Size matters – but not like you think it does

Influencer marketing is a fast-growing channel, with more brands choosing to work with influencers to promote their products in a more authentic way. Some sources indicate that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands. As a result, 70% of brands have increased their social media spend in 2017. But influencer marketing is changing, with marketing professionals looking at ways to maximize ROI.

Enter the micro-influencer – an influencer with a smaller and more loyal following, typically in the thousands.

It’s one thing for a celebrity or influencer to mention your brand. It’s a completely different thing to get people talking about your brand following an influencer they consider a peer. Research conducted in the US indicates that the engagement rates of micro-influencers are 60% higher than influencers with over a million followers.

Another study reports that consumer-to-consumer word-of-mouth generates twice the sales of paid advertising. Consumers acquired this way had a 37% retention rate.

Micro-influencers offer

  • Targeted audiences with followers that share a similar interest to the influencer.
  • Affordability, even when you use several micro-influencers, the cost will likely still be less than a single celebrity.
  • A more authentic voice. Unlike a brand or celebrity with a social media manager, micro-influencers post their own content and reply to comments. Being an influencer is usually secondary to their fulltime job, so authenticity is a greater priority. They are hyper-aware of their loyal audience, not their fame.

Choosing the right micro-influencer for your brand

Regardless of the size of your business, you can still benefit from including influencers in your marketing plan.

Start with a hashtag search on social media. Words, product names, pay-off lines relevant to your product or market will help you find relevant influencers.

If you’re looking for a blogger in your city, a simple Google search will point you in the right direction. The more specific your search, the greater your chance of finding the right match.

Keep these factors in mind when choosing your micro-influencer:

  • Do they post regularly? Consistency is key when maintaining a social account that is engaging.
  • Are they creative with their content? Sharing content on different platforms and in various formats allows an influencer to engage with their (and by extension the brand’s) followers in interesting ways.
  • Does their audience align to your target market?
  • Do their fans engage with their content?
  • Does their brand match yours?
  • How will you compensate them?

Getting the best results

In South Africa, marketing professionals across brands are using the same pool of influencers, missing out on fresh perspectives and new, possibly more engaged audiences. The average social media user is aware of this, and may even unfollow or block prominent influencers due to their frivolity and lack of authenticity. Micro-influencers could be just the thing your brand needs to break through the noise.

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