Published on April 16, 2021 at 9:38 p.m.
by Mikaela Weis.
If you spend any time on the internet, chances are you have seen some sort of brand partnership. Recently, many brands have partnered with influencers as a way to help build brand awareness. A study from MediaKix shows that 89% of marketers get similar or even better return on investment with influencers as compared to other marketing channels.
While there is an obvious benefit to working with well-known influencers, many brands have been focusing more on smaller ones. These days, they use micro-influencers. These influencers usually have lower costs and a higher engagement rate than many big influencers. A study from SocialPubli shows that micro-influencers create seven times more engagement than influencers with a larger following. Additionally, smaller influencers are much more accessible than trying to go for the biggest names in the business.
But what does a brand deal with a micro-influencer even involve?
While a lot of brands do their research on which influencers might best reach their target audiences, some brands simply allow influencers to reach out to them if they want to help spread their message.
Brianna Cipolla, a micro-influencer for Her Campus, said that Campus Trendsetters, the program she is a part of, simply requires an application. If accepted into the program, you receive packages from a variety of brands that work with Her Campus, such as Steve Madden, Pop Socket and Bliss.
For other people who already have a following, there is another route that influencers can take when it comes to brand deals. Abby Asselin, a lifestyle YouTuber, said that she works through a talent management team instead. These teams make it easier for her to manage her work with multiple brands. Asselin tries to stay true to her content when it comes to working with brands, sticking to mostly “lifestyle” companies, such as FabFitFun, activewear brands, and fashion or beauty products.
When it comes to determining which brands they are willing to work with, the most important thing for the majority of these influencers is to make sure that the brands already go with the content they are creating. It is much more authentic for their audience and easier for the influencers to work it into their feeds if the products go with what they are already posting.
“The biggest thing I consider when working with a brand is if it ‘fits’ for me. Is it a product or service I already use or use something similar to? Does it fit into my lifestyle seamlessly, and can I create authentic content surrounding it?” Asselin said.
Because of the higher level of trust placed in micro-influencers, it is important to make sure the products that these influencers are promoting are actually doing what they are saying they do. Asselin said that when she works with brands, she likes to choose brands that give her a reasonable amount of time to try out the products before she has to commit to working with them, so she can give her honest opinion on the products and be as authentic as possible to her audience.
When brands come to influencers, they usually have an idea of the type of content they want to see. Ranging from a casual mention of the product in a YouTube video to a full Instagram post dedicated to their product, what they are looking for can vary from brand to brand.
In some cases though, the brand wants these influencers to be able to be creative with the promotion.
“We get a creative brief with basic guidelines of what the content should look like, but they are very open with the content. They want us to be creative as possible,” Cipolla said.
Why should brands use these influencers?
“Micro-influencers can really be utilized to develop genuine, consistent customers because audiences tend to trust micro-influencers more than larger ones,” Asselin explained.
On the same note, Cipolla said being able to post about products she genuinely loves not only gives her followers products to try out but also gains attention for Her Campus and Campus Trendsetters in general.
Brands aren’t the only ones benefitting from these partnerships. Many influencers receive discount codes from the companies they are working with to share with their audiences. While the brands are growing their awareness and customer base, followers of the influencers also get to try products at a discounted cost. These promotions from influencers help build trust in the companies, too.
There are many benefits to working with micro-influencers for brands, but one of the biggest is being able to build a relationship with new customers. Though the idea of influencers can still be scary to many brands, it might be time for brands to start incorporating influencers, specifically smaller ones. Being able to build trust and brand awareness is such a crucial part of business; micro-influencers can help make that happen.