Image taken from Pexels.com
With the turn of the new decade, a trend has emerged for marketing professionals everywhere - the rise of micro-influencers. This genuine trend has shifted the landscape for what it means to engage in influencer marketing. Now, more than ever, micro-influencers are in demand for gaining engagement and conversions, figures that marketers are looking out for.
Although definitions vary, micro-influencers tend to fall between having social media accounts of 1,000 - 10,000 followers and they tend to be opinion leaders in a very niche market. Meanwhile, those with considerably higher follower count, ironically, become less viable in terms of gaining engagement for brands.
According to Mediahub, micro-influencers have increased the engagement for their clients by 50%. For one particular client, they experience 85% more engagement for an influencer with 1,000 followers compared to an influencer with 100,000 followers.
This trend became prominent in recent years as micro-influencers tend much more relatable than influencers with celebrity status. A survey by Edelman Trust Barometer showed that 61% of 33,000 people across 27 countries find that information from a “person like me” credible or very credible. They also found that relatability is twice more important than the influencer’s popularity, making micro-influencers much more viable than those with a huge following.
Micro-influencer marketing has gained traction as some big names have hopped aboard as well. Spotify gained traction for the “Discover Weekly” feature by having 29,540 likes, 2.37% engagement at just 20 cents for each engagement. There is less CPC (Cost Per Click) for each influencer engaged.
Content from micro-influencers in the "Discover Weekly" feature campaign
DEMAND FOR AUTHENTICITY DRIVES THE TREND
This groundbreaking trend was marked by shifts in preference by the growth of the millennials and Gen Zers. Trust and authenticity are words that they hold on closely to, and they shun anything that screams hard-sell advertising.
“When working with influencers, brands have to let go and allow influencers control of the narrative to preserve the authenticity of what is