According to a recent study, over 81% of people use Instagram to research products and services, and 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month. There’s no denying the power of social media when it comes to influencing purchase decisions. That’s why it’s important to get people talking about your products on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
But if you have a niche product, and you want to target specific audiences, working with large-scale influencers may not offer the best return on investment. Niche influencers, on the other hand, can give you access to targeted audiences that are already highly engaged with products in your niche.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about working with niche influencers, from what they are to how to collaborate with them.
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What are niche influencers?
Niche influencers are influencers that have a very specific focus.
Large-scale influencers and celebrities might post about something new every day. But niche influencers tend to focus on one specific topic, such as farming or home improvement.
This is a huge bonus for brands looking to collaborate with influencers, as their audiences are extremely segmented.
For example, let’s say an influencer’s content is focused solely on farming. You can be pretty sure their audience will be receptive to ads that have some links to their niche, such as a garden tool or an organic product.
This means by working with niche influencers, brands can tap into highly targeted and engaged audiences, instead of relying on the broad reach of non-niche influencers for exposure.
Niche influencers may also have much smaller followings than other types of influencers, which means they’re often cheaper to work with. Although a smaller following may seem like a bad thing, this isn’t necessarily the case — it all depends on your campaign goals.
Influencers with smaller followings have more time to nurture their communities and build trust, which leads to them being more highly engaged and community-driven. As such, niche influencer collaborations are great for building brand loyalty, engagement, and content creation.
If you’re trying to boost brand awareness and maximizing reach is the number one priority, working with non-niche influencers with a larger following may be a better option.
How to find niche influencers
Although niche influencers are great to work with, they can be hard to find, since they often have quite small followings. Here are 3 ways you can find niche influencers to work with your brand.
As with most things in life, a quick Google search can take you a long way. Simply googling influencers in your niche, and checking out some listicles or blogs about niche-specific influencers can be really useful.
You may not find the influencers you’re looking for right away, but this can be a great starting point for your search.
Check out some of the social media profiles of the influencers you find on Google. You may even discover more niche influencers that they’ve collaborated with that might be a good fit for your brand.
Using keywords and hashtags is another great way to find influencers that are active in your niche. The first thing to do when using this method is to make a list of keywords and hashtags that are relevant to your product or niche.
For example, if you’re looking to connect with home improvement influencers, then hashtags like #homeimprovement or #DIY might be a good place to start. You can use these to search on platforms like Instagram.
Keep your eyes open for influencers that have an engaged following, is a suitable fit for your brand, and have the right number of followers.
You can also use your initial searches to get inspiration for other hashtags. Check out the kind of hashtags the niche community is using and add them to your list.
Influencer marketing platforms
Another great way to find niche influencers is by subscribing to influencer marketing platforms. Platforms like inzpire.me have a database of thousands of niche influencers that are all actively looking to collaborate with brands.
All influencers are vetted, so there’s no need to scroll through millions of influencers and check if they have fake followers or quality content. You can also avoid spending your time or energy on influencers that aren’t interested in collaborating.
The great thing about using an influencer marketing platform like inzpire.me is that it really streamlines the research process. You can simply filter your search results to find the exact type of influencers you need, and easily contact the influencers you want to work with.
How to contact niche influencers
Once you’ve narrowed down a list of influencers that you want to work with, the next step is to connect with them.
When you get to this stage, the whole process can become a little hit and miss. Not all influencers that you reach out to will respond, but there are some ways of improving your chances of them getting back to you.
Here’s how you should approach contacting niche influencers.
If you’ve found niche influencers on Instagram, the most intuitive way to start a dialogue would be to send them a DM. This can work, but there are a few things to think about before you go ahead and shoot them a message.
Firstly, it’s important to get your message noticed, and this is easier said than done when it comes to Instagram DM.
Depending on their follower count, influencers may receive hundreds of DMs each day. They certainly can’t respond to them all, so you need to make yours stand out from the crowd.
To do this, you should follow their accounts and try to engage with them before sending any messages.
You’ll be more visible because the influencers will see your notifications and comments. It’ll also help make you seem more legitimate and show that you’re putting the effort into engaging with their content.
Secondly, many brands bypass these steps and send generic, impersonal messages to influencers on a mass scale. This makes influencers hesitant to respond to DMs from brands.
