Micro-influencers: The power of niche thinking
It’s the age of the search for authenticity. Everyone’s starting to see through the paper-thin veil of influencership and as a result, people just aren’t feeling too influenced anymore. This realisation begs the question- is the social media influencer era on its way out?
Not quite- what we’re beginning to see is a much-needed shift in the system. Brands that are ahead of the game have started focusing on using micro-influencers as opposed to influencers or celebrities with higher followings for their campaigns, and the greatest plot twist? Going smaller actually has a bigger impact. Here’s how:
Firstly, what’s a micro-influencer anyway?
Globally, micro-influencers are recognised as the social media butterflies with follower counts between 1000 and 100 000 (though this might vary slightly by country). They aren’t necessarily “celebrities” or carry that kind of clout, so what sets them apart is a distinct niche focus throughout their content- think mommy-bloggers, fitness Instagrammers or street style photographers.
“Micro-influencers are the real taste-makers”
Why are they valuable?
While micro-influencers are socially more “popular” than the average Joe, their lack of traditional celebrity means a large portion of their following know them on a personal level or could even be considered friends. The fact that they’re able to have a real influence on the thoughts and preferences of their online followers makes them the real taste-makers because their audiences trust their recommendations, their content and their ideas.
They drive higher engagement through trust
Their trustworthiness and personal connections mean that micro-influencers are able to garner higher engagements on their post. As AdAge reported, there’s often a direct connection between follower size and engagement rate. Accounts with less than 1,000 followers often have engagement rates or “like” rates of 8 percent, on average. While, accounts with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have like rates around 4 percent. And by the time a person gets to a million followers or more, their like rate falls to an average of just 1.7 percent. This could all be attributed to the fact that they reach a more targeted audience- people who have an actual interest in their content and find it useful or valuable.
They are more accessible
Because micro-influencers don’t come with the clout and budget that celebrities do, they are more accessible to not only their followers, but to brands as well. The fact that they’re generally easier to contact personally cuts down on the time it would take to get the deal sealed.
All in all, what seems to make micro-influencers so powerful is their ability to focus on their niche. When brands are able to align the right kind of micro-influencer to a campaign, the whole thing goes from being about marketing products, to building a community of like-minded individuals as well as a real brand love. In the next article, I’ll be going through how brands (big and small) can make micro-influencer marketing work better for them.