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Micro-Influencer Marketing: 7 Ways to Improve Your Strategy
For brands working with 100+ influencers, planning is key to seeing positive results. Here’s how to optimize your micro-influencer marketing strategy step-by-step.
Now’s the time to nail down your micro-influencer marketing strategy.
Because the benefits of working with micro-influencers are clear. For starters:
Authentic content. More engagement and reach. Social proof as scale.
Thing is, the benefits above aren’t guaranteed from the word “go.” Much like CRO or SEO, creator campaigns require optimization and fine-tuning.
Translation? You need an actual strategy if you want to see meaningful campaign results.
After running campaigns on behalf of 400+ brands, we know exactly what's required to build an effective micro-influencer marketing strategy. In this post, you’ll learn:
- The steps to a successful micro-influencer campaign from A to Z
- Firsthand tips based on our experience working with thousands of creators
- What an effective influencer strategy looks like (with real examples!)
Why Brands Need a Micro-Influencer Marketing Strategy
Running your first influencer marketing campaign is tough enough. Without a game plan, getting overwhelmed is almost a guarantee.
This speaks to the value of having a proper plan for your campaigns. Before getting into the nitty-gritty, here’s why a defined strategy is worth building:
- Influencer marketing is a long-term investment. Chances are you have timelines and schedules for your marketing channels. This includes email campaigns, content marketing and SEO. The same sort of strategizing should apply to your micro-influencer campaigns.
- ROI requires a roadmap. The returns you get from influencer marketing are dependent on your campaign goals. Want to earn more user-generated content to run as ads? Looking to build brand awareness or reach new audiences? You can do all of the above! Granted you have a strategy that supports and measures those goals.
- Micro-influencers involve so many moving pieces. Organization is crucial for your team’s sake, not to mention your stress levels. Unlike campaigns with only a handful of larger creators, micro-influencer campaigns can involve juggling hundreds of creator partnerships. From vetting creators to shipping products, “winging it” won't get you far.
The takeaway? A defined strategy saves time, improves ROI and generates better content.
7 Ways to Improve Your Micro-Influencer Strategy
Good news: it’s totally possible to pivot a campaign already in progress.
After all, any long-term influencer marketing efforts involve a fine-tuning period. Figuring out what isn’t working can clue you in low-hanging ways to optimize your campaigns.
Below we break down seven ways to improve your micro-influencer marketing strategy. Our goal here is to help you identify what might be underperforming and how to fix it.
1. Find Influencers Who Match Your ICP (Ideal Creator Profile)
Fact: the success of any creator campaign comes down to the creators you partner with.
And let’s emphasize the word “partner” here.
The micro-influencers posting about your products represent an extension of your brand. Treat creators like partners, not numbers on a spreadsheet.
We always urge brands to prioritize creators that match their ideal creator profile. Specifically, creators that…
- Reflect your brand’s voice and values
- Resemble your target audience (or has a following that does)
- Meet a minimum threshold for their follower count or engagement rate
- Publish thoughtful, authentic content with a sense of personality
- Promote products on relevant platforms (like TikTok and Instagram)
Below is an example of a beauty creator that ticks all of the boxes for any brand that wants to show off skincare or hair products.
There’s no shortage of super-talented micro-influencers to partner with. As a result, you can be picky and selective about the creators you work with. The catch? Finding content creators that fit your ICP can be daunting if you don't know where to look or who to look for.
This speaks to the value of a micro-influencer platform to handle matchmaking. For example, Statusphere uses 250+ unique data points to match brands with relevant creators. You can uncover hundreds of potential influencers without vetting them yourself.
2. Organize and Streamline Your Influencer Outreach
Conducting influencer outreach can be a massive time-sink.
After all, different creators have different expectations. Some influencers keep their email addresses front and center in their social bios. Others prefer to be reached via DM. Ideally, you should communicate with creators on their terms.
Personalized outreach is key to getting any creator’s attention. Trust us: the best creators get pitched all the time. One-size-fits-all outreach might be faster but this approach rarely makes a good first impression.
That’s why we recommend finding a balance between using templates and personalizing your outreach. This will help you attract the best creators, too.
Here’s an example from our collection of influencer outreach templates you can adapt yourself:
As we said earlier, organization matters when campaigns involve so many moving pieces. That’s why we recommend tracking your outreach in a dedicated influencer spreadsheet. This can help you keep track of who you’ve reached out to, who’s posting and how your creator content is performing.
3. Increase Your Value Exchange to Encourage Quality Content
Amazing influencer content doesn’t happen by accident.
The amount of effort that someone is willing to put into a post often boils down to the value exchange you bring to the table as a brand.
The higher the value exchange, the more likely your posts are to shine.
Recent research says that influencers are more than willing to post on behalf of brands in exchange for free products. That said, there’s a big difference between posting about a $10 freebie versus a $100 product bundle.
