By now you've surely seen influencers splashed across your Insta-feed. Everyone from Kylie Jenner to every Real Housewife of every city is hawking some kind of skinny tea or FabFitFun box. You may be wondering how to get influencers to work with your business, but perhaps you don't have the $50,000 on up budgets that many big brands pay. That's where micro-influencers come in. Not only is their price tag waayyyyyy less, heck it's often just for trade of your product, they may also be more relevant to your audience.
In recent months, I have had the fun of working with some micro-influencers in LA to help get the word out on Instagram about a hot dog franchise that had recently opened in Topanga, CA. You can visit them at @umaihotdogs_topangamall. (Full disclosure I don't work with them any more, they just hired me to get the ball rolling their first several months.) What I discovered is that there is a HUGE world of micro-influencer food bloggers in LA!
Here are some tips I found while working with them:
You can search for them via hashtags. For instance, I would look under #LAfoodblogger #LAeats #LAfoodie, etc. and several would show up.
This is a side gig for most of them, so be prepared to meet after usual 9-5 hours or on weekends.
State an exact time and let them know you are on a tight schedule. I found many of them showed up "around" the time we stated, which meant an hour late!
They are usually pretty easy to work with directly via Instagram DM.
Offer trade first before discussing price. Many of them were happy to get a free deluxe dinner, plus content that they could use for their own page.
Be clear with your expectations. Do you want them to post Stories (how many?) Do you want them to post more than one photo to their account (how many?)
Ask if they are willing to take extra photos of your product while they are there for an extra fee. They often have good cameras and lighting, so you should get some good content while they are there.
Ask if they have other influencers in their network that you can work with. They often have friends or contacts that do the same thing.
When posting their content, make sure you tag them in the post. They are looking for more followers and likes too, plus it is their original photograph. Get permission to re-post anything that was not expressly in your agreement.
This was a photo taken by @relsreviews of the hot dogs, fries and wings offered at Umai Hot Dogs. For a very nominal fee, she posted this on her account which has close to 10,000 followers. She received 677 likes and 103 comments on her page, and Umai Hot Dogs received 106 likes and three comments on their page. She also posted at least seven stories, taking a bite of each food item and talking about it's flavor, texture and overall goodness. While it's hard to gauge the exact ROI on her work, it definitely piqued people's interest about the restaurant. She received many questions on her account about where the restaurant was located.
Do you think your business might benefit from using a micro-influencer? Not sure where to start? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help!