When It Comes to Digital Marketing, Size Matters

By Sean Brown | May 10, 2017

Traditional advertising is out. People don’t typically engage with video interrupting ads, and ad blockers prevent the majority of ads from even being seen. However, one thing remains, and that’s social media. The world of influencer marketing is continuing to grow, and Micro-influencers are the latest flavor of the day.

In short, influencer marketing works so well because you get to start out with an extremely captivated audience. Unlike traditional banner ads and commercials, following an influencer is completely voluntary. People follow celebrity influencers because they are genuinely interested in the content they post.

Micro-influencers allow you to take this to the extreme. While smaller than their celebrity counterparts, micro-influencers manage to solve a plethora of dicey advertising roadblocks in ways that no other technique can touch.

What Makes a Micro-Influencer?

Micro-influencers are many things, but they’re not “internet famous”, and they definitely aren’t celebrities. A micro-influencer is, however, anyone with a social media account that gets people to take action.

You can’t define a micro-influencer based on how many followers they have. There is no follower count threshold that determines whether or not someone fits into the category of internet star or micro-influencer. Follower counts have nothing to do with an influencer’s ability to make their users take action. Anyone can buy followers, but sadly, it doesn’t aid in making them any more influential than the next person.

To take advantage of all that micro-influencers have to offer, they should be selected and engaged based on the needs of a particular advertiser. Start by asking yourself a few basic questions: What do you want your image to look like? What will your influencers do? What role will influencers play in converting customers? If you start with a plan, finding the perfect influencer for the specific needs of your brand will be much easier.

Sending products to bloggers in hopes of a good review simply doesn’t work anymore, and we’re well past the days of hoping a random celebrity will have a huge impact on your advertising campaign.

Simply put: micro-influencers are a game changer.

Adding Authenticity by Building Trust

Influencer marketing works by building layers of trust around your product. Coupons posted by individuals are shared much more often than coupons shared by brands. If you want to increase conversions, you need people to trust the source it’s coming from.

Here’s where it gets confusing: smaller influencers are trusted significantly more than their celebrity counterparts. Over the last decade, celebrities and the internet famous are becoming less trusted by their audiences. The bigger an influencer is, the more skeptical their followers will be of sponsored posts. Also, having a lot of followers makes the interaction less “special”, and it becomes increasingly easy for followers to tune out their content.

Driving Genuine Engagement

When the total amount of followers go down, engagement goes up. Smaller and lesser known influencers’ audiences are significantly more connected to them. Crowded comment sections don’t promote community engagement. What’s more special: being 1 of 10 or 1 of 10000?

The type of engagement that an influencer receives also changes as follower count begins to rise. When influencers grow in size, so does the percentage of negative engagement from their followers. Sponsored content is easy to recognize, and celebrity influencers’ audiences are much more likely to react negatively when they see it happening.

With fewer followers, micro-influencers are more likely to respond to their audience and personally engage with their followers. Advertisers shouldn’t expect to see strong post engagement if the influencer they’re using hasn’t built a genuine relationship with their followers.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

If you’re in advertising, you know that high-tier influencers are pretty pricey. It’s not uncommon for YouTubers with a million followers to charge upwards of $100,000 for a single post. But for what results?

Sure, YouTube videos can get a ton of views, but there’s always the potential for the actual engagement to be low and or negative. For a budget of $100,000 for advertising, it would be incredibly unwise to spend it on a single post. Instead, that same amount could get advertisers hundreds of influencers to distribute content across much more engaged audiences. Instead of producing one YouTube video that is trusted no more than your own brand-generated content, advertising with micro-influencers promotes more authentic videos, broader audiences, higher collective view counts, and positive brand sentiment.

Achieving Mass Distribution

Micro-influencers are great for distributing content at a large scale that people love to engage with. When given the choice between a single video or 500 unique Instagrammers for the same price, which do you think will generate more reach?

Engaging thousands of influencers is easy to do and is simply the most cost-effective way to distribute genuine content at scale. With the rise of ad blockers, getting people to actually see your digital ads can be quite hard.

It doesn’t matter how many people view your ad if nobody engages with it. Instead of a traditional display ad, imagine your brand had 2,500 human beings with niche audiences to share your launch with family members, friends, and their extended audiences. Influencers are more powerful, definitely more trackable, and they’re not phased by the increasing usage of ad blockers.

The Big Micro Takeaway

As social media continues to grow, the influencer marketing industry has started to come into its own. Micro-influencers are no longer an experimental tactic, but a valuable solution to most modern advertising problems.

Micro-influencers make it easier for advertisers to effectively reach customers by creating advertisements with custom content, distributing to niche followings, and generating extremely high post engagement.

Don’t underestimate the power of a micro-influencer just because of their follower count. Again, the amount of followers next to an influencer’s username hardly matters if they can’t generate any post engagement. Generating authentic engagement is the micro-influencer’s bread and butter. Micro-influencers make it easy for advertisers to gain insight into their target audience and advertise directly to them.