The consumer demand for transparency and authenticity has paved the way for influencer marketing to grow as an industry. And every year, brands and marketers are allocating more budget for it. With nearly 50% of consumers relying on influencers’ product reviews before buying an item, this marketing strategy is undeniably effective.
In spite of challenges plaguing influencer marketing — some of which are fraudulent influencer activities, influencer costs, and changes in social media algorithms — brands still believe that the pros outweigh the cons. With the availability of advanced tools and methods, marketers have found a way to deal with the primary challenges and quickly recover from campaign setbacks.
Businesses that incorporated influencer marketing into their strategy in 2018 received a 520% return on investment. This just goes to show that the hype surrounding influencers is not going to wane anytime soon.
The Advantages of Influencer Marketing
When done properly, an influencer marketing campaign can work wonders for your brand reputation. The benefits of an effective campaign include:
Enhanced brand awareness and reach – Partnering with the ideal influencer whose unique style and type of followers align with your brand’s objective will improve your business’s online presence. This will allow your brand to tap into the influencer’s already-established network and drive better engagement.
Established brand identity – Having a relevant and reliable influencer endorsing your brand helps build credibility. Coupled with an optimized content strategy and the influencer’s relatable appeal, your target audience will find it easier to trust the quality of your product or service.
Increased conversions – Having an established influencer with loyal followers and a high level of engagement allows you to get more eyes on your product or service. Once you catch the attention of a wider audience with the right strategy, you’ll have a greater chance of converting those onlookers into buying customers.
Influencers’ Most Preferred Platforms
Instagram reigns as the most popular platform for influencers. With over a billion active users, it’s understandable why influencers, mostly beauty and fashion bloggers, populate this massively popular social network. Instagram also has a concentrated number of users from the younger demographic.
Meanwhile, video content is still huge if you want to drive excellent engagement and online traffic. Based on a 2016 report, four out of ten millennial consumers feel that they can relate more with their favourite influencer on YouTube than with family members or friends.
In terms of the video-sharing platform’s contribution to the influencer marketing industry, Forbes listed that the top YouTube influencers, earned a combined $180.5 million in 2018.
Facebook, on the other hand, is also popular among social media influencers, with 19% of consumers searching for product reviews on the platform before buying.
Why a Micro-Influencer Could be a Good Fit for Your Business
Influencer marketing has fast become one of the most preferred marketing methods. In fact, 81% of marketers feel that it is an effective form of advertising.
An influencer has the potential to become a real brand asset. But, the tricky part is finding the right one. In order to maximize your return on investment, conventional wisdom would suggest that you hire the influencer with the highest number of followers. After all, the more followers they have, the better the reach will be, right?
Potential Reach vs Engagement
In reality, having more followers does not automatically translate into more reach. In fact, the opposite is often true. As influencers start to build a larger following, it becomes more difficult for them to maintain that same personal relationship with their audience.
It’s a simple logistical matter – answering two hundred comments a week is relatively simple. But, as the number of followers increases, it becomes harder to maintain that action. Imagine dealing with ten thousand comments a week.
The downside of this is that the audience grows accustomed to having a more personal relationship with their influencer. In the early days, influencers work hard to show their audience that they’re valuable. As the influencer takes a step back, followers are bound to feel the difference.
As a result, followers will start to take a step back as well. They’re still likely to follow the influencer, but they’re not likely to check in as often. That also means that they’re less likely to repost, like, or comment on posts – they might not even see your posts on their feeds anymore.
That’s not going to do your campaign much good. What should you do instead, then?
A micro-influencer is someone who has anywhere between 1,000 and 50,000 followers. They have a following that’s large enough to make it worth your while, while still being able to maintain a relationship with their followers.
Here are a few benefits of working with a micro-influencer:
- It’s likely to cost you less: Influencers are typically paid on a scale according to how many followers they have. Smaller influencers are often willing to work for free products, or, at least, a lower rate.
- They will get to know their audience better: The larger the audience, the harder it becomes to get to know each person. Smaller influencers normally have a better grasp of what their audience likes and expects.
- You can diversify your risk: If you put all your budget into one campaign and it doesn’t work out, that’s money wasted. It’s better to choose two or three smaller influencers, as opposed to opting for one big name.
- Influencer marketing continues to evolve as an industry. To yield better results for your campaign, the key is to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with your chosen influencer.
- Working with a micro-influencer makes sense if you’d like to increase engagement, understand your target market better, and save yourself some money. Why pay big money for one influencer when you could get better results from a few smaller ones?
- As a marketer or business owner, it is also crucial to keep track of the latest trends and statistics. For more interesting influencer marketing facts and figures, check out the infographic below.