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THE SHIFT TOWARD MICRO-INFLUENCERS

When it comes to influencers, size does matter. Over the past few years there has been a shift toward favoring micro-influencers over mega-influencers or even celebrities. The coronavirus seems to have accelerated that trend.

Though mega-influencers are still sought after and can drastically increase brand awareness, now more than ever, audiences crave authenticity. The privileged lifestyle flaunted by mega influencers has generally lost its appeal and above all else – is not relatable.

More and more consumers are looking past mega-influencers and instead turning to micro-influencers: the smaller-scale, more authentic brand advocates that consumers can trust.

JUST HOW SMALL IS MICRO?

A micro-influencer generally has under 100,000 followers. In a recent study, 51% of consumers noted their favorite influencer had between 10,000-30,000 followers, with 30% of consumers noting their favorite influencer had fewer than 10,000 followers.

And people don’t just passively consume content from micro-influencers—they take action. Some 68% of consumers say they have made a purchase based on a social post from a micro-influencer.

RELATABILITY IS KEY

The relatability between a micro-influencer and their followers evokes a credibility that a large influencer just can’t replicate. Studies have shown that micro-influencer content is 6.7x more efficient at engaging audiences than bigger influencers. Plus, influencers with 1,000 followers generated 85 percent higher engagement than those having 100,000 followers, and as the number of followers increases, the engagement tends to decrease.

Micro-influencers also typically populate more niche markets with engaged and loyal audiences. In comparison to a traditional, large-scale influencer who might have a following in the millions or hundreds of thousands, a micro-influencer has a more genuine connection to the brands they partner with. In fact, micro-influencers tend to look for shared values, affinity for the product, or genuine expertise in a similar vertical when partnering with a brand, which leads to highly engaging content.

And how does this all relate to the end-user? Customers look to authentic user-generated content, like content created by micro-influencers and brand advocates when making purchasing decisions with 79% stating that user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

MAKING IT OFFICIAL

The shift towards smaller influencer accounts is also changing the relationships between brands and influencers. Specifically, whereas brands may be lucky to get a post or two from a mega-influencer, brands can build long-term campaigns with micro-influencers.

Building longer-term ambassador-style relationships over one-time engagements helps establish trust and can lead to increased brand awareness, higher conversion rates, and true brand advocacy.

Improved brand advocacy through these long-term relationships, is paying dividends for both brands and influencers alike. In the end, although micro-influencers may have fewer followers than mega-influencers, micro-influencers are increasingly “mega” powerful on social media.

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