Long gone are the days where an influencer’s total following reigned over other metrics. Brands and marketers are now shifting their attention towards the relationship between influencers and their audiences through the engagement their content receives. However, engagement shouldn’t just be measured by how many likes or shares a video or post has received, engagement is about generating conversations and building trust with your audience.
This is why micro-influencers can often make the best brand advocates. While they might have a smaller following, their fan-base is highly active compared to those of the big social media stars who have a predominately voyeuristic audience. Micro-influencers will often engage in meaningful two-way conversations with their followers and respond to feedback or questions, establishing a strong bond with their audience.
What makes a micro-influencer?
Almost immediately when you think ‘micro-influencer’, you think of a smaller social media following, which can be somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 people. Micro-influencers shouldn’t be perceived as an alternative because of budget constraints – they have some fantastic niche audiences who are deeply connected to them and can help generate critical conversations.
Micro-influencers aren’t just rising social media stars who haven’t quite hit the big time yet. They can be found across a wide variety of sectors – from education to science, nutrition and healthcare. They’re often passionate about their work or hobby and want to share this passion with a wider audience that is interested in following their lives. They will normally only work with brands that they believe have a direct link to their influencer content.
Brands are less likely to have editorial control over a micro-influencer’s output, but this isn’t a negative by any means. If you’re launching a new product and want to have it reviewed, but are willing to have an honest authentic response, trusting micro-influencers could be the best way to build brand respect and credibility.
Relationships with micro-influencers
Working with a number of micro-influencers to support your campaign can often reap more rewards than working with just one macro influencer. Many marketers let reach cloud their judgement when, in fact, engaging with multiple micro-influencers will help audiences build trust with your brand and create a more holistic and authentic experience.
Micro-influencers want to tell a story, so they are only likely to want to work with you if they’re a fan of your brand and it ties in with the content on their blog channels. A study by Experticity found that 84 per cent of consumers are likely to follow a recommendation on a product made by a micro-influencer. This is why it’s essential to identify influencers who have a keen interest in what you do, and listen to the conversations they’re having that are related to your brand or sector.
Launching a micro-influencer campaign can be great for getting your brand in front of a variety of eyeballs. But be mindful that you can often invest a lot of time and resources into finding the right influencers and initially you may not think it’s reaping the rewards you expected. However, by identifying the right micro-influencers for your target audience, you’re more likely to deliver the best results.
While impressions, reach and engagement can be easily measured and reported on, it can be harder to attribute influencer engagement conclusively to direct sales. This is why it’s important to recognise the purpose of your campaign. If you’re looking to drive engagement and build long-lasting relationships with key figures in your sector, then micro-influencers will very likely be the best brand advocates. However, if your goal is to boost sales, then investing in macro influencers who will promote your product and reach a mass audience will give you a more accurate ROI.
The future of influencers
At KISS we understand that the future of influencer marketing, like any marketing strategy, is subject to trends, audience behaviour and technologies.
Influencers have become an integral part of the marketing strategy for many brands. So it comes as no surprise that 39 per cent of marketers are actively increasing their influencer marketing budgets for 2018. However, brands have become more savvy when it comes to measuring their success in reaching their target audience. As a result, there is a greater demand for authenticity, which in return means influencers need to offer more trustworthy, less advertising focused content if they want to stay afloat in an increasingly crowded marketplace.