It may sound pretty counterintuitive that with the expansion of the influencer marketing industry comes the increased use of micro-influencers, or influencers with smaller platforms than we are accustomed to. The breakthrough accessibility of influencer marketing sees a shift in brands turning to micro-influencers as the key target for their campaigns. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, “micro-influencers perform the bulk of successful influencer marketing [at least 90% of it]. Generally speaking, users with smaller followings have higher engagement on social media across the board. This inevitably is a game changer for brands looking to gain the most exposure to their target audience. Seen as means of increasing engagement, brand awareness, and traffic as well as a boost in overall sales, micro-influencer marketing inevitably racks in higher ROI for brands and companies alike.
What Are Micro-Influencers?
Anyone with 10k-50k followers on social media is considered to be a micro-influencer. The point behind micro-influencer marketing, then, is to gauge the interests of individuals with smaller but more engaged platforms and have them echo a brand’s message in hopes of catching the eye of many in their following. Though their following is smaller, that does not change the amount of influence they hold within their circles as their audience is much more likely to engage with them on a daily, and more personal basis, which is exactly what brands seek to capitalize on today throughout their campaigns, especially when they are looking to sell a product or service to their target audience.
What Makes Micro-Influencer Marketing More Effective?
If you look at some of the biggest gaming Youtubers today such as PewDiePie, with over 100 million subscribers or Markiplier, with over 26 million subscribers, they have an audience of a wide variety or interests. Though they are YouTubers specifically covering gaming content, as their popularity rises, their incoming audience would most likely be subscribing or supporting them for their online persona or regard them more as an internet personality. This is inevitably what happens when an individual becomes more and more popular: as their platform expands, their audience is inherently going to encompass a diverse range of people having many different interests as well. Therefore, most A-list celebrities or mega-influencers today are more known for their public persona or their popularity in and of itself than the specific work they do in a niche industry.
Engagement vs. Followers
It’s important to remember that higher engagement is not synonymous with higher following. With influencer fraud to keep in mind when looking through a larger influencer’s platform, it could very well be possible that you’ll find that smaller influencers will often have the most authentic platform comprised of real life people that share the same interests as them. As micro-influencers have less followers than macro or mega-influencers, they can afford to interact more with their followers.
Micro-influencers almost always start off in a niche industry -- something they either are an expert in or find themselves passionate about. This is another factor that stands appealing to brands that are looking to promote their message through a micro-influencer: once they can find an influencer that has expertise in the same industry, the brand will be able to optimize their campaign and gain the most exposure in front of their target audience. Unlike most major celebrities, with micro-influencers, brands will be able to step into very specific, niche markets, otherwise seen as huge profit-making opportunities as these markets are filled with people of the same interest and buying habits. Since these micro-influencers have a tribe surrounding them that align closely with their interests, brands can tap into these spaces and begin to make their mark -- paving a sturdy path that can help them expand in their future business trajectory.
Benefits of Micro-Influencer Marketing that Generate Higher ROI
When it comes to working with micro-influencers, it is already no secret that they generate more ROI for a brand’s campaign. For the amount that a brand may invest in its partnership with a micro-influencer, it can yield a profit much more than it would in a partnership with a larger influencer with a higher asking rate. For example, hair product brand Garnier partnered with 150 micro-influencers to raise awareness of its new Fructis haircare line alone. As a result, it was estimated that it created more than 33 million impressions, reached more than 10 million people alone, and racked in about 300,000 worth of engagements with the campaign. It is safe to say then that when looking at types of influencers to choose from, most brands, especially startup ones, will be more prone to lean towards micro-influencers to carry out its campaign for multiple reasons:
Credibility – Many micro-influencers are specialists in a particular niche, and so any content they share that’s related to that niche is considered more credible. Oftentimes, the traditional influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers can be more like a celebrity than a friend. With micro-influencers, this isn’t the case. These are people who are much more relatable and at peer levels with consumers. A Trust Barometer survey asked why people followed and trusted influencers and found that people thought that relatability was nearly twice as important as popularity. In addition, survey respondents rated the credibility of different groups on social media and the “people like me” category gained the most trust in the past year.
Low Cost – Less investment is required to work with a micro influencer, which makes this kind of partnership more accessible to brands. For the amount of money a brand may invest into a micro-influencer campaign, the profit the campaign produces will not only prove to be a worthwhile investment but will generate higher ROI that can only kickstart more campaigns in the future.
Real Engagement – Micro-influencers tend to have better engagement rates than mega or macro influencers, because their audience can easily relate with not only the content but also with the influencers themselves.
Conversion – Micro-influencers are more likely to turn potentially interested individuals of their content into their loyal subscribers and customers thanks to the strong level of trust between them and their audience. This can then translate to loyal customers for the brand if the influencer ends up participating in their own campaign.
Availability – Due to the lower cost of working with a micro-influencer, brands have the option of working with several influencers at the same time. According to a report by Mention, 15.7% of Instagram users have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers, which is right in the niche of micro-influencers. If you apply that percentage to Instagram’s one billion user count, that means there are 157 million micro-influencers to choose from. You can expect to find these micro-influencers in just about any category imaginable.
The Flip Side
However, due to the sheer amount of micro-influencers filling every industry imaginable today, it may be a time investment to search for the perfect one. Due to this, many brands will resort to using a handful, or even more, micro-influencers for a single campaign which inevitably raises operation costs but increases the scale of the campaign as well. For startup businesses especially, management over a single partnership may prove to be a challenge already large enough, so overlooking a campaign where multiple influencers might be involved might require the assistance of another party -- this is where Lifo is able to help you and your brand’s campaign. With its streamlined platform and management services, Lifo can assist you with campaign management and help you reach your target.
At the end of the day, though, no matter what you sell — whether it’s business software or random goods and services — there’s likely to be a micro-influencer or dozens of micro-influencers for you to choose from. Now that more and more people are taking to social media to post about their hobbies and passions, this is the perfect opportunity for brands to set up a killer campaign that centers the messages that both the brand and influencer hold dear to them.
We understand this is a daunting task - especially for new business owners. Lifo is here to help! Lifo leverages advanced AI and technology to help you run influencer campaigns at scale – searching, collaborating and tracking, so that you can grow your brand and business rapidly and effortlessly.
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