01 Apr Micro Influencers: Why Less Is More
Why influencer marketing?
An influencer is any individual (or duo/trio on rare occasions) with a substantial social media following who likes to post content – normally of a specific nature to marketplace or consumer trend – that is intended to inform, educate and inspire their followership.
Using influencers can enhance your brand’s engagement, awareness and success. The right influencer can help to increase a brand’s visibility, particularly if they share the same values, as ‘promotional’ content will resonate better with their followers, who are likely to have similar opinions and beliefs, as well as a shared interest in their subject matter of specialisation.
The influencer marketing industry is expected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022, and, considering how trends are seeing consumers place greater significance on social proof, using a popular social media figure can be a cost-effective solution to this challenge. This strategy combines genuine promotion from a real, well-known person with expansive reach to an interested and relevant audience.
What are micro influencers?
Micro influencers are normally defined as having between 10,000 and 100,000 followers, more than nano influencers (who have less than 10,000 followers), but without the same huge popularity as larger influencers (often in the millions!).
Working with micro influencers can provide significant benefits to brands, as they give access to relevant, niche audiences and offer opportunities for high quality engagement, through a win-win partnership. Did you know that micro influencers are 10% more likely to influence decision-making than macro influencers? This is mainly due to the high levels of trust that followers have in them and their recommendations.
You should not discount nano influencers either. They are ideal for start-ups and SMEs with more limited budgets, plus they tend to be cheaper to work with, and more loyal, dedicated and determined to do the right thing, as they strive to raise their authority.
Larger influencers are also good for those with deeper pockets looking for quick wins. But, strategically, micro influencers feel as if they hit the sweet spot when taking everything into account for most brands, regardless of size.
What benefits can they bring?
Micro influencers tend to focus on specific areas, including obvious ones such as health and fitness, beauty, travel, house and home, wellbeing or cooking to name but a few. Their followers will be more passionate – as well as more relevant – to brands who sell products and services within the same area of interest – which is why it is so important to choose the right ones to partner with, so that your offering aligns with the interests that motivated the followers of the influencer to trust in the opinion of him or her (or them).
These smaller influencers are also presumed by their followers to be more knowledgeable about the specific area of interest, compared to larger influencers who tend to appeal to a mass audience, more celebrity than passionista.
It is easier for micro influencers to manage and interact with their audience to create personal connections, promoting stronger trust and making their followers more inclined to believe that their brand-related content is a genuine reflection of their opinion. This is important, as trust has been ranked as one of the top five factors that influence consumer decision making. Trusting a brand is 70% more important now than in the past, indicating a greater long-term shift towards a need to build strong confidence before purchasing.
Whilst their following is smaller, it will be highly engaged and, when combined with a potential cult-like loyalty, followers will be even more motivated to invest in your business due to their trust in the influencer. Follower comments and reactions will also provide additional and valuable sources of information for authentic consumer feedback.
It is of course important that all promotional information is true. You cannot have a situation where an influencer pretends to like your brand but actually does not use or like it. Any lack of authenticity which is found out may come back to haunt you. Make sure that any influencers you are working with genuinely support the products and/or services you offer, and are not just in it for the money.
3. Better for your business
Compared to the transactional, informal experience typically offered by larger influencers, a micro influencer is likely to work in genuine partnership, collaborating proactively to create content, as well as ensuring that your creative strategy is implemented in the most effective possible way. Your brand will also increase its credibility if it is promoted by trusted public figures: research from our market intel partner, Mintel, has found that most social media users who follow influencers believe that a brand’s image can be improved by forming partnerships with the right influencers.
Working with a micro influencer is often cheaper and, combined with their highly-relevant audiences, this means that you should generate a decent ROI – although their role can just be about brand awareness rather than lead generation, so don’t worry too much about instant sales – look for long term loyalty instead.
Bearing all this in mind, whilst large influencers still have an important role to play in the influencer marketing world, it may be time to focus more on micro influencers (and even nano influencers) for the benefits they can bring to your business.