Micro-Influencers Just May Be What Your Brand Needs

September 7, 2023

You may have heard of the extreme success that Duolingo or Dunkin’ Donuts have had with influencer collaborations, but what if you are a mid-sized or smaller brand wanting to create authentic content with an influencer in your budget? Meet micro-influencers! 

Let’s dive into what micro-influencers are:

Influencers are categorized by their follower size. Micro-influencers can range anywhere from 10,000 followers to 150,000 followers. They are not to be mistaken with nano-influencers, which have an audience size up to 10,000 followers. 

But these smaller influencers all share one thing…authentic audience engagement. These are the more niche creators that can be exactly what your brand needs to reach a specific target audience or authentically fit into your brand voice. 

Micro-influencers have seen a lot of success in the past few years. According to an article by HubSpot, 1 in 4 marketers currently utilize influencers for their brand, 17% of brands have added influencer marketing into their strategies in 2023, micro-influencers generate up to 60% more engagement rate than larger macro or celebrity influencers, 44% of marketers say that the more accessible budget of micro-influencers is one of the main benefits of working with them, and 56% of marketers who invest in influencers work with micro-influencers.

So what makes micro-influencers better?

As stated above, micro-influencers can get your brand the best bang for your buck through increased engagement, better ROI, and an overall lower budget. 

The dynamics and goals of influencer marketing have evolved significantly. Brands are looking to promote products and their business through an authentic approach, instead of an overly branded or scripted approach. This shift was largely due to the rise of TikTok’s popularity. As you scroll on your FYP feed, you will see people creating genuine content about their lives, interests, favorite trends, dances, and more. You can even come across a promotional video without even knowing it. 

A key strategy COHN has used is partnering with nano-influencers and micro-influencers whose content and audiences revolve around a specific niche that fits our client. This can be anything from beauty to sneakers to small business advocacy and beyond. This makes the lack of scripted content much safer and easier to produce because the influencer already fits into what a particular brand is looking for but can still put their own spin on the content that they know will engage their audience.

When your brand has a budget of $1,000-$2,000 per influencer, that is going to be impossible to find with macro or celebrity influencers. Through our many influencer collaborations with clients, our influencer specialist has done her fair share of negotiations. 

But when you hedge your bets by trying to work with a larger influencer and your budget is $1,500, but the influencer won’t settle for any less than $15,000, you have to adapt your strategy to be realistic. Micro-influencers are cost-effective and will create a longer-lasting connection between your brand and their audience. 

Influencer outreach, negotiation, and contracting can be a long process. Consistent and honest communication on both the influencer’s and the brand’s end is key to keeping the bus moving. 

Micro-influencers tend to be more flexible and reliable. They are everyday people, not a macro-influencer with an agency running their socials. They want to understand your brand and create the best content for you because they have personal connections to their work and audience. Overall, the micro-influencer trend not only stretches your budget but also fosters more meaningful and enduring brand connections. 

It’s not just about how influencers work for you, but how you work for influencers.

The process of working with influencers first starts with your brand. To find an ideal match for an influencer, you have to have a firm grasp of your brand voice and values. These will guide your search for an influencer and make it very clear that their audience will even care what they are promoting for you. Once you are able to do that, it’s time to make the best strategic approach to the partnership. 

The key to a successful influencer collaboration is giving the influencers you work with creative freedom. There will always be a guide in the right direction, but overly scripted and branded-looking content is not going to perform as well as content that looks authentic from the influencer. Because at the end of the day, no one knows how to engage and grasp the attention of the influencer’s audience quite like the influencer themselves. 

Letting them express your narrative in their distinct style can be incredibly impactful for both the partnership to continue and for your brand strategy.

Beyond the original collaboration, micro-influencers are much more likely to want to continue the partnership in the future. They are more loyal to the brands they work with and will be more receptive to brands reaching out to work with them again in the future. 

As brands are beginning to understand that micro-influencers and even nano-influencers, and people who have a very specific talent or narrative, are really exciting to their followers, they also need to understand how to make that sense of value well known to the influencers. 

