How to Commission Content from Micro-Influencers for Maximum ROI

Want to see a big return on your investment? Start by getting in touch with the most relevant influencers, by working with digital creators who can take a creative brief, generate premium video and photographic assets, and negotiate robust licenses that allow you to exploit the content for much longer than a typical influencer marketing post.

Why work with micro-influencers?

Micro-influencers (digital creators with fewer than 100k followers n a social platform) have quickly become a popular solution for brands that need high-quality content. By working with micro-influencers, brands can tap into a vast network of highly-engaged social media users who produce premium content. This content can then be licensed and used beyond the influencer’s organic social reach, providing the brand with a robust portfolio of content that the brand can leverage to extend their reach and engage with new audiences. Micro-influencers also offer brands the opportunity to work with a diverse group of content creators, which can help to broaden the brand’s appeal and connect with new demographics. As micro-influencers continue to gain popularity, they are emerging as an essential solution for brands that need premium content.

How to commission content from micro-influencers for maximum ROI

Savvy digital marketers know that content is king. But what does that mean for your business, especially for your influencer marketing efforts? How can you improve your influencer content ROI without increasing the LOE? Simple. If you want to be more successful with your influencer marketing efforts, you need to produce high-quality influencer content that will engage your audience and drive traffic to your website.

In this post, we’ll talk about the value of micro-influencers as content creators, how to contract and commission content from your influencer marketing campaigns for maximum ROI, and how to make sure you squeeze the most value from your influencer marketing programs. We’ll discuss the importance of working with creators who know how to produce premium video and photographic assets, and we’ll give you tips on how to negotiate licenses so you can leverage the content for a long and useful lifespan.

Define what you want the content to achieve — awareness, engagement, or conversion

When you’re commissioning content from influencers, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want the influencer marketing content to achieve. Are you looking to raise awareness for your brand? Drive engagement with your products or services? Or convert leads into customers? Once you know what your goals are, you can brief the influencer accordingly and make sure that the content they produce is aligned with your objectives.

Are you looking to raise awareness for your brand? Drive engagement with your products or services? Or convert leads into customers?

With upper-funnel goals like efficient reach (low CPMs) and increased brand recall, we’ve found that a mix of mostly still images plus a few video assets drives the best results.

On the other hand, if your goal is to drive traffic and conversions — especially on the Facebook platform, you’ll want to focus on creating video content that showcases your products or services in use.

Product videos are an excellent way to show potential customers what your product can do for them. They allow people who might not be able or willing try out a demo version of the item in person, so it’s important that these demos give users all of its features and benefits clearly without hiding anything behind closed doors!

If you’re not sure what kind of content will work best for your goals, reach out to a few influencers and ask for their advice. Chances are they’ve worked with similar brands in the past and will be able to give you some insights into what’s worked well for them.

Research the right influencers for your campaign

Not all influencers are created equal.

When choosing who to work with, it’s important to pick creators who are a good fit for your brand. That means they should have an audience that’s relevant to your business, and they should produce content that would be of interest to your target customers.

To find the right influencers for your campaign, start by searching on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Look for creators who are already talking about topics related to your industry, and see if their content is engaging and well-produced. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, make a spreadsheet with their contact information and social media stats so you can compare them side-by-side.

Jot a few notes on why you think this individual is a good fit for your campaign. Grab links to content you’ve seen (influencer marketing content and organic feed) that they’ve produced in the past few months. You’re going to be looking at a lot of different profiles and personalities, make it easy for yourself (and your future self) by keeping good records!

It’s also a good idea to look at the influencer’s engagement rate. This will give you an idea of how much interaction their posts typically get, which can be a good indicator of how effective their content is. The average engagement rate for Instagram creators should be better than 2% unless they’re the anomalous creator who makes content for the art and not the likes.

Don’t forget to check the influencer’s website and blog to see if they’re active there as well. Some of the most successful influencers are those who produce a mix of content across different channels.

Strategic quality content is key.

Choose creators who demonstrate that they’ll be able to produce high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. Take some time to research the influencer’s style and see if it’s a good match for your brand. Look for evidence that they can speak credibly about your industry and have mastered the pronunciation of any tricky acronyms or inside-baseball expressions.

Are you a CPG brand that customers apply in front of a mirror? Better make sure the creator knows how to capture bathroom environments while avoiding the ugly realities of most bathrooms. Bad lighting. Reflections. Dirty toilets and mildewy shower curtains. And if the acoustics in a tiled bathroom aren’t addressed prior to pushing ‘record’, you may find that an otherwise excellent video has to be thrown away.

The last thing you want is to end up with a bunch of content that doesn’t reflect well on your brand. So take the time to choose creators who will produce quality work that’s on-brand and on-message.

“Soft-sound” the influencers

Before you get your hopes up with any individual creator, soft-sound talent by sending them an email (or DM). Talent rates can vary tremendously and aren’t always on based on rational market dynamics.

It frequently makes financial sense to overpay so that you can be a favored brand and get better licensing terms and response times. Even before you get into too many brand or product specifics, it makes sense to sound out:

  • the Ask: # assets (still & video); # organic posts

  • License, exclusivity, allowlisting expectations

  • Your budget range (“starting at $X thousand”)

Not too much info but enough for the influencers to reply with a “maybe” or “tell me more”.

Some influencers don’t check their email every day. Some are deluged with brand requests. This doesn’t necessarily make them a bad fit for an influencer marketing content cretion campaign with you. However, we are looking for responsive partners so, if you don’t get a quick response, we recommend:

  • Email them 2 follow-up emails over the course of a week or so

  • Give the micro-influencers a few days to respond to the final note. If they don’t get back to you within 72–96 hours of that last outreach email, they’re probably not going to be a responsive brand partner and youy can only blame yourself when when they’re missing deadlines and have gone dark when you’re trying to hit your content delivery deadlines.

