Influencer marketing campaigns brought micro-influencers in the spotlight. Finding the right influencers is a key component for a successful influencer marketing strategy that generates ROI. While enlisting famous celebrity influencers is a great option, it may not be the most effective way for social media engagement. Presently, most consumers value the credibility of brand endorsers than their fame, giving way to the popularity of bloggers and Instagrammers who have smaller reach but more engagement. And, as we all know, engagement is king in social media marketing.
Who are Micro-Influencers?
You might be scratching your head and wondering, “Who is a micro-influencer?” Commonly, it’s an influencer with a smaller reach but highly engaged following. These influencers have between 1,000 (or less) to 100,000 followers on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Micro-influencers make up the largest portion of social network influencers. Micro experts cater specifically to highly engaged niche markets. Since they are “everyday” people, they are more relatable and have real connections with their followers.
7 Reasons Why Micro-Influencers Increase Influencer Marketing ROI
Influencer marketing has proven to be an effective strategy in delivering key messaging, expanding brand awareness, and increasing sales outcomes. With the growth of the influencer marketing industry, the difference in influencer profiles has become more visible. In executing an influencer marketing campaign, brands must choose the right influencer to represent their brand. Although found to be successful, influencers with the largest number of followers are not always the best option. Here are seven reasons why micro-influencers help increase influencer marketing ROI.
1. Receive Higher Engagement
Influencers with a smaller following typically have highly engaged audiences which is huge for ROI. According to reports, the rate of followers is inversely related to the audiences’ engagement. A study done by Markerly found that as an influencer’s number of followers increases, their rate of engagement decreases.
The research showed that influencers with 1,000 followers or less normally gain likes on their posts 8% of the time. Whereas, users with huge following of more than 100,000 receive only 1.6% likes most of the time.
The study arrived at the same conclusion for Instagram comments. Influencers with 1,000 followers or less obtain comments about 0.5% of the time. In contrast, users with a larger audience receive only 0.04% comments.
Although micro-influencers have a smaller reach, they build active relationships with interested, highly engaged followers.
2. Encounter Lower Costs
Brands can partner with micro-influencers at a lower cost compared to the rates of higher-tiered influencers. Companies can invest in one or more micro-influencers to reach a specific demographic and a highly engaged audience for a more affordable price than pay $10,000 for an influencer with a huge following to create one Instagram post. An example of a brand investing in micro-influencer marketing campaigns is BODYARMOR. The sports drink brand is known to partner with sports celebrities like Mike Trout and Skylar Diggins-Smith. However, in the brand’s #Switch2BODYARMOR campaign managed by Forward Influence, BODYARMOR utilized health and lifestyle micro-influencer moms to promote its products in social media platforms. Working micro-influencers is budget-friendly even if brands need to partner with several micro creators to get a higher ROI.
3. Appeal to a Niche Market
Another key component to an effective influencer marketing campaign is engaging the right target market. A brand’s products and/or services must appeal to their target audiences. Micro-influencers cater to a particular audience who have similar hobbies and interests as their own. Brands can target their audience by choosing an influencer whose fan base matches a specific combination of gender, age, and interests. Influencers who have niche followers can help the brand achieve a targeted marketing campaign.
For example, Handsome Brook Farm effectively targeted a specific demographic in the brand’s marketing campaign. The brand passionately recognizes moms who provide their children with healthy meals. On the brand’s website, Handsome Brook Farm features mom chefs who are committed in cooking high-quality meals for their families. To successfully reach their target audience, the brand worked with health, wellness, and lifestyle micro-influencers through a blog tour and Instagram campaign managed by Forward Influence. The chosen influencers posted content to promote the brand in their social media accounts. Working with influencers who had home cooks in the audience paved the way for the organic pasture-raised egg brand to connect with the brand’s customer market.
4. Produce High-Quality Content
Micro-influencers aspire to create engaging, transparent, and carefully crafted content particularly to gain more followers and produce a higher engagement rate. Influencers with lower reach are enthusiastic to collaborate with brands they are passionate about and will work hard to deliver outstanding content. Brands partnering with micro-influencers can still spend less without risking quality.
