The best things start small – the rise of the micro-influencer

A few years ago, social media influencers were all the rage for delivering exceptional bang for your buck and stronger brand authenticity. Because they were ‘one of us’ influencers were in a new and unique position to share content about brands in a softer, non-advertising kind of way. Cut to 2018, and the going rate for a post on an account with over a million followers regularly hits the £30,000 mark.

It’s also increasingly transparent that they’re taking everything that comes their way, which dilutes the sincere benefits and good that having a social media influencer attached to your campaign can do.

Enter the micro-influencer. These are people who have much smaller, yet more highly engaged, audiences. They’ve curated a following that cares deeply about what they say and are in every sector imaginable. The obvious sectors are things like health and wellness, food, cuisine and fitness but they do exist across the spectrum of interests.

The ratio between engagement and audience peaks when an account has around 1,000 followers. Anything more than 100,000 and the engagement rate starts to flatten out, suggesting that social media users aren’t engaging with brands and celebrities as keenly as someone they relate to more closely.

So why would you engage with a micro-influencer for a marketing campaign?

Authenticity, for a start. These influencers have built the audience that a client may be looking for and have already established trust with them. It’s not about blindly selling your products to their audience too – micro-influencers can tell a real story with the right brands, and that is what will help convert website hits into sales. That trust is vital to everyone involved – the brand, the influencer and the audience – and audiences can be fickle if they think they’re being sold to aggressively or inappropriately.

They are more likely to be listened to as advocates, with a more loyal and doting audience to tap into. They’re also a lot cheaper, meaning you can engage with a number of them and target multiple audiences for a fraction of the cost of one post on a million-plus influencer account.

Engaging with a number of micro-influencers will also help you identify specific audiences that have in interest in the different ways your products can be used, whether you run a make up brand or produce a range of garden accessories.

Where can I find these people?

  1. start by reviewing your own followers. There’s likely to be at least one or two bloggers or people talking passionately about your market that have the required following. Contact them, offer them a sneak peek – an invitation to a photoshoot or some exclusive content – and see how it takes off.
  2. use hashtags in your search. Don’t be afraid to be specific either – the more specific you are, the more likely you are to stumble across people who are passionate about things your brand can offer them.
  3. think local. The beauty of micro-influencers is that they’re theoretically all around us, so don’t just focus your efforts on finding London- or Manchester-based bloggers if your business model is national.

It will take time to get right, and not every micro-influencer will deliver what you expect. There is a lot of benefit to building these relationships, though. Unlike the transaction-based post-for-fee model that larger influencers have, these are people you can come back to when you have a new product launch or something special to offer them. Take advantage of the mutual benefits and see how people start talking about and engaging with your brand.

We love working with influencers and potential brand advocates. If you need some influencer or social media marketing help, we’d love to hear from you so get in touch!

By Sean Ross Howlett