Influencer is a hot-topic word in recent years with many brands and companies turning to influencer marketing as part of their online digital marketing strategy over or in addition to traditional means of product advertising such as printed adverts in newspapers or large display adverts like those seen on buses or on billboards.
Where did the term “influencer” come from?
The term “influencer” while fairly young in marketing languages, has been around for some time, with Oxford Dictionary first finding usage of the word dating back to 1660’s when Henry Moor was described as “The head and influencer of the whole church”. Not to mention, social media influencers aren’t the only kinds of influencers around; consider long-standing Tony the Tiger or Coco the Monkey for Kellogg’s, for example.
The word “influencer” continues to develop through marketing use, with -fluencer trending as a suffix for words including manfluencer, Pinfluencer, fitfluencer and techfluencer. Although influencers are thought of as the most popular social media accounts with high follower counts and ratios, the cost now expected by some of these high-flying influencers has quickly increased to outside the means of many SMEs and independent businesses. Have you considered influencer marketing for your business or has it been pushed outside of your standard marketing budget? If so, have you put any thought into the value micro-influencers could bring to your company?
What Are Micro-Influencers?
Much like the title suggests, a micro-influencer is a social media personality within a niche that has a med-high follower account and a noticeable presence. They aren’t celebrities and do not get the millions of followers that the highest performing social media influencers have however, their followers tend to offer more engagements than those following a celebrity/large influencer.
A micro-influencer might attract between 1,000 to 100,000 followers within their niche or industry and this should be considered depending on your reach. For instance, a company selling rock-climbing shoes is going to attract a lot less custom than a business selling pillowcases, which is typically something that everybody uses over a personal interest or hobby.
Why Use Micro-Influencers?
When you are trying to grow awareness of your brand, there are plenty of digital and offline avenues to explore, from building content and encouraging good SEO practices to traditional advertising. These can be quite resourced intensive, especially if you are a small company where jobs roles are defined and time-consuming.
While many companies may seek an external company to handle their marketing, for example SEO services offered by this site; finding micro-influencers can be done cheaply through researching your or your competitor’s current social media followers.
If you are feeling apprehensive that a micro-influencer won’t be much benefit to your company, consider the following statistics:
- Micro-influencers see an increased engagement rate of up to 60% compared to larger influencers
- Micro-influencers cost as much as 10x less than celebrity influencers, take for example the Kardashians, who charge upwards of $500,000 per Instagram post when compared to a micro-influencer, who is more likely to charge between $100-$200.
- Micro-influencers offer more authenticity as they have more scope to pick and choose campaigns
- Micro-influencers are considered thought-leaders in their niche, already having established relationships and trust with their followers
With these statistics in mind, a micro-influencer campaign could see your business increasing conversions while shaving cost off your marketing budget, which allows for an increased number of campaigns or alternatively funnelling the spare cash into business growth or hiring.
Are Micro-Influencers Still Relevant?
We are over half way into 2018 now and while micro-influencers have been discussed over the past year in the marketing industry, more and more social media users are turning away from large celebrity influencers or able to see through transparent campaigns. More focus is being placed on building personal relationships which carry more authenticity than engaging with a celebrity account.
While this may seem like a negative, it holds plenty of benefit for brands and businesses that are trying to grow their conversions, over or in addition to expanding reach and awareness, meaning micro-influencers are only going to become more sought after as consumers redirect their trust to micro-influencer accounts.
Is There Value in Using Celebrity or Large Influencers?
It may be controversial, but unless you are working in the marketing department for a large, established brand with a direct competitor i.e. Cocoa Cola vs. Pepsi, Huggies vs. Pampers or Apple vs. Windows, you are very unlikely to see a cost-effective return on your campaign. These kinds of influencers work very well for reaching a wider audience, although you can’t be sure it is well targeted and offers a similar potential to a well-placed billboard in New York or London, although will cost a lot more.
For brands with restricted marketing budgets and that aren’t pulling in millions in profit every year, the most effective route of influencer marketing would be to invest in some carefully researched micro-influencers that are relevant to your industry and niche. Alternatively, if you are struggling to find quality micro-influencers, consider growing your own social media following, reach out to past customers or seek out the assistance from a marketing firm, where budgets allow.