Picture this. You are walking down a street and a stranger tries to sell you a pen. How likely are you to, 1) take the time to listen to their pitch, or 2) buy the pen? Now, imagine that someone you admire, relate to and respect the opinion of approaches you to sell you the same exact pen. Are you more likely to listen to them and buy the pen?
If the answer is yes, don’t worry- it is human nature. We respect the opinions of those who we can relate to over that of a stranger or somebody that we cannot find many similarities with. This is essentially influencer marketing.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into some examples of how brands are using micro-influencers. We will tell you what micro-influencers are, why they are an advantageous marketing strategy and how brands connect and use them to promote their brand.
What are micro-influencers?
Micro-influencers are influencers with a smaller platform. The typical following of a micro-influencer would typically be between 1,000 and 10,000 followers on social media. They usually have a specific niche in terms of the content that they post about but are not typically portrayed as celebrities or public figures.
Micro-influencers as a marketing strategy
Brands partner with influencers of all sizes to reach the content creator’s audience and promote their business. A lot of factors can determine the best influencer marketing strategy for a particular brand, such as size, budget and niche. However, micro-influencer marketing is dominating the market, with 91% of all influencers being labelled as micro-influencers.
The act of seeking out micro-influencers can appear to be counterintuitive in some respect. Although it may seem advantageous to aim for influencers with an extremely high number of followers to promote a brand’s products, there are many benefits that micro-influencers bring to the table.
- More affordable
The most obvious benefit is probably the price tag. The higher the number of followers a creator has, the more money they will typically charge for a brand deal or partnership. If you want Kylie Jenner to promote your brand to her 300 Million+ followers, you’ll likely have to shell out a whopping $1.2 million for the luxury. In contrast, micro-influencers charge an average of £80 per 10K followers that they have. This can vary widely depending on the platform and the content that the brand wants the creator to post. However, using micro-influencers is certainly cheaper than using influencers with millions of followers- especially if your brand works with multiple influencers at a given time.
- Higher engagement rates
Interestingly, as an influencer’s number of followers increases, their engagement (likes and comments) typically decreases. With micro-influencers, brands can achieve higher engagement rates among a relatively large audience. Experticity reported that micro-influencers have 22+ times more sales conversions than other influencers. This is a demonstration of how followers value the opinions of micro-influencers so much so that they are willing to spend their money on products and services that they recommend.
- Higher authenticity
As previously mentioned, micro-influencers are not typically seen as celebrities or public figures. They appear to be more ‘real’ which resonates with their followers. This higher level of authenticity that is being portrayed can translate into more engagement and thus more promotion for a brand’s product or service. In contrast, a brand deal by a celebrity or public figure (which is what many big influencers are seen as) can be seen as less authentic and less advantageous for brands.
- Focused niche
When a content creator builds a modest following, they likely fit into a certain niche. These focused niches are ideal for brands to take advantage of if their product or service fits into that area. The more followers a creator gains, the less likely their followers will belong to that certain niche which can result in a brand being promoted to an audience with no desire to consume their business.
How have brands used micro-influencers successfully?
HelloFresh is a global meal-kit subscription company that originally launched in Germany. They successfully grew in America in their first year, but growth in the UK and the rest of Europe was relatively slow. They began working with influencers when influencer marketing was still in its infancy. An interesting strategy, that seemed to work for them, was that they would work with influencers of all sizes- from micro-influencers to well-known celebrities.
To continue its growth in the US and speed up growth in Europe, HelloFresh worked with various marketing agencies in the hope to increase brand awareness. Davina McCall became the face of HelloFresh in 2019, as part of the #RefreshWithHelloFresh campaign. Yet, 15 UK-based micro-influencers were also involved in the 21-day campaign. The team at HelloFresh and their marketing agency worked with selected influencers that would reflect the company’s target audience:
- Within the 20s-30s age range
- Primarily female
- Interests in cooking, health, fitness, home and lifestyle
The micro-influencers not only fell into the same demographic, but their followers did too. This campaign created 274% more impressions and 325% extra content. HelloFresh went on to win many awards for the campaign and eventually became a household name.
ASOS is one of the most popular online fashion stores in the world, especially in the UK. Their success can be equated to many things, but their social media strategy is certainly admirable. ASOS has an ‘ASOS Insiders programme’ in which they have created a network of sponsored influencer accounts. Micro-influencers with under 10K followers are utilised to create their own original content to promote ASOS’ products. Typically, in their 20s, these influencers provide their followers with styling tips, outfit inspiration and personal recommendations.
This approach to influencer marketing highlights the authenticity of micro-influencer marketing. These promotions seem to be more of a friendly recommendation of how to style clothes than a somewhat pushy sales pitch. ASOS is able to build an organic audience and reach relevant consumers at an affordable price. Their approach is certainly forward-thinking and seems to be working.
Sometimes size doesn’t matter
If you believed that targeting influencers with millions of followers was the best form of influencer marketing, we hope to have shed some light on the benefits of micro-influencers. Now, this does not mean that if you are able to get a brand deal with Kylie Jenner that you should turn it down. It just means that it is important to consider many different factors before partnering with an influencer, especially their engagement rate.
If you’re looking to work with influencers, check out our Influencer agreement template that will assist you in setting up your partnership.