Micro-Influencers Add Value to Marketing Campaigns
We all are familiar with celebrities shilling for brands. Think Selena Gomez for Coach and Neil Patrick Harris for Heineken. Leveraging celebrities and personalities to promote brands is not new. In the social media space, they have come to be referred to as “macro-influencers” and they are expensive. Not every brand has the budget to engage a macro-influencer.
“Micro-influencers” are the same concept, but on a smaller scale. Brands partner with influencers who have a smaller but more interest-specific social media following to promote their products with posts, replacing to a degree the brand’s sponsored ads on the same social platforms. Partnerships with micro-influencers are less expensive than macro-influencers and therefore a lot more affordable for a smaller brand.
What Exactly Are Micro-Influencers?
Generally a micro-influencer is someone who focuses on a specific topic (food, fashion, etc.), frequently shares original content via social media and is followed by a relatively small audience of fewer than 10,000 followers. Although their audiences are small, they are usually highly engaged and will often like, comment and share the influencers’ posts. This time, think @hauteintexas and @chefjasondady.
Because micro-influencers tend to been seen as normal, everyday people, their followers consider the content they post and share as more authentic than what comes directly from brands. This should not come as a surprise. Whose opinion would you pay more attention to: a celebrity endorser or your neighbor/friend/colleague? Likely your neighbor/friend/colleague, yes? Micro-influencers work much in the same way, a sort of word-of-mouth advertising. Consumers, especially millennials, prefer authenticity and will gravitate toward sources that provide it.
The Pros And Cons of Micro-Influencers
Working with micro-influencers is cheaper than macro-influencers, many charging $500 or less for a sponsored post. Admittedly, though, you sacrifice reaching a large audience in exchange for a smaller-but-more-engaged one. Micro-influencers’ audiences typically boast an engagement rate of 10% higher than macro-influencers, according to a HubSpot report. Even with a higher level of engagement, ROI with micro-influencers can be harder to measure beyond brand awareness unless the brand produces a unique promotional code that an influencer is willing to use in posts.
KGBTexas has been working with micro-influencers for several years, and recently deployed the strategy for a pizza franchisee in multiple Texas markets. The results have been very positive. We’Hve been able to get the product in front of demographics we may not otherwise have effectively reached.
Selecting A Micro-Influencer
Micro-influencers can be difficult to identify if you don’t approach the task with a specific strategy for their engagement. As with any solid marketing approach, influencer marketing requires thought, research and defined expectations. Once a brand’s goals and expected outcomes are established, the bulk of the work begins. My team and I ask four key questions as we research influencers and narrow our selections.
- Who follows the influencers? Do they align with the brand’s target demographics? In other words, are the followers also potential consumers?
- Does the influencer follow the brand already? Someone who is already a fan of the brand is likely to be more interested in a partnership than someone unfamiliar with the brand.
- How engaged is the influencer’s audience? Do the posts attract likes and comments?
- Does the influencer work with a competitor? Take the time to review previous posts to get insights on potential conflicts.
- Does the influencer’s own brand compliment yours? Oppositional brand personas can indicate not only an ill fit, but also potential problems.
Perhaps the most important of all considerations is this: can you develop a positive working relationship with the influencer? Beyond all the data, personality is important as you and the influencer will be working closely together. Just as you would ensure a potential employee is a good cultural fit for your business, so, too, should you ensure an influencer is a good fit.
If you would like to discuss micro-influencers and influencer marketing in greater detail, don’t hesitate to contact me at Katie@kgbtexas.com or (210) 826-8899.