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By Alexandra Kazakova | 30 min read

Micro-influencer Marketing

A Complete Guide 2021 

I don’t just smell what the rock is cooking – I buy it too!  
That’s right, Dwayne Johnson, AKA pro-wrestler “The Rock,” has convinced me into making a few purchases.  His magnetic personality draws me in like a moth to the flame. Plus, he’s hawking some pretty cool stuff on Instagram too.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of when celebrities affect our decisions. Before the age of social influencer marketing, celebrities were already influencing people by setting trends in art & culture. Now, they are overtly advertising things. I, for one, appreciate the honesty.

A celebrity’s social status turns them into a valuable voice. Still, a celebrity’s fame might not reach your audience. It’ll take someone that speaks with a lot more conviction & passion about the product, with a very intimate following. 

Enter Micro-influencers. Brands partner with smaller accounts, between 10k-to-100k followers, to promote products in a much more authentic manner. While celebrities can reach millions of followers at once, their sponsored ads can be sterile, like they’re reading off of cue cards. Some people get completely turned off. 

Micro-influencers speak from the heart, which resonates with many folks. Their followers hang on their every word in some cases. So, a micro-influencer might be a better option to promote your product. 

Follow along with this blog to learn everything you need to know about micro-influencers! We’ll cover the ins-and-outs of who they are, how to negotiate with them, and which ones will be the right influencers for your brand.

What is a Micro-influencer?

Micro-influencers have become key players in today’s digital marketing industry. Whether you are looking at promoting your cat collar brand, to a revolutionary jumping rope, to an unusual camera accessory, you can count on a Micro-influencer to promote your product, service, and brand to the masses. 

But what is exactly a Micro-influencer? How can you find one? How can they help you?

We will answer all these questions and a bit more in this article. 

A Micro-influencer follower count can vary, depending on whether they are on Instagram or TikTok. They can also be on YouTube, Twitter, and other social media platforms, but we will focus on Instagram and TikTok in this piece.

An Instagram Micro-influencer typically has between 5,000 and 50,000 followers, whereas a TikTok Micro-influencer has between 10,000 all the way up to half a million followers. There are no rigid definitions for this term, and the classification of influencers by type can vary from marketer to marketer. 

But why is there such a massive difference in the numbers of followers between these two platforms? It all boils down to engagement. Keep that word in mind because we will reference it further down the article. 

TikTok’s algorithm works to show the platform’s visitors videos based on how long those videos have been watched. So videos which get watched till the end will be pushed more. 

Instagram, instead, has a different user experience or interaction. Instagram will show people the content of those they follow, and users will scroll through their feed where they will find not just videos but tons of photos. Instagram was created primarily as a photo-sharing platform, after all. The video feature came a bit later. TikTok is a platform to share short videos that emerged as an alternative to Vine and offered a longer video length than Vine’s six-second limit.

Image: @cameliane_laroche. Louve campaign by inBeat.agency

Will a Micro-influencer be suitable for my brand?

Most likely, yes. But it all depends on what industry or niche your brand belongs to. The most popular micro-influencers on Instagram tend to specialize in specific niches. The top niches for Instagram micro-influencers are lifestyle, fitness, makeup, travel, fashion, food, family, and pets. 

On the other hand, TikTok’s most popular influencers usually belong to an entirely different set of niches than Instagram. These niches are typically dancers, singers, pranksters, and vine comedy skits.

 

Micro-influencers vs. Celebrity Influencers

A Micro-influencer, unlike a macro or a mega influencer (a.k.a. celebrity), is usually more in touch with his or her audience, considerably cheaper to work with, and more committed to your brand. A celebrity influencer will result in a lot more cash to fork out if you want to work with them, and the engagement will most likely be much less. 

On the other hand, on average, a micro-influencer has more trust and, therefore, more engagement among their audience because of that more human, personal connection with their followers. They (the micro-influencers) are more down-to-earth and connect with their audience in a much more flat or horizontal way. I mean that the way they interact with their followers is very different from macro-influencers, who usually are at the top of this popularity pyramid. It is improbable that celebrity influencers will personally respond to comments, DMs, or connect with their audience authentically. It’s just a lot of people to handle. 

Now that we’ve touched on the “humanity” and overall engagement of the micro-influencers vs. celebrity influencers, let’s look at some figures to illustrate this in more detail.

A study carried out by Digimind found out that, and it’s probably no surprise, that as the number of followers increase, the engagement rates drop. 

People who have an audience of just about 1000 followers, or less, have an engagement rate of 9.7%. As an Instagrammer or TikToker surpassed the 1K and up to about 4K followers, the engagement rate more than halves, going down to about 4.5%. Consequently, influencers with more than 100K followers have an engagement rate of a meager 1.7%. 

Engagement also varies per niche. Social media benchmark report from Rival IQ indicates that brands that belong to niches like higher education (3.96% engagement), nonprofits (2.40% engagement), and sports teams at (2.40% engagement) have better chances for success on Instagram. No wonder that micro-influencers love participating in campaigns where brands stand for a good cause. Charity campaigns receive some of the highest engagement rates.

