Relevance and engagement have contributed massively to the success of micro-influencers. They draw followers from an identical consumer persona group. Even with a smaller audience, these influencers generate high levels of engagement because of better relevance of their content and context. Hence, consumers’ trust in their content is higher than that of celebrities who might appear to be talking about a brand out of the blue, or worse, in a ‘too orchestrated’ manner.
A study of more than two million social media influencers revealed that the like rate and comment rate are actually inversely proportional to the number of followers an influencer has. While the average like rate for unpaid posts for Instagram influencers with less than 1,000 followers was found to be 8%, it dropped to 4% for influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers. For influencers with one million to 10 million followers, the like rate was 1.7%. The comment rate follows a similar pattern.
Thus, it makes more sense for brands to work with a cohort of micro-influencers if the ultimate goal is to generate higher levels of engaging conversations. For example, a sports and adventure apparel company could activate 100 real-world, self-proclaimed athletes who already have an established follower base interested in adventure activities. The payoff from working with micro-influencers is great, but brands need to work harder for results. Working with celebrities is like visiting a one-stop shop. Working with micro-influencers needs a lot more effort, right from discovery to campaign management and execution. While celebrities have been in the business of influencer marketing and promotion for a while and understand how it works; for many micro-influencers, creating content for brands is still secondary to their full-time professions and passions. This means that sometimes micro-influencers may not be willing to work with a particular brand just because they feel it might not seem authentic to their audience or even themselves. Moreover, many of them are not interested in monetary gratification and instead look forward to brands that appreciate their expertise, and find creative ways to associate with brands as ‘expert advocates’. In times of declining consumer trust in advertising, this trend is sure to pick up.
The author, Praanesh Bhuvaneswar is co-founder and CEO, TeraReach