We are living in a time where more than half of Americans report using an ad blocker while they’re online, according to YouGov Profiles data, and trust in advertising is at an all-time low. Attention is now our most precious and scarcest resource, and content is the cost of entry for brands.
Influencer marketing has increasingly become a method of content creation and distribution to reach a target audience group. But wherein the past, influencers have largely been considered celebrities or people with millions of followers, 2018 will demonstrate a rapid decline in brands using traditional celebrities and the rise of the micro-influencer.
We defines a micro-influencer as an individual with less than 100,000 social followers and someone with immense influence within their community of followers. We strongly believe that micro-influencers offer brands opportunities that celebrities and mega-influencers cannot.
1. More engaging
Creative potential and audience engagement of an individual can be significantly more important than reach in terms of an influencer’s true ability to influence —impressions can only go so far in getting people to take action. Micro-influencers with under 30,000 followers have been shown to deliver 60% higher campaign engagement rates and those campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement, according to Adweek.
Data shows that, overall, as an influencer’s follower size goes up, their engagement goes down because consumers perceive them to be less relatable, find Influence Marketing Hub. So if engagement is your focus, the lower end of micro influencers can be extremely impactful because they are perceived to be more like everyday people and share content that resonates stronger with their followers. If a brand is more focused on driving awareness, the higher end of the range might be better suited to reach more eyeballs while still maintaining the reach of people who understand and care about what your influencer is all about.
2. Authentic relationships
Research shows that consumers are seven times more likely to trust someone they follow on social media over a traditional celebrity. Micro-influencers have communities of followers that they’ve already established relationships with over time, giving them a significant amount of influence. I’m willing to try almost anything the food bloggers I follow promote, because I have followed them for so long and genuinely trust their expertise.
Many of the incredibly sought after, high reaching influencers are known to have purchased followers, in the hundreds and often thousands. Brands do not want to be putting budgets towards bots because those engagements are completely meaningless. With the priority on engagement over reach, micro influencers offer more niche communities full of real people looking for answers, conversations and content.
3. Long-term relationships
Long-term relationships are more meaningful than one-off relationships, with 71% of marketers saying they believe that ongoing ambassadorships are the most effective form of influencer marketing. Communication appears more genuine and authentic when an influencer supports a brand that they have come to love over time, rather than a week or two of the one-off campaign. With the cost of celebrities and mega-influencers being so high, it becomes harder, and unrealistic for brands to be able to maintain long-term relationships that will have long-term impact. Micro-influencers offer a much more cost efficient approach to long term campaigns.
4. Impact on the bottom line
Seventy-four percent of people turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions, providing an opportunity for influencers to have a real impact on your bottom line. Micro-influencers have been shown to drive a strong ROI, with data showing they drive 22 times more conversions, according to Experticity. Because of their authentic relationships these individuals have real influence on buying behavior and purchase decisions.
With consumers now in the driver’s seat to turn ads off, meeting consumers where they are in authentic ways has never been more important. Micro-influencers offer the most culturally relevant and authentic means of content creation and distribution, which is what brands need to break through the noise.