Product placement and sponsored advertising have been around for years. However, people are getting tired of these direct marketing tactics, particularly with the rise of subtle, inbound marketing methods such as influencer marketing. In fact, almost half the customers are blocking ads, while only 14% can remember when they last saw an ad and what it promoted.
Instead of focusing on the number of followers alone, brands are now emphasizing engagement. That’s why micro-influencers, who tend to have fewer but very engaged followers, are taking the influencer marketing world by storm. According to a study, micro–influencers have up to 22.2 times more buying conversations that include product recommendations each week than the average consumer. As a result, several brands including some of the leading ones are taking advantage of this relatively low-cost social marketing option.
Read on to find out exactly how micro-influencers are changing the face of online marketing.
Direct Personal Communication
While social media gave brands a direct line of communication with consumers, micro-influencers are taking it to the next level. Most micro-influencers started out with their friends, family members, and colleagues as social media followers. As a result, they now have a strong personal relationship with their audience, resulting in predictive direct personal communication.
Compared to mainstream celebrities, micro-influencers are also more likely to respond to comments, tweets, and emails from their followers. The intimate communication often leads to better engagement that eventually contributes to valuable sales and conversions.
That’s one of the reasons why MVMT Watches decided to engage both, macro and micro-influencers to promote their products. The purpose of using macro influencers was to generate visibility. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, were instrumental in producing engagement. The #jointhemvmt campaign is still going strong with over 55K posts on Instagram so far.
Authenticity and Trust
Usually, micro-influencers are more authentic than celebrities in promoting a brand as they are more likely to endorse a product they love. Thus, their followers often tend to value their opinions and recommendations rather than paid advertisements or direct endorsements. They also help you create high-quality organic content that helps improve your brand’s social media standing in the long run.
Unlike celebrities, micro-influencers may refuse to promote a product if they don’t feel an authentic connection. That’s why people trust micro-influencers more than anyone else. In fact, 82% of consumers are highly likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer.
Adidas launched the Glitch app last year to promote a new line of soccer cleats. The company took a revolutionary approach of using micro-influencers (despite having its share of celebrity football endorsers such as Lionel Messi) to promote the app across multiple social media channels. Young football players selected from football academies across London tested the prototypes, featured in promotional videos and promoted the app as well.
More Bang for Your Buck
Influencer marketing may have been affordable when it started to take off a few years ago, but this is no longer always the case. In fact, macro-influencers and celebrities are in high demand and extremely expensive. The top twelve Internet celebrities including bigwigs such as PewDiePie, Roman Atwood, and Tyler Oakley earned a combined $70.5 million in the twelve months ending in June 2016. So, if you want to hire a macro-influencer, you may have to shell out thousands of dollars just for a few posts.
Hiring a celebrity isn’t a great option either as they often fail to target a niche market. Why pay Beyoncé thousands of dollars to promote your new gym when a local fitness guru can do same for just a few thousand dollars? Likewise, a small restaurant may benefit by collaborating with micro-influencers such as local food critics or food enthusiasts. Thus, it is a lucrative marketing tactic, particularly for small businesses as it allows them to get more engagement for relatively less investment.
The biggest advantage of micro-influencer marketing is that it allows you to run a pilot experiment to see which influencers, content and media, and channels are working for your brand. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket (to pay one celebrity or macro-influencer), you can try different tactics and concentrate all your efforts on the most successful ones. So, you can get the most bang for every buck you spend.
Data Science-Backed Campaigns Drive Higher ROI
One of the biggest challenges marketers still face is the ability to measure the effect of their influencer marketing campaign on direct sales. However, with data science-backed campaigns, measuring the impact of marketing efforts has become a lot easier.
They are now using online purchase data, point of sale (POS) data, loyalty card data, foot traffic data, and data from the promotional offers to measure actual sales and conversions. For example, a rice brand that wanted to drive trials at Walmart used data science-driven influencer marketing tactics (combining coupon codes with inspirational content), leading to a whopping 44.8% redemption rate versus a historical rate of only 15%.
The new generation data analysis allows you to carry out a thorough inspection of the complete sales cycle. Brands can efficiently identify the most trending products and social media channels to adjust their inventory accordingly. Thus, it can quickly elevate the effectiveness and return on investment of your influencer marketing campaigns. Data science backed campaigns also allow micro-influencers to focus on the most effective platforms to drive more sales. However, if you want to take advantage of the cutting-edge developments in this field to analyze your micro-influencer campaigns, your marketing team can use advanced data science training or consult well-trained data scientists.
Influencer marketing has become one of the most successful marketing strategies in the past few years. Until recently, most marketers were under the impression that the higher the number of followers, the better the results. However, the rapid rise of micro-influencers has a different story to tell. This new breed of influencers has caught the online marketing world by surprise. Hopefully, these four points will help you understand how these unsung heroes are changing the online marketing one post at a time.
Want to connect with the author Dipti Parmar? Visit E2msolutions.com
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