23 Dec Who Knows Who? Micro Influencers and the Increasing Role They Play in Brand Awarenes
The classic sponsorship is changing and becoming more of a tool than ever before. With the rise of the internet, and along with it social media, the ability to get messages out to massive amounts of ears and eyeballs is greater than ever. That incredible opportunity is flattening out the traditional pyramid of sponsorships. It costs less, there’s more people to choose from, and the message is now stronger than ever.
Not As Costly
Traditionally, big companies paid big dollars for big names. Television was the main media, and purchasing time on there was expensive. If you didn’t have a ton of money to toss to one of a small handful of meaningful personalities in your industry, you were shut out. It was that simple. There simply wasn’t a tremendous amount of promotional space to begin with. But that eventually began to change. More and more media outlets, options and programs. Also, media continues to become a deeper fabric in our life.
Think about the costs involved for an endorsement now. All you need to do is get that influencer to retweet your message to their 200k followers and BAM!- You just got a personal recommendation from a person the market trusts. For free. For every influencer with 200k followers there are 100 with 20k. These are the micro influencers. They are not the leading personalities, but they are right behind them. In fact, some customers prefer them to the A list because they bring a certain realness that the A list personalities simply cannot. Learning how to capitalize on this notion can be huge for all parties involved.
“Find your niche” was a very popular 90’s saying, and for good reason. It was the beginning of the great shift in the marketplace as a whole. Life was not always as “niched out” as it is now. Someone opening up a business that served cupcakes… and only cupcakes, would be looked at as clinically insane (some may still agree with that sentiment) only a short time ago. So what is the relation to sponsorships?
The Leveling Continues
A niched out marketplace creates more opportunities for people to become that niche’s “expert”, which in turn gives companies more access to more people, and thus drives the cost down for all involved. Take Youtube for example. Youtube is filled with people who are reviewing products, ranging from beauty cream to new truck tires. Showing you how to grow your own wheat, make your own bread and then what to do with it afterwards. There’s probably an obscure channel out there somewhere titled 101 Uses for Stale Bread That You Didn’t Eat. If you can think of it, chances are someone else already did.
(Keep in mind these are voluntary views. It’s not a commercial running in the middle of your favorite movie, completely interrupting the final scene in Scarface to remind you that coffee is half off this week. People wanted these videos, they found them and then they watched.)
Some of these people are extremely popular, garnering hundreds of thousands of views of their content. Others are not quite as much, but looking to get there. And like every good reporter, they need content. And lots of it. And they are usually more than willing to help someone else out in return for some of it. These are an example of micro influencers. They have a nice following, and understand the platform, but are not so popular that you cannot afford them. Start creating your list of these incredible bonuses for your business and find a way to help them.
Keep in mind two things when you are developing your team of Micro Influencers:
YOU Contacted THEM. Meaning…. YOU Need to Help Them As Well
The reason this is stated is because a lot of businesses are still in the mindset of “what’s in it for me”. What this means is that unless there is a clear profit to be made almost immediately after the transfer (like a typical business transaction) then its not deemed worthy. In the year 2015, businesses either realize how the landscape has flattened in the last 20 years and in turn they become more horizontal themselves (more transparent, more community active, more helpful in general) or they die. The same competitive market forces as usual, just played out in a slightly different way.
So what can you do to help them? Send them some other businesses you know, give them some mentions on social, enroll them in wholesale pricing, give them product to do giveaways on their page, etc. Be creative. Surely there is something you have to offer besides the initial offering?