One example of a brand benefiting from awesome content is Amazon. In its #AmazonDeliver 2018 Holiday campaign managed by Forward Influence, the brand enlisted the work of a busy few following mom influencers. The result was exceptional as micro-influencers came up with engaging and Christmas-themed content perfect for the Holiday. Moms showed photos of Christmas gifts and celebrations, as well as shared their stress-free shopping experience with Amazon. The brand’s partners also engaged their audiences by asking how Amazon helped them get through the holiday season. Amazon’s strategy resulted in new followers and a high engagement rate.
5. Rely on Authenticity and Trust
Generally, people believe recommendations and advice of people they trust. Audiences have a high level of confidence in micro-influencers they follow and see them as more authentic than celebrities. A study by Roth Capital Partners showed that 78% of millennials have either a negative opinion or skepticism about endorsements made by celebrities. Followers have greater trust when a micro-influencer recommends a product. Since micro-influencers are considered experts in their fields, they are also credible sources of product information. Fans’ trust in influencers with few following is also attributed to the influencers’ personal relationships with their viewers. Audiences can regularly interact with micro social media experts, building more trust between both parties than with distant top-tier influencers.
By targeting mom influencers who have a smaller reach, Forward Influence managed a campaign for Crayola that was all about authenticity and realness. To promote Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush, the influencers shared their personal experiences and love for the brand. By creating posts that featured their kids using the product while sharing genuine product judgments, the influencers produced content that was honest and believable.
6. Create Audience Connection
Viewers stay highly engaged with micro-influencers because they feel personally connected with them. Micro-influencers build connections by responding often to their followers’ comments and providing personal recommendations. In contrast, influencers with larger reach have limited time to connect with their fans and build personal relationships with them. Generally, micro-influencers are not celebrities but real people living everyday lives and are more relatable. Followers see them as friends and trusted associates than superstars. Since viewers already trust their opinion and expertise, engagement comes naturally. The personal connection between influencers and followers can profit brands as fans can turn into potential customers.
Google is an example of a brand benefiting from influencers with smaller reach but engaged followers. In one of its social media campaigns managed by Forward Influence, the brand worked with home and lifestyle micro-influencers. One of the brand’s partners, Shea Villamor of @millionwaystomother, shared in an Instagram post that featured how she was excited with the brand’s campaign. She interacted with her loyal followers who have known one of her children’s experiences of being bullied at school and how Google’s campaign can help people to be kind. Shea’s post spiked curiosity and personal connection with followers who can relate to her child’s experience. The brand believed that micro-influencers can attract more potential supports of the brand since their viewers consider them as friends.
7. Increase Referrals that Lead to Purchases
Because followers trust micro-influencers, everything they say matters, including the invitation to explore a product or brand. Endorsements made by micro-influencers that are relatable and useful to their audience are likely to be tried and tested. Brands may also attract possible buyers by offering discount codes, giveaway promotions, or links to the brand’s website that can be shared on bloggers’ and Instagrammers’ posts. For example, in a marketing campaign managed by Forward Influence, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium partnered with a few micro-influencers to acquire potential visitors. The brand’s chosen influencers shared in their social media posts how to avail entrance fee discounts and giveaway promos sponsored by Utah’s world-class aquarium.
A study conducted by Rakuten Marketing that included 3,500 respondents (1,000 are from the U.S.,) showed that 88 percent of the participants were encouraged to buy something that was introduced by an influencer. Audiences value micro-influencers’ authenticity. Most followers even discover new products and make purchases based on the links influencers shared. In general, 83 percent of men and 89 percent of women buy products suggested by influencers. The research also found that viewers trust opinions of influencers who are honest with their relationships with brands.
Wrapping It All Up
With the growth of influencer marketing, working with the right people can make or break your influencer marketing campaign. To get your biggest bang for your buck, you’ll want to consider the reasons provided in this post and partner with micro-influencers.
Why do you love working with micro influencers to increase ROI?