A micro influencer is typically distinguished by a following of around 1000 to 10,000 followers.
At the other end of the scale, boasting anywhere between 50,000 to 1 million followers, we have macro influencers.
Influencer marketing is growing in prevalence within both B2C and B2B marketing. Not only does it enable greater brand exposure, it’s also said to enhance SEO, conversions, and sales.
Influencers are present across most of your typical social medial platforms. While Facebook is said to be the most influential platform, mediums such as YouTube and Instagram are also prolific breeding grounds for influencers.
But with followings of up to six figures, it does beg the question: why use micro influencers over macro influencers?
Micro influencer marketing is not only accessible, diverse, versatile, it’s also extremely effective.
What this comes down to is authenticity.
Looking to influencers for inspiration and recommendations on brands is hugely progressive area of marketing and we are just starting to scratch the service of what is achievable.
It will continue to gain tractions as the ‘millennial mindset’ disseminates across generational divisions and platforms, perpetuating the belief that buyers trust genuine advocates over celebrities when it comes to product promotion.
As voracious consumers of content, audiences are learning how to distinguish what is genuine and what is simply false, intrusive or untrustworthy. Familiar and relatable faces in the form of micro influencers help bridge the gap between brand and customer, helping your brand nurture a relationship with prospective customers.
So why not go for the big numbers – the engagement and the exposure that a macro influencer can access for you? One could argue that while macro influencers do have their pros (they’re often highly experienced marketers with a high level of professionalism) the appearance of your product in their feeds becomes diluted within streams of other less credible brands. As followers grow into the big numbers, it becomes more difficult to sustain the same level of credibility. And, while followers of macros obsequiously devour information from their idols, it’s not reflected in the conversion rates nearly as much.
But there is a clear disparity between micro and macro influencers. Micro influencers have typically garnered a following pertaining to a subject or topic – one that is associated with your product. Their following is genuine, high quality and fit the description of your ideal buyer.
Micro influencers are usually experts in their topic and have earned their following through a community mindset that was established through the sharing of considered, authentic and valuable content. Think, a renowned personal trainer promoting protein supplements. They have smaller followings with more niche and genuine audiences, and of course, better relationships with their followers. This drives greater ROI for brands and builds a more trustworthy reputation. Which inevitably equates to:
- better conversation rates
- greater trust and reputation
- ability to generate an increase in sales
- a human extension of your brand
- more frequent interaction with followers
- more selective about collaborations (for fear of offending or losing high quality followers)
- easier to manage their followings
What does this all mean?
One could argue that since micro influencers aren’t nearly as preoccupied (or distracted) by the prospect of fame. And therefore, they have a more vested interest in their products and content.
Online communities are often built around specific niches and it’s likely a community already exists out there that you can harness for your marketing benefits.
And, according to Impact, 49% of people say they trust recommendations by influencers to make purchasing decisions. In a niche industry, stats like that are absolute gold dust.
According to research by Collective Bias, 30% of respondents say they considered purchasing a product promoted by an influencer (not a celebrity) and conversion rates are said to sit around 20%.
Since micro influencers typically achieve higher engagement rates and conversion rates, it could be an excellent place to start if you are new to influencer marketing.
Selecting your influencers is going to be the most vital step. This comes down to acquiring a deep understanding of the relationship with their followers. How was their reputation obtained? What are they core values and messages? And, is this going to be right for your business?
The following industries are said to outperform others when it comes to influencer marketing:
- Fashion/ beauty
- Home/ lifestyle
- Travel/ lifestyle
- Business/ tech
Other factors for consideration should be location, age, gender, even political leaning. Consider if there are any risks associated with using an influencer that could harm your brand’s reputation, and if there are, how much do the possibilities outweighs those risks? If this answer is not much, then it’s not worth risking tarnishing your brand.
It’s also important to align your influencers with your typical customer, which is why we have noted factors such as age and gender of high importance. Often, influencers within the same demographic (at least, superficially) can have a greater influence over your target audience since they are considered more relatable. But this isn’t always the case, there will of course be other areas of consideration.
Ask yourself, what is their knowledge of our industry and sector? How have they established this trust and following? What are their values? Perhaps they are leading food critic with a blog that garners thousands of readers or subscribers, or maybe they own their own tech company and could be a great fit for your software product? Or maybe, they’re simply a likeable millennial with a passion for the environment and sustainable products. Seeking to answers these questions will help you build an understanding of their credibility and how it was obtained.
There are many variables to consider but above all, always place authenticity and credibility at the top of your list. A highly regarded, humbled micro influencer is more likely to bring you a significant return on investment (ROI) than a macro influencer.
Influencers are the pioneers of a new wave of promotion and marketing. They have cultivated high quality followings through genuine connections with their audiences. Whether that comes from a topic, a product or a way of life, it’s a powerful notion that can be harnessed by marketers and businesses. Generation Z are said to trust influencers more than their own friends and family – a mindset which is bleeding into other generations. If you’d like to find out if micro influencers could be a successful avenue for your business, talk to us today.