Can you trust ALL micro-influencers?

You must be aware of those micro-influencers who have “fake” followers, “fake” likes, and “fake” comments. That’s right, there is an overwhelming number of influencers, whether they are nano, micro, or macro (celebrity type) influencers, who have resorted to some shady tactics to make people think they have a significant following. In 2018 Ghostdata.io published a study where they found 95 million fake bot accounts on Instagram. Although there are no exact numbers for TikTok, the latter is even more vulnerable to fake accounts. The reason for this is that TikTok applies a lower threshold for spambot creation and management than Instagram due to a lack of a strong level of email or SMS confirmation.

Video by @styleconceptblog. Mogo.ca campaign by inBeat.agency

Tracking down who has fake and who has real followers is a bit of a daunting task. But you must do it to protect your marketing budget. 

Imagine you hire an influencer, pay them a chunk of cash, and find out at the end of the marketing campaign that the engagement rate was close to zero, or worse: zero. So you dig in a bit deeper and discover that more than half of their followers are bots or fakes. That can be utterly frustrating.  Once you’ve spotted the untrustworthy ones, you’ll develop an eye for picking them out. Some tools, like the Instagram engagement rate calculator, can help you identify influences with fake following. As long as you know engagement rate benchmarks (described earlier in this post), you can use them as an indicator to analyze your influencers. 

The bottom line is, finding a trustworthy micro-influencer can require some trial and error, access to proper analytical tools, and some sharp scouting skills. There are, however, a plethora of serious micro-influencers who have put in the time and effort to build their audience and keep them relatively engaged organically. These are the ones you should keep an eye out for. Once you find them, keep them.

Real-life Examples of Micro-influencers

Let’s look at some real-life examples of micro-influencers that inBeat has worked with.

  1. Jerlyn. https://www.instagram.com/j.andhercrew/

Joan is an Instagram micro-influencer, who at the time of this writing, had 22K+ followers and an engagement rate of 6,69%. She fits quite in the middle of the range that defines a Micro-influencer. She is in the Lifestyle niche. In her profile, she describes herself as a mother, nurse, and wife based in Vancouver, BC. You can see how she could be a good asset for your campaign, as she has a good number of followers, she has grown her audience organically, and has quite an average and expected engagement rate. Her posts revolve around being the mother of young children and being a wife. Jerlyn usually features her family, daily life as a nurse and shares motherhood tips in her posts. We worked with her on two campaigns, and both reached over 7000 of her highly engaged followers.

  1. You can find great micro-influencers on TikTok as well. Like this creator, M3hr (tiktok.com/@.m3hr), with a following at the time of this writing of more than 300K people.
M3rh did a video campaign advertising a Canadian fintech app Mogo. As a young TikTok micro-influencer, she could bring this fintech product to the intended audience and make it relevant to them. With that number of followers, she qualifies as a micro-influencer on TikTok. Remember, TikTok’s engagement rates are lower than Instagram’s, but it is still an excellent platform to find suitable micro-influencers.

How can we measure the impact of Micro-Influencers?

The metrics commonly used to measure impact are still evolving in the micro-influencer market. However, you can apply the following metrics to gauge the impact of the Micro-influencer in your campaign. Your entire content strategy and the way you work with the micro-influencers will depend on your set goals. 

  • Engagement. Look at the likes given, comments posted, and shares of the followers. Remember to be aware of fake followers. 
  • Website visitor tracking. If your Micro-influencer is supposed to link to your product’s website, check the metrics on your website’s analytics. Google Analytics offers a pretty detailed view of who has clicked on your site and where they came from. It is also a great idea to provide a unique link, so it’s easier to track the campaign. If your Instagram micro-influencer has over 10,000 followers, you can ask them to include a swipe-up link in their IG stories. 
  • Sales or downloads. If your goal is to drive sales of a product or app downloads, share with influencers a unique promo code or a link to track those. Also, communicate this goal to the influencers to align the expectations. Some will decline the collab if they know that their audience won’t be buying the product or downloading the app. Honest micro-influencers are as much interested in the success of the campaign as you are. Don’t forget to offer them royalties for each sale or download. 
  • Brand following. Suppose your goal is to grow your brand presence on social platforms, and you want to increase the number of genuine followers of your brand’s accounts. In that case, you will probably want to try some contests or giveaways to reward new followers that come through the micro-influencers efforts. 
  • UGC. Micro-influencers are an excellent way to crowdsource your content. So if you aim to create great content pieces, like Deux par Deux, a kids fashion brand that we worked with, you have to set your goal in the number of content pieces. For example, Deux par Deux received 150+ pieces of original content in many formats (videos, stories, and images), which they can add to their marketing mix. Producing all this content for the brand would be costly, and replicating the authenticity of the influencers’ content would be impossible.  

Analyze and optimize. This one is not just about measuring your micro-influencer’s impact, but as a strategic move after using the metrics I’ve suggested. You should be optimizing your campaign continuously so that you get the most ROI. 