After you’ve spent some time engaging with the influencers, you can go ahead and DM them. Try to keep your messages concise and personal.
You don’t need to include every detail of the potential collaboration straight away. Just a simple introduction will do. Include some personal details like what you like about their content or reference posts you thought were great. Then, explain that you’re interested in potential collaboration opportunities and would love to talk more.
It’s a good idea to send a sequence of 2-3 messages over a few days to help your messages get noticed.
Once you’ve done this, sit back and wait patiently. It could take a few days to hear back from the influencers, so make sure that you don’t spam them for a response. It’ll likely put them off.
Also, if you think that the influencer you’re reaching out to is more active on a different social media platform, it’s a good idea to contact them there instead. You may get a faster response.
You can also contact influencers the old-fashioned way – by email.
Some influencers will have their emails available on their social media profiles. You may also be able to find more information about them online on sites like LinkedIn or their websites.
If you’re struggling to find their emails, check out this post about finding Instagram email addresses.
Similarly to DMs, influencers probably get a lot of emails, so you should try to make your subject line as catchy as possible to attract their attention. Again, personalization is a good way to get your emails noticed.
If you don’t hear back from the influencers after contacting them, feel free to send them 1-2 follow-up emails over the course of a week or so.
When it comes to the body of the email, you can add a little more detail about the type of partnership you have in mind, but you should still keep it concise and to the point. Any finer details can be hashed out once the influencers get back to you.
How to work with niche influencers
So now that we’ve covered how to find niche influencers to work with, let’s take a look at how you can work with them. When it comes to collaborating with niche influencers, you have two main options:
Gifting is a cost-effective way to leverage the power of influencer marketing.
You don’t have to set aside a huge budget for this. You just have to be willing to send a few of your products out to influencers to try out. When you send the product, you can ask them to review or post about them on their social media.
Although gifting is a good way to work with influencers without investing too much of your marketing budget, it does have its downsides.
While it’s good etiquette to post about gifts received, the influencers are under no obligation to post about your product and may choose not to. Also, there’s a chance that the influencers won’t like your product, and if they’re honest about this with their followers, it could have a negative impact on your brand.
Paying for sponsored posts is the most common way to work with niche influencers. With this model, influencers are paid to post about your brand or product.
You can work with the influencer to set out a content plan that you’re both happy with. You may choose to pay for just one post, or for a series of posts and stories.
Commonly, brands will pay a set fee for sponsored posts. But you can also pay them using different payment models. You might choose to send the influencers affiliate links for your product and pay them per click or acquisition.
These finer details will vary from campaign to campaign It’s important to work them all out and put them in writing before the influencer starts working on or posting the content to avoid any misunderstandings.
You can do this by writing a brief highlighting any guidelines or expectations.
Types of niche influencers
Niche influencers come in many shapes and sizes. From doll makers to fly fishers, there are influencers in just about any niche. Here are some examples of niche influencers, and the types of brands they might work with!
Planner influencers are Instagrammers, YouTubers, and Pinterest gurus that give people inspiration and guidance for creating fun and useful planners. They’re able to turn a simple diary into a work of art, and are popular amongst arts and crafts lovers.
Heather Kell is the influencer behind Kell of a Plan, a YouTube channel and Instagram account focused on planning a life you’ll love. Heather has over 72k followers on Instagram and over 13 million YouTube subscribers.
Farming influencers focus on all things home-grown. Some farming influencers share their knowledge of large-scale commercial farming. Others focus on smaller vegetable patches and allotments.
One example of a farming influencer is Lee Sullivan, the influencer behind Urban Veggie Patch. Lee has over 133k followers on Instagram and posts content about edible organic gardening in NSW, Australia.
Home improvement influencers
Home improvement is an extremely popular niche on Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Influencers in this niche help followers find inspiration for their home decor, learn DIY, and improve their living spaces.
Jennifer Gizzi is an extremely popular influencer in this niche, with over 350k followers. She runs the Instagram account Making Pretty Spaces, as well as her own blog. She teaches her followers how to improve their home decor items using DIY hacks, as well as giving inspiration for how to style home decor pieces.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about working with niche influencers!
Check out the rest of our blog for more tips and insights on how to work with influencers. We’ve got posts about everything from how much influencer marketing should cost in 2021 to how to select the right types of influencers for your campaign.