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By The Pollack Group

Micro-influencers can be a great tactic to engage your niche audience, but there are things to keep in mind before going forward with micro-influencers vs mega-influencers. The agency was featured in the Forbes Agency Council’s latest piece, ’Want To Partner With Micro-Influencers? 14 Key Things To Keep In Mind.’ View the original article on Forbes. The No. 10 contribution is from agency president Stefan Pollack.

10. Make Sure Their ‘Brand’ Aligns With Your Target Customers

Knowing a micro-influencer’s audience demographic is essential. Micro-influencers are popular because they create personal connections with their followers that result in higher conversion rates, but your campaign must be tailor-made for their follower base. Choose a micro-influencer whose self-created “brand” aligns with your target customer. – Stefan Pollack, The Pollack Group

1. Research And Interact With Them Before Engaging

As effective as this approach is, micro-influencers are micro-entities who carry their own brand equity, so you should consider them as you would any brand partner. Proper research and interaction prior to engagement with them are critical to ensuring brand alignment. – Elizabeth Jean Poston, Helios Interactive, A Freeman Company

2. Make Sure They Didn’t Pay For Their Followers

Make sure they haven’t purchased their following or engagement. You can do this by having them vetted through a social media agency, or you can try doing this yourself using an app such as Social Blade. You can also manually go through the likes and followers of a micro-influencer. – Kelly Samuel, Snack Toronto

3. Be Mindful Of Their True Reach And Engagement

With more than 500 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, it’s a quantity play these days. Twenty smaller creators who know and love your brand can create a wider reach than four larger influencers who only project your brand for a single moment in time. – Carm Lyman, Lyman Agency

4. Treat It Like A Relationship Rather Than A B2B Contract

I haven’t seen many micro-influencers with formal business training. They choose relationships over contracts, authenticity over formality, and even loyalty over money in many cases. An ideal relationship manager would understand how to set clear expectations while establishing long-term connections. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing

5. Ensure Their Engagement Is As Solid As Their Following

If you leverage micro-influencers, they need to be hyper-focused on your key audience. If they have a small reach, but it actually hits the bullseye of your target demographic, it’s a big win. However, as with any influencer-relations program, you need to ensure their engagement—not just their following—is solid. If they have followers who don’t interact much with their posts, it’s not worth your time or budget. – April Margulies, Trust Relations

6. Make Sure They Disclose Their Brand Partnerships

Make sure the influencer always discloses brand partnerships. If it seems as if the influencer is endorsing brands or products without first labeling posts as sponsored, stay away. An influencer who is unaware of (or unconcerned with) the Federal Trade Commission’s rules is not a trustworthy marketing partner. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

7. Use Micro-Influencers And Macro-Influencers In A Multi-Tiered Strategy

Because micro-influencers tend to have closer relationships with their audiences, they are very effective in encouraging engagement and conversions—especially when brands need to tap into niche communities. However, they lack the extended reach and discoverability that bigger influencers do, which can be crucial for awareness. Usually, a multitiered strategy is the strongest approach. – Emilie Tabor, IMA – Influencer Marketing Agency

8. Outline Campaign Goals And Instructions In A Detailed Brief

Some micro-influencers may have less experience creating and sharing sponsored content—especially the younger ones. Be sure your campaign includes a detailed brief that outlines campaign goals, posting instructions and content deliverables, and set aside more time for Q&A. The extra effort is worth it: These small but mighty influencers often drive more engagement, thanks to their personal audience connections. – Danielle Wiley, Sway Group

9. Find A Micro-Influencer Who Would Actually Use Your Product

Don’t just assume that every young micro-influencer will be into your product or service just because they are young. Teens, tweens and young adults are just as diverse as their parents, and they have differing wants and needs. You need to find a micro-influencer who would actually use your product or service because, more than likely, their audience would too. – Jason Hall, FiveChannels Marketing

10. See Above

11. Do Your Research And Be Mindful Of Fake

Everyone’s an “influencer” these days, so it is key to do your homework, see what else these people are promoting and track it. You might even want to contact some brands these influencers have worked with and ask to see their reports. Also, think about how you can further utilize an influencer’s photo or video post to your own advantage for additional media exposure. – Zack Teperman, ZTPR

12. Prioritize The Safety And Well-Being Of Everyone Involved

When targeting younger demographics, safety should always be a top priority. But it is an especially important concern when working with micro-influencers—a marketing channel where regulation is still comparatively low. In this case, the safety and well-being of the brand, influencer, and audience should all be given equal consideration. – Chris Martin, FlexMR

13. Be Careful About Who You Associate Your Brand With

Does the micro-influencer share your values, understand your market and buy into your value proposition? If not, you could be setting yourself up for some heartache down the road. Influence is a double-edged sword. Be careful who you choose because once your brand is associated with them, as they go, so you go. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

14. Make Sure Their Followers Represent Your Target Audience

Micro-influencers can be more effective than celebrity ones when you choose those who exist in your market footprint and who speak authentically to your target audiences. Spend time evaluating their content and connections with their followers. Dive into their followers’ feeds to make sure they are indeed representative of your target audiences and then work with the influencer to create content that converts. – Mary Ann O’Brien, OBI Creative