Communicate effectively and in a timely manner and provide incentives beyond the money, such as a set of your products, you never know what might make the influencer want to promote your brand on their own time because of your kindness. The influencer shouldn’t be treated like just another channel for your business, they should be treated as a content partner and guide.

COHN’s Experience with Influencers

Our integrated agency has worked with influencers for years. For our clients, we have always seen the value of micro-influencers and want to continue to bring this service to our future clients. One of our most consistent and main use of influencers has been with Regency Centers…

Staying Strong During COVID-19

For over 50 years, Regency Centers has sustained a leading presence in the REIT industry, with a growing catalog of over 415+ preeminent shopping centers and best-in-class merchants. As the owner, operator, and developer of a national portfolio, they’re no stranger to a confluence of ideas and innovations. But what had promised to be a strong year for retailers, grocers, and restaurants alike, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed Regency Centers in-person experiences and urged them to seek new opportunities with the help of COHN Marketing, focusing on consumer marketing

Our collaborative goals with Regency Centers were to:

  • Encourage local influencers to start a conversation with their highly engaged, tuned-in audiences to learn more about the current wants and needs during the back-to-school season.
  • Employ the influencer to both facilitate and moderate discussions about the joys and challenges and everything in between that they’ve experienced during the 2023 transition. 
  • Review responses and conversations to then package information into a detailed report. 
  • Use consumer data to both support leasing (conversation starters for dealmaking) as well as provide current small businesses at the local property with ideas and opportunities to better meet their customers’ needs.

With the retail landscape upended by COVID-19, and no clear timeline for a return to normalcy, COHN’s solution to this client challenge was to ask Regency Center’s consumers: How can we help? Knowing one of the best ways to gauge consumer sentiment is through conversation, COHN Marketing enlisted a select group of nationwide influencers to run a data-driven campaign aimed at hearing directly from our current shoppers, and then applying those valuable insights to improve Regency Centers’ property experiences and service through the pandemic and beyond. 

COHN tasked six micro-influencers, spread across the nation, to engage their various social channels and talk directly to their audiences and try to understand their needs. From asking about shifting expectations, concerns about safety, and even bright spots in the experience. Our goal was achieving customer centricity that could lead to action, and our influencers delivered. In total, this campaign reached 17,793 shoppers nationwide, gathered over 7,695 responses, and led to the development of new leasing materials that are guided by our data-driven, regional shopper personas. 

Tailgate Takeout 

This award-winning influencer campaign was sought out as a way to reimagine the sports tailgate experience at home during the pandemic. Sports overall looked different during COVID-19, but Regency Centers didn’t want anyone missing out on their usual sports fun with their friends and family, so the question was: How to make sports celebrations fun while being socially safe? 

Everyone tackled their social shift during the pandemic differently. To showcase this and find relatable yet realistic ideas for different tailgate ideas, COHN sourced, reach out to, and strategized with a dozen influencers to ask them to show their audience what their unique at-home tailgate experience looks like. These ideas spanned from tailgate playlists to taco bars to cocktails and more. 

Each influencer had their own landing page on the Regency Center’s website that housed a guide for how to recreate their tailgate experience and they created multiple pieces of content for their social media channels, including Instagram posts and TikTok reels.

Due to the national success of this campaign, with this micro-influencer example, it became a Gold winner at the 2021 ICSC Maxi Awards. This campaign shows the power that creative freedom holds when it comes to nano and micro influencer marketing campaigns. We allowed our influencers the chance to create a guide that was unique to them and that would best capture their audience’s attention.

COHN’s ample experience working with influencers and guiding them through the process from first outreach to final content creation makes us an effective and efficient resource for your brand’s influencer collaborations. Our content team stays up to date with the latest influencer trends and best practices across multiple industries, uses valuable software to source our influencers that allows us to properly see the ROI and KPIs of our influencer partnerships, and has set structures in place to make sure the communication process with the influencers is smooth

If you are looking for an integrated agency to work alongside for strategizing and managing influencer relationships across multiple industries, you can connect with COHN here. We can’t wait to meet you and learn about your brand!

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