Should Your Brand Incorporate Micro-Influencers into Its Social Strategy?
At best, getting influencers to market your brand is hard, but most of the time it’s plain impossible. Many of them are celebrities who get hounded by hundreds or thousands of marketers each day. They’re too busy to be sponsored by you, or they never receive your email request in the first place.
So what do you do?
Well, thankfully, there’s a new form of influencer marketing coming to fruition, and it’s called micro-influencer marketing. These people might sound tinier, but micro-influencers are proving to be a massive marketing tool for businesses small to large.
What Are Micro-Influencers?
Micro-influencers are influencers with a smaller following. They can promote your brand or products for a fraction of the cost of paid advertising, and are usually easier to contact.
There are a few other factors that make micro-influencers the best option for brands with smaller budgets, and that’s what we’re here to examine now.
Micro-Influencers Give You Access to an Engaged Audience
Don’t be confused by the name. Micro-influencers are still influential people, especially to their small, dedicated base of followers. Oftentimes, these followers are more engaged than the millions of those following Beyoncé.
It sounds counterintuitive, but research indicates that Instagrammers with less than 1,000 followers have upwards of 9.7% engagement on average. As follower counts increase above 1,000, the engagement goes down precipitously.
The likely reason for this is that micro-influencers are extremely niche. Their following is built based on a shared passion among their followers, like travel, pets, or activities.
Case in point: Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund.
As it turns out, there are A LOT of dachshund lovers on Instagram. Crusoe has more than 410,000 followers who get to enjoy his bevy of outfits and stunts.
He uses this attention to market several pup-related products through his channel (well, his owners do). For example, this New York City–based Barkbox.
Pets aren’t the only mammals garnering an engaged audience. Another huge category is fitness Instagrammers, like @Jcelite14.
The tennis player/coach, world traveler, and all-around entertaining personality likes to document his travels along with the strides his students are making, both on and off the tennis court.
During his Instagram career, he marketed Wilson tennis rackets and other fitness products that his dedicated base – comprised of tennis fans, fitness beginners, and fellow fitness coaches – would be interested in purchasing.
JC Elite’s love for the sport of tennis is infectious. His followers recognize this aspect of his personality and are following him primarily due to the fact that their passions align.
Reflect on your own experience with social media, namely Instagram. Which accounts do you follow, and why? I guarantee you share a lot of interests with your following list and can identify influencers.
Micro-Influencers Are Cost-Efficient
How much do micro-influencers charge, exactly? According to a report from Bloglovin’, 84% of micro-influencers charge less than $250 per branded Instagram post, while 97% charge under $500.
For small brands working on a fixed marketing budget, this is a great opportunity. With a typical AdWords campaign, there are dozens of factors that determine whether an ad will convert. A lot of it doesn’t even have to do with the ad itself, but depends on your landing page layout, copy, and whether or not a prospective customer is mad at the font you’re using.
By using micro-influencers to promote your products, you’re allowing their personality and authenticity to sell the product for you, rather than worrying about things like your ad copy and CPCs. The word authenticity is key here, and it ties into who micro-influencers are as individuals.
Micro-Influencers Are Similar to You
Many people refer to micro-influencers as celebrities, and in a sense, they are—they’re known and supported by thousands of people. But they aren’t Hollywood bigwigs. Most micro-influencers are just regular people like you and me, and this is what makes them so effective as marketers.
They’re usually very approachable and will often answer calls and emails themselves. No dealing with agents, assistants, and auto-responder emails. Micro-influencers are passionate hobbyists, not entities. They will listen to your pitch, and if they believe in your product, they will be more than happy to help you.
Fatima uses trust to market nutritional products related to her fitness brand. She was recently named one of the top 40 micro-influencers, to which she responded: “It’s kind of weird thinking that I’m an ‘influencer’ in a sense. My biggest goal is for people to know that we aren’t alone in this motherhood gig, we all struggling and that is okay.”
You don’t see this kind of authenticity every day. Customers will respond positively.
The social media pond is quickly expanding into a vast ocean, with many different-sized fish swimming about. There’s always the temptation to grab the biggest fish possible, while completely skirting the smaller ones. In the case of social media marketing, there’s overwhelming evidence now that this is a bad idea.
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.