LEARN HOW TO ACQUIRE MICRO INFLUENCERS BY THE THOUSANDS FOR JUST .28 CENTS EACH
The strategies in this article are unlike anything you have probably ever seen regarding finding and utilizing Micro Influencers. This article will teach you how to build an army of micro influencers by the thousands, who will create content about your brand, products, services or App and share it with all their followers. But, before you can do that you need to learn how to acquire new Influencers using Facebook and Instagram ads that convert.
This is a step by step guide on how to find Influencers by the thousands for very little cost using Facebook Ads and Casting calls.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH MICRO INFLUENCERS?
You might not be familiar with Micro Influencers but by the end of this article, you will grow to love them. Micro Influencers are just normal people like you and me with a Facebook and Instagram account and between 500 and 200k followers. You are probably more familiar with Macro Influencers who have millions of followers and demand hefty sums of cash to promote brands. For all intents and purposes, we will only be focusing on Micro Influencers.
Macro Influencer Disadvantages
Cost Prohibitive — Macro Influencers charge hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars per post, this makes it very difficult to scale your brand with smaller budgets.
Limited Engagement Opportunities — Macro Influencers tend to post “Shoutouts” which can’t link to your website, landing page or lead forms. The only thing they can do is add your Instagram handle. If your intent is to drive traffic, this limits the amount of traffic you will get from a shoutout as potential customers have to navigate to your bio and click on your bio link.
Short Life Cycles — Shoutouts also have short life cycles, most only stay up for 4–8 hours before being taken down so there are no long-term benefits to them.
Only Reaches Passive Consumers — If you are trying to sell a product or service on Instagram using Macro Influencers, you will only be reaching passive consumers. These are people that are only on the Influencers feed to consume content produced by the Influencer. They aren’t actively trying to find your product, so their purchase intent is minimal at best. This results in few sales and lots of wasted ad dollars. Unless your Influencer is hyper targeted to a specific niche of followers that directly match your niche, the ROI of these campaigns can be very small to non-existent.
Difficult to Scale — Working with macro Influencers sometimes requires long negotiation periods, content calendars and limited engagement opportunities. Leveraging numerous Influencers for your campaign will be difficult especially if you are trying to launch a full campaign all at the same time.
The Micro Influencer Difference
Micro Influencers are easy to work with, they have no misconceptions about their limited ability to reach millions of followers because they don’t have many. Micro Influencers have the ambition to become Macro Influencers and getting to work with any company who reaches out to them is an exciting prospect. Here are a few reasons we only work with Macro Influencers:
You can afford an army of them — You could easily spend $5,000 on one shoutout with a Macro Influencer. For the same budget, you could engage over 1,000 Micro Influencers using a contest and pay the winner $1,500 to $2,500 and use the rest of your savings to cover other related campaign costs. I would rather have an army of 1,000 people creating and sharing content for my brand every day for three months at a time than waste it on one shoutout.
You’ll get greater reach — Micro Influencers reach infinitely more targeted customers than an Influencer with a million followers. Only a small percentage of an Influencers followers will even see their post and engage with it. Having 1,000 influencers create, share and promote your brand all over the internet will reach millions of eyeballs. Further, Influencers can rank your own content in search engine result pages allowing you to generate higher quality, highly targeted customers see your content.
Build brand affinity — Hiring Micro Influencers gives you an awesome opportunity to tell your story to people who will listen to it and share it with family and friends. Micro Influencers get hyper engaged in the process of creating and sharing content.
Build lasting value — Micro Influencers can create a massive amount of content about your products and brand. They can create product review videos, informational videos about your industry, unpackaging videos and social media posts. They can also share content you create like blog posts, social media posts and videos. This content allows you to drive more product and brand discovery long after the campaign is over.
Build Authority — Micro Influencers help you build brand authority with Google, Instagram, YouTube and other platforms you use to reach consumers. Authority helps your content rank quicker in social search engines and Google search as the content you create that is shared and engaged with during your campaign is now very authoritative. As Influencers share your posts, like and comment on them, they become more authoritative along with your brand.
SETTING UP AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
Instagram launched back in 2010, and has quickly become one of the most popular social media marketing platforms online, especially if you want to reach millennials. Instagram now has over 1 billion users worldwide, this makes it the ultimate platform for any brand or business looking for a new way to reach targeted customers.
Instagram was purchased by Facebook and if you want to run ads on the platform you have two options. First, you can run ads directly through the Instagram ad manager within the App. This is not recommended, especially for acquiring Influencers. Instead, you will want to create a Facebook Ad Managers account and create ads using Facebook Ad Manager. This gives you the option of running ads on Instagram and Facebook. It also gives Facebook more data when in the “Learning Phase”.
