Living in an age where consumers can easily get their hands on vast amounts of data, it is imperative for you to develop more compelling advertising strategies that not only sell but also inform and engage your intended audience. This can be achieved by utilizing different marketing channels cohesively or simply improving user experience as a whole.
However, despite being subject to numerous changes amidst the rise of modern technology, utilizing influencer marketing still provides good returns on investment. From creating lovable fictional characters to partnering with people in authority, influencer marketing continues to thrive as a dominant force since its introduction in the 1920s.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a business approach that involves forming partnerships with well-known personalities to generate meaningful engagements between your brand and potential customers.
Although not as targeted as it is now, influencer marketing has been around long before the advent of the internet and smart gadgets. In the early parts of the 20th century, companies would create unique personas that elicit emotional responses in consumers or utilize strategic product associations to drive purchases.
Coca-Cola for example, showcased Saint Nicholas in print ads to appeal to their audience in 1931. The success of the campaign came down to their decision of depicting the icon as the friendly-looking, chubby Santa Claus we all know and love, as it established a human connection that banks on the heart-warming narrative of festive gift-giving.
Today, influencer marketing refers to a specialized tactic in which business owners tailor their promotional materials to pique the interests of a select few instead of the general populace. Companies specifically ally with people who have a considerable amount of following from a particular niche to organically boost brand awareness and sales.
How Does It Work?
Influencer marketing banks on the premise that modern-day customers are much more compelled to listen and believe in actual human experience than to traditional, impersonal advertisements. It aims to capture influencers who have already gained the trust of thousands of listeners and make them spread information about the brand and drive positive returns.
From a particular perspective, it can be said that the approach is a combination of testimonial and word-of-mouth marketing. The resulting hybrid makes for an effective strategy because the individuals who are advocating for your product or service are doing so in an authentic and relatable manner that keeps customers engaged.
Macro Influencers vs. Micro Influencers
Influencers can be categorized as either a macro or micro influencers depending on how far and significant their reach is. Macro influencers are those who are easily recognizable on almost any social media platform because of their massive following of at least 100,000. Working with a single macro influencer grants an almost immediate rise in visibility due to their sheer popularity. In contrast, micro influencers have a significantly limited but dedicated reach of about 1,000 to 10,000 followers. They are seen as “normal” or “approachable” people who happen to have fascinating insights or personalities.
Why Micro Influencer Marketing is Important
From the surface, it may be the obvious choice to partner with a macro influencer simply to let the market know about your brand. However, despite the undeniable benefits of collaborating with macro influencers to help in your business, it is important to note that micro influencers level the playing field through the following facets:
Prioritizing Engagement Over Range of Reach
Gauging the extent of one’s influence over a population is often mistakenly attributed only to the number followers an individual has. While it’s true that an expansive reach is favorable, engagement takes precedence as the more critical factor for long-term commercial success. Micro influencers thrive on engaging and creating well-curated content specifically for their followers, making their engagement rate higher than the industry standard, while macro influencers lessen their engagement rates as they garner more followers and rise in popularity.
With fewer people tuned in to their content, micro influencers have the opportunity to respond more diligently to most comments on their posts which sparks more meaningful conversations with potential customers that eventually lead to conversions in the form of clicks or sales. The manageable follower size also makes it more likely that the audience is composed of actual people rather than bots or fake accounts. Hence, you get to communicate with a genuine community that truly listens and responds to the messages the influencer puts out.
Targeted and Cost-Effective
Since micro influencers typically present themselves to be knowledgeable in one definitive field, they appeal to a much more specific demographic. On the other hand, macro influencers attract a more general crowd that is spread thinly in terms of interests and needs. Kind of like in fishing, business owners who work with micro influencers set out a small net into the ocean of consumers, whereas those who collaborate with macro influencers use a much larger net to capture as many fish as possible.
From a limited perspective, it’s easy to believe that macro influencers are more beneficial to your business due to their extensive scope when you disregard the fact that it does not necessarily translate to higher conversion rates. This scenario is where micro influencer marketing is much more effective.
Partnering with a micro influencer is cheaper and helps your brand or business target a very specific demographic. It also opens avenues to craft more sincere content and personalized offers. In return, you get improved customer retention and customer loyalty, positively impacting your return on investment (ROI).
Micro influencers also have a hold on a unique or niche audience who are almost impossible to penetrate by macro influencers. Having access to this exclusive territory helps your business grow quickly in specific areas and organically spread out over time.
More Natural Brand Representation
Micro influencers are perceived to be very relatable and genuine compared to macro influencers like celebrity endorsers. Seeing that they live ordinarily like everyone else, the masses listen more closely to micro influencers and hold their opinions at a higher regard. In fact, according to recent studies, 92% of online consumers trust the insights of fellow non-specialists more than the content presented by the brands themselves. This is made apparent by the increased use of ad blockers and other similar software.
The level of confidence people have in the words of a micro influencer can also be attributed to the organic and relatable content they are known to produce. Even the most blatant product placements coming from micro influencers aren’t seen as mere sponsored posts, but rather legitimate suggestions that consumers and followers can easily resonate with.
Starting Your Own Micro Influencer Campaign
Much like every other marketing strategy, forging partnerships with micro influencers has its drawbacks. Firstly, since they are relatively low profile people, looking for a micro influencer can be tedious and time-consuming. If you don’t know where to search, slowly going through a massive pool of social media influencers could give your competitors a convenient head start.
Micro influencers can also be more challenging to work with since they are much likely to be unfamiliar with how brand management works. To help skyrocket your campaign, here are a few tips you’d want to keep in mind to make sure you get the best out of your collaboration:
Check Your Existing Followers
Going for people who are already fans of your product or service will make your micro influencer campaign successful in a myriad of ways. An obvious one is that you wouldn’t have to pitch your proposal too hard for them to cooperate.
If they truly love your business, micro influencers are more likely to collaborate and create promotional materials and share them with their followers. However, this doesn’t mean they’d do so without appropriate compensation, but they will be much more enthusiastic and will appear to viewers as a sign of honest and positive regard for the brand.
Do Not Restrain Your Micro Influencers
Micro influencers got to where they are today through perseverance and determination. They built the reach of their influence one follower at a time without prior connections, and therefore are incredibly protective of their credibility. With that being said, it is best to give them the freedom to come up with their own content, as they know what their audience is looking for or would want to see. You can, however, still set guidelines and expectations clearly to ensure that your needs are still met at the end of the day.
Use the Power of Hashtags
Given how much content there is on the internet, it’s not enough to publish your well-crafted content and hope that people find it naturally. One of the best ways to stand out is by utilizing hashtags to let your target audience conveniently search for your content. Take advantage of hashtags to organize your content and narrow down the results. It is also a cheap way of personalizing your brand online.
Make your micro influencer marketing campaign more successful when you implement it together with robust social media marketing strategies, conversion rate optimization plans, and professionally-made content. Consult with our expert digital marketers by leaving us a message below.