When we think about marketing influencers, a number of different people come to mind. Celebrities, trendsetters, and bloggers are just a few examples of the types of people capable of bringing particular products and services to a consumer’s attention.
While traditional influencers use their work and popularity to build large followings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there is another form of influencer that, while smaller, can provide greater success in terms of marketing products to consumers.
They are known as the Micro-Influencer.
“Anyone has the potential to influence others”. This speaks to the heart of Micro-Influencing and its importance to the marketing industry. Micro-Influencers refer to ordinary, everyday people with the ability to market themselves, a product, or service online that gets people’s attention and interest. Their individual brand and online presence helps make them a de-facto expert on certain products and services which helps influence people to buy them.
The market moves down from 1. Celebrities → 2.Social Celebrities → 3.Micro or everyday influencers
Believe it or not, research shows that unlike regular social influencers such as celebrities and online personalities, it is actually more profitable to be a Micro-Influencer.
While having a large number of followers on Twitter and Facebook is an accomplishment, a user’s engagement rate is actually more valuable.
Engagement rate calculates an audience’s attention rate towards a piece of content and the effectiveness of that content to engage an audience. The higher the engagement rate, the more attention and awareness users are giving to a product or service.
Micro-influencers are said to have higher engagement levels than traditional social influencers for one reason: the size of their following or audience.
There is a correlation between the size of an influencer’s audience and their engagement rate. As audience levels increase, the engagement rate decreases.
This is good news for Micro-Influencers since their audience sizes are typically smaller than traditional social influencers. Micro-Influencers are able to use their smaller audience size to foster and maintain engagement longer.
In today’s connected world being authentic can often be difficult. While many large companies and corporations have social media accounts, it can often be difficult finding the human voice in their content. The same can be said with celebrities and online personalities; while we might identify with some of their messages and content it can difficult to see them as human beings.
A Micro-Influencer’s power is in the ordinary. They are not looking to become famous but identify themselves as groups of people who are passionate about a particular topic or are experts in a given field. This honest enjoyment of disseminating interesting and educational content helps endear them to viewers who begin to sympathize and identity with them.
In essence, Micro-Influencers provide the “human factor.”
Like traditional marketing influencers, Micro-Influencers have the audience size and ability to engage viewers with their content. However, Micro-Influencers have a slight advantage over traditional influencers in the field of cost.
While content promoted by celebrities will be seen by many viewers it often comes at a heavy expense. Businesses often have to provide large sums of money to the celebrities in order to get them to market their products.
Micro-Influencers on the other hand are relatively economical. As mentioned above, they tend to be groups of people who enjoy promoting and sharing content they like or are knowledgeable about. As a result, they are more willing to share a company’s brand story, product, or message for free.
Influence Marketing is fast becoming the standard way to share and disseminate information on a company brand, product, or service. This is especially true of online material. Having a Micro-Influencer with a significant social media following and expertise share content they like and feel viewers will appreciate is incredibly valuable.
It provides a human touch to an area that is becoming increasingly saturated with content from millions of people. In the case of Micro-Influencing, it looks like a smaller, more intimate approach is the way to go.
Courtney Rosebush, Content Contributor
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