This is the magic of Facebook’s algorithms as it allows them to take your ad performance and figure out exactly who your target market is by the people who have signed up during your campaign. After so many signups, Facebook will start delivering ads to your target market and decrease your cost of influencer acquisition to about .28 cents each.
If you haven’t already created an Instagram account, you will need to do so before running ads on Instagram. Same thing with Facebook. You will need to link both your Facebook and Instagram accounts together in order to start running ads for Influencers. Follow the steps in the next section to create an Instagram Account and brand it for your ads campaign.
HOW TO SIGN UP ON INSTAGRAM
Once you’ve installed and opened the app, you’ll be prompted to either sign up a new account or register with Facebook. When signing up, it’s wise to choose a relevant business email that matches all your other social media feeds for your business. If you don’t check this email very often, have your emails forwarded to an account that you do check often. This way, if any potential customers would like to get in touch with you, you’ll be able to see the message and get back to them right away.
When deciding on the username you will use, it’s important to keep your usernames (and brand names) as uniform as you can across all platforms. This helps create consistent branding for all your marketing efforts and allows the user to instantly recognize your brand.
HOW TO SELECT A PROFILE PICTURE
You want this to be instantly recognizable when it’s small. That means your image should be crisp, clear and free from clutter.
If you’re part of an organization, you could use any of the following on a clean background:
· Shortened logo
HOW TO WRITE AN INSTAGRAM BIO
When writing your Instagram bio, it’s important to think about it as a form of marketing. As one of the first things customers see before they scroll down to your images, you want to make sure that you’re adding to your brand story and telling them a little bit more about who you are, what you do and how you can help solve a problem.
Instagram allows you to link to one URL on your profile, it’s important to consider how to take advantage of this limitation — if you’re a business, you want to choose a link goes to somewhere important in your sales funnel, like your landing page or product page.
CONNECT INSTAGRAM TO FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
Once you’ve set up your Instagram account, it’s time to link your Instagram account to your other social media accounts. You’ll want to at least connect yourself to Facebook and Twitter, if for nothing more than to take advantage of the image sharing benefits on those platforms. Connecting your Facebook and Twitter account only takes a few minutes. Simply follow the instructions below:
1. Go to your profile and tap the icon with three horizontal lines
2. Tap Settings
3. Tap Account > Linked Accounts, then select Facebook.
4. If you haven’t already, enter your Facebook login information.
5. By default, your Instagram account will share to your personal Facebook profile. To share to a Business Page instead, tap Share to and choose a Page that you manage.
6. Repeat the process for your Twitter account
You might be thinking that running a campaign with hundreds of Influencers would be very expensive. However, the simple fact is that engaging hundreds of Influencers can cost less than $2,500 for a campaign with over 1,000 Micro Influencers. In order to find Influencers to participate in our client’s campaign, we use Facebook Ads manager and casting calls to find and engage new Influencers. Each option is outlined below with tips, tricks and suggestions to help you get the most out of your budget.
FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM ADS
We run tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of ads on Facebook and Instagram each month to find new Influencers to participate in our client’s campaigns. Facebook Ad Manager is the platform you use to advertise both on Facebook and Instagram. Our ads can generate new influencers for just .28 cents each. While these numbers are the result of a lot of testing and expertise, you can probably generate Influencers for about the same cost depending on your niche and how many influencers are interested in that niche. You can see one of the ads we ran for a client in the recent past below:
The best way to test your ads is to post them organically to Instagram using Hashtags that target your audience’s interests. In this case, you will want to add Hashtags like #Model #Modeling #Modellife and so on. Add a description and post the content to your Instagram feed. Give the post 3 hours to allow people to interact with your post and get analytics together on how well your post did organically. There are several things you should look for when evaluating your posts performance:
· Actions Taken — This should be in the form of “Profile Views” or “Website Clicks”
The more engagement your ad generates in relation to the number of “Impressions” it generates will give you a general sense for how well your ad should do when used for marketing.
It’s important that you test lots of creative using the exact same Hashtags on each post. You want to target the same audience so you can get a relative comparison of how well the ads resonated with your target audience. Once you have the highest converting posts picked out. You should use those posts as your ad creative.
*In the image above, you can see the analytics report from a post we did. The post generated 18 interactions including 12 profile visits and 6 website clicks from just 312 impressions. Using this post, your ad would generate exceptional results.
Once you have your creative tested, it’s time to create your first ad in the Facebook Ad Manager.
