Kim Kardashian, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dan Bilzerian. All highly influential figures across multiple social platforms and would give your brand a massive boost if they were to mention one of your products.
However, unless you’ve got millions of dollars and an extremely well-connected network of power players at your disposal you’re unlikely to get anywhere near them.
For mere mortals, micro influencers are the key to building a halo effect around your business. These are the people within your reach who can spread the word about how great you are.
So what is an influencer? An influencer is someone with a strong social media presence and an above average number of engaged and relevant followers. Whereas someone like Kimmy K is on the macro end of the influencer scale with 82 million Instagram followers, micro influencers are more attainable and usually have around 10,000 followers.
Apart from the benefits that come from having an influential figure recommend your product, there are a few other reasons why this kind of marketing is becoming a more popular choice among businesses.
Roadblocks to traditional online marketing channels
Whether it’s online ads or content marketing brands don’t have a free reign when it comes to engaging their audience. Users are blocking ads and turning to third party reviews, cutting brands out of the loop.
Advertising funds much of the cool stuff on the internet including Google and Facebook. But users have started to get a bit sick of the annoying and intrusive tactics some advertisers use in an effort to get their attention. Ad blocking software, which prevents ads from rendering on web pages, is becoming increasingly popular as a result.
Google recently announced an upcoming change to its algorithm that will punish pop up ads, pushing pages further down in the search engine’s rankings. Facebook has handed the reigns over to its users, allowing them to tailor their own advertising experience by selecting which industries can have ads appearing in their News Feed or by blocking them altogether.
While the world of online advertising is far from dead, these speed bumps make it that little bit harder for businesses to get seen.
Who doesn’t read reviews about a product or service if it’s right in front of them? Consumers put quite a lot of weight on bad reviews, and it can really influence their perception of that brand.
Review sites like Zomato or TripAdvisor have garnered a massive following, accruing 10 million and 320 million reviews respectively. The popularity of user reviews has grown substantially and they are likely to provide consumers with a picture of your brand over which you have only limited control.
Social media reach
Unless you have established a large social media following that regularly engages with your content there’s a good chance that your organic posts don’t reach very far. Since Facebook updated its algorithm to make organic reach reliant on shares, many Pages would have noticed a decline in their referral traffic.
If your audience can’t see your posts they won’t be able to build a relationship with your brand, and will likely choose a product that is much more popular in their News Feed.
…in comes influencer marketing.
What influencer marketing can do to help your business
If you don’t have a large social following and are having trouble reaching your audience, this is where influencer’s come in handy.
Enlisting the help of an influencer will push your content out to a much larger audience. Having a social influencer share your content to their network not only gives your brand more visibility but increases the likelihood of that audience converting.
Influencer’s lend credibility to your brand. Their followers already trust their opinions and their recommendations so will receive your content better than if it just appeared in their Feed. Research on the value of influencer marketing by the Keller Fay Group, a market research business, revealed that micro influencers are considered at least ten per cent more credible and believable than the general population, as well as being perceived as ten per cent more knowledgeable.
According to a study by Markerley, an influencer management platform, once an influencer exceeds a certain amount of followers their influence actually starts to wear off. In an analysis of over 800,000 Instagram users, data revealed that as the number of followers per user increased, the rate of engagement decreased. The ideal range of followers for achieving the best combination of engagement and reach is between 10,000 and 100,000.
Not only do micro influencers have better rates of engagement with their followers, but they are also much more likely to be receptive of your requests to share your content or try your products. Macro influencers are inundated with these requests and probably ignore the majority of them, whereas micro influencers have more time and more incentive to promote your brand to grow their own social presence.