Micro-influencers serve up big returns in social campaigns

26 March 2022
Posted by: Pam Flores

Never underestimate the power of loyal ice cream lovers gone social! In just three weeks, they generated 70 posts, 37,000 impressions, 3,000 engagements, 500 clicks to site, an 8% engagement rate and influencer content for dozens more corporate posts.

Those were the results micro-influencers delivered to our client, Rite Aid, to amplify its brand message, voice, and culture. The project got under way because we had noticed a contingent of customers who regularly posted about how much they like Rite Aid – and especially, about how they love, love, love Thrifty ice cream, a brand exclusive to Rite Aid.  So for National Ice Cream Day (yes, that’s a thing), we proposed tapping into this grassroots fanbase to support our client’s sweepstakes campaign (the grand prize: a Thrifty Ice Cream Thermos) and drive sales.

We targeted Instagram users with 1,500 to 3,000 followers. Then we thoroughly reviewed and selected Rite Aid fans who regularly posted engaging, creative, family-friendly content. We asked each to create two to three posts for either Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. We offered Rite Aid gift cards of $50 to $100 to cover the cost of their purchases for the program.

To our surprise, very few of the micro-influencers stuck to the three-post limit. Instead, they created and posted much more content—some did more than 20 posts. By contrast, influencers we paid to create content did exactly what they were paid to do and no more.

Given the strong results, we expanded the micro-influencer program to Halloween, with a few tweaks. We doubled the number of micro-influencers and asked them to shoot and share in-store product photos with us. That tactic gave our client many more images for its own posts and led to more influencer engagement. We expanded channels to include Pinterest and TikTok.  The program lasted about six weeks and topics included how to celebrate Halloween safely in a pandemic, indoor and outdoor décor, recipes, trick-or-treating, children’s crafts and activities, costumes, makeup tips, etc.

The results: 385 assets across five channels; 178,000 impressions; 19,000 engagements; 11% engagement rate and content for 48 corporate posts – all on a shoestring budget.

Key Learnings

A micro-influencer strategy can be built around any group of positive passionate customers, from patient storytellers to satisfied product and service users. Here some key lessons we learned:

  • Let go…Giving micro-influencers freedom to be creative, have fun and run with your program yields the most diverse posts and authentically appealing content. That said, implementing a similar program in pharma and healthcare brings up compliance issues. The key to avoiding heavily scripted content and encouraging creativity is providing influencers with clear boundaries at the start of the program about what they can and cannot say. Encouraging concept overviews in advance will also help avoid problem areas.
  • …but stay in touch. Encourage influencers to use multiple channels and image sizes and types. LiveWorld’s design team provided creative support, helping these novice influencers navigate various photo sizes and video snippets to create assets that best served Rite Aid’s needs. In addition, we quickly learned that maintaining regular contact with our micro-influencers and conducting kick-off meetings led to a smooth and efficient process.
  • Get data access. Reporting was easier because our client agreed to let influencers tag them as a brand content partner, giving us access to posting data.
  • Build a community. Introduce micro-influencers to each other to create natural opportunities for them to collaborate and expand engagement.

Tapping your own customer base for influencers organically passionate about your brands, products and/or services delivers a great impact that can’t be bought.  See All Seasonal Promotions!