Well, now you are quite well prepared to discover micro-influencers to promote your products or services. Look for serious, trustworthy micro-influencers in your niche or industry. Watch out for shady profiles, always check engagement rates, and measure your campaign’s progress and outcome using the metrics we suggested in this post. 

By now, knowing what a micro-influencer is should be clear as day. You should have a good idea of whether you’d like to engage with one to promote your brand. Let’s get down to brass tacks if you are ready to start working with a micro-influencer.

Finding a micro-influencer, you want to use might be the easy part. Negotiating a fair rate and setting proper expectations with them can be a complete headache. Having a proper negotiating procedure in place is paramount to ensure a successful, profitable marketing campaign. For whatever platform it may be, check out these tips to conquer your micro-influencer negotiating process!

Finding Micro-Influencers

Now more than ever, brands are turning to social media influencers to market their products. Micro-influencers are becoming a crucial part of the process! A verifiable cash cow for many companies.

Micro-influencer marketing is highly effective at promoting your brand compared to traditional marketing tactics. Generic advertisements may miss a considerable chunk of your target audience. You’re going to see a massive gap between you and your competitors unless you start engaging with micro-influencers!

Brands are getting wise about the influencer marketplace, but there’s a lot of fumbling about still. Searching for the best micro-influencers can seem like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Luckily, we’re here to help. There are tactics and tools every brand can use to streamline the process. Check out these reliable methods to finding micro-influencers in 2021!

Finding Influencers by Keywords & Hashtags

Keywords & hashtags hone the hunt for your influencers. They sort through the sea of profiles to find influencers specific to your niche. They’ll even find micro-influencers that already engage with your brand.

Keywords & hashtags are also the best manual way to find influencers, perfect for companies that aren’t looking to spend the extra budget on an influencer agency or subscription services.

Rather than defining your marketing strategy by yourself, hashtags give you a window into social narratives surrounding your product. They’ll help you understand current trends to pattern your marketing campaign to perfection.

Instagram & Twitter use hashtags heavily, but you’ll have to put in extra work on Facebook, which utilizes them less. YouTube uses keywords very much like a Google search.

A quick google search will quickly reveal common hashtags relative to your industry. Here are some types of hashtags Google might miss:

  1. Branded Hashtags

The most self-explanatory hashtags. These are hashtags that directly reference your brand. To utilize them to their full potential, use branded hashtags with the product label—for example, #Imac for Apple computers.

  1. Niche Specialized Hashtags

Every niche market has a unique vernacular used exclusively by its followers. Niche specialized hashtags are terms organically created by your target audience.

For example, #sendit for winter sports activities (which means someone who sends themselves off a cliff or a jump while skiing or snowboarding.)

Investigate what hashtags people in your niche are using for social posts, then use them for your search.

  1. Seasonal/Promotional Hashtags

Hashtags related to holidays & special occasions won’t show up on a Google hashtag search, but they could be the most relevant keywords for your brand.

Many companies count on seasonal events & promotions to market their products—for example, #mothersdaygifts.

  1. Location Hashtags

For mom & pop shops, travel brands, & community businesses, location hashtags work like a charm! Don’t discredit location hashtags before you try it out.

Finding Influencers Through Tagged Content

Searching the tagged section is one of the best ways to find influencers on Instagram. Unfortunately, this feature isn’t available on other social media sites, but that should make you want to utilize the platform! Instagram now captures a considerable chunk of the market.

Influencers that tag themselves in the content on your brand or your competitors will appear in the “tagged” section. Tagging gives you a direct feed of influencers that may fit your niche from the start.

Go to the brand’s Instagram page and click on the tagged tab right above the pictures. All the people who tagged the brand in their post will appear, and you can investigate influencers from there.

Using the tagged section can be a little tricky unless you know exactly what to look for. There’ll be tons of promotional posts created by the brand to avoid. Look for influencers with over 200 likes on average per post.

Finding Recommended Influencers

Why do any heavy lifting? Some social media sites practically gift wrap your next influencer.

YouTube & Instagram both have features that recommend parallel accounts of influencers you already know; influencers you collaborate with. This is an excellent option if you find an influencer you like, but they don’t quite meet your brand needs.

Here’s how to find them on Instagram:

  • Locate an Influencer’s profile in your niche.
  • Click the “arrow” next to the “Following” or “Follow” icon.
  • A row of suggested accounts will appear to scroll through.
  • Select “see all” to view every suggested profile.

Here’s how to find them on YouTube:

  • Locate an influencer’s channel in your niche.
  • Click the “Channels” tab on the main page.
  • Relevant other channels will appear.
  • From there, you can determine if the other channels fit your needs.

Finding Influencers Through Google

Let’s be honest – this is probably the first way that many brands will look for an influencer. “Googling” is now a conditioned response in us, but using it to find your influencers may not yield the best results. Google allows you to narrow the search with advanced options, but, from our experience, they filter too many influencers out.

Elite, expensive influencer accounts are going to show up at the top. You can leverage the Google search to start finding influencers in your niche and work your way from there.

