There are nearly two billion people using social media, but only a fraction of these individuals have what it takes to be a great influencer. This method of marketing requires that a person has the ability to actively engage an audience, create quality content, and exhibit a wide range of industry knowledge. To break it down, we’ve listed seven characteristics to look for in finding a micro-influencer worthy of representing your brand.
1. They Should Be Creative
First and foremost, a micro-influencer needs to show some originality and innovation. If a fashion blogger is simply regurgitating the same content for every company they represent, then your product is going to blend in with the rest. Find someone who can expertly, authentically, and seamlessly weave your products into their content. To be able to state specifics about a brand without coming off as being too “salesy” is a talent; that’s why creativity is a major component of a quality micro-influencer. Effective social media marketing is authentic, digital storytelling as seen through the eyes of the beholder. Fashion bloggers need to be able to nail the headline, Instagrammers need to have an eye for photography, and Tweeters must have a gift for conciseness and conversation.
2. They Should Understand the Basics
Micro-influencers should do some preliminary research into your brand to find out how you're currently marketing your company. With some background knowledge, they’ll be able to tailor their posts to your products or services, resulting in content that feels, looks, and reads more cohesively. While this may seem rudimentary, it’s important that micro-influencers know how to use hashtags and mentions effectively. With the right hashtag, your posts are more search friendly, engage a wider audience, and reach the right social media users. In a similar yet more specific fashion, mentions and tags allow micro-influencers to bring related parties into the conversation, which, again, enables you to reach a more targeted following. Understanding some search engine optimization (SEO) basics is a huge plus as well. Backlinks to your brand’s site, social channels, sale pages, digital coupons, and other partners are helpful for organic SEO.
3. They Should Know the Rules
When it comes to backlinks, direct your fashion bloggers to Google’s requirements page to ensure they understand the rules for “nofollow” links within sponsored posts. “Search engine guidelines require machine-readable disclosure of paid links in the same way that consumers online and offline appreciate disclosure of paid relationships.” - Google Search Console But it’s not just Google who is laying down the law. A good influencer is always clear about the fact that their content is sponsored, because they know the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prescribes that product endorsements must reflect honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences of the endorser. Influencers have to disclose when they’ve been compensated, even if that compensation comes in the form of discounts or free gifts. Don't worry, this probably won’t affect a follower’s perception, as a good influencer will only post about products that s/he truly loves anyway—so, even if that person is being compensated, it likely won’t make a difference to his or her audience.
4. They Should be True to Themselves
Let me reiterate, quality micro-influencers only represent products they truly believe in. If a blogger is willing to represent any brand off the street whether their products are quality or crummy, they’re not worth the endorsement. On the flipside, if a micro-influencer doesn’t like your product, don’t be offended —use it as an opportunity. If she is taking their job seriously, they’ll be more than willing to give you feedback privately through a survey, email, or private message.
5. They Should Be Able to Take Direction
While it’s imperative that a micro-influencer creates his or her own content, a campaign manager exists to support these creative sponsorships. The campaign manager is there to provide guidance and advice on topics and themes for the micro-influencer’s posts as well as to give counsel as to marketing questions, concerns regarding how to improve engagement rating, and anything else the micro-influencer may be unsure of. Content creators should be able to follow timelines, due dates, adhere to limitations and specifics, and deliver results. If you’re a brand working through an micro-influencer marketing agency, campaign managers are also there to ensure the influencer is posting frequently enough, and that these posts are of good quality.
6. They Are the Real Deal
Good micro-influencers should have an authentic audience that gives real likes and genuine comments. If you notice that your micro-influencer is buying her way into a following, then that’s a sure sign that she is not a social media marketer with whom you want to be involved. When you’re looking for a micro-influencer, engagement rate and engagement growth rate should always be weighted much higher than number of followers. A solid Instagram engagement rate for an micro-influencer is between 2%-4%.
On the Brand’s End
Just because an influencer has all of the qualities we mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is right for your brand. You have to consider context. We recommend finding a micro-influencer marketing agency that will match your brand contextually and at scale. Aligning with the right social media marketer will enable your brand to reach the right audience, build a stronger image, and, perhaps most importantly, see a significant jump in conversion rate.
ApexDrop has helped thousands of authentic micro-influencers connect with quality brands through contextual product gifting (also known as trade collaborations). Imagine having an affordable and easy way to get your products featured by hundreds of influencers immediately on Instagram, but without all the extra work. ApexDrop offers an unparalleled service in campaign management from start to finish and can assure that their clients receive quality posts and authenticity. For more information, schedule a call with an ApexDrop Influencer Specialist today www.apexdrop.com/contact