Influencer marketing is no longer a hype, but an integral part of a communication strategy for many companies. The reason is simple: Influencers are revered as idols and thus influence their followers. A business’ goal is clear: With influencers, they want to increase their own brand perception and reach new target groups — just think of the campaigns from established companies like Adidas with Kendall Jenner.
But beyond such top influencers, micro-influencers also represent an alternative as an advertising medium. Such a person does not have to have a million followers to be influential, as micro-influencer marketing proves. Using first use cases, we’ll take a close look at this new phenomenon.
Who are micro influencers?
Micro influencers have just a few thousand followers. From these, they are valued for their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic. Their social community is, therefore, smaller, but they are also very dedicated. That’s why they can be all the more valuable when it comes to promoting a brand.
For example, Shewan Art (@ projekt27) and speedzilla (@speedzilla_official) have achieved very high engagement rates. The first is a photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer with nearly 10,000 followers. 47.5 per cent of followers responded to actions on this Instagram account. The latter is enthusiastic about motorcycles, for example, from BMW. He also has about 10,000 followers and according to the Likometer statistics always reaches about 23 per cent of its fan base by mail.
Both have less range than a world-renowned photographer or a race car driver, but as influencers for brands, they are also much easier to get, especially for smaller budgets for an influencer campaign.
Here’s how valuable micro influencers are
Micro-influencers have a specific niche audience and are deeply connected to them. They do not influence globally, but rather regionally. In this context, working with micro-influencers can be very effective. However, there are some disadvantages compared to larger influencers.
1. They have a large, highly motivated following
Followers trust, value, and interact with them on a regular basis. They are more inclined to like the product presented and discussed by the influencer and to want to know more about it than it is for influencers with an audience of over 700,000 followers. Their fan base may give a post alike, but nothing more.
In fact, micro-influencer content is 6.7 times more efficient than larger influencers, proving that they can do a lot for a brand despite their lower fan base.
They are usually cheaper
Since they do not have that many followers, they do not earn as much. Micro-influencers are therefore much cheaper than advertising methods that are more traditional. According to a study, 84 per cent of micro-influencers charge less than $250 for a single, advertising-related Instagram post.
With this tool you can check out whether this is actually the case:
The same study found that 70 percent of micro-influencers work on fewer than five marketing campaigns each year. This means less advertising and greater response.
In addition to the lower costs, there is also less competition.
3. Content is authentic
Micro-influencers are really interested in their niche, they live it, producing content that is more relevant and unique.
For example, Hello Kitty has been counting on micro-influencers as digital content producers for years to strengthen their brand.
But micro-influencer marketing is not a modest business. It requires a lot of strategic planning on both sides — on the part of brand engagement and on the part of influencers who want to expand and inspire their social fan base. That’s why Sanrio, Hello Kitty’s licensee, launched the Hello Kitty Gang: a group of 200 micro-influencers who have between 10,000 and 100,000 dedicated followers on social media, reaching an audience of millions, even though they do not opt to be paid by Hello Kitty.
The members of Hello Kitty Gang are real fans of Hello Kitty who are limiting or pre-approving Hello Kitty products, inviting them to be an exclusive part of the brand and reporting on social media — giving Sanrio some valuable information supplied which products trigger reactions for Helly Kitty customers.
As mentioned earlier, micro-influencers have a small community per se. Even with the most active network of micro-influencers, it will be difficult for companies to reach as many people as possible as with superstars. In addition, micro-influencers are often not yet so professional in doing promotions with brands.
And yet: The smart use of micro-influencers now allows brands to dramatically increase ROI and better target potential customers. Micro or Macro, Influence or Range? This is a strategic decision, depending on an ultimate business goal.