Google search “your Niche” + Top Influencers + (preferred Social Media Platform)

Lists of the top influencers in your niche will appear first. You can check out the top profiles and then work your way down through suggested accounts, tagged content, or relevant hashtags in their posts.

Finding Influencers Using Tools

Many different software tools on the market will make your life easier while finding a micro-influencer. Manually searching for influencers is time-consuming and can get frustrating. Influencer search tools give you a streamlined process with detailed analytics like engagement rate & fake followers.

You’ll run across tools based on databases or proprietary platforms. Databases tend to include massive amounts of influencers that aren’t verified. Platforms include fewer influencers qualified by the platform.

Some Influencer platforms transition your search and automate the entire influencer marketing process, from contacting & contracting influencers to setting up full-blown marketing campaigns.

Influencer search tools have advanced filtering options based on location, hashtags, follower count, niche, and more. Tools come in both paid and free options. Most tools have a free trial if you want to test them out. Here are some of the top tools out, so you know which one is the best option for your brand!

  1. Inbeat.Co

Our Influencer search tool is the #1 way to find a micro-influencer for your brand on Instagram or TikTok! Our proprietary platform features robust features to pinpoint influencers that match exactly what you are after. All the influencers featured by our tool have been verified and approved!

Search micro-influencers by hashtag, mention, username, & bio keyword. If you don’t have any hashtags in mind, our system will recommend your niche’s best ones. Set your search parameters to match the influencer’s username, bio, and posts to refine the results.

Once you’ve established search criteria, a list of matching influencers will populate. You can export the influencer list into an excel spreadsheet that contains contact details to get the ball rolling with your top picks.

  1. Modash

For brands searching for influencers across the globe, Modash is a handy tool! You can find influencers across a variety of social media platforms, including YouTube.

Modash features a range of influencer search filters, like subscriber count, location, language, and engagement rate. The cool thing about Modash is its ability to filter by audience, so you can confirm that the influencer’s target audience is the same as yours. Filter audience by age, gender, location, and language.

Modash rigorously checks each influencer in their system for quality assurance. The platform offers influencer campaign monitoring & analytics to gauge the influencer’s performance.

  1. Heepsy

For brands looking to save cash, Heepsy features a free account! Custom tailor your search to find Instagram and Youtube influencers in your niche.

The Heepsy database includes nearly an unlimited number of influencers with fake follower analysis and authenticity score. You’ll have to change to the paid version to get access to that many influencers, but it might be worth it after trying Heepsy out.

  1. Keyhole

You can always use a hashtag search tool like Keyhole, which will track keywords and sort results by engagements or likes. That way, you know which hashtags are going to lead you to your ideal influencer. Keyhole offers so much more, too, like social listening to get a picture of your influencer’s impression on your audience.

Finding Influencers by leveraging Your Community

The best tool any company has is its people. Leverage everyone in your organization and see who they follow on social media. Chances are, they have someone on their feed that might make a good micro-influencer for your brand.

You don’t have to search the internet high and low. All you have to do is reach out asking for referrals!

Negotiating Micro-influencers

Photo by @aniserichard. Deux Par Deux campaign by inBeat.agency

Negotiating with influencers is quite a must-have skill to hone in today’s digital marketing realm. Goal-driven negotiations are critical to a profitable and successful campaign with the micro-influencers of your choice. At inBeat, we have great examples of successful negotiations with micro-influencers that will help you plan out and lay the foundations of your digital marketing campaign. 

The level of negotiation skills you have will set the stage and your influencer marketing campaign’s fate. Sharpening your negotiation saw is vital to gauge the success or failure of your campaign. 

We’ve put together the following guide on negotiating with micro-influencers, with useful tips that will help you smoothen the path to a satisfying digital marketing campaign and build successful professional relationships with them.

How much should you pay a micro-influencer?

Image by @styleconceptblog. Mogo.ca campaign by inBeat.agency

For many marketers, micro-influencers are their preferred choice when it comes to picking a medium to raise awareness about their brand on social media, so let’s look at some figures and rates you can expect when negotiating with micro-influencers.

There are no set rules to follow when it comes to negotiating with micro-influencers. There are so many variables that will determine the final price, such as the number of followers (an Instagram creator with 5k followers will probably be much easier to deal with than one with 40k), the platform they’re on, the niche, the engagement rate, and so on.

Some micro-influencers are willing to join your brand’s campaign in exchange for free products if they feel that these products will suit their lifestyle and niche. But, many micro-influencers will charge for a deal. The good news is that their fees are generally relatively modest compared to macro-influencers, and their engagement rates (those of the micro-influencers) are considerably higher. 

For a micro-influencer, an average sum to keep in mind is 150 USD. However, a one-off video or post can set you back more than 500 bucks in particular cases. So it will not break the bank, but it could be steep depending on your budget and your marketing campaign. We have scored win-win deals with some micro-influencers for just a few hundred USD (plus some perks, which we’ll delve into in a bit).

It is crucial to note that micro influencers’ rates will vary considerably according to what platform they are on, as we mentioned before. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok micro-influencers have very different rates due to how these platforms operate.

