Imagine that you own a fitness apparel company. For your next marketing campaign, you want to do something with influencers. You have the opportunity to work with Serena Williams or Allen Swan. In case you don’t know, Allen Swan is a professional fitness trainer who is considered by some to be one of the top micro-influencers on Instagram. You probably know who Serena Williams is.
So, who do you choose? If you think Serena, then you need to know more about what a great tool micro-influencers can be when you want to go viral.
Who are micro-influencers?
Most people are familiar with the term “influencer.” It is used to describe people who can affect the behavior of a certain group. Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that leverages influencers to promote a product or service to a particular market. Typically, influencers operate in the world of social media.
When we think of influencers, we typically think of big celebrities. Lionel Messi, Ariana Grande, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, each of whom have around 300 million followers on Instagram, fit the description. Some call them mega-influencers. When they promote something to their followers, it carries some influence.
Macro-influencers are the next tier down. They typically have between 100,000 and 1 million followers on a social platform. Below them are the micro-influencers, who are generally considered to have more than 10,000 and less than 100,000 followers. Micro-influencers may be on the way up or they may have a smaller niche that does not reach a 100K+ market.
What do micro-influencers bring to marketing?
The potential reach that macro-influencers bring to a campaign cannot be denied. However, potential reach does not necessarily translate to engagement. In fact, some studies show that micro-influencers achieve engagement rates that are 60 percent higher than macro-influencers. When it comes to converting, micro-influencer rates are 20 percent higher. That is why Allen Swan might be a better investment for you than the Serena Williams, especially considering how much Serena will charge you.
Why do micro-influencers do a better job of connecting with their followers? People also see micro-influencers as more authentic. The perception is that they are real people who are promoting a product because they really use it and not because someone offered them a ton of money to use it.
People see micro-influencers as more relatable.
Celebrities and macro-influencers might be thought of as standing on a stage and speaking to their followers over a microphone. Alternatively, micro-influencers can be seen as sitting in a room and talking with their followers. When you like a micro-follower post, you are one of 500 and might get noticed. Liking a macro-influencer post makes you one of 500,000, which will definitely not be noticed. Because micro-influencers have fewer followers, it is more realistic for them to keep up with them. They have time to address comments and carry on the dialogue. Micro-influencers might even respond to direct messages.
In addition, micro-influencers have often grown an audience by focusing on a smaller niche than macro-influencers. It could be a local or regional area or a specific aspect of an industry. They know their niche and they know the audience, which is one of the key components that goes into developing content that has the potential to go viral.
Overall, micro-influencers have the attention of a niche community that is committed to them and trusts them, which is just the kind of person that you want promoting your brand.
How do you leverage micro-influencers?
Going viral with micro-influencers starts with finding the right ones. Determine the market with which you want to connect. Is it your main market? Is it a new market that you want to launch into? If you can find the hashtags that define that market, you can find the micro-influencers who can help you.
There are also a number of services that can help to connect you with micro-influencers. Utilizing sites like izea.com, go.hashtagpaid.com, and grin.co allows you to choose a variety of parameters to zero in on influencers who are active with the markets that you want to reach.
Once you identify some possibilities, start following them to see if they seem like a good fit for your brand. If they look compatible and capable, reach out. And if you can’t settle on one, don’t. Micro-influencers will not cost you as much as macro-influencers, so you can work with more than one in your campaigns.
Here’s a bonus tip!
If you are working with more than one micro-influencer on a campaign, diversify. Involve varying demographics, whether age, race, gender, or location. This will allow you to run a campaign that is focused while also reaching a wide range of people.
Once you have worked out the details and started your campaign, keep a close eye on the engagement. You can learn a lot about how your campaign resonates from charting the engagement. If you believe that you are connecting with the right market but they are not biting, you may want to tweak the campaign.
Perhaps it is most valuable to think of a micro-influencer as boots on the ground. They are already an active part of the market you want to reach. Because they have proven to be authentic, reliable, and engaged, they have been given a voice within that market. When they share your product, you share their influence.