When one thinks of social media influencers, who comes to mind? Is it a group of the most highly-followed social media stars with millions of followers or is it someone more approachable and relatable, with a smaller, yet immensely dedicated following? If it’s the latter, they are likely micro-influencers.
On the surface, it seems as though an influencer’s total following matters more than anything else. And while the overall following numbers do attract attention, engagement is the key factor in an influencer’s ultimate success when it comes to commercial viability. Brands and marketers are now focusing on the interaction between influencers and their audiences and that is measured by likes, comments and the ultimate trust followers have in the influencers they are following. Micro-influencers often have very high engagement with their fan-bases and are often over-looked by brands in the social media campaigns they are pursuing.
Although the range of the number of followers an influencer must have to qualify as a micro-influencer is subjective, I believe that it is someone who has anywhere between 10,000 and 500,000 followers on social media channels. It’s not necessarily the number of followers as much as how engaged that audience is. Micro-influencers have specific niche audiences and are deeply connected to them.
Micro-influencers can be found in almost any sector: they could be focused on health and wellness, food and cuisine, entrepreneurship or fashion and beauty to name a just a few prominent categories.
Micro-influencers are people who have already built the audience a brand looking for, and they’ve already established trust with them. This post on social selling by Hiloipa.com, a CRM built for multi level marketers, reminds us how important it is to tell a story, rather than blatantly sell to audiences. Influencers have established relationships with their followers through their stories. And when they’re willing to share a brand’s story, their followers are ready and willing to listen. When you consider that 40% of Twitter users have made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer, it’s easy to see why many brands use influencers to spread their message.
For a brand to achieve the best possible ROI on a campaign, it’s ideal to hire a group of micro-influencers. Micro-influencers will not have the same reach as the macro influencer celebrity, therefore, working with a group of micro-influencers is necessary to increase the reach of a campaign. The concept that an influencer must have millions of followers to be valuable to a brand is misleading. The reality is that the larger the following an influencer has, the lower the engagement rate is. Hiring a combination of micro-influencers and celebrity influencers may raise the ROI of a campaign and lower the overall marketing spend.
There are a number of ways to work with influencers. Sometimes speaking with them yields the best results in determining the best way to build a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, the influencer can take over a brand’s social media account for a fixed period of time.
Brands also send micro-influencers product to sample and take photos of to post on their social media accounts. Content that shows product in organic, real-life situations resonates with followers and consumers. Micro-influencers can also create content on their social media channels such as videos and blog posts. Brands can then share the content on their own social media channels with branded hashtags so followers can keep track of it all.
Micro-influencers are accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes. When a brand doesn’t have the budget to work with a celebrity, it can still get the benefit of working with influencers and watch the brand grow on social media. It really also allows a very powerful message to be sent to the customers that matter.
Check out my related post: How did influencer marketing come about?