Negotiating With YouTube Micro-Influencers

Video by Tobi Adekeye for Mogo.ca campaign by inBeat.agency

YouTube micro-influencers are generally the most expensive because the time and effort required to create a quality 15-20 minutes YouTube video are not equal to a 15-second TikTok video or an Instagram shot. However, if you make the job as easy as possible for YouTube creators, become their content consultant, start with a set price, and provide as much detailed information upfront to them, you will, in most cases, seal yourself a good deal. 

Let me give you an example. We were negotiating with YouTube creators to promote a SaaS platform that enables small businesses to process payments to their suppliers. We had initially defined a price and prepared a detailed content brief. Some creators assume that they would need to produce a fully dedicated video to this product, perhaps lasting over 10 minutes. That is not how it should be done, simply because nobody will sit through 10 plus minutes of a boring financial software presentation. Instead, we needed a 1,5 – 2 min feature in a longer video talking about small business tips. 

After a few emails clarifying what we wanted, we managed to agree. We made sure that they had everything done upfront for them, so they only needed to hit record and speak to the camera. We also proposed a fixed budget, suggested the best video title, talking points, and how to engage their followers best when discussing this topic. To conclude, it is essential to work together with YouTube influencers and add value to their content and care about their viewers and engagement. As a result, they will be much more flexible when it comes to negotiations. 

Like our SaaS client we just spoke about, many companies offer a commission to the creator after their viewers sign up for the app or purchase the product and become paying customers. Usually, the creators get paid by getting their followers to download the app or buy a product via an affiliate link or a promo code posted in the video description. If the client has the option of offering the micro-influencer some passive income with affiliate commissions, you can have more bargaining power and bring down the final price you’ll pay them. Commissions can drastically reduce the cost of hiring a micro-influencer. 

An essential tip you should keep in mind when you are scouting around for your micro-influencer is to see if they are already using your product. 

We also recently worked with a Canadian fintech app. We managed to bring the costs down for individual YouTube creators by around 50%.  We found a couple of great YouTube micro-influencers who had already been using the service. They knew the value this app adds to their life and how it could help others achieve financial stability and become debt-free. 

Remember, your brand fans won’t be charging you as much as the creators who never experienced your service or product. So when searching for collabs, first go through your existing customer base and check if you find any social media creators among them.

Negotiating With TikTok Micro-Influencers

TikTok video by @katelyn_power for #GotMilk campaign by inBeat.agency

YouTube micro-influencers are generally the most expensive because the time and effort required to create a quality 15-20 minutes YouTube video are not equal to a 15-second TikTok video or an Instagram shot. However, if you make the job as easy as possible for YouTube creators, become their content consultant, start with a set price, and provide as much detailed information upfront to them, you will, in most cases, seal yourself a good deal.

Let me give you an example. We were negotiating with YouTube creators to promote a SaaS platform that enables small businesses to process payments to their suppliers. We had initially defined a price and prepared a detailed content brief. Some creators assume that they would need to produce a fully dedicated video to this product, perhaps lasting over 10 minutes. That is not how it should be done, simply because nobody will sit through 10 plus minutes of a boring financial software presentation. Instead, we needed a 1,5 – 2 min feature in a longer video talking about small business tips.

After a few emails clarifying what we wanted, we managed to agree. We made sure that they had everything done upfront for them, so they only needed to hit record and speak to the camera. We also proposed a fixed budget, suggested the best video title, talking points, and how to engage their followers best when discussing this topic. To conclude, it is essential to work together with YouTube influencers and add value to their content and care about their viewers and engagement. As a result, they will be much more flexible when it comes to negotiations.

Like our SaaS client we just spoke about, many companies offer a commission to the creator after their viewers sign up for the app or purchase the product and become paying customers. Usually, the creators get paid by getting their followers to download the app or buy a product via an affiliate link or a promo code posted in the video description. If the client has the option of offering the micro-influencer some passive income with affiliate commissions, you can have more bargaining power and bring down the final price you’ll pay them. Commissions can drastically reduce the cost of hiring a micro-influencer.

An essential tip you should keep in mind when you are scouting around for your micro-influencer is to see if they are already using your product. 

We also recently worked with a Canadian fintech app. We managed to bring the costs down for individual YouTube creators by around 50%.  We found a couple of great YouTube micro-influencers who had already been using the service. They knew the value this app adds to their life and how it could help others achieve financial stability and become debt-free.

Remember, your brand fans won’t be charging you as much as the creators who never experienced your service or product. So when searching for collabs, first go through your existing customer base and check if you find any social media creators among them.

Negotiating With Instagram Micro-Influencers

Image by @journeyofphood for American Paper Optics campaign by inBeat.agency

When it comes to negotiating with Instagram micro-influencers, the approach is similar to that of YouTube. Work together with Instagrammers to create awesome content and treat them as an extension of your team. Give priority to those who are already using your brand. 

