Micro-influencers: less followers, more engagement!

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There is a misconception that influencer marketing is just another term for celebrity endorsement. Yes, it is true that celebrities have a lot of influence over what’s considered to be trendy and worth people’s time. It is also true that some big brands like Pepsi and Nike use celebrities to push their products forward. For midsize and small businesses, however, a celebrity endorsement may prove to be not only unattainable, but also unnecessary.

Let’s say you are an ecommerce website that sells latest fashion clothing to women. You decide that paying a social celebrity in exchange for an Instagram post about your company is going to bring you a lot of new customers. Reality is, 90 percent of her fans may not be interested in fashion and may follow her for a number of other reasons. Moreover, a recent study determined that number of followers is inversely proportional to engagement when it comes to social media:

  • Instagram users with fewer than 1,000 followers generated likes 8% of the time
  • Users with 1,000-10,000 followers earned likes at a 4% rate
  • Users with 10,000-100,000 followers achieved a 2.4% like rate
  • Users with 1-10 million followers earned likes only 1.7% of the time

These findings have given rise to a newer concept within influencer marketing, called micro-influencer marketing. In micro-influencer marketing brands partner with people with smaller social media followings to promote their products in a more authentic way. Micro-influencers are defined as social media users, who are not typical celebrities or public figures. They are individuals who specialize or have an interest in one particular subject and regularly post about it on their social media. They have a more modest number of followers, as opposed to celebrities, but their following is hyper-engaged. Therefore, as an online fashion store you may do much better with your influencer marketing program by skipping celebrity endorsements and going after micro-influencers instead. Their audience won’t be as large but it will be highly targeted, responsive and ready to take an action. Partnering up with micro-influencers is also budget-friendly. While a celebrity may ask for $50,000 for a single Instagram post, a micro-influencer’s post may cost you anywhere from $100 to $1000. Most micro-influencers are also more than happy to partner up with their favorite brands in exchange for free products and shout-outs. Therefore, before you start compiling your list of micro-influencers, you need to determine what you are willing to offer and what it is you are trying to get in return.

To find your perfect micro-influencers, first look at your current customer base:

  • Who is already advocating for your brand?
  • Who uses your business hashtag often?
  • Do they get a lot of likes, comments and questions on their posts?

Next, take a look at potential influencers by researching hashtags that are relevant to your niche. Look for people who buy and love products similar to yours. Pick the ones that are not yet sponsored or associated with your competitors.

When compiling your list, make sure you choose influencers whose content you really like. These content creators got their followers by creating a certain social media style and personality, and you need to make sure it is a good fit for your company’s branding. This step is crucial in your influencer marketing program; once you pick your influencers you need to trust them to create content in their own, unique style. After all, this is why their followers love them!

Working with micro-influencers can help you generate more buzz around your brand, create new and exciting content and place your name in front of a highly targeted audience, all for a fraction of what you would spend on celebrity endorsements.

Are you currently working with influencers? What was your experience like? Let’s chat!