With this in mind, we’ll explore two key methods for identifying micro-influencers, plus share some practical tips for creator outreach and compensation.

Before we jump in, I think this guide will be useful for when you expand your influencer search beyond micro influencers. It will prepare you for influencer search more generally and offers a tonne of practical tips!

Upfluence_Guide_How to find influencers

Ok, let’s get started!

What is a micro-influencer?

First of all, it’s important to understand what makes a micro-influencer and why you should work with them? A micro-influencer will typically have between 5K – 25K followers. They are known for creating tight-knit online communities of people interested in their content niche. Micro-influencers build close, authentic connections with their followers who look to them as trusted experts in their niche. Nurturing this type of close connection wouldn’t be possible if they had hundreds of thousands of followers, that’s what gives micro-influencers a unique advantage!

You will find micro-influencers in all industries. In fact, there will be many types of micro-influencers within one industry. If we take the beauty industry as an example, you may have micro-influencers dedicated to organic beauty products, while some others will align themselves with skincare products, or nail art. 

Most micro-influencers are active on Instagram as it proves to be a very popular category for brands who want to collaborate with influencers on Instagram. Upfluence data shows that 57.8% of influencers selected on Instagram fit into the micro-influencer category. 

micro-influencer instagram
Upfluence data published via Influencer Marketing Hub

Find micro-influencers for your campaign

Using an influencer search tool will help you find micro-influencers who fit your criteria at scale. To begin your search, you need to know what audience you’re looking to target, on which social media platform, plus which keywords will help you find a creator in your niche. 

Upfluence’s search dashboard allows you to search with 20+ advanced filters so you will find only the most relevant influencers for your campaign. 

Let’s imagine you want to recruit micro-influencers in the health and wellness industry to promote a health app for young women in the US. You might fill in your influencer search like this: 

micro-influencer search

This search results in a whopping 38 000 corresponding profiles!

micro-influencer search

It’s lucky to be spoiled for choice when selecting micro-influencers because we recommend working with several micro-influencers at once in order to have the most impact and reach. A good place to start is by recruiting 10 influencers and then working your way up to more! It is totally feasible to work with many micro-influencers given the budget for working with them is much smaller. (What it costs to work with 25 micro-influencers = what it would cost to engage maybe 2 mid-sized ones.)

You should also reach out to more influencers than you intend to work with because not every influencer you contact will agree to work on your campaign. That said, you need to make sure you have a curated list of influencers who are most suited to your campaign before you start outreach. Be sure to look at an influencer’s audience demographic, percentage of real followers, and engagement rate to make sure they’ll deliver results for your brand.

Identifying influential customers

If you’re looking to leverage micro-influencers in your next campaign then you should definitely consider recruiting influential customers. Every customer has their own sphere of influence and potential for promoting your brand, whether it’s to their close friends or to a broader audience on their social media channels. It’s likely that there’ll be people within your customer base who are perfect to be activated as ‘organic’ micro-influencers.

Analyzing the social reach data of your customer network will uncover nano and micro-influencers who already love your brand! Your customers have real-life experience with your products and are genuine fans. This makes them your brand’s most authentic content creators! For well-established brands that already have a significant customer base, Upfluence has integrations to analyze your CMS and pinpoint your organic brand advocates who are already part of your brand network.  

Tips for influencer outreach

Outreach is a crucial part of launching your micro-influencer marketing campaign. Get it right and you’ll recruit the desired number of influencers, get it wrong and risk delays and wasting time while trying to find more influencers to take part. If you’re contacting influencers who don’t know anything about your brand, be sure to introduce your brand and values in your first message. You want to show them how your brand aligns with their social media content. Micro-influencers have established themselves as experts in a certain niche, so they will only work with your brand if it aligns with what they’re already talking about on social media and will be of interest to their followers. 

You should follow these best practices in your micro-influencer outreach as a general rule. 

  • Introduce your brand and values – You want to get people who don’t know anything about your brand to be excited to work with you. Highlight how your values align to show how they’re a good fit for your campaign. 
  • Highlight what you can offer their audience – A great way to get new influencers on board is to offer a product giveaway or discount code that the influencer can share with their audience. Micro-influencers won’t want to oversaturate their feed with too many brand collaborations in case they alienate their audience. By offering something of value to their audience, micro-influencers will be more likely to accept your offer. 
  • Be clear about compensation – While it’s true that micro-influencers are cheaper to work with than mega-influencers they will still expect some form of compensation. Whether you’re offering free products, payment, or a combination, be sure to mention it right from the beginning. 

Working with micro-influencers to promote your products 

The best way to get micro-influencers to post about your brand is to get your products into their hands. Sending your products out to influencers in exchange for a social media post such as a product review is known as ‘product seeding’. This is a cost-effective way to start running micro-influencer campaigns and boost your online reach. The key is to allow your influencers to choose a product that will be of most interest to their audience. Using a platform such as Upfluence allows you to offer products and generate orders in one click for a streamlined product shipping process. 

It’s also a good idea to provide your influencers with a brief about your expectations. You can specify what type of content you’d like, for example, a product review, unboxing video, or a video highlighting their favorite thing about your product. Include details about the content format, channel, timeline, and any dos and don’ts for the campaign. It’s useful to offer these guidelines to your influencers but be sure you leave enough creative freedom to create authentic content that will resonate with their audience. 

Now you know how to find the best micro-influencers to kick-start your influencer marketing campaigns. Using Upfluence’s tools for influencer discovery will make sure you find the best micro-influencers in no time! 

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