Advertisements are everywhere: on the internet, in the malls, and on billboards. Wherever you go, you see posters with claims for all sorts of different products, and it can get a bit obtrusive. As much as regular people can wish them all away, it’s a different story for marketers—ads are necessary to drive awareness, sales, and reach growth goals.
The nature of ads has changed over time. While traditional hard-sell ones still exist, a new breed of less aggressive forms of marketing has risen over the past few years. This is in line with the prominence of inbound marketing techniques in many industries today, which aim to be consumer-centric and more helpful as opposed to product-focused and in-your-face.
Influencer marketing is one of the most famous examples of this new wave of marketing. It rose to fame a few of years back and became an exciting experiment for marketers in different industries. It works on targeting influential people like actors or social media personalities with large followings to advertise products on their social media accounts in a “natural” way. It has especially become popular on the photo-sharing platform Instagram.
So, influencer marketing tactics aren’t anything new to most marketers, but since its inception, it has also given birth to a more targeted form called “micro-influencer marketing” that’s gaining traction.
What’s the buzz about this, and what makes it different from its bigger sibling?
How Micro-Influencers Can Have a Massive Impact
Micro-influencers are defined as those who have a highly-engaged audience in a niche industry. These social profiles have anywhere from 5,000-25,000 followers on Instagram, with possibly other channels like Facebook or YouTube.
Having a bunch of followers doesn’t make micro-influencers effective. It’s all about the engagement rate. Markerly released a study that engagement rates plummet when the follower count increases. Out of a social media influencer’s 100,000+ followers, it’s common to see only a few people comment on their post. In the case of micro-influencers, in-depth discussions are happening in the comments thread that can easily generate more engagement than those of traditional influencers.
With this in mind, here’s what micro-influencers can do for your business.
Break through the noise
Marketers know that the Internet is continually out spewing information every second of the day—that’s why it’s so tough to get the audience’s attention. Micro-influencers are already experts in breaking through the noise with a 60% higher engagement rate compared to other accounts. By coming up with heartfelt, focused content on a consistent basis, they’ve amassed passionate followers who can be counted on when it comes to engaging with new content.
Consumers tend to associate celebrities with staged, paid sponsorships, whereas micro-influencer ads are seen as product recommendations and are viewed as more relatable and genuine.
Save marketing costs
Partnering with micro-influencers is said to be 6.7x more cost-efficient. While pricing varies per influencer, one can infer that those with a smaller following may charge a little bit less.
For instance, between two accounts in the beauty industry, Account A with 3 million followers will have a broader reach than Account B with 12,000 followers. That’s an essential basis for advertising rates too. However, if you tap a larger number of micro-influencers (allocating the same ad budget to many influencers to make up for their lack of individual reach), the results will probably turn out better than focusing on one big name.
Increase trust in your brand
Millennials are quickly turned off by hard-sell ads. However, a survey says 58% wouldn’t mind if it came from a social media personality they trust. Associating your product or service with these people is likely to get the attention of your millennial audience more than a traditional marketing ad.
The trust also comes from the seamless and natural integration of these micro-influencers with your product or service. Instead of seeing a designed banner ad or commercial jingle, you can opt to showcase real-life applications of your products as their idols use it. The fact that it’s being recommended by a relatable social media star is a big factor in generating trust for your brand.
Transform your customers to advocates
Because micro-influencer audiences are highly-engaged and more trusting, there are higher chances of these people becoming your customers. Once they feel the impact of your product on their lifestyles, they can easily join their idols on their crusade and become brand advocates. This is where they actively support and promote your brand to their circles as well.
The best part is, you don’t even have to go through great lengths to achieve this. Just make sure to manage any issues or complaints when they arise.
Target local markets easily
You can run multiple campaigns with micro-influencers situated anywhere in the world where you operate or ship your product. This will facilitate global reach for your brand while being able to interact with highly-engaged consumers online.
Much of product or service discovery is done through searches of local hashtags or appending the keyphrase “near me” on search engines. Use this to your advantage by tapping diverse social personalities.
With the amount of time people spend on browsers and mobile apps, it’s not surprising how much of an impact the posts people see on the internet every day can impact buying decisions. Micro-influencer marketing is only one of the newest types of targeted, personal social media marketing techniques out there, but it shows a lot of promise.
Will you be testing this out in your marketing strategy? Are you already using micro-influencers? Let us know about it in the comments!