CREATING A CAMPAIGN
The first step is to login to the Facebook Ad manager and click on the green “Create” button. (See image below)
Name your Campaign and set limits
The next step is to Name your campaign and ad sets. See the image below:
1. Set the Campaign Name to anything that you can easily remember.
2. Leave the “Buying Type” set to “Auction”
3. Leave “Campaign Objective” on “Lead Generation”
4. Create an Ad Set Name (I make this the same as the campaign name)
5. Select the Facebook page you want to run ads for
6. Create an “Ad Name” — I use the same name as the campaign name
7. Click “Save to Draft” (Not shown in the image above)
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVE SELECTION
You should always select “Lead Generation”. The advantages in using Facebook “Lead Generation” is that they auto-populate the input fields with the influencer’s information. This allows the influencer to sign up by clicking on just one button. Alternatively, if you were to send them to a landing page, your conversion rate to sign ups would drop off considerably as they would be easily distracted and have to fill out the form manually.
If you are lamenting a loss of potential traffic to your website by not choosing traffic generation, don’t. After the Influencer completes the form submission, they are landed on a result screen where you can get them to click on a link for more info. The link you should send them to should be the contest page for your campaign. (More about that in the “Campaign Set Up” chapter) Here they will need to complete another registration form with some of the same information but if they don’t finish the sign up process, you will still have their contact info from the Facebook or Instagram form they signed up with from your ad.
You can also send Influencers to your Instagram or Facebook page with a message like “Thanks for signing up, follow us on Facebook/Instagram to complete your registration.” Add a link to your profile. Only use this option if your contest page isn’t finished yet or you aren’t ready to launch your campaign yet.
When you select the “Lead Form” option, you will need to create a lead form using Facebook Ad Manager later in the process for creating your ad. The process is intuitive and easy to figure out. You will need to decide what questions you should ask on your form. You should only request the following information:
1. First Name
2. Last Name
3. Email Address
4. Phone Number
Resist the urge to ask anything more than this or questions that require a typed answer. This will lower your conversion rate and the only thing you should care about at this point is getting this specific contact information.
Ad Campaign Details
The only thing you need to change on this page is to set the “Campaign Spending Limit”. Set this to determine the most you want to spend for the ad. You will further break this amount down into daily budgets further in the ad creation process. Don’t select any of the other options.
Set your Budget and Schedule
Under Budget & Schedule, this is where you select the amount you want to spend out of your total budget each day. For instance, if your overall budget was $1000 and you wanted the campaign to last 10 days, you would set your daily budget at $100. You can also set an end date below or schedule ads to run all the time or on a schedule. I don’t recommend running ads while you aren’t watching the results. This could increase your ad costs significantly if you aren’t converting clicks to lead form fill outs.
AUDIENCE VARIATIONS FOR MULTI VARIANT TESTING
You will want to create at least three custom audiences. Play around with “Interests”, “Income” and “Age” as these will have the biggest impacts on conversion. In regards to age specifically, the younger the Influencer, the better the conversion rate. Also, more affluent audiences have a lower conversion rate than others. Take this into account but if your actual average customer is different than these recommendations, always go with an audience as close to your actual customer as possible as the amount of engagement you will get will be higher during your campaign. Your Influencers will also be more likely to purchase your product and become your customer after the campaign is over.
The most important aspect of your Facebook & Instagram marketing strategy is to target the right potential Influencers. The first targeting strategy is to find the kind of people who make great “Influencers”. In our experience, Models make the best Influencers. In the targeting section of Facebook Ads Manager, you will target influencers with the following keywords:
Modeling — Interest
Model — Job
Next you will want to click on “Narrow Audience” (See image above) and add additional targeting requirements. This option means that not only will potential Influencers be interested in modeling, they must also be interested in the additional interests you will set in this section. Here you will add specific “Interests” that your target audience would connect with. For instance, if you were selling Yoga Pants, you would want to add “Yoga”, “Yoga Pants”, “Yoga Apparel” and so on.
This is by far the most important aspect of targeting your potential influencers because you want them to be interested in and have a passion for your niche. This will translate into your influencers purchasing your product from you in greater numbers as they have a genuine interest in what your selling or doing.
Once you set the additional interests in the “Narrow Audience” option, you should use the “Narrow Audience” option again to set the age of your target Influencer. You should narrow your prospective Influencers to the age ranges of 18–45. If your product appeals to an older generation, you can increase the age, but your cost of influencer acquisition will go up slightly and your engagement will drop by about 10%.
Facebook allows you to target Influencers by income. Depending on the affluence of your typical customer, select an option that fits your customers demographic profile.
If you have a locally based business, you can also set your targeting criteria to only find Influencers in your local area. Simply select your city and a mile radius to market to local Influencers. If your influencers don’t have to be local, you should select Influencers that live in your country.
Placements is where you would like your ads to show up. Automatic placements put your ads on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook ad partner websites. I Click on “Edit” Placements and deselect the Facebook ad partner websites as an option.
