The concept of an influencer, on the surface, seems simple: find content creators with large followings and utilize their channels to promote your brand’s products or services through honest posts or reviews. Before collaborating with an influencer, a company must first decide whether massive exposure through the use of a traditional influencer or strategic, surgical placement with a micro-influencer is best to help reach key target audiences.
Micro-influencers offer smaller, more engaged audiences compared to those of traditional influencers. What qualifies as a micro-influencer, exactly? Forbes categorizes a micro-influencer as one with an audience of 10,000 to 50,000 followers.
It may seem like a straightforward decision for a brand to choose to collaborate with a traditional influencer with a large following for more exposure. After all, bigger means better, right? Not always. Micro-influencers offer unique benefits brands can take advantage of including targeting a more engaged, niche audience for an affordable price.
HIGHLY TARGETED AUDIENCES
The biggest advantage of utilizing micro-influencers is targeting their highly focused audiences. These influencers work diligently to cultivate a specific type of following, according to Wix. No matter the influencer’s industry —fitness, food, travel, etc.—their followers have a built-in interest in the product category. By serving as a conduit to an extremely engaged audience, the influencer experiences a better response rate and increased engagement, which can lead to greater sales for the brand.
In a conversation with Digiday, Co-founder and CEO of Markerly Sarah Ware illustrates this concept using the endorsement of a weight-loss tea by the Kardashian and Jenner sisters. The company saw hundreds of conversions due to the celebrity endorsement but when they switched to a campaign using 30 to 40 micro-influencers, the rate of conversion increased drastically.
While many factors affect higher rates of liking, commenting and sharing, the biggest impact on post engagement stems from the authenticity of influencers’ content. According to Forbes, the demand for micro-influencers is often smaller than that of their celebrity peers. Because of the smaller demand, micro-influencers typically only work to partner with brands they personally believe in and want to share with their followers.
This authentic belief in and love for brands’ products or services means more compelling content and enticing posts and stories, which inspire followers to engage at higher rates. This authentic devotion to a product can also lead to meaningful conversations among consumers and companies on social media. After all, no one wants a repeat of Scott Disick’s faux pas when he posted the instructions for the sponsored post itself, thus removing any authenticity or trust from his sponsored content.
Not only do micro-influencers generate higher levels of conversion than traditional influencers, but they also provide a creative way for brands to reach consumers without having to spend exorbitant amounts of their budget. The New York Times stated influencers with 3 to 7 million followers typically charge $30,000 or more for a single post depending on the social media platform. In contrast, a micro-influencer often charges $500 or less per post, according to Hubspot. With this minimal fee, a brand could enlist the services of ten micro-influencers for a series of six posts each before reaching the bottom of the range for celebrity endorsements. In addition, micro-influencers with around 10,000 followers showed a 30 percent higher return on investment per dollar than influencers with around one million followers, according to a study at Boston University.
Popular influencers are no different than new product crazes or trends, except their currency is time. The more followers an influencer has, the more in demand they are as many brands seek to have their products featured with such celebrities. This creates longer lead times for companies trying to line up their product placements.
However, as previously mentioned, micro-influencers are often not as in-demand. This means brands can often partner quickly with these content creators for speedy turn-around times to take advantage of developing situations or trends.
Ultimately, when deciding what type of influencer is best for your brand, it is important to keep a few factors in mind: targeted reach, conversion and engagement, authenticity, affordability and flexibility. If the goal is to be as budget-friendly as possible while cultivating a loyal following, micro-influencers provide an excellent resource for brands looking to make a quality splash in social media marketing.
With a team comprising digital marketing, social media and public relations experts, The Vox Agency is here to help you strategically create and execute a micro-influencer campaign. Click here to get in touch.
By Richard Robinson