Micro Influencer Marketing
Dedicating a Collection
Make people feel special.
That was my intention in giving people their own collection.
By dedicating a collection of products to one person, in the best case a person with somefollowers on social media, I wanted to promote my products to their audience. As the collection is named after this person, for example, “Erica’s Essentials”, they will feel very bound to it and share this collection way more excited and authentic than they would do it for a usual brand/product promotion.
I wanted to keep this “exclusive” and didn’t want to offer this to everyone. So I decided to just pick two girls who would receive the honor of having an own collection.
My plan was to find so-called micro-influencer (people with 5k – 20k followers) on Instagram, approach them with my idea and send them product images so they can choose which product they would like to have in their collection.
The starting point was to find the right people.
I simply went to the Instagram account of one of my competitors and took a look at their tagged posts and most and foremost took a look at the people who posted those images. Chances are very high that some of these people are micro influencers I could approach them with my idea.
So that’s what I did.
I sent two direct messages and both girls agreed.
After sending over AliExpress product images, they told me which products they would like to have in their collection. I created two new collections in Shopify and added the products they wanted to it.
Both micro-influencer signed up for the affiliate program and started to promote their collections on social media.
Unfortunately, they didn’t promote it as good as I hoped for. The result was making 0 dollars out of it and their posts barely received any attention.Note: I can imagine this would have worked way better if I would have sent free products to them so they can showcase those. As I didn’t have the time for it, I couldn’t do it.
As not all efforts can pay off, I didn’t feel bad at all. I just started my new business and there were several ways of promoting it left. I had no time to lose and went on.
Instagram Direct Messages
The most common question I receive is always “how do I make sales”?
95% of the time I answer “have you tried Instagram direct messages?”
I’m obsessed with Instagram direct messages and the opportunities which lies beneath them. If done correctly, they can be a real game changer for the vast majority of dropshipping businesses. I have no doubts about that.
In order to make sales, there are two ways how to take advantage of the Instagram direct message eco-system:
- Asking for feedback in return of a discount.
- Ask people to become a brand ambassador/promoter.
Both variants have been proven to work for me in the past.
This fact and because I am so damn repetitive on it let me made the decision to use this strategy here as well.
The theory about it is actually super simple:
- Find people who could be interested in my niche.
- Reach out to them.
- Make the offer (ask for feedback or brand ambassador opportunity).
- Send the discount code.
- Wait for the *ka-ching*.
Five steps which are easy to understand and even more easy to execute. I just had to put in the hard and sometimes boring work. No fancy sales strategy – just going from “door to door” like salesmen use to do in the good old times, when the internet wasn’t even a consideration.Note: According to Smartinsights.com the average conversion rate of an online store is around 2-3 %. Don’t expect direct messages to be different. This is no get rich quick tactic. It’s real work.
As mentioned before, there are two different approaches on the direct messages: asking for feedback and/or offering a brand ambassador opportunity.
Even though I don’t have any psychological background, I think both approaches are, psychologically seen, almost the opposite.
Giving feedback to a stranger (which I am for the people I would approach) is a way more selfless act than agreeing to become a brand ambassador. From my experience, most people who would like to become a brand ambassador are extroverts and not necessarily want to support a business. They probably want to support their careers. The conclusion to this is that both kind of people have to be treated differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here.
For the direct messages, I choose to go with asking for feedback instead of offering a brand ambassador position as it involves the person more into the building process of my business.
To make the direct messages actually work, there are four ingredients which are required:
The right audience
Sending the right message to the wrong people won’t lead me anywhere. The people I approach have to be actually interested in my niche/products.
The right direct message texts/offers
Messing up the messages and confusing the people would be the worst case. I had to make sure that the texts are nailing it and my offer is actually appealing.
Instagram page which is on point
Having a bad looking Instagram page will lead to many unread/unanswered direct messages. I didn’t worry about this as I was very happy with my Instagram page.
Obviously, my website had to look good and trustworthy as well. This is the place people spend their money on. If they would feel like they’re about to get scammed, chances are very low that they would place an order.
I started with the people.
There are two ways to find people who could be interested in my offer. I decided to focus on just one way.Note: The one way I show you in this case study is the more simple approach. I wanted to keep this case study as simple and applicable as possible. Not all tactics, strategies or approaches do work for every niche/product.
The approach I choose for my case study business was simple:
- Look up niche relevant hashtags.
- Check out the hashtag related posts on Instagram.
- Send direct messages to the people who posted these images.
Step 1: Look up niche relevant hashtags
This was easy. I already did the necessary research on the Instagram set up the process. I choose to go with them.
Step 2: Check out the hashtag related posts on Instagram
I only had to use the Instagram search bar, type in #fashion (and the other hashtags) and hit enter. I clicked on “Recent” to discover the recently uploaded images and looked up a ton of images and pages which could potentially match with my target audience.
The reason why I didn’t go with the “Top” posts was my intention to only reach out to people who only have a small/mid-size audience. Most of the top-posts are from people who have a very big audience. Chances are not very high that they have the time/interest in working with a small business like mine.
Step 3: Send direct messages to the people who posted these images
Obviously, I didn’t reach out to everyone who posted a related post. I only wanted to have conversations with people who are in my target audience.
So I started to send direct messages at scale. Actually, I spent about 2 hours per day for 29 days straight on Instagram direct messages. I used almost all the free spots I have per day. I don’t lie about the fact that there were times where I didn’t like it at all. But those are minor sacrifices.
To make the whole process work, I mapped out a plan and stuck to it:
- Send 10 personal/customized direct messages (no copy/paste)*.
- Leave 10 comments to let people know I sent a direct message.
- Respond to incoming direct messages or take a break.
*After around ten days I had some insights about the best performing messages and only would customize the name and mention something from their last post.
Let me give you an example what I mean by “mention something from their last post”. Note: Because of copyrights, I can’t show a post from someone else so I will explain what I mean on one of my Instagram posts (follow me, I’m good looking).
There are several “things” you can take from this picture and build a personalized message around:
- Relaxed position
- Sitting on stairs instead of the couch from the background
- The sweet lady in the background
- Black fashion/style
I didn’t go super deep into coming up with new texts for each person but actually had at least the opening line 100% personalized.
A usual direct message conversation (asking for feedback) looked like this:
The direct message I sent including the personalized line (there was a puppy on the image).
The comment I left below a recent post to let them know I sent a direct message. I did this because direct messages from people they don’t follow will end up in the “request” folder. The person won’t get a notification. Leaving comments was my solution to this.
The rest of the conversation including the feedback I received and my response with the discount code.
At the end of my marketing efforts, I made $2,971.24 USD in sales from this feedback direct message strategy.
104 orders over a period of 29 days was pretty solid and I was happy with the result.
After every successful purchase, I asked the people who gave me feedback if they’d like to become an affiliate for me. If they agreed, I sent them a link to the Affiliatly sign-up page.
Talking about Affilitaly…