On Instagram, it also helps to “buy in bulk.” We have noticed that we’ve managed to reduce costs by up to 30% when negotiating a bulk price with Instagram micro-influencers. Instagram micro-influencers in the niches of beauty, travel, lifestyle, food recipes, DIY, or even pets, have significantly high engagement rates. So if your product or service is in one of these niches, you may expect some tug-o-war with your chosen micro-influencer. But remember that making it as easy as possible for the micro-influencer and doing most of the job beforehand can significantly reduce your bill. It includes creating an in-depth content brief and helping the influencer write captions and produce great content.

It is always a good idea when you do a bulk negotiation with an Instagram micro-influencer to create a campaign with a combination of featured videos, carousels, posts, and stories. For example, your campaign can include 1 in-feed video, 2 carousels, 4 posts and 2 stories. These numbers are just examples. It will be different for each case depending on your niche, the influencer, and your product or service nature. 

Instagram micro-influencers are generally attracted to brands who have already worked with larger, more prominent influencers, celebrities, or anyone they might look up to. If your brand has already worked with some social media stars or well-known bloggers, you can leverage this in your negotiations. It is not unheard of that this fact can shrink the final price by 30%. 

To conclude, negotiating with micro-influencers is a job in itself. It requires brands and marketers to keep polishing their skills, researching the influencer market, picking the ones who will proudly represent your brand and will form long-lasting partnerships with you. The niche and platform will almost always dictate the price range, so be ready to layout your proposal, budget, perks, and plan as detailed and straight-to-the-point as possible as to minimize the guessing work by the micro-influencer. 

Here we present to you a few points to summarize what we’ve talked about:

  • Offering bulk (or “buying in bulk”) will very likely bring your costs down by a significant margin. 
  • YouTube micro-influencers are generally more expensive than TikTok or Instagram micro-influencers due to the platform’s nature. 
  • TikTok micro-influencers usually have fixed rates that are more troublesome to negotiate.
  • Micro-influencers will generally be more likely to work with you for a lower rate if larger influencers and celebrities have endorsed your brand. 
  • Offering micro-influencers some attractive perks like free products, commissions on referrals through affiliate links, and long-term professional relationships will play in your budget’s favor. 

How an influencer handles the negotiating process is a good indicator of whether you’ve made the right choice in selecting them for the campaign. Some influencers can be wholly unreasonable or egomaniacal while negotiating a rate. 

Negotiating isn’t the only way an influencer might throw a wrench into the works. There are other influencer qualities you should watch out for, so you know you’ve selected the perfect person for the job. Don’t get caught blindsided. Keep your eyes peeled for these traits of a good micro-influencer for a smooth sailing campaign.

What Makes a Good Micro-Influencer?

TikTok video by @dianaturner for Phone Loops campaign by inBeat.agency

Influencer marketing can skyrocket your brand awareness, but identifying the right influencer may be quite daunting. Companies choose to use influencers to reach demographics that are usually beyond their grasp. From mega-to-nano, influencers come in all kinds of styles & sizes. 

Many marketing companies find out that choosing an influencer with one million or more followers isn’t the best choice. A micro-influencer can tap into a more authentic voice & loyal following. Although they only have 10-to-100k followers, micro-influencers consistently achieve higher ROI and drive better engagement – and at a fraction of the cost. 

Selecting the right micro-influencer for your campaign isn’t as easy as you’d think. You may choose someone who seems like a great fit, only to realize it was a terrible choice. Here are some essential characteristics to look for in a micro-influencer so your campaign goes off without a hitch.

  1. Reach Your Target Audience Naturally

Don’t waste your time and money on an influencer that doesn’t naturally reach your target audience. If the creators don’t align with your brand beforehand, they won’t speak genuinely to their following about it. You can’t mold the right micro-influencer. It’s just got to fit. 

You’ve got to hunt out the influencer that fits from the first moment. Ensure the influencer speaks your industry lingo, is actively posting content in your niche, and is considered an authority in the community. 

Don’t be deceived because the influencer posts content on the same subject. You’ve got to whittle down who precisely they are targeting, ensuring that it aligns with your needs. Their audience has to be your audience without any effort on your part.

  1. Share Your Type of Content

TikTok video by @jazlmao for Phone Loops campaign by inBeat.agency

The products, tools, links, apps, and so on that an influencer consistently posts should match your campaign goals. For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website, your ideal influencer should be proficient at sharing links and hyping website content. The more types of content they share that meet your brand needs, the quicker you’ll see an ROI.

  1. Unique & Creative

Don’t waste your time and money on an influencer that doesn’t naturally reach your target audience. If the creators don’t align with your brand beforehand, they won’t speak genuinely to their following about it. You can’t mold the right micro-influencer. It’s just got to fit.

You’ve got to hunt out the influencer that fits from the first moment. Ensure the influencer speaks your industry lingo, is actively posting content in your niche, and is considered an authority in the community.

Don’t be deceived because the influencer posts content on the same subject. You’ve got to whittle down who precisely they are targeting, ensuring that it aligns with your needs. Their audience has to be your audience without any effort on your part.

