Whether you’re a content creator or a publisher micro-influencers can add great value when it comes to monetizing or affiliate marketing.
Micro influencers and affiliate marketing
Influencers are becoming increasingly important for marketing and to businesses. A subset of the larger influencer group, that many brands prefer to work with are niche based micro-influencers.
The use of niche based micro influencers for self publishers is an excellent way to grow brands and to endorse products or services. Affiliates can also promote their chosen advertiser brands and gain wider reach through micro-influencers
Keep reading to learn what a micro-influencer is, how to become one and why affiliate marketing presents a mutually-beneficial opportunity for both micro-influencers and brands alike.
What Is A Micro Influencer
A micro influencer is an influencer that targets a specific niche. They usually have a smaller audience, but an audience that is very focused and passionate about the niche and it’s content.
Micro-Influencers, as with Influencers, are online content creators with a loyal and substantial social media following. They usually focus on one, but sometimes two, social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or others.
Brands choose to use micro influencers to help promote their products because they have such an engaged audience. And they know the audience trust and value the opinions and insights of the micro influencer.
There’s no set audience number criteria to be called a micro influencer, but typically they will have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. This number may seem small when you compare them to large, or celebrity, influencers, but having a loyal audience of thousands who are passionate about the niche is extremely attractive to brands.
If you become a micro-influencer, you become a very attractive asset to advertisers because you have an audience that’s is very engaged and that often generates a greater click through rate and number of sales.
Major influencers are a powerful tool in advertising, but they are rarely low-cost and for the majority of brands they are unaffordable.
Getting a huge TikTok star with millions of followers to promote a brand or a product is often unrealistic for small or growing brands. However opting for a micro-influencer can be cost effective and extremely valuable.
While micro influencers may not have as big a reach, they have an extremely engaged, growing audience. This means the brand would still be targeting a very strong audience that values the opinion of the micro-influencer, making them far more likely to purchase the products being endorsed.
Forming a working relationship with micro-influencers can be great for a brand, especially if they foresee your platform growing in popularity and audience.
By working with brands by marketing and recommending their products, micro-influencers can earn money and grow their reach, which in turn helps to establish themselves as a trusted source and expert in their niche.
How To Become A Micro-Influencer
There’s no exact or definitive method to find success as a micro-influencer, and it’s likely to take some time to grow your audience and your own unique niche brand, but there is a lot you can do to help tailor your marketing, your content and your social brand to get strong results and become attractive to larger advertisers..
Find your niche
Micro-influencers carry a lot of authority when they choose, and stick with, a specific niche. To gain a consistent and loyal following, you need to ensure you create regular, honest and relevant content. Your content needs to be top quality so that it keeps your audience coming back and wanting more.
Whether you’re a self publisher, affiliate marketer, lifestyle blogger, fitness enthusiast, travel buff, amateur photographer or something else entirely, you will need to be passionate about the niche you choose, and confident in content generation.
By doing this you ensure you grow your authority, and become known as a trusted source and the place people look when seeking niche related information.
Ideally you will want to choose a niche that isn’t oversaturated with influencers already. You also want to make sure you don’t go so niche that it becomes hard to generate regular content or that the number of people searching is too small and prevents you building a strong large audience.
Micro-influencers often perform well in the less mainstream subject areas. This is helpful as it enables you to grow a more captive audience seeking information on the subject.
It is also helpful if the subject doesn’t already have a wide range of influencers already promoting products.
If you are wanting to explore affiliate marketing as a micro-influencer, keep in mind you don’t want to choose a niche that limits your opportunities to promote products from brands.
Brands will be far more likely to choose to do business with you if they see that you are a trusted, knowledgeable voice in a niche that is relevant, and has strong connections, to their product or service.
It doesn’t matter what format you choose for your content, whether written blog posts, social media posts, video, podcast or all of the mentioned. What is important is that you are consistent.
Consistent in style and consistent with adding new content. You may decide to post everyday, twice a week, or once a week but once you decide, you should always stick to your chosen schedule and ensure the positing is on brand, well structured and offers great value to your audience.