Take time to brainstorm and make a point to pick products that are…
- Easy to film and present via social content (like TikToks and IG Reels)
- Relevant to the creator’s target audience and their needs
- Have a dollar value that's significant to the craetor
- Straightforward to ship and bundle
Value exchange is one of the most important pieces of your micro-influencer marketing strategy. If your current creator content is underperforming, the quality of your value exchange could very well be the culprit.
4. Provide Clear and Actionable Directions to Influencers
Skilled content creators can promote just about any type of product.
That said, influencers aren’t mind readers. Brands should be explicit about their expectations. Anything you can do to empower your creators to make better content is a plus.
A thoughtful influencer brief that balances direction and creative freedom can do the trick. Below is an example using our own creative brief template.
For example, do you want off-the-cuff videos or a polished photoshoot? Is there a specific setting or application of your products they should showcase?
Below is an example of a Statusphere creator using a product in her recipe content that feels totally organic.
Keep in mind that crafting creative directions is a balancing act. Trust us: creators know best when it comes to the types of content people want to see. You never want to risk overwhelming them with complicated instructions.
Content quality also ties back to your value exchange. The higher your value exchange, the higher your expectations can be when it comes to directions.
5. Create a Remarkable Influencer Shipping Experience
With more brands than ever working with micro-influencers, anything your business can do to stand out in the eyes of creators is a plus.
The unboxing experience is a critical but often overlooked piece of your influencer strategy.
Sure, shipping products might seem like just another required step for your campaigns. That said, this is an awesome opportunity to delight your influencers and generate better content.
How, though? For example, consider that…
- Extra time between receiving a product and posting gives creators more time to produce their posts. That means their content won’t be rushed or low-effort. Not to mention they can brainstorm more benefits to talk about or creative places to film your product in action.
- Creative packaging (think: colorful boxes, personal notes) can feature as part of your creator’s content. Unboxing videos (like the one below) are among the most popular types of creator content on social media.
- Ensuring that products arrive on-time and in mint condition shows your creators that you value them. This establishes a positive relationship and highlights your attention to detail.
6. Regularly Evaluate Your Micro-Influencers' Performance
Food for thought: influencer marketing ROI is relative to your goals.
That said, you need to keep an ongoing pulse on campaign performance. Doing so will inform what’s working, what’s not and where to improve.
What should you keep an eye on, though? Brand awareness metrics like engagement rates and @mentions are a solid starting point.
Likewise, pay attention to how many pieces of user-generated content you’re earning. Branded hashtags for your campaign can help you track your creator posts.
Keep in mind that these numbers all take time to scale. You shouldn’t panic if the needle doesn’t move immediately.
We’ve noticed that campaigns typically require a few months before they really take off. Playing the waiting game is worth it if it means earning thousands of authentic posts, though.
Also, consider influencer KPIs that aren’t tied to hard numbers. For example, positive reviews and comments serve as powerful social proof despite not technically being pieces of content.
Remember: influencer marketing doesn’t have to be a “wait and see” strategy. Granted you watch your priority metrics, you can (and should!) make changes.
Trying to wrangle your @mentions and posts by hand can be incredibly tedious and time-consuming. Keeping all of the above consolidated in a UGC platform ensures that you can track all of the above without missing key metrics or pieces of content.
7. Squeeze More Results Out of Your Current Influencer Campaign Content
Positive results aren’t limited to the days (or even weeks) after your influencers post.
Not but a long shot!
The rise of ongoing, always-on influencer campaigns speaks for itself. There are so many opportunities to extend your campaign ROI and reach indefinitely as more and more influencer content rolls in.
Some low-hanging opportunities include:
- Running your influencer content as ads via Instagram and TikTok
- Promoting your influencer and user-generated content throughout your marketing funnel in email campaigns, PPC and product pages
- Republishing creator content to fill your brand’s own social calendar
The high engagement of both Spark Ads on TikTok and Partnership Ads on Instagram (formerly Branded Content Ads) is notable.
Brands like Jot have made influencer content the cornerstone of their social ads. Using how-to content and positive feedback, their Instagram ads seamlessly show off their products in action. The fact that these ads feel organic posts from creators is exactly what makes them so compelling.
There’s a reason why more and more brands are whitelisting influencer content to fuel their paid campaigns. Remember: your best customers are your best billboards.
How to Maximize Micro-Influencer Marketing
Instead of asking if micro-influencer marketing really works, ask yourself:
"How can I build a strategy that works for my brand?"
Because brands across industries are winning with small creators right now.
Creators and campaign execution will make or break your micro-influencer strategy. If you’re struggling to see the results you’re looking for, Statusphere can help on both fronts.
Our scalable micro-influencer marketing platform and exclusive creator network can serve as your brand’s content engine.
An advanced matchmaking algorithm and Statusphere’s creator-first experience help brands earn the best content possible. Our platform does all the heavy lifting from matchmaking and fulfillment to analytics and content rights management.
Want to learn more about how our platform works? Get in touch with one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing specialists to see how we can get you more authentic creator content at scale.
This article was first published in January 2017. It was last updated May 24, 2023.