  1. Have Tangible Engagement

TikTok video by @kevinfooty for #GotMilk campaign by inBeat.agency

There’s a difference between high-quality engagement & the sheer number of followers.  Don’t be impressed by the latter; they could be fraudulent. Influencers can buy followers, likes, & comments through automation and bots. 

Although it violates Instagram’s terms of use, influencers frequently use Bots. Bots mimic organic likes & comments to give the impression of real engagement. Bots are simple to configure and work exceptionally well, generating fake engagement. It’s easy to spot most bot comments, but some are tricky to distinguish.

 It’s essential to do your due diligence and investigate if your potential influencer has tangible engagement. Use your best judgment. Read the comments and go through the followers & likes to figure out if they are legitimate or not.

Most fake profiles won’t have any person in the cover photo and will have similarly worded bios as other accounts. You can hire an expert to dig for the truth behind your influencer’s engagement if you aren’t sure or want to be thorough.

  1. Professionalism is Necessary

Don’t waste your time and money on an influencer that doesn’t naturally reach your target audience. If the creators don’t align with your brand beforehand, they won’t speak genuinely to their following about it. You can’t mold the right micro-influencer. It’s just got to fit. 

You’ve got to hunt out the influencer that fits from the first moment. Ensure the influencer speaks your industry lingo, is actively posting content in your niche, and is considered an authority in the community. 

Don’t be deceived because the influencer posts content on the same subject. You’ve got to whittle down who precisely they are targeting, ensuring that it aligns with your needs. Their audience has to be your audience without any effort on your part.

  1. Be Reasonable

Don’t waste your time and money on an influencer that doesn’t naturally reach your target audience. If the creators don’t align with your brand beforehand, they won’t speak genuinely to their following about it. You can’t mold the right micro-influencer. It’s just got to fit.

You’ve got to hunt out the influencer that fits from the first moment. Ensure the influencer speaks your industry lingo, is actively posting content in your niche, and is considered an authority in the community.

Don’t be deceived because the influencer posts content on the same subject. You’ve got to whittle down who precisely they are targeting, ensuring that it aligns with your needs. Their audience has to be your audience without any effort on your part.

  1. Passion is Key

TikTok video by @mommy.andemma for Mogo.ca campaign by inBeat.agency

This kind of goes without saying, but we’ve got to reiterate the point. A micro-influencer won’t be able to perform well on your campaign unless they exude passion. Whether it’s a hobby, career, or lifestyle, the influencer needs to live and breathe the campaign’s content to perform well. 

As micro influencer’s lack huge exposure, they make up for it with the desire to dig deep into the subject matter. Passion solidifies strong bonds between the influencer and their followers. By sharing authentic enthusiasm for the subject matter, influencers live up to their namesake, influencing others into making decisions.

  1. Take Criticism & Guidance

You’ll inevitably need to do some coaching and give the influencer creative direction. To have a successful campaign, you’ll have to tweak small things in the way they present the posts. 

Your influencer needs to take constructive feedback well and integrate it. Make sure to probe about this during the discovery stage. Maybe engage in a role-play activity and give them some criticism to see how the influencers react.

Managing Micro-influencers

Image by @styleconceptblog. Mogo.ca campaign by inBeat.agency

Onboarding. Essential Tips And Advice

The way you onboard a new team member will pave the path on which your whole relationship will follow. Remember that the first impression lays out the foundations of a successful and fruitful campaign and relationship, well into the future of your brand.

Some of the tips or guidelines we will offer here are in line with what we at our influencer marketing agency have implemented with our micro-influencers, which have led to cultivating a great partnership between them, us, and our clients.

You can start by asking your micro-influencer directly what they expect or want from this professional relationship. Some micro-influencers are happier with more exposure than monetary compensation, and vice-versa. If you know exactly what they want the onboarding and ongoing management will be a breeze.

Don’t try to have full creative control over the campaign. Give your micro-influencer some creative freedom. After all, their faithful followers love them because of their message, flair, charisma, and other unique traits, like their creativity. If they don’t have a say in the creative side of the campaign, their followers will most likely notice that, and engagement rates may drop.  

Make your micro-influencer feel they are part of the team. Micro-influencers value the sense of community very much, and when you introduce them to the people they’ll be working with, they will feel that they “belong” in this family of professionals. This simple action is the foundational stone on which a solid and highly collaborative partnership will be built upon.

Furthermore, to emphasize the previous idea, you can mention them in your social media groups, and even include them in your weekly newsletter, welcoming them to the team. By doing this small gesture of appreciation, they will be even more motivated and willing to represent and promote the brand.

Bear in mind that your new brand ambassadors are not your employees, so you should refrain from treating them as such. The reasons why they joined your team is because they like your brand, they feel identified with it, and are happy to represent it.

A good strategy, as a follow-up to the initial introduction, is to keep reminding them of the benefits, perks, and goodies that come with being part of this team. This will keep them motivated throughout the entire onboarding process. You can do this by messaging them early on highlighting all the monetary rewards, events, and exclusive access they are getting. Of course, do it in a way that is friendly and easy for them to take in positively.

If you already have a successful brand ambassador who has done a tremendously satisfying job, share them with your new brand ambassador. They will feel thrilled to know they can also become this highly sought-after ambassador.

