Imagine this scenario: You log on to Instagram, see one of the people you follow has posted an image with a product you like – immediately you want to know more. Sound familiar? Well, what if that person had linked and tagged more information about the products featured, creating a space where you could find a product and instantly buy? Welcome to the world of micro-influencers.
Defining a micro-influencer
By now, brand marketers understand the use of influencer marketing on social media and in other guerilla style campaigns. In fact, 60% of brands implemented influencer marketing in their campaigns last year. The typical influencer comes in the form of a celebrity or public figure, but a micro-influencer is just the opposite. These individuals are focused on one niche industry and frequently utilize social media to update followers on their interests and daily life. They have a modest follower base – typically ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands – but their audience is hyper engaged.
Why use a micro-influencer?
From a macro view, using a micro-influencer seems counterintuitive to creating an engaging campaign that leads to real impressions. However, micro-influencers provide many benefits to brands that cannot be found in mass audiences.
Markerly recently analyzed over 800,000 Instagram users and the results are clear: as the follower total rises, the rate of engagement with followers decreases.
Similar results were found regarding comment rate and followers.
The sweet spot for influencers falls on the lower end of the spectrum – right where the micro-influencers are making their mark. These rising digital stars provide brands with the engagement and reach needed to move the needle and create conversions. As an added bonus, they do all of this for a fraction of the cost needed to engage a major A-List influencer.
Beyond their keen ability to create more engagement per post, micro-influencers also have another perk for brands: their refined audiences. The people who follow these users do so because they genuinely like the content that the influencer posts, and it relates to a construct of their life – whether it be their fashion choices or the foods they cook. Utilizing micro-influencers that fit into a brand’s target market is crucial to drive conversions, and brands are beginning to discover that this new iteration of word of mouth exposure locates consumers that are more apt to listen – due to their perceived connection with the influencer.
How to partner with a micro-influencer
Just as a brand would analyze any other form of marketing, the first step is to acknowledge if this style of marketing will add value to the company’s overall marketing plan (if you have one at all!). As micro-influencers are extremely adept at leveraging Instagram to connect with their audiences through powerful imagery, the biggest question to ask is if the brand’s product is visually appealing. The creation of Instagram stories is adding a new twist to micro-influencers’ posts, allowing for more variety in how they can promote products once hard to visualize in a static image.
The results for partnering with micro-influencers are starting to roll in, though they are just scratching the surface. Adweek recently published a study done by Clique Media Group and Dash Hudson on the female millennial micro-influencer, in comparison to the average millennial woman. One of the most captivating statistics found that 87% of millennial woman utilize social media as a primary source to inform purchasing decisions. Coupled with this, 93% stated they had purchased something they found on Instagram.
Brand marketers must find a way to activate this group of influencers. As the digital market continues to evolve, brand marketers need to go beyond the scope of traditional partnerships, and engage with consumers in new, authentic ways. The micro-influencer is strategized step in that direction.