Create Raving Fans With Micro-Influencer Marketing
Large brands have used celebrity endorsements for decades, and the latest trend has turned more toward how these celebrities are now influencers when it comes to buying decisions. Kylie Jenner, for example, leverages her 25 million Twitter followers by charging ~$500k per tweet if she endorses a product.
We certainly aren’t suggesting you reach out to the Kardashians.. but perhaps look at a similar and more focused strategy called micro-influencer marketing.
A micro-influencer in the world of auto repair shops would be a former client, auto club member, vendor, or industry associate who is exceptionally active in social media, blogging, or even podcasting in some instances. They are out there and you simply have to do some local or regional research to find them.
A 2016 survey by Collective Bias found that 60% of respondents had considered recommendations by a blogger or social media post before making a purchase. The same study found that 30% of consumers were more likely to buy a product endorsed online by a non-celebrity than a celebrity.
Why Work with Micro-influencers?
- 1. Higher Engagement at a Lower Cost
Micro-influencer followers are very interested and engaged in what the influencers have to say, post, and share. There is a level of trust there that is difficult for a brand to attempt to establish any other way, and comparatively it would cost 4 to 5 times the amount to reach and achieve the same results.
- 2. They are More Authentic
The key is that the audience self-identifies with the influencer, “that person is just like me, dresses like me, has the same challenges that I have (kids, life, etc.), and they like that brand, so I like it too.”
More things to consider when working with a Micro-influencer
What is your goal?
Are you looking to increase website traffic? Drive customers to come in to your shop? Or are you simply trying to build your brand among a certain segment of the community? Knowing this will help you identify the specific individuals in your market that you may want to approach.
Are they already familiar with your company and your work?
It’s going to be much easier to attract and work with someone that has either worked with you before, perhaps a former client, or is very familiar with the type of repairs you do and the quality of work you are producing.
What social media platforms are they using?
Clearly Facebook is probably going to be a better fit for your shop as most of your target audience is there already; likely watching your influencer post photos of their latest purchase, other business reviews, vacation pictures, etc. Hopefully your influencer is also a blogger or perhaps posting videos as well.
What type of content is your potential micro-influencer posting?
Make sure to review past and existing content closely as you can, as you have little control over the content your micro-influencer is putting out there. Red flags include political rants, inappropriate language or photos, etc.
Keep in mind that by using a micro-influencer, you are selecting someone who aligns with your brand image and target audience, not just eyeballs or followers. With that in mind you are looking for someone who is interacting with their audience, typically in the comments section of their posts, vs. someone who is just posting images with little or no back-and-forth.
Are they currently working with other brands?
I don’t think you’re going to be working with a Kardashian, but keep in mind that the more brands an influencer is working with, the less genuine their recommendations become.
How will you compensate them?
At this level you probably don’t need a formal agreement or contract, and many influencers will be open to a reduced rate or percentage off a future service with you. Some businesses may prefer a longer arrangement as it can take many mentions or posts to see any type of return or impact. If you want to get more formal or really find a strong, experienced influencer, you can offer a percentage of each completed project.
NOTE: Make sure you look into any local or state laws that may prohibit you from paying for referrals or sales.
This strategy certainly isn’t for everyone, but can be very effective if you have the right audience targeted and influencers in place to reach them. We would love to hear from anyone that might be using this type of strategy, or something similar.