Any niche influencer understands how hard it is to please people all the time. You’re better off not trying to take a “let’s make everyone happy” approach. Brands will have more luck connecting with a specific subset of the population or with a particular demographic. That’s why niche influencer marketing is so powerful.
Influencer marketing often works the best when an influencer who speaks directly to, and regularly engages with, a particular demographic or niche.
Unless you have a brand with worldwide recognition and will be working with a famous influencer with global reach, you’re better off trying to find your own niche.
What’s a Niche?
“Niche” has several definitions, depending on the context. In marketing, it’s a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. When your brand uses niche influencer marketing, you partner with influencers who have carved out their own specialties online and on social media. Normally they can connect with their own specialized segment of the population.
Take the definition of “niche” a bit further. Look for niche influencers to work with you, making your decision based on a variety of factors. Shopify is a brand who defines their niche based on the following:
- Price point (expensive, affordable)
- Quality (premium, low-end, high-end, cheap)
- Demographics (audience age, gender identity, education level, household income)
- Geographic (audience location)
- Values and beliefs
Who Are Niche Influencers?
When it comes to influencer marketing, a niche influencer is often called a micro influencer. Micro influencers don’t have massive followings (some say under 100,000, some say thousands to tens of thousands of followers).
Unlike “big name” influencers with massive followings, niche influencers typically focus on just one or two subject areas. You’re likely to find a niche influencer who’s all about pet accessories or DIY projects. Some niche influencers focus on business-to-business subjects.
Why Work With Niche Influencers?
What niche influencers may not have in numbers of followers, they make up for in engagement and specialization. Engagement rates tend to drop the higher a person’s follower count climbs, as Digiday notes. When your brand works with a niche influencer who specializes in your niche or field, you’re more likely to see results from that influencer campaign than you would if you partnered with a less-specialized influencer.
Another reason why it’s worth giving niche influencers a try is that it’s often more affordable. They don’t have the name recognition that some of the more established “marco” or “celebrity” influencers have. Niche influencers typically charge a lot less per post. You’re unlikely to be shelling out thousands of dollars when paired up with a niche influencer.
Who’s Using Niche Influencer Marketing?
Want to see niche influencer marketing in action? Here are a few examples.
Tom’s of Maine
Tom’s of Maine makes natural toothpaste, deodorant and other personal care products. A few years ago, the brand, now a unit of Colgate-Palmolive, decided to step up its social media presence. As AdWeek noted in 2015, Tom’s took two approaches to niche influencer marketing. It worked with micro-influencers who were already fans of the brand and it used its own employees, who showed themselves taking advantage of the company’s volunteer time-off benefit.
To figure out what “niche” its influencers fit into, Tom’s had each person who wanted to join its program fill out a survey, providing information about their household size and age.
For every Blonde Salad or Song of Song, there are dozens of fashion bloggers with much smaller readerships/follower counts and more specialized niches. Styling company StitchFix recognized that bloggers come in all styles and sizes. It works with several niche bloggers, including Sarah Tripp, a body positivity fashion blogger, and Perennial Chic’s Rachel, a Latina fashion blogger. StitchFix asks its niche influencers to talk about their personal style and how they learned to dress their body type.
There’s seltzer water, and then there’s La Croix. From 2015 to 2017, the fancy-pants sparkling water brand saw its net sales increase by nearly $200 million (from $646 million to $827 million). This increase in sales was due to buzz created on social media from micro influencers. A scroll through the brand’s Instagram profile reveals that it has got the millennial influencer niche locked down. The brand regularly reposts photos shared by its fans/followers. Expanding the reach of those posts is considerable and gives the brand itself some clout.
How to Put Together a Niche Influencer Marketing Strategy
How can your brand get started working with niche influencers? The first thing to do is to put together a niche influencer marketing strategy. Here’s what to do, step by step.
Identify your niche
What marketing niche does your brand fit into or, more importantly, what niche do you want to reach? Are you aiming for hip millennials (a la La Croix)? Are you a fashion brand that wants to target people with a particular style (preppy, boho, maternity, etc.)?
Set a goal
What do you want to get from your influencer marketing campaign? Popular goals include increasing your brand’s following, increasing leads, increasing sales/conversions, or boosting brand awareness.
Find your influencers
You can use keywords related to your niche to search on social media platforms or you can use an influencer marketplace or platform to connect with niche influencers who are looking for opportunities.
After you’ve found and connected with niche influencers, work with them to produce the content for your campaign. Describe what you want from your influencers, including your brand’s goals for the campaign. Doing so allows some freedom when creating original posts. Above all make sure the campaign comes across as authentic.
Measure the campaign
Once the influencers have posted their content, track their progress. Influencer marketing software often has built-in analytics tools that show how often a post is shared, liked, or commented on, as well as the overall reach of your campaign.
Go back to the drawing board
As your niche influencer campaign continues, look at what worked and what didn’t. Ask yourself, did you meet your goals or not? Having data and stats from your campaign will help figure out what worked for you. Therefore when it comes to niche influencer marketing, the influencers you work with make all the difference. Partnering with influencers who focus on your brand’s area of specialization is key for a successful campaign.