Rosie's Roundup - the Micro Influencer era
The inspiration for this month’s #RosiesRoundup struck me over dinner with a very lovely work friend - and no, there was no wine involved - it was a school night! As we talked we calculated that it had been around 15 years since we first started working together. This got us talking about how things had changed.
The demise of print power
Back in the day when we were young PR things about town, we spent our time (and the not inconsiderable budgets in those times) courting journalists at the glossy magazine titles. It was all luxury breakfasts, swanky lunches, afternoon teas with fizz and press trips galore.
Obviously there was also actual hard work involved but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some lovely perks to the job. All the schmoozing was done as part of a determined effort to build a relationship with the press so that when you launched your new product or had an industry expert to promote, there were journalists willing to take your call.
Consumers don’t trust the press in the same way these days. They don’t go to magazines and newspapers to find out what to buy, where to go, who to be inspired by. In fact, 83% of us say that we prefer to get recommendations from our family and friends than be swayed by brand advertising.
Enter social media
I bet that on more than one occasion you’ve ended up online buying a top you saw recommended by an Instagrammer or listed yourself as interested in a local event because you saw it on your Facebook feed. You’re probably reading this blog because you clicked a link! Yep, according to research by The Drum, influencer marketing now accounts for almost 20% of consumer media consumption.
This is all great news for small business: the days when you could only advertise in the local paper or pay for a Yell listing in your area because you didn’t have the budget to advertise nationally or internationally are gone. The huge promotional pot called influencer marketing is open to all. Perhaps Kim K isn’t going to feature you in her belfies without some serious cash changing hands but all hail the power of the micro-influencer.
Find your tribe of Micro Influencers
According to Marketing profs, “The Micro Influencer is knowledgeable and passionate about the particular niche they cover, and because of this are seen as experts and trusted sources of information.”
Now as you might have picked up from previous round ups, I may be a teensy bit addicted to social media and so if you asked me for advice on (though probably in truth not limited to) fashion, beauty, interiors, Bath and Bristol, food, parenting….oh maybe I do have a problem...I could rattle off a list of people I follow and items I have purchased, services I have used etc.
Instagram is my drug of choice but depending on what your business offers, another platform may be more suitable. You can do your own research - get ready for a deep dive into who you’re following, who is following you, look at industry or product specific hashtags and most importantly how particular influencers engage with their followers.
Engagement is what takes them from ‘just another person on the internet’ to the echelons of ‘someone just like you’ whose opinion carries weight.
Micro Influencer trailblazers
So now to the round up itself - a virtual pat on the back to the following people who are already nailing this: First shout out is to Ruth at the Little Black and White book project who used the winner of Professional Nanny of the Year award Laura Chelmick in her recent expert series.
Next up the gorgeous and very Instagrammable No.15 Great Pulteney who do a great job of creating photo opportunities and indeed sharing posts by their guests @no.15gp. Finally a round of applause for Gift Pop Boutique - nailing it on Instagram stories at @giftpopboutique where she is a regular but also sharing an almost daily round-up of who is wearing her wares.
Of course much of this style of marketing doesn’t come free of charge; sometimes you might just get lucky and a purchaser loves the product they have paid cold hard cash for so much they just want to shout it from the rooftops of every social media platform. However, it usually involves strategically gifting your samples and services.
Who are your ideal clients? Who are they influenced by in terms of micro influencers? How can you get the products into their hands? Does someone in your network know them (definitely try this if they are local to you)? Is there an event coming up that they have mentioned online they are attending? Perhaps a personal email or even a DM via social to ask if they would like to try something?
Remember to make each and every approach to anyone you want to be an advocate for your brand properly personal. Writing a blanket press release isn’t going to cut it. Think about why they and their friends and followers might be interested in your product.
So there you have it - marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth if you’re strategic and put yourself out there. I am off to contemplate the purchase of #berberugs. All those #autumnal #cosy posts have persuaded me I must have one! We have no need for or indeed anywhere to put one and white is not a practical colour for a home filled with my son’s dirty sports kit but right now I just don’t care!
Want to read more? Try this - Rosie’s Roundup - The blog special