The most important aspect of your marketing campaign is the creative. This will have the most impact on your overall acquisition costs. In order to capture your Influencers attention, use imagery that they are interested in. For instance, we used pictures of women in Yoga Poses. Because we are targeting Influencers who are interested in Yoga and it’s related to what our client was selling, it generated a lot of clicks.
The images you use for your ads should pop. They should have a lot of color, be visually compelling and uncluttered. We add a black filter over our images so the text we use over the main image is easier to see. We set the opacity of the filter so that the image is still clearly visible but just enough, so the text really stands out.
Facebook penalizes ads where the text takes up more than 20% of the total image. You should make sure that you minimize the amount of text you use in your ad so that it stays under 20% while still capturing the Influencers attention. If you look at the examples we provided above, you will see these design principles in action.
The first thing you need to do is add text to your ad that explains what the ad is about and what the next steps are the influencer should take.
1. Add your main ad text
2. Add your Display link
3. Add a Headline that appears above your ads main image
4. Add a news feed link description (I use the same as the text in the first box)
5. Next select the Call to Action that you want. I use “Sign Up”.
FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AD COMPLIANCE
Facebook has recently (2020) started restricting ads that offer employment opportunities to comply with Federal anti-discrimination legislation. If you use the wrong language in your ad copy, your ad will not be accepted. This also affects your ability to target Influencers by interest, age, gender and targeting specific zip code locations. It is important to note that hiring Influencers does not count as an offer of employment. If your ads are rejected for any related policy violations, you can request a formal review of your ad. You should include a statement that makes it clear your ad is not an offer of employment. Be upfront and tell them you are running a social media contest, and anyone contracted as a result would be considered a service provider and not an employee or even an independent contractor.
All of our ads get flagged for these violations but once we request the manual review, the ads are enabled and start running again.
A/B TESTING CREATIVE & AUDIENCES
When setting up your Facebook ads, you will want to test at least 6 variations of the ads themselves. You will also want to create three separate audiences with variations in interests, age and income targeting. Test each audience variation with all 6 pieces of ad creative. Once your ads start running, you should start seeing some ads outperforming others. You will need to fund each ad variation long enough to get enough data to start removing underperforming ads and audiences. Each ad variation should receive at least 2,000 impressions before being removed from your list.
FACEBOOK AUDIENCE LEARNING
Facebook is very good at learning what targeting criteria and Ad copy is producing the best results for your campaign. The first thing you want to keep track of is your CTR (Click Through Rate). This will tell you how well your selected audience is responding to your actual ad. You’ll find that some ads just don’t perform very well and it’s important that you remove underperforming ads as early as possible. That’s why 2,000 impressions are the benchmark for starting to remove ads that aren’t performing.
The next metric you will want to keep an eye on is your “Cost Per Lead”. This number will start out high but will drop down as your ad is served to more people. Your cost per lead should even out to .40 to .55 cents each. Don’t worry, it will drop further once at least 500 Influencers have signed up and Facebook’s “Learning” algorithm refines your audience targeting. This will drop your overall acquisition costs to about .28 to .38 cents.
Once your Ads have generated 1,000 impressions each, you can further remove underperforming ad variations from your campaign. This will ensure you are minimizing the amount of money you are spending on ads that aren’t converting.
Companies can post casting calls on modeling websites like ModelMayhem, Explore Talent and other modeling websites. These are great places to acquire a few hundred Micro Influencers to help promote your products. When creating a casting call, you will need to add as much information as possible for it to be published on platforms like “Explore Talent”. You will also need to create a “Casting Director” account in order to post casting calls. Your casting call should include the following information:
Title — The title should be compelling enough to get people to click. I would suggest “Spokesperson Casting Call — $5,000 Contract”
Description — The description should include the following information:
1. Information about your brand
2. Casting Submission Deadline
3. Casting Requirements
4. Information about the Spokesperson Role and what they will be doing for you
5. Casting Selection date (The day a spokesperson will be announced)
6. Your website address and email address they can contact you with questions
Once you are finished creating your casting call and submit it, it may take a few days and a few phone calls to get the casting call posted.
InstaTout is a great resource for Micro Influencers. We have over 200,000 Influencers in our database that are all segmented by Interests and niche. Our prices are cheaper than the cost of running Facebook ads and take less time to acquire. You can easily reach out to thousands of Influencers using one of our “Direct Messaging” packages. This allows you to search Influencers by niche, compose a message and send it to thousands of Influencers in a manner of minutes for very low cost. In comparison, reaching 1,000 Influencers using our Direct Message option would cost just $450.
InstaTout also offers all the other tools you need to run and manage an Influencer marketing campaign including contest management software, content drips and so much more.
You can create an Influencer campaign on InstaTout by clicking HERE