Choosing Quality Over Quantity in the World of Influencers
Influencer vs Micro-influencer
Influencer marketing is when a brand partners with top content creators, boasting hundreds of thousands to millions of followers, to promote their products. Micro-influencer marketing is similar, just on a much smaller scale. Brands partner with curators, who have less than 100,000 followers, to promote their products.
For example, an influencer could be a celebrity in a general field of interest. On the other hand, a micro-influencer is often an average person with a more specified field of interest, carrying a smaller but passionate audience. Consumers generally trust micro-influencers because of their authenticity and transparency. Micro-influencers also have a credibility to uphold, so they can’t afford to promote a product unless they have used it themselves and were satisfied with it. Their followers know this, leading them to have trust in and purchase products they are promoting.
Less is More
Have you ever been at a buffet where everything looked so mouth watering that your eyes became bigger than your stomach? In the moment all that food tasted so good, but hours later you are left with a grueling stomachache. Influencer marketing can go the same way. An influencer could have a follower count that knocks you off your feet, but engagement rates and reach could be at an all time low. Rate of engagement peaks at about 1,000 followers¹, so the more followers the influencer has over 1,000, the lower the engagement rate.
For example, a video game company could partner with a celebrity and reach millions of people, but most of them might not be interested in gaming. Instead, the company could partner with 100 gaming vloggers with 1,000 followers each, reaching a highly targeted and engaged consumer base. Though they may be reaching fewer people, engagement and conversion rates are likely to be higher than that of the celebrity influencer. According to a survey by Experticity¹, 82% of customers surveyed said they would be very likely to follow a recommendation from a micro-influencer. They also found that micro influencers have a 22% higher conversion rate than the typical influencer. This makes micro-influencers an extremely powerful marketing tool if executed properly.
Micro-influencers are usually significantly more affordable than profiles with millions of followers. A celebrity might charge $100,000 for an Instagram post, while a micro-influencer usually charges no more than $500.
To learn more about how companies leverage micro-influencers, I talked to Sean Finelli², co-founder of “The Roman Guy” about his experiences with this. He explained to me how he used micro-influencers to grow his business from the ground up. He owns a European tour company, so he started reaching out to travel micro-bloggers. He would offer them a free tour in exchange for a blog post about their experience or a YouTube video documenting it, along with promoting his tours. The influencers would also provide a link to “The Roman Guy” website in their posts, enabling the company to use Share a Sale, an affiliate marketing tool, to track engagement and actions taken. The influencers affiliated were given a small percentage of profit the company earned due to their postings. This was of no up-front cost to him and grew his audience immensely. This is a prime example of how micro-influencers can be of advantage to any company, no matter how small the budget.
It’s no wonder micro-influencers are the new big thing, considering they are cost effective and prove to have better numbers than marketing with an industry influencer. HelloSociety³ found that micro-influencers pull in a 60% higher engagement rate and are 6.7 times more cost-effective. That being said, micro-influencer’s might not work for every business. For example, a huge international tech company like IBM might not find this marketing technique to be helpful. Smaller e-commerce companies on the other hand may find this strategy to be very fruitful. For businesses with tight budgets, micro-influencers could be the perfect way to deliver their message, building an audience and boosting credibility.
- Bernazzani, S. (2019, October 16). Micro-Influencer Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide. Hubspot. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/micro-influencer-marketing
- Sean Finelli. Co-founder of “The Roman Guy”. Personal Communications. September 24, 2020.
- Winsberg Brin, D. (2018, July 31). Small Businesses Find Micro-Influencers A Good Marketing Avenue. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/dinahwisenberg/2018/07/31/small-businesses-find-micro-influencers-a-good-marketing-avenue/#11740fc26f9f