By David Morneau | 10 min Read
Micro-Influencer Marketing for Mobile Applications
Leverage engaged audiences to drive downloads.
Micro-influencer marketing is a powerful strategy for mobile apps. It acts as a user acquisition channel, a content creation pipeline, and a top of the funnel awareness for your brand.
“Over the last 2 years, we’ve experienced cases of influencer-driven UA ads performing twice as well (in terms of click-through rate %) as other creatives in our video networks at the time.”
– Jon Howard, Head of Influencer Relations at Flaregames
There are many levers you can pull to make influencer marketing work. In this article, I will show you different tactics to skyrocket your mobile app influencer marketing.
Let’s get into it.
Build a Referral or Affiliate Program
Most apps already have a referral or affiliate program, but if you don’t, it is something to consider seriously.
A referral or affiliate program will allow you to identify your top-performing micro-influencers and build long-term relationships with them. If you can address your influencers’ audiences multiple times in a given period, you will increase trust, which by itself will affect your bottom line metrics.
For example, Aaptiv, a mobile fitness app, pays out its partners for every sales:
Additionally, you should consider incentivizing your downloads. Give discounts or exclusive in-game content that can only be accessed through your network of influencers.
Treat these ambassadors as your army of inbound salespeople promoting your app. Arm them with convincing material.
Make People Love Your App
Goodwill is the holy grail of influencer marketing. If you’re helping the world in any shape or form, make sure to communicate it. Influencers are human beings, and they want to associate themselves with good causes.
For instance, Headspace, the meditation app, is offering free access to their app for any healthcare professional. Amid the Coronavirus, this good deed is carrying a lot of social capital.
Their Covid-19 specific page received over 30,000 shares on social media:
It also has received 396 referring domains in the same period:
With mentions from some authoritative sites, to say the least:
Needless to say that this love and compassion marketing play has paid off in every sense for them.
The consumer goods segment has also caught on to this, and many brands are leveraging it, such as Popsockets and their #poptivism movement:
Becky G has 24,500,000 followers on Instagram and gets upward of 750,000 likes per post.
How did Popsocket connect with her? Well, she has an autistic brother, which probably made this collaboration a no-brainer.
By caring, Popsockets is opening the door for sizeable collaborations at a discounted price. It makes sense on a human level and it’s even justifiable on a financial level. Check their Instagram page to see all of the celebrity endorsements they’ve got.
Caring for anything always makes it easier to connect with people.
If you’re doing marketing for a mobile game, this can be trickier, as the vertical gets a bad rep. Having said that, I recommend you think about incentivizing your influencers by giving a fixed amount to charity for each download they generate. Ironically, this will reduce your collaboration costs while improving your influencer’s sentiment about your game. If you segment your micro-influencer marketing efforts (i.e., targeting mothers), you can select a charity that aligns with their values. Use a website like Charity Watch to explore the most efficient charities.
TL;DR: Caring is a door-opener. It will reduce your media costs, increase your retention, and empower your network effect.
Streamlining Your Micro-Influencer Marketing Efforts
If you choose to work with micro-influencers, you will have to manage exponentially more relationships than if you collaborated with macro-influencers or celebrities. We work and manage 500+ influencers a month on some campaigns.
I consider a micro-influencer as someone with anywhere from 5000 to 25,000 followers on Instagram or Tik Tok.
To succeed, treat micro-influencer marketing as a lead-intensive short sales cycle. You should use a robust CRM, such as Pipedrive to manage relationships, and software like inBeat to find influencers (full disclosure, our team has developed the tool).
To maximize the impact of these collaborators, consider narrowing your targeting to a specific sub-market (language, region, demographic, etc.). This enables you to personalize your pitch for the target segment, earning more goodwill from the people you’re contacting.
Here is a pitch for mothers to sign up partners to an educational app:
The key is finding the right balance between personalization and automation.
Run Ads With Your Instagram Influencers’ Content
Facebook has recently released a feature, which allows you to run ads directly through your influencers. For this to work, you need to enable partnerships in your Facebook Business Manager, and your influencer must also allow partnerships through their settings.
This is powerful.
Let’s say you work with 200 different micro-influencers, you have 200 different ad concepts, which will be displayed to your target audience through the page of your influencer. To set this up, read this article.
To make this work, provide your influencers with the right content guidelines, and copywriting structure so that these ads convert.
Here are some things to include:
- Your unique selling proposition (“Stress Less, Sleep more” [Headspace], “Learn to Think” [Brilliant], “The new you in 30 days” [Aaptiv], etc.)
- The content format (story, carousel, video, etc.)
- What and who to tag
These campaigns work best on a retargeting basis, as they will build reliable social proofing around your brand.
There is one significant downside to this method, however. The content format, intent, and placement of the ads are limited.
If you want to fully leverage your influencer-generated content (IGC) through Facebook ads, you should repurpose the content and run ads independently from the influencer. To do so, make sure that you have agreed on your rights on the content.
Themed Pages For Traffic
This tactic is especially useful for mobile app games because themed pages will gladly repost your content in exchange for compensation.
A themed page is not an influencer in the typical sense of the term, because they don’t create their content. They are reposting content from other pages. They are curators.
The opportunity lies in the fact that these profiles are not solicited like influencers are. This means you can collaborate with them for 10% of the typical cost for an influencer. You must consider that these profiles will not create content for you; This is a traffic play.
Theme your content to the topic of the profiles you are targeting. For instance, if you pitch memes pages, it is relevant for you to create memes around your brand, which will expand your engagement and relatability.
The only goal you have when using this method is to drive quality traffic. Prioritize the Instagram Story with a swipe-up as your media format.
There are multiple ways for your app to leverage micro-influencers. The key to a winning campaign is to pre-define what you’re looking to achieve.
Some brands seek content which they can deploy to their paid media channels. Other apps are after traffic and traffic only.
Here is a list of questions to help you guide your influencer marketing efforts:
- Who is your target user, and what kind of influencers do they trust?
- What is your budget?
- Which platforms have given you good results in the past?
- Do you need influencers to create original content?
- Is your app a mobile game or a utility-based app?
- Do you want to target a specific region?
- Are you seeking to build an affiliate or referral network?
- Do you want long-term collaborations with your influencers?
- Do you prefer working with micro-influencers or macro-influencers / celebrities?
Some of these questions require that you get your hands dirty in order to answer them in a meaningful way. They are, however, an excellent way to define your direction.