This means that the followers who enjoy your content get to know your schedule and know when to expect it. This keeps your audience coming back and grows your authority, your audiences trust in you and boosts your influence.
If you don’t have a solid content schedule and an undefined brand audiences tend to lose interest, as they aren’t sure when, or if, you will add more content. This loses your audience trust and diminishes your influence.
Most important is that you truly understand your target audience and what they are looking for. Then you can create a brand and platform they know, and trust, they can turn to for information, to find answers to their questions, to be entertained or gain expert advice.
Build a community
For micro-influencers being able to regularly engage with your audience is a must.
In many ways you become a brand in your own right and who your audience believes in and follows. This is what makes micro-influencers so important in marketing. They provide the human face to otherwise corporate business manufactured products and their recommendations are trusted and relevant.
For micro-influencers, who usually have a smaller audience, the act of building an engaged community is often easier. It also means you can create a more intimate connection with your followers, which grows the levels of trust they have in you.
This makes is extremely important that you maintain a strong relationship with your community. This can be done simply through actions such as leaving comments, replying to questions, liking posts and following back.
You may also want to consider starting regular live feeds or adding content that shows you living your life and engaging in your niche subject. This further enhances you as a brand name, grows your following and builds your influence.
It is also vital that when you start recommending products and promoting other brands you only choose products you know are of excellent quality and provide real benefit to your audience.
You must also ensure you keep adding and offering your followers informative, fun and engaging content that doesn’t just sell or pitch. No-one follows someone who is simply selling to them!.
Do your research
Make sure to do your niche research and stay up to date with social media trends and best practices.
When starting out take time to consider how you will set up your social media accounts, how you will lay out your content and how you will build your brand and micro-influencer identity.
This is extremely important as it will influence if, and why, your content is shared and therefore how you reach as wide an audience as possible. You should also monitor other influencers to see what is working for them as well as discovering what doesn’t work.
Use platforms to find out which hashtags perform best, what type of posts get the most engagement, how to best use calls to action (CTAs), how best to share recommendations and how to add product links, etc.
Something as simple as your “Call To Action”, which is the directive line of text that encourages users to take a specific action i.e. ‘Buy Now,’ ‘Save Today,’ can make huge impact. So knowing how to best frame this content that suits your specific target audience is absolutely crucial.
For a platform like Instagram, where links cannot be directly shared within posts, you should consider signing up to other platforms like Publer.
Publer allows you to promote your all your links on one page that you can add to your Instagram profile, plus you can schedule all your social media postings from one site.
Therefore all you need to do is remind your audience to click the link in your bio whenever you post product promotions, referrals or affiliate content.
Strategize what works best for your niche and what is preferred by your audience. This will determine whether you post short, expiring content like SnapChat or Instagram Stories, or whether short-form video content for TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts, is best.
You may discover that your audience connects more with longer well written blog content such as product reviews.
What will work best for you and your audience will depend on your niche and the demographic you target. So make sure you do your research and always keep checking back for what works best and for any change in trends.
Keep it fresh
It helps to offer regular new content and offer your audience variety. You might have content that is exclusively for your TikTok followers, some static content reserved for your Instagram feed posts and a Pinterest board where you share inspirational content for your audience.
Consistency and structure are important, but that doesn’t mean putting all your eggs in one basket. Simply keep each platform you post on consistent in style.
Then when you add a variety of content to a variety of platforms you are diversifying your output and you will widen your reach. Just ensure the content you share and post is always relevant fresh and exciting.
While your ultimate goal may be to earn money from micro-influencer marketing, you’ll only achieve this goal if you balance your output between sponsored (selling) and organic (informative, entertaining, non selling) content.
You are not just an advert with a face! Remember to keep things real with plenty of authentic, relevant content rather than just posting ad after ad. Posting a stream or ads, or promoting crappy products, simply means you’ll lose the trust of your audience and any influence you had built.