If you don’t know how to get an influencer’s contact information, send us a note and we can help you.

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Make sure the creators understand you want their content, not their organic reach

Paying for influencer marketing content is different than paying for influencer marketing reach. When you’re commissioning micro-influencer content for usage beyond mere organic posting, you’re paying for the influencer’s reach, yes, but the long-term value comes from the strategic ability to take your brief and produce quality assets that have the patina of influencer marketing but leverage the scale, targeting capability, and deep data feedback of paid media.

You’re not paying for organic reach so make sure that’s clear from the outset. Sure, they’ll be posting organically but traditional organic influencer marketing simply won’t move the needle for your business the way that same content can in paid social media.

Reach is a secondary factor in your decision-making process. At the end of the day, what really matters is the quality of the content they produce and the license terms you can negotiate.

You should have a mix of influencers with different followings, content styles, and storytelling abilities.

Draft a robust content brief for the influencer and walk them through it

Now that you’ve found the perfect micro-influencers for your campaign, it’s time to give them a content brief. This document should outline everything they need to know about the project, including:

  • The overall objectives of the campaign

  • The target audience

  • What kind of content you’re expecting

  • Any specific requirements or deliverables

  • Shoot windows, delivery dates, and the rounds of review you’ve contracted

But more than just the product and the specific ask, we want these creative partners to understand more about the brand, why they were selected, and how they can win. If our micro-creators can nail the brand piece right out of the gate, the chances of landing a successful, long-term lucrative creative partnership become that much more likely for both sides.

So, get them on a Zoom call and introduce them to the business. Onboard them like a new employee (without all the HR forms). Besides the product specifics, speak to them like creative directors, and push them to be professional partners.

You’re not just helping your business get better content outputs, you’re helping the influencer learn how to be a professional creator. And that’s worth its weight in gold to the creator and the creator community at large.

While social platforms and organic influence will wax and wane, understanding how to meet a brand’s strategic content creation will never go out of style!

Negotiate for a video treatment or script

Now that you have your influencer briefed, it’s time to start thinking about the types of content you want the influencer to create. If you’re commissioning still photography, great!

But if you’re looking for video, make sure to negotiate for a video treatment or script as part of your deliverables. This will help ensure that the influencer understands their vision for the project before they are recording and forestall reshoots and heavy rounds fo feedback because of avoidable errors and miscommunications.

This needn’t be too cumbersome. Here are a few influencer prompts that every brand might consider asking:

  • what is the shooting environment? indoors? outdoors?

  • what time of day? how’s the light?

  • what kind of camera? how far away will you be from the lens?

  • what about audio? on-board phone mic or a more pro setup? is there ambient noise from a highway or an air conditioner?

  • no logos, please!

  • have you considered any lifestyle footage to help bring the story to life?

  • what will you say to open the video? please do say the name of the brand or product within the first 7 seconds. Here are a few nifty sentences that should get you rolling...

Just by pushing your micro-influencer partner to consider these actions, you’re going to increase the quality of the creative output.

Cut down and version the source assets for paid media

Cut down and version the source assets for paid media and all your organization’s digital content needs

You’re almost there! Now that the content has been delivered and you’ve got a robust license, it’s time to start thinking about how you can maximize your investment by using the content across paid, owned, and shared channels. The first step is to take the raw files that were delivered and cut them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. This process is called ‘versioning’ and it’s an essential part of any digital marketing campaign. By creating versions of the content, you can make sure that each piece is being used as effectively as possible for its intended purpose. For example, if you’re planning on running a Facebook ad campaign, you’ll want to create versions of the videos and images that are the right size and format for that platform. And there you have it!

Get that content live!

Now that you’ve followed all of these steps, it’s time to get the content live and in front of your audience. You can easily post your content across all of your social media channels with just a few clicks. Plus, oitoiting your new content for all its worth across paid, owned, and shared channels. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for new opportunities to use the influencer marketing campaign content as your digital marketing efforts evolve. After all, the best way to get maximum ROI from your influencer content is to keep it working hard for you long after the initial commission.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a paid social campaign around the launch of a new product or service

  • Use the content in an email marketing campaign

  • Embed the videos on your website or blog

  • Share the content across your owned channels first to generate awareness and interest

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to use influencer-created content to achieve your marketing goals. And the best part is, once you’ve commissioned the content, you can keep using it again and again to get maximum ROI. So what are you

Deploy the content on Facebook through the influencer’s allowlisted account

Now that you’ve versioned the influencer marketing content, it’s time to start using it! If you’re planning on running a Facebook ad campaign, one of the best ways to do that is to use the influencers’ allow listed account. This will ensure that your ads are being seen by the right people and that they’re effective. If you’re working with TikTok creators, get those spark codes and push that content far and wide. For other social platforms, work with the influencer to cross-post content or run ads.

The value of influencer marketing content

So, if you’re looking to commission content that will help you achieve your digital marketing goals and generate maximum ROI, follow these simple steps: find the right micro-influencers for your brand, develop a mutually beneficial relationship with them, and give them specific creative direction. With quality content from micro-influencers in hand, you can leverage it across all your digital channels — owned, earned, and paid.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start building relationships with the influencers that matter most to your business. Do you have any tips for commissioning content from influencers? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to finding micro-influencers, don’t worry — we can help. Send us a note and we’ll put together a list of creators that are a perfect fit for your brand.

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