HOW MICRO-INFLUENCERS WILL MAKE THEIR MARK IN 2018
Influencer marketing is a crazy world that never seems to stop evolving. From YouTube stars to Instagram models, there is no shortage of social media “celebrities”. Despite all of these opportunities to showcase a brand or product, finding new ways to get new consumers remains competitive for businesses. While influencers, like the Kardashians, have lots of eyes on them, the huge size of their fan base keeps them from truly connecting with their audiences. Micro-influencers, which are influencers in niche markets with smaller audiences, are on the rise in the next wave of influencer marketing. So, what is a micro-influencer anyway?
The exact definition of a micro-influencer is up for debate, but in general, they have between 10,000 - 30,000 followers and have a highly captivated audience. As consumers continue to become more and more averse to traditional advertising, marketers are beginning to tap into micro-influencers - and here’s why:
MICRO-INFLUENCERS DRIVE ENGAGEMENT
Although micro-influencers aren’t reaching large audiences, they are have a strong impact on their followers. As the number of followers increase, the engagement rates on Instagram tend to decrease. The 10,000 to 100,000 follower range seems to be the sweet spot for engagement. According to Markerly, accounts with less than 1,000 followers have an average engagement rate of 8% but this decreases to 1.7% once you reach more than 1 million followers. The lower the follower account an influencer has, the more opportunities and time they have to genuinely interact with their audience. Personal connections are one key differentiator between a micro-influencer versus a celebrity and what helps them gain the trust of their followers.
MICRO-INFLUENCERS HAVE NICHE AUDIENCES
A key difference between micro-influencers and influencers with mega audiences, like Kourtney Kardashian, is that they have more niche audiences who are invested in the influencer’s content. Instead of following the influencer just because they’re popular, followers of micro-influencers are drawn to the specific genre that micro-influencer focuses on - whatever that may be. Micro-influencers are also to be more personally invested in their craft and content, since it’s something that they truly care about, and that authenticity is conveyed by their content. For example, food bloggers that narrow their content to focus on specific areas like healthy food recipes, restaurant reviews, or desserts tend to be more successful than just being a general food blogger.
Micro-influencers that have a niche audience won’t accept partnerships that don’t align with their personal brand, so there is less “noise” for followers to sort through. Brands can leverage these authentic connections and target audiences that micro-influencers have created to raise awareness and create new customers for their brand.
MICRO INFLUENCERS ARE MORE AFFORDABLE
Let’s face it, money talks. Since micro-influencers have smaller audiences, they tend to cost less to secure as a partner than bigger names - making them more appealing to brands that may have smaller budgets to work with. Micro-influencers may even be will to accept other forms of compensation, aside from money. Things like free products or a VIP treatment, an exclusive promo code to share with their followers, or hosting an event can go a long way with this crowd. Celebrities and well-known influencers are more accustomed to receiving this kind of treatment and may not be as receptive. Working with micro-influencers in a niche market related to a brand also opens up the door for a continued partnership, which also leads to longer-term customers from the influencers follower base. Keeping that loyal audience engaged will ultimately lead to an overall higher ROI for brands. Although brands will need to work with multiple micro-influencers to scale their reach, overall the total cost will still often be less than working with a macro-influencer.
MICRO-INFLUENCERS ARE EASY TO FIND
Influencers are becoming a hot commodity as the influencer marketing space continues to grow. As demand for influencers increases, securing partnerships with celebrities or huge influencers will become more difficult and with a hefty price tag. Since micro-influencers don’t always have manager or PR reps to get through first, they are much are easier to connect with. Also, they may already be a customer of a business or brand which makes for an even better partnership. If a micro-influencer has mentioned a brand before on their social media platforms, then their followers won’t feel like their being advertised to when the influencer begins promoting a brand. Micro-influencers can feel like an everyday customer, rather than a celebrity promoting a product, which makes them more relatable to consumers.
Although micro-influencers may seem less glamorous than working with the likes of Kim Kardashian, that definitely is not the case. Their impact can still make a difference and the magnitude of their influence shouldn’t be ignored. Their quality content, follower loyalty, and personal connection with their audience, are an ideal combination for businesses to leverage as a way to promote their products. As consumers continue to become more savvy about how they receive content, building strong relationships with micro-influencers will become more and more crucial for businesses to grow their consumer base.
Brittani is a social media and digital marketing strategist based in Chicago, Illinois. She spent her career as a creative problem solver and grew an affinity for social media and digital marketing through her years of blogging. Now she works with businesses to create content to drive traffic to their business.
Outside of the digital marketing world, I’m an avid foodie, unapologetic reality tv addict, and can usually be found succumbing to my sweet tooth.