Influencer marketing is extremely popular right now, and is expected to remain so through 2019.
This type of marketing involves brands developing mutually beneficial relationships with people (and sometimes animals!) who are extremely popular on various social media platforms. By sponsoring ads with these social media superstars, they get their products in front of large numbers of people who have already demonstrated their loyalty to an influencer and who are likelier than the typical consumer to purchase something the influencer features.
Micro-influencing is, as its name would suggest, a smaller-scale concept. With micro-influence campaigns, brands pair with individuals with smaller, but fiercely loyal followings on social media. Rather than sponsoring ads, the brand’s products typically appear in authentic, visually-oriented posts. It’s proving to be remarkably effective.
Advantages of Working with Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers cost less to work with than major social media influencers. Because they may have “only” a few thousand followers, they’re less likely to be turning down major sponsorship deals. But micro-influencers have the advantage of intensely dedicated followers, and this translates to higher engagement rates. In short, it’s a matter of quality over quantity.
If you look at a graph of “like” rate vs. followership on Instagram, for example, you’ll see that the people with around 1,000 followers generate likes 8% of the time. Once an influencer has a million followers or more, they gain likes only 1.7% of the time. Comment rates versus followership show a similar pattern.
Micro-influencers also have highly targeted followers. They’re likelier to be on social media not as a brand unto themselves, as many of the huge influencers are, but rather as someone with a genuine passion for something in particular, whether that’s yoga, cooking, fashion, or some other specific interest.
Examples of Successful Micro-Influencer Campaigns
Google promoted its Pixelbook with a DIY craft duo known as The Sorry Girls and reaped strong engagement numbers in 2017. Coca-Cola teamed up with Australian comedian Alan Tsibulya, who has around 450,000 tremendously loyal followers. Kimpton Hotels created a campaign that allowed selected micro-influencers to take over the brand’s Instagram account temporarily, allowing for strong cross-pollination between the influencers’ and the brand’s Instagram followings. Clothing brands, and even entities like tourism departments have worked with micro-influencers and drawn highly targeted, highly interested traffic to their sites that way.
Mistakes to Avoid
Perhaps the biggest mistake brands make when teaming up with micro-influencers is taking a “let’s see what happens” approach rather than stating goals and KPIs right from the start. Setting goals not only allows better measurement of the campaign’s success, but it also helps create benchmarks for future campaigns.
Choosing the wrong micro-influencer is another easily avoidable mistake. It’s important for brands to thoroughly research not only the influencer, but the followers as well. Brands with local or regional presences should be careful to choose micro-influencers that are geographically located in the brand’s radius, or risk creating fans who have no way to obtain the products being promoted.
Finally, there is the unfortunate fact that followers, likes, and even comments can be bought. Brands must learn how to spot the signs of fake followers to avoid working with people who appear to be influential, but who in reality are not.
Micro-influencers can be an ideal alternative for brands that are skeptical of partnering with social media icons. The risks are typically lower, and the results can be outsized with the right partnership. Doing it right requires setting goals, choosing the right micro-influencer, measuring results, and correcting course as necessary—just like with any digital marketing campaign. Hangar12 is at the forefront of CPG marketing strategy and more. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date with our latest insights.
Topics brand strategy