Celebrity and influencer marketing has been a significant part of social media marketing for some time now. More recently, though, a new form of influencer marketing has begun to emerge – the micro-influencer. What is a micro-influencer, and is this route the right choice for your next marketing campaign?
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What Is A Micro-Influencer?
Most people would have heard of the term ‘influencer’ over social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. An influencer is a celebrity or public figure who has a large following on social media. This following allows them to influence others, particularly when it comes to brands or products they use. If an influencer posts a particular product, it can influence others to purchase a product by creating awareness and positioning it as a desirable item. Influencers can be celebrities like Kylie Jenner, who is already well known throughout other circles and beauty bloggers or reviewers who have slowly grown their following online through due diligence. In recent years, brands have invested in celebrity influencers to promote their product, but more recently, another type of influencer has emerged – the micro-influencer.
A micro-influencer has a much smaller following than a celebrity influencer. By definition, a micro-influencer has anywhere between 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers. They also have a specific niche that their content focuses upon. So, while a celebrity influencer may post about a range of things, a micro-influencer is more like to focus their content upon a single field of interest – this could be anything from children’s clothing to female health and wellbeing.
Considering micro-influencers have a smaller following than the original celebrity influencer, how has this new form of influencer marketing taken over the social media landscape?
Who Are Micro-Influencers?
While we all love following celebrities and viewing the products they use, these items are quite likely unattainable to the everyday person at the end of the day. We follow celebrities because it’s entertaining to view their lavish lifestyles, not because we hope to recreate these lifestyles. On the other hand, followers view micro-influencers as ordinary everyday people. Even though micro-influencers possess a popular social media account, they are the same as their followers. People who follow micro-influencers view them as peers rather than celebrities, and it is for this reason they are more likely to look to them for advice on products to purchase. As micro-influencers are also much more relatable, followers are more likely to trust their opinion. Micro-influencers can be mothers, bartenders, and everyday working-class folks like you or me, making it easier for them to create a sense of trust with their audience.
Greater Level of Engagement
Perhaps the greatest reason micro-influencers have grown in popularity is the level of engagement they offer. Due to their smaller followings, micro-influencers are much more likely to interact directly with their audience and receive natural engagement with comments, shares, and retweets. While a celebrity influencer isn’t going to have the time to respond to hundreds of thousands of messages, a micro-influencer doesn’t receive the same level of overwhelming messages or comments – allowing them to respond. This interaction between micro-influencers and followers enable a relationship to develop, creating a greater sense of trust between an audience and the micro-influencer. Frequently, followers view micro-influencers as a friend whose views they can trust in comparison to a celebrity.
Affordability of Micro-influencers
A fundamental reason micro-influencers have increased in popularity is that they are a lot more affordable than celebrity influencers. Due to their smaller followings, it costs a lot less to have a micro-influencer promote your brand than it would cost to have a celebrity promote your product. The cost of a single celebrity post or promotion of your brand or product can instead be used towards a strategy that uses multiple micro-influencer posts. If you are a smaller brand, you might not have the finances to invest in a celebrity influencer. Involving micro-influencers in your marketing strategy is a very appealing alternative. Larger brands are beginning to invest in micro-influencers over celebrities as well. This is because a micro-influencer can be a more effective use of funds for long term strategies. It may cost a company the same amount to have a celebrity influencer post one image of the product versus 15 micro-influencers posting multiple times. Although the celebrity influencers have a larger following and increase the number of views on posts, micro-influencers engagement with followers can continue to promote the product much longer after the celebrity’s original post – potentially leading to greater awareness on digital platforms.
Target Audience and Niche
Target and niche audiences are also critical to consider when deciding between a micro or celebrity influencer. While celebrities have a more significant following and, therefore, a greater reach – this reach is not necessarily right for your product. A celebrity’s promotion is more likely to be spread across the world, across different ages, genders, and audiences. On the other hand, micro-influencers have a much smaller, niche market focused on a specific area of interest. The followers of micro-influencers are also much more likely to be focused locally. If you are an Australian brand looking to promote within Australia only, there is no point in using a celebrity influencer to promote your brand throughout the world. Public relations agencies in Melbourne, Australia like Piccolo PR can help you build awareness for new products or events locally while focusing on unique strategies using influencers as well as digital and social media strategies. It is much more beneficial to select a micro-influencer whose followers all live somewhat locally and represent your target audience. This is the same with niche markets – celebrities are more likely to have a broad audience, while micro-influencers will have a specific focus. If you are a brand that sells a niche product, it will be a lot more practical to promote this through a micro-influencer representing your target audience.
So, Are Micro-influencers The Next Step In Your Marketing Campaign?
If your target market are active users of social media and you’re looking to promote your brand via these platforms, it is quite likely that micro-influencers could be the right choice for your brand. Although celebrity influencers were once the obvious choice, it is becoming clear that micro-influencers may be a more effective and financially viable option. Micro-influencers have a smaller following, which means they can engage with their followers actively. This allows them to build a relationship, be seen as trustworthy sources, and offer advice and reviews to their followers. The engagement they can achieve creates an ongoing promotion of your brands, creating greater awareness and advertising.