3 Reasons Why Micro-Influencers Must Be in Your Marketing Mix

Higher engagement, more trust, and strong communities

Renee Kapuku, Creative Digital Programmes Manager, Supa Network

As a keen marketer and brand builder, I’m always keeping a lookout for the next big thing.

With the advent of social media in the last decade, you’d think that we’d soon be moving onto something entirely different in the next decade. However, studies have shown that the use of social media platforms will continue to rise exponentially in the coming years.

Whether you are an aspiring influencer, or a brand looking to leverage the next key trends, there is a key social media weapon set to bring about massive returns pretty soon. Though many have touched on them, and brands are wading into the territory, this key element is set to make incredible waves in the online and offline world at large. What could it be?

Micro-influencers.

The power of the macro-influencers with over 500,000 followers on Instagram is slowly waning. Now, that isn’t to say there isn’t still a tremendous benefit of utilizing influencers commanding this kind of platform. YouTubers with millions of subscribers continue to have incredible dominance over several industries — PewDiePie, Patricia Bright, and Jackie Aina to name a few titans.

However, the growing trend towards micro-influencers signifies a shift in public relationships and attitudes toward social media influencers. People online, more than ever, are looking for seemingly accessible, down-to-earth sources they can trust in a number of niches.

Combine the trust of a micro-influencer with strategic and effective tools to build a community, and you can leverage incredible returns from increased profit, engagement, and sustained support.

Let’s dig into it.

1. Micro-Influencers Build Strong Online Communities

Group identities and building a community online is just as important as building a community offline.

An extreme example is stan culture, a group community that is routinely underestimated. We’ve seen the incredible power wielded by stans — a community of people who doggedly support (stan) a particular public figure….by any means necessary.

From YouTube online communities to celebrity groupies huddling together in amidst the break of a controversy, stans are ready to pounce the moment a threat to the image of their idol is perceived.

Taking stan culture down a few notches, the reason why many influencers — macro and micro-influencers alike — are so successful, is due to their unique capability of not just creating engagement with their content, but between their consumers.

In an increasingly digital world, human beings are starved for human interaction. In the place of offline social interactions and hubs, online communities serve to fill this void and provide a replica of this social value.

To catapult your product or brand to success in the next decade, you need to focus on not just creating a name or a service. You need to focus on creating an identity around your work. And that’s where micro-influencers come in handy, as they can be the anchor to that identity.

They provide users with a relatable association point and act as a trusted ambassador that isn’t too far from their notion of self.

2. Micro-Influencers Have Higher Engagement Rates

Micro-influencers on social media tend to have a higher relative conversion rate and engagement uptake. Taking Instagram as an example, a study conducted by Markedly found that there’s a tradeoff of engagement the more followers a user has:

  • Users with 1,000–10,000 followers earned likes at a 4% rate.
  • Users with 10,000–100,000 followers achieved a 2.4% like rate.
  • Users with 1–10 million followers earned likes only 1.7% of the time.

If you are looking to maximize engagement with your services or products, it’s worth engaging with a number of micro-influencers within your industry to maximize your overall engagement.

Another study by Markedly found that micro-influencers also have more targeted audiences. That means if you can work with micro-influencers operating in your specific industry, you can maximize not just your engagement metrics, but engagement metrics with your target audience.

3. Micro-Influencers Are Seen As More Trustworthy

Attention isn’t enough anymore.

Trust is the new currency. We live in an increasingly aware world. We are now aware and exasperated by attempts to sell us things online. There’s a reason why YouTube ads are annoying, and why people eventually sign up to Spotify Premium just to avoid them.

It’s not enough to gain the attention of your consumers anymore — brands and influencers need to work hard to build the trust of their consumers. And this trust can be leveraged through micro-influencer marketing. Micro-influencers build up their expertise in a specific niche and become the expert in that field.

Personally, if I am looking for advice on vegan supplements, I’d trust a slightly smaller influencer with a niche in vegan recipes, rather than a macro-influencer known for different types of content. Leveraging the trust consumers place in micro-influencers is a great way to get some validation and legitimacy behind a brand.

The rise of the power of the micro-influencer is only set to increase over the next few years, so it’s best to strike the iron while it’s hot. Investing in identified sources of trust, and strategically working with influencers with a slightly smaller but niche audience is not only more cost-effective but set to help your brand make the most out of your marketing.

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This article was originally written on Medium.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

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