ARE MICRO-INFLUENCERS TAKING OVER INFLUENCER MARKETING?
In a world of Kim Kardashians, be a Karl Watson.
When it comes to influencer marketing, a lot of brands set their sights on a Kim Kardashian-level of exposure and not micro-influencers. It may seem like the way to go – a lot of eyes, the reverence of fans and the idea that a red-carpet celebrity is holding your product. Then, one post later there is another product that was able to fit the bill for a plug and yours has gone by the wayside.
Is that sustainable? No.
Is it real? Well, you be the judge… another Kardashian alum forgot to customize the copy for a sponsored ad which was quickly deleted, but the Internet does not forget:
Does this mean influencer marketing is dead? No.
Just as with life, marketers evolve. We see opportunity when others see defeat, and this ingenuity gave birth to the concepts of micro-influencers and ambassadors. These content creators are now being given the budgets to speak to their community with the authenticity and sustainability that gives brands an edge on the competition.
INFLUENCER MARKETING SEGMENTS
In an age where social media reigns, it was only a matter of time before normal everyday people realized that they had some power in their audience. This gave birth to the influencer. The influencer industry has evolved and grown into a chasm of segmentation of influencer hierarchy.
The idea of celebrity is no longer a movie star. Having over one million followers on social media was once considered celebrity, even though that is no longer the case. There still has not been a good qualifier for influencers who reach the one million mark, whose followers are fans of their work and hold them in high esteem. Often, they can achieve mass exposure for a brand and provide a competitive edge.
Macro-influencers are those who have 10,000 to one million followers and are specialists in their field and have a diverse yet targeted audience. It also can be a little bit more tangible for most brands to reach out to directly.
Micro-influencers have 1,000 to 10,000 followers and are more everyday individuals who are sharing their recommendations and opinions with the audience. While this segment of influencers may face a lot of competition, they have significantly higher rates of engagement.
Ambassadors have a different kind of influence. They are champions of brands that they use and often will work for product. Brand ambassadors are not only posting on their social media, they are providing word-of-mouth recommendations and genuinely love and use the product.
Learn more about Influencer segments below.
INFLUENCERS KNOW CONTENT MARKETING
Micro-influencers and ambassadors not only have higher engagement rates, they possess the invaluable qualities that brands crave – authenticity and trust. They have developed their own content and engaged an audience that loves it. The original content from these influencers breathes fresh life into a brand and appeals to that niche audience that may not see or hear current messaging.
Because they are content marketers on their own, they have very strong understanding of graphics, copy and strategy. They know their brand and how to speak at the audience level. They are engaged daily with their community and have developed a strong sense of what content they will respond to.
FOCUSED AND DEDICATED AUDIENCE
There is a reason why engagement rates are so high with micro-influencers and ambassadors. It is because they are their audience. While jet-setting, luxurious lifestyles may look nice, most social media users will engage with more everyday content. The audience sees themselves in the content they are seeing and will develop a connection and trust with the content creator.
Audience has sought out or come across this content because they are specifically searching for it. The viewers have a pain point that they were already searching for and found a creator that was solving them. Therefore, it is an automatic win for marketers looking to connect with a target audience. This audience turns into customers and once delighted with the brand will be loyal to it. You’ve just recruited a whole new line of ambassadors and brand champions.
THE GOLDEN TICKET: AUTHENTICITY AND TRUST
Engagement rates, content creation, laser-focused audiences – they’re all great things that are tangible to anyone who puts forth an effort. However, something that cannot be bought or automated with any platform is trust.
Micro-influencers and ambassadors have cemented authenticity and trust with their audience. They have created an online community and knows its members inside and out. This has created an incredible sense of trust. The community has put trust into the content creator because of their authenticity. Therefore, your brand, service, product having a stamp of approval from the content creator will automatically be held in high regard from the audience.
Think of it as your best customer telling 1,000 to 10,000 trusted friends that have the same pain point to buy your product or service.
THE BOTTOM LINE OF BUDGET
The usual rule of thumb is charging $25 per 1,000 followers, so determining value is important.
While it may be elementary that a larger influencer will lead to a larger number of eyes on your brand, it takes psychology to understand what will resonate with your audience and economics to know where your budget should go.
Micro-influencers and ambassadors are more driven to do creative projects that will benefit them financially and help them grow as content creators. The mutual benefit will be a happy marriage that will prove to be a strong partnership.
BRANDS AND PERSONALITIES DON’T ALWAYS WORK
We live in a world that is online constantly, and sometimes people do not put their best foot forward. Larger influencers have a bigger, more diverse audience, and while everyone is human, when they make a mistake online, everyone sees it.
Because micro-influencers and ambassadors have a closer eye on their community and have a niche following, more than likely a mistake, controversial comment or behavior that could be considered unbecoming will likely be forgiven, not given a second thought or supported.
The larger the audience the more likely someone may have an issue with a “mistake.” We live in a cancel culture and whether or not you agree with that is unimportant. What is important is do you want your brand to get caught up in something like that? Would you have a crisis PR plan to put into place?
More than likely, you would not need one with an influencer who has a more targeted audience.
Micro-influencers and ambassadors are the future of influencer marketing. We are currently trending to the authentic and trusted, and these people are the sure-fire way to appeal to any target audience that you have. If you are planning a campaign, consider putting a budget to these content creators. As always, if you need insight or assistance don’t hesitate to reach out to Kinetic.