With the increasing focus on digital platforms and marketing techniques, over the past decade, many brands have started using social media influences to help market their products in a more authentic way. Today they are a key part of the marketing mix.
And it’s certainly a sure fire way to reach mass audiences. Take online influencer Zoella, for example. Widely viewed as one of the most powerful online influencers, she’s got over 11 million YouTube subscribers and six million Twitter followers, not to mention 11.1 million Instagram followers.
However, as celebrities and key influencers become more popular, attract larger followings, and work with more brands, their previously engaging posts risk looking more like ads than genuine endorsements.
But, when it comes to social media, there’s no such thing as being too popular, right? Wrong!
According to recent studies, when a social media influencer reaches a certain number of followers, their levels of audience engagement actually start to fall. In fact, influencer marketing Markerly found that, in terms of unpaid posts, Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 have an average like rate of approximately 8%, compared to 2.4% for those with 10,000 to 100,000 followers, and 1.7% for those with 1 million – 10 million followers. What’s more, comment rates and sponsored posts also followed a similar pattern.
This trend has led to brands increasingly reaching out to engage with micro influencers as part of their social media strategies.
Who are Micro Influencers?
Micro influencers are ordinary people who are paid by brands to promote their products or services on social media. They are tastemakers, opinion shapers, and trend forecasters.
Just like traditional influencers, micro influencers are individuals with popular online channels based around specific interests. They typically work or specialise in a specific vertical and regularly share social media content about their interests.
As a general rule, micro influencers are those with between 1,000 and 50,000 followers.
Although micro influencers have a more modest number of followers, usually thousands or tens of thousands, they boast hyper-engaged audiences – perfect for carefully targeted social media marketing campaigns!
Why engage with Micro Influencers?
Why are brands engaging with micro influencers? Working with someone with a smaller following to promote your brand is counterintuitive, right?
In actual fact, there are a whole host of benefits of working with micro influencers, including:
Perhaps surprisingly, reports have shown that as an influencer’s number of followers increases, their number of likes and comments actually decreases. Micro influencers with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers will allow brands to achieve higher engagement rates amongst a large enough audience.
Micro influencers have also been shown to hold more meaningful conversations about brands on social media. A study recently showed that micro influencers hold, on average, 22.2 times more conversations recommending a brand to other people per week than the average customer – this makes them an asset to any brand.
A more targeted audience
Although their audiences are smaller, micro influencers tend to have a more targeted follower base than influencers with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of followers.
And, with consumer trust in advertising, and in large scale corporations as a whole, at an all-time low, customers prefer authentic, two-way social media conversations and genuine recommendations from friends, family, and micro influencers.
Micro influencers are typically more affordable than celebrities or influencers with millions of followers.
So, brands can collaborate with 20 to 40 micro influencers for the same cost as working with one or two major celebrities or influencers. This allows them to reach out to different demographics and achieve a higher level of engagement for their campaign.
In addition to this, by working with a number of different micro influencers, brands can also try out different tactics to see which ones work best, without going over budget.
Because, unlike many major influencers, posting content isn’t a full time profession for micro influencers, they post sponsored content far less often. This means that their posts and account feel far more authentic and, as such, they are trusted by their audience. In fact, a recent study revealed that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement.
They are real people, meaning their social media content is real too. Think about it, if you see Kim Kardashian promoting a product on Instagram, you know not to trust that her recommendation as it’s more than likely been paid for. If someone you know or share an interest with recommends a product, you’re more likely to take their word for it.
Micro influencers have a direct, personal connection with their followers, meaning they truly understand their audience and what they like. This means they are only likely to share things that they know their followers will engage with.
Unlike many larger influencers who can be difficult to appeal to, micro influencers tend to be keen to get involved with brands – they get excited by opportunities that come their way and want to build strong, on-going relationships with brands that approach them.
Because bigger influencers are approached by hundreds, if not thousands, of brands each day, they are harder to engage with and more restrictive in terms of their requirements and demands.
In the fast moving world of celebrity, opinions can shift incredibly quickly, making having your brand aligned with just one big name a big risk. After all, if you’ve signed in to a high budget, long-term deal and your chosen influencer finds themselves at the centre of a scandal, do you really want to continue to be associated with them?
How to find micro influencers…
You only have to venture onto any of the main social media platforms and you’ll come face to face with a wide range of micro influencers. But how do you find the right ones to work with for your brand?
Well it isn’t always easy, and it’s important you get it right! One way to start the process is to go through your brands social network followers and see if there’s any suitable candidates following you. As they’ll already be fans of the brand, you shouldn’t have any problem building a relationship with them and getting them to promote your products.
If you’re looking for a more time efficient approach, you can also pay for databases which will allow you to access contact information for different influencers in various categories.
Here at Digital Ethos, we specialise in creating effective digital marketing campaigns that not only inspire action, but also achieve optimum results. If you have any questions about how we can help you to drive your start up business forward in the digital world, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Our friendly and helpful team is always on hand to answer any of your questions and we always go that extra mile to deliver digital marketing solutions that meet your objectives and requirements.