The recent growth of influencer marketing has led to the corresponding increase of influencer marketing tools and platforms available to marketers. Beyond saving time and money, influencer marketing automation overcomes many of the pain points marketers face when incorporating an influencer strategy, such as discovery, replicability, scale, content creation and disclosures. However, to realize the full potential of an influencer strategy and its high return-on-investment, there is a pressing need to refine the process.
Up until now, the focus on traditional influencer categories like bloggers and celebrities has fostered the assumption that influencer strategies are a time-intensive, tedious process, and that influencers are difficult for marketers for find and expensive for them to activate.
But micro-influencers are dispelling this myth and evolving into the mainstream because of their ease of activation. While other influencers operate outside of your brand and require effort to partner with, micro-influencers exist within your customer base and already have high brand affinity. You don’t have to go through the headache of vetting, onboarding and training them- it’s just a matter of using the relevant tools to discover who your pre-existing influential customers are.
Many micro-influencer platforms automate identification or activation, but rarely does one platform do both. Below, we list seven ways that Mavrck’s micro-influencer marketing platform automates both the discovery and activation processes to implement an influencer strategy at scale:
From within an existing customer experience, such as a CRM database, loyalty program or email list, the first step is to recruit your relevant customers who influence their friends in your target market. Not all customers are created equal, and your recruitment process should reflect that, with a tailored selection process that focuses on the customers who possess the influence for your brand needed to drive your goal conversion.
Once you’ve discovered your relevant micro-influencers, you can then create segmented audiences of micro-influencers to target your marketing communication and activate at scale towards your business goals. When you segment your micro-influencers (by life events, key demographics or both), you are then able to construct the proper brand messaging that will appeal them, in the correct format and social channel that would appeal most to them.
With the segmented audience of micro-influencers specified, you can then select a goal and monitor all branded content shared on specific social networks. There are varying levels of control that you can exert over the branded content that micro-influencers create and share:
- Brand Generated Content: Your brand creates the content, and influencers then share this content (without adding personalization) to their networks. Brand generated content is less risky, but has less potential impact as well.
- Co-developed Content: Your brand develops guidelines for content creation, and micro-influencers create their own rendition within your guidelines. Co-developed content has a mild risk, with high-impact potential.
- Influencer Generated Content: Your brand completely hands the reins over to your micro-influencer community, giving them loose directions and allowing them to create and share what they want. This is the most risky content strategy, but has the most potential impact.
Once you’ve decided on a branded content strategy, you can attach incentives to the activities that you want your micro-influencers to complete. Since micro-influencers are motivated by brand value and VIP treatment, they are most incentivized by rewards that instill a sense of exclusive membership, such as brand swag, early access, or product trials. In other words, incentives should serve to reinforce micro-influencers’ brand affinity, as well as to drive them to complete branded activities.
In contrast to digital ad strategies where you monitor the engagement on single or multiple ad units, a micro-influencer strategy allows you to track by each person’s social behavior and engagements driven. As a result, by tracking your micro-influencers’ behavior and efficacy all the way through your marketing objectives, you can attribute corresponding purchase intent to engagements, clicks and conversions. Depending on your business objective, you can customize who and what you are tracking with each strategy, tying a given performance metric to a micro-influencer’s ability to drive bottom-line sales value.
As you monitor your micro-influencers’ activity and responding engagement, you can optimize your strategy mid-flight to maximize ROI, tweaking your incentives, activities, or audience segments as you see fit. The benefit of an always on and on demand strategy is that you have the flexibility to change or adapt your strategy in response to your micro-influencers’ and their followers actual social behavior.
Micro-influencers have high brand affinity, and as a result, they inherently possess high lifetime value for your brand. Beyond serving as some of your most loyal and engaged customers, they possess immense value in driving your business objectives. therefore, it’s doubly beneficial to incorporate retention strategies that keep micro-influencers continuously engaged with your brand.
Micro-influencers aren’t just easy to activate: they’re also cost effective, are greater in number than any other category, and drive a higher ROI for your business objectives compared to other influencer categories. All of these benefits are borne within the category’s scalability, and within its capacity to exist as an always-on, predictable strategy instead of a one-off celebrity campaign.
But the platform is only a piece of it. It’s not just the platforms, but how you use them to maximize your success within your influencer strategy. Whether you’re using a platform or a handwritten spreadsheet, check out our case studies page to see how other brands are using micro-influencers to drive their marketing strategies, and start discovering and recruiting micro-influencers among your own customer base with our Facebook Fan Grader.