Influencer marketing has become one of the fastest growing advertising channels used for customer acquisition, beating email marketing, paid search and even organic search. The reason behind this is simple: more than 92% of consumers not only trust but prefer word of mouth advertising and recommendations made by friends and family. Furthermore, Twitter has published a research stating that people actually trust opinions of influencers or micro-influencers more than that of their friends and relatives.
Until recently, marketers have relied heavily on partnering with celebrities, industry experts and public figures with millions of followers in order to raise brand awareness, increase engagement and improve sales. However, research has shown that once an influencer reaches more than 100,000 followers the engagement starts to drop, as users have a harder time interacting with a celebrity as opposed to a friend or a family member. Micro-influencers might have significantly smaller followings, but they do achieve higher engagement rates when compared to their larger counterparts.
What are Micro-Influencers?
Micro-influencers are individuals with a strong digital presence in the world of social media marketing who understand and respect their audience. They operate within a small yet highly active following between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, with the sweet spot being somewhere between 25,000 and 250,000 followers. Interacting with fewer people means that they are more likely to develop a strong, personal relationship with their following, making them 4x more likely to engage their content via likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.
How Much do Their Services Cost?
The average celebrity post can cost up to $25,000 and often offers little to no guarantee of actually engaging its customers. The average Facebook or Instagram post will cost you between $250 and $500, a sponsored blog post is between $500 and $1000, while a branded tweet is going to cost between $150 and $200. Content created by micro-influencers is 6.7x more effective in audience engagement than those used by larger influencers, which means that working with micro-influencers as opposed to macro-influencers ends up saving even more cash down the line.
While your new target audience might not be able to instantly recognize your company name and logo, micro-influencers can help you infuse meaning into your brand and associate your products and services with a dedicated brand message. This might not sound as much at first, but this is a small step towards becoming more distinctive, memorable and trustworthy. Seeing your products and services as a part of their favorite blog or vlog will help your niche group members identify you and your brand more easily and associate it with something they love and appreciate.
Maintaining a strong bond with their following allows micro-influencers to achieve 60% more engagement when compared to other advertising campaigns. Mediahub has used micro-influencers to increase their client engagement by 50% and a particular client has even reported influencers with around 1000 followers having achieved 85% greater engagement then influencers with 100,000 followers.
A study conducted by Mediakix analyzed roughly 700 branded posts on Instagram made by over 16 different brands. The campaign included content from 367 micro-influencers and 288 macro-influencers, with the engagement rate being 2.75% for the former and 2.65% for the latter. One of the brands specifically used 28 micro-influencers and 21 macro-influencers. Although macro-influencers managed to generate reach 6.4x greater than that made by micro-influencers, the later managed to produce 2.2x more engagement than the macro-influencers.
Establishing and Maintaining Trust
Micro-influencers spend a lot of time creating and preserving the connection they have with their followers. You might not gain their trust just yet, but your brand will most certainly appear more trustworthy simply by being associated with the influencers themselves or being organically integrated within the larger story they tell their audience.
Getting Personal With the Audience
Unlike macro-influencers and A-list celebrities who rarely get personal with their audiences and answer individual messages, micro-influencers rely on their authenticity, tone, personality, niche aesthetic, content and even their conversational skills to engage their audience. Maintaining a growing community requires a lot of work and micro-influencers are often readily available to reply to comments, interact with individual followers, attends niche specific events in order to engage their community in person and maintain a presence both online and off.
As their big budgets allow them to work with almost anyone, big brands them to ignore the smaller influencers. Unfair as it sounds, this reluctance to work with smaller influencers actually opens a new door for startups, small businesses and industry-related figures to compete in the influencer advertising space and potentially compete against the competition for their slice of the market. Realizing the amount of value engagement holds in influencer advertising will help you leverage micro-influencers even more efficiently and drastically improve your influencer marketing strategy.