Many brands don’t  follow through on this very crucial aspect of onboarding. As a result, the brand ambassador feels a little disoriented and doesn’t take enough action. It  is not their fault, though. They simply don’t know exactly what is expected of them. To counteract this, give them actionable tasks. Let them know what is expected of them every step of the way. Tell them what they need to do this week, this month, and so on. Directives are underrated. Use them more to paint a clear picture for  your brand ambassador. Do not overlook this step. 

To summarize the previous information into a single sentence: Give them actionable tasks without overwhelming them while maintaining their enthusiasm levels high.

Onboarding Stage Done. Now What?

Now that you followed our advice to a tee (we certainly hope you did), you should pat yourself on the back because you just did way more than the competition. But, of course, onboarding is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more to do, as you will soon find out.

  1. Use software to help you track the progress of your campaign and your micro-influencer.

Here at our influencer marketing agency, we use various  tools that help us tremendously with managing our campaigns with our micro-influencers. You don’t have to use the same tools, but we recommend using some kind of online tools to communicate, track and set goals with your team and micro-influencers.

Some of these tools are Google sheets, Facebook groups, and Instagram direct messaging. All of which are free to use, as you may already know. Another useful tool is TypeForm to create engaging and interactive polls and surveys. TypeForm helps in finding out what features and extras to add or remove from our campaign.

To communicate directly with the micro-influencer, we just use Instagram’s direct messaging. As Instagram is what most of the micro-influencers we work with use, it also provides a very direct way to bounce off  ideas. On occasions, we also just phone them directly. So you can also try this with your micro-influencer, provided you both are in the same time zone and country.

  1. Maintaining Constant Communication Is Paramount.

Image by @smooshy_mooshy for Phone Loops campaign by inBeat.agency

Keeping in contact regularly with your micro-influencer is vital to keeping them engaged and reminding them about their obligations. Many micro-influencers  we’ve worked with express that they take this very seriously. However, experience has shown us that they may get overwhelmed at times, especially if they don’t have a manager to help them keep up with their commitments. Micro-influencers who don’t have a personal assistant or manager are the majority. 

Many times the micro-influencers lack a sense of professionalism when it comes to communicating and delivering the content promptly, so you need to do some hand-holding  and checking in with them. 

As we said at the beginning, setting expectations and communicating exactly what you expect from them and what they expect and need from you is crucial. It must be set in stone at the start of the onboarding process.

Best Practices To Avoid Disappointments

  • Be very clear about content approval expectations and deadlines, so the influencers try to be as quick as possible to get you their first draft. 
  • Let them know that after they submit their first draft, there may be a round of edits.
  • Have a few ways for them to contact you. We always recommend our influencers to send us a direct message on Instagram right when they get their onboarding email to have a quicker way to chat. Almost everyone is on Instagram all day, so we are getting notifications as quickly as a text.
  • Finally, don’t waste your time on a micro-influencer if they have been playing cat and mouse. Implement a “three strikes, and they’re out” system and make them aware of this in your content brief or onboard email. If you send three dm’s, emails, calls, Facebook messages, and whatever else without any response after a week, cut your losses and pick a new influencer. 

Non-responsive creators will slow your campaign down because as things are rolling along with 9 of your 10 influencers for your campaign quota, you’ll end up delaying the completion of the campaign because you still need one more. 

Finding a new one can sometimes take two weeks or more, and then you have to begin the onboarding and content creation phase all over again, which adds another potential two weeks.

If you notice things are going south with the influencer, it’s best to terminate their affiliation early on.

Final Note on Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers have a relationship with their audience that goes way beyond the surface level. Their in-depth knowledge and passion speak authentically to their following.  

Macro or Mega influencers have a large following, but they may not be able to speak adequately to your target audience. You might have better luck engaging a micro-influencer to promote your brand.

Be cautious when selecting a micro-influencer for your campaign. It’s a hodgepodge of unprofessionalism, lackluster content, fake engagement, and unreal rate expectations.  

You can always hire an agency like ours that will navigate the market to find a top-performing influencer!

If your company decides to go it alone, you’ve got to vet the candidate thoroughly before you sign any contract. We’ve outlined the essential traits necessary in a good micro-influencer. They’ll steer you in the right direction to find the perfect Micro influencer for your brand. 

Understanding micro-influencers is the first hurdle to figuring out if you want to use one for your campaign. Whether a micro is the right choice will be based on your target audience, budget, & engagement requirements. 

Once you’ve decided on it, then the hunt begins on an excellent nano-influencer. You’ve got to be very cautious while selecting an influencer. Without adequately vetting the influencer, you could end up hating working with the individual. If you choose a good micro-influencer, it will make your campaign seamless and interactions pleasant. 

Once you’ve established a good micro-influencer, then negotiations can commence. Each platform has its respective rate breakdown & costs. Don’t expect the same negotiations for TikTok, Instagram, & Facebook.

As always, we’re here for guidance or help when you need it. Reach out to us for any of your micro-influencer demands!