Social media is constantly evolving, so if you are to succeed as a micro-influencer you will need to evolve with it. Even after you have set up your structure and your brand remember to keep looking for way that you can improve and take it to the next level!
You should never stop researching, testing and refining your micro-influencers approach.
Once your audience grows you can start engaging with brands and advertisers.
You might choose to start by promoting brands organically, without being asked or even paid to do so. This will show you are a reliable partner with real interest in the product or service.
You could make the first move also. Tag your chosen brand in a social post and they may very well get in touch with you and ask to work together more closely. However often the most efficient and fruitful way for micro-influencers to make valuable connections with chosen brands is through affiliate marketing programs. An awesome platform to do this is ShareASale.
How micro-influencers Can Monetize Through Affiliate Marketing
Once you reach a certain level of influence, you will probably have a number of offers from brands who want you to endorse their products. To get to this level you will need to work hard and build your reputation and following.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for micro-influencers and self publishers to monetize content. Platforms like ShareASale create a structured space for micro-influencers and advertisers to connect directly.
So rather than waiting for brands to reach out via social media, you can use a dedicated program to connect with the most relevant brands and products that match the niche subject matter and the needs of your audience.
Affiliate marketing involves promoting a brand or product and for each sale that is secured as a result of your endorsement you get a percentage of the sale price, known as a commission.
The commission can vary, but most often an affiliate will be paid a set percentage of every sale made directly from the affiliate’s efforts.
A commission may also be achieved through different methods, such as number of click throughs, sign ups, and subscriptions.
As an affiliate you will be given a unique link to the brand’s product page that you use in your content to promote the product. This might be on Instagram, your personal blog, your self publisher website, in your YouTube channel etc.
When someone clicks on the link and the desired conversion (sale) is made it is tracked so the conversion is attributed to the affiliate and the affiliate gets paid.
Through affiliate marketing, micro-influencers can choose the best brands that fit their niche and promote products they know their audience will love.
For instance, imagine you are a micro-influencer for self publishing who has a few thousand followers. You could partner with online marketing brands or brands that offer products that help your niche audience such as web page or funnel builders, graphic design software, image sites etc.
You could target those brands who are looking for exposure and add reviews for their products on your social pages.
Once you’ve made the connection and have been approved onto a ShareASale program, you’ll be able to generate unique affiliate links to place in your posts. So you will receive a commission based on sales. Anytime one of your followers engages with one of your posts, clicks the affiliate link to the products landing page, and makes a purchase you get paid.
Why Would A Brand Choose A Micro-Influencer?
Micro-influencers are valuable to advertisers for several reasons.
They are usually not as expensive as larger influencers but still can generate impressive results.
Micro-influencers usually have a more intimate and personal connection with their audience and spend time engaging in a meaningful way. This is attractive to the brands whose products they promote.
Brands know that micro-influencers will have their sight set on audience growth and know by connecting early their brand can capitalize on this trajectory.
As you gain more followers, the brand gains more exposure. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Both parties can grow, and profit, together.
Audiences are more likely to connect with micro-influencers rather than brands, because micro-influencers offer them authentic human voice. Engaging with actual people, whether they know them or not, feels more personal.
When micro-influencers endorse a product it feels more genuine than when a brand promotes their own product. This is why consumers value customer reviews. So micro-influencers views seem more authentic as well as having the credibility of being an expert on the topic.
Growing micro-influencers need to be careful about the content they create and the brands they promote. Brands know this, so if a micro-influencer chooses to promote them they know they will get promoted to a customer base that is looking for products like theirs.
This is why we love ShareASale, their publisher tools help advertisers and micro-influencers form relationships and that are the right fit. Simply search the merchant directory to find the brands that speak to you and that match your niche and audience.
You can also work with their dedicated influencer partnership managers. This means you can start earning money while growing your self publishing business and promoting products that you are truly passionate about.
What do you think? Ready to become a micro-influencer? Do you think you could use this marketing approach to assist develop your brand? Let me know your thoughts by adding a comment below!