Whether it was Fyre Festival’s influencer-centric scandal or Scott Disick’s Instagram mishap – we have all grown skeptical of the term “influencer marketing.” People are now turning more to micro-influencers rather than the big names and celebrities. Micro-influencers are social media enthusiasts with a smaller following between 1,000-10,000. They 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 champion and partner with.
“The authenticity of common interests between a micro-influencer and their followers evokes a credibility that a large influencer can’t replicate.” And the data supports this point of view. 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.
So, are micro-influencers the future of influencer marketing?
Glossier thinks so and built a best-in-class example of a micro-influencer marketing program. They have quickly become one of the most transformative direct-to-consumer brands on the market. When Glossier launched their representative (influencer) program, they had 11 reps – now the program has over 500 dedicated ambassadors. Each rep had a generally small following, and would be classified as a micro-influencer. “In a small way I am a part of the company and I get to hear about exclusive things that people outside don’t get to hear about, so that’s a pretty good goal,” says one rep.
But what makes someone a quality micro-influencer?
- They are both, consumers and creators.
- They have a genuine interest in the products and services they are talking about.
- They genuinely want to give feedback and provide innovative insight.
- They have an established online presence with highly-engaged network.
- They have a passion for building and growing relationships.
Lastly, and a bit surprisingly I’d assume….
- They know how to market a product and how to drive leads.
There are so many factors that need to be considered before choosing an influencer. If you are going to take away anything from this: First, think small and think of someone not with a large following but with a passion for your industry. Second, consider the future of influencer marketing fatigue and how you can creatively adapt and rise above it by being genuine. And last, choose a quality brand ambassador who appreciates the importance of authenticity PLUS knows how to apply marketing principles.
On the surface, it seems as though an influencer’s total following matters more than anything else. And while the overall following numbers do attract attention, engagement is the key factor in an influencer’s ultimate success when it comes to commercial viability.