Has a celebrity ever convinced you to buy something?
It’s okay if the answer is yes -- we’ve all been there. In fact, just recently, a famous dog helped convince me to purchase a GoPro camera. For a creature who can’t speak, he’s a pretty effective marketer.
Loki the Wolfdog’s Instagram post is a successful example of influencer marketing, which involves developing relationships with influential personalities to promote your brand to the influencer’s audience. Loki the Wolfdog has over 1 million Instagram followers GoPro may not have otherwise been able to reach with posts on its own profile.
A newer concept known as micro-influencer marketing recently joined the social media scene. It’s the same concept as influencer marketing, but on a smaller scale: Brands partner with individuals with smaller followings on social media to promote products with authentic, visual posts instead of sponsored ads.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about micro-influencers, including what brands are using them successfully and how you can connect with these individuals to promote your brand.
Micro-influencers are social media users unlike typical celebrities, experts, or public figures. They're individuals who work or specialize in a particular vertical and frequently share social media content about their interests. Unlike traditional "influencers," micro-influencers have a more modest number of followers -- typically in the thousands or tens of thousands -- but they boast hyper-engaged audiences.
For example, a yoga influencer might boast millions of followers and operate several yoga studios. A yoga micro-influencer might have only a few thousand followers and post instructional videos on Instagram for their fans to try at home, but their average post receives a healthy amount of engagement relative to the size of their follower base.
Using micro-influencers may seem counterintuitive. Why would you seek out someone with a smaller following to promote your brand?
There are several reasons to believe micro-influencers might get better results for your brand.
Markerly studied Instagram engagement and found a surprising trend: As an influencer's number of followers increases, their number of likes and comments from followers decreases.
In its analysis, Markerly determined the following:
Check out Markerly's graphical breakdown of how likes and comments decline as followers increase:
Markerly recommends brands pursue micro-influencers with Instagram followings in the 1,000-10,000 range. With micro-influencers, brands can achieve higher engagement rates among a large enough audience. In a recent study, Experticity learned micro-influencers have 22.2X more conversations than the typical Instagram users -- largely because they're passionate and knowledgeable about their particular interest area.
Markerly also notes that micro-influencers have more targeted follower bases than influencers with follower numbers in the hundreds of thousands and millions.
Think about it: If a clothing brand partnered with a celebrity with millions of followers on Instagram, the celebrity could reach their huge pool, but a large portion of them might not be interested in fashion. Instead, if the clothing brand connected with 100 fashion bloggers with 1,000 followers apiece, it would be able to connect to a smaller but far more targeted and engaged audience.
Markerly CEO and co-founder Sarah Ware told Digiday that partnering with the Kardashian and Jenner sisters to promote a weight-loss tea on Instagram led to a significant number of conversions. However, Ware also noted that working with 30-40 micro-influencers achieved a higher conversion rate than when the celebrities were promoting the tea. In fact, 82% of customers surveyed by Experticity said they would be very likely to follow a recommendation from a micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers are typically more affordable than celebrities or profiles with millions of followers.