In an ever-evolving digital word, it’s no surprise that we’re a social-media obsessed nation, and chances are, you’ve probably come across the notorious ‘influencer’ more than a few times during your scrolling sessions.
Whether they’re persuading you to buy the blender you never knew you needed or the shampoo that will change your life, it’s hard to deny that influencer marketing has taken over the social realm and entered into our everyday.
Offering glossy social endorsements wrapped up in swanky photography and colossal follower counts - but often with a hefty price tag to match - brands are chasing after them like there’s no tomorrow. But, is there a more cost-effective way to showcase your brand to highly relevant social audiences?
Cue the micro-influencer. Content Specialist, Fran Tole, talks you through the reasons why we love using these small (but oh-so-mighty) social media moguls at McCann Connected to help take our content to infinity… and beyond!
Simply put, a micro-influencer is an influencer who has influence on a smaller but highly engaged pool of people (say that five times fast). Brands collaborate with these individuals on social media to promote their product or service in more authentic posts, instead of in sponsored ads.
With follower counts of these social sharers typically falling between 1,000 and 100,000, putting faith into more modest figures is albeit a newer, against-the-grain concept to marketing’s ‘the bigger the better’ reliance.
However, unlike out-of-reach public figures, micro-influencers are deeply connected to their audiences and specialise in niche areas - from food and fashion, to fitness and flower-arranging – making them a highly attractive prospect to brands which have their finger on the digital pulse.
With the choice of influential individuals growing at an exponential rate, brands are now able to cherry-pick those which boast specific, hyper-engaged audiences – with high engagement rates to match.
Seeking out someone with a smaller following to promote your brand almost feels counterintuitive, right? Not in this case.
Turns out, you don’t always need to spend more money to get the best outcome. Here are a few reasons why…
It may seem like the best strategy to raise the stakes and go for gold with an influencer who can promote you to their millions of followers. While it’s hard to deny that these big ‘n’ shiny follower counts give the initial ‘wow’ factor, levels of engagement are crucial when it comes to commercial viability.
Markerly ran a study around Instagram engagement and unearthed that as the number of followers increased, their likes and comments decreased. And quite dramatically too.
They found that those with less than 1,000 followers generated likes 8% of the time, compared to big-name celebs with over ten million followers, who only received likes 1.6% of the time. That’s a pretty big difference if you ask us.
The same correlation rang true for comments too. ‘Grammers with less than 1,000 followers received comments an incredible 13 times more than those in the ten-million-plus bracket.
Micro-influencers allow you to tap into highly specific, segmented audiences and niche markets by sharing their passion through curated content.
Picture this. You’ve done a Neil Armstrong and taken one big step; you’ve partnered with a celebrity with a million followers in order to promote your clothing brand.
Sure, it’d still lead to a significant number of conversions and spread plenty of brand awareness along the way, but how many of those followers are genuinely interested in fashion? 10%? 5%? Maybe even 2%?
However, if you were to work with 40 fashion bloggers with roughly 1,000 followers each, you’d be reaching 40,000 immensely dedicated fashion-lovers, who trust their recommendations and are more willing to convert.
Which leads us to the elephant in the room.
You may have seen articles plastered across the web talking about the outrageous amounts that some influencers get paid for a single post (the most being Kylie Jenner who earns an eye-watering $1.2 million (£960,000) per post).
But, you’ll be pleased to hear that micro-influencer marketing offers a more affordable alternative to these costly paid campaigns. Paid rates can average between £100 and £1000 per post, but even if you were working with lots of them, you’d still end up spending significantly less than a high-profile influencer.
Dare we say it, many micro-influencers at the lower end of the follower scale may even be inclined to showcase your product for free *imitates jazz hands*. Granted, you’d have to cover the product cost and postage, but often the incentive of working with an established brand and the opportunity to showcase a product that they genuinely love, is enough to please.
These low-risk, low-budget campaigns also allow brands to spread their wings and tap into new, unexplored audiences.
Aside from everything else, micro-influencers are a trusted friend to their audiences. They share their day-to-day lives with their followers; their hobbies, what they’re having for dinner and the things that they feel passionate about, meaning they promote products in a natural, contextualised and real way.
Users are becoming more aware of “fake” sponsored posts too – they pick up on it when celebrities know very little about the products they’re promoting, and it’s become a major turn-off.
This is why micro-influencers are so attractive to everyone. Aside from creating very personalised content, they’re more authentic when it comes to managing it. Engaging with their loyal followers is much easier as there are less of them, which is key when building reliable relationships and improving their credibility when it comes to reviews and recommendations.