If you scroll through Twitter or Instagram, you can see a lot of Influencers with huge social media following. These people are a gold mind for those whose target audience is, well basically, everyone. But what if your product fits in very niche market? Then, the old school, blanket marketing tactics of yesterday simply do not reach the buyer.
I spoke with Jac White, founder and CEO of Savoteur, a digital publishing company, about how she manages micro-influencers all over the globe to achieve hyper-local results:
Create an Assessment Protocol
Finding effective writers is not easy because there is not just one profile that works. Having influencers from all walks of life is a central element to a robust contributor network. Anyone who has a passion for enriching their community can be a catalyst for your brand – artists, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, business owners, philanthropist, and beyond.
“If a brand is looking to work with regional contributors based on their location, they must be sure to evaluate their view on their city, the world, and culture. This will provide a better picture of their taste level, capabilities and potential grassroots reach,” encourages Ms White.
As you find the gem micro-influencers who fit the mission of your brand, the next step is to make the ask.
“It’s been our experience that people want to contribute their expertise through a brand they connect with. We have found that reaching out to personal networks creates a domino effect and helps build our brand. I see this pattern with contributor networks across the board.” explains Jac White.
Once the operation is in motion, it begins to grow on top of itself. A positive word of mouth cycle begins, and companies start to see influencers coming to them in search of a relatable outlet to share their perspective.
Create a Symbiotic Influencer Network
In addition to vetting the influencers you want to associate your brand with, it is also important to decide what an influencer means for your brand.
“Influencers used to be vertical in nature. They gained relevance by having a deep understanding of a narrow topic. Today, influencers are horizontal. The most influential people are not doing just one thing; they are building businesses, developing artistic projects, weaving the social fabric in their cities and the world. These are the authentic influencers who have a deeper understanding of today’s society.” add Ms White.
Additionally, there is a strong likelihood that micro-influencers will take a partnership with your brand personally. Unlike celebrity endorsements, micro-influencers are more apt to create an authentic connection with your brand, your mission, and strive to become an extension of your company’s vision.
Embrace the Changing Landscape
The way consumers digest media and ads is drastically different than ten, five, or even one year ago. There are new digital mediums almost every day that quickly gain relevance and that can and should be leveraged by brands via micro-influencers. For a business to survive, they must constantly evaluate the changing landscape of social networking, mobile connectivity, and technology developments to stay on top of trends.
Ms White adds – “Cable and TV programming keep moving into the digital space. Digital publishers create more video content. Mobile is the only screen we build for. Like all global businesses should be, we are constantly evaluating new forms of distribution and additional ways to leverage our content.”
When seeking information, consumers have hundreds of opportunities to vet your brand. Resources that are crowdsourced (ahem, Yelp) are gradually losing consumer trust because consumers have learned that their tastes are different from the aggregate opinions of other consumers.
Micro-influencers are able to establish a connection with their followers based on common likes and dislikes, worldviews, and tastes. Those influencers are working with brands they’ve vetted and are avidly seeking information their followers are interested to know. This allows influencers to reach their audience authentically through candid experiences.
“From a progressive art gallery, to a secret restaurant menu, to where to get the best cup of coffee, the most important part of leveraging these influencers is that they have a passion for what makes their cities rich and unique: the food, music, art, culture, nightlife, style and travel,” says Ms. White.
Create an Accountable Culture
You would not hire someone onto your team who’s principles veer far from company culture; likewise, do not settle for writers who do not share your company’s core values.
“Everyone needs to be held accountable. The communication and company culture you build in your home office needs to transfer to your satellite teams, which can be challenging, but not impossible.” says White.
Brands looking to leverage micro-influencers must invest the time to find people who are trustworthy and passionate. Once they are on board, set clear expectations and goals on what is expected of them.
The interaction and company culture that is built within four walls needs to transcend to home offices and satellite teams anywhere in the world.
“Making accountability actionable is the piece that ties everyone together,” says White. “Celebrate what is working, but be sure to carefully analyse what is not. Failure can be the greatest area of opportunity that keeps the company evolving.”
This article was written by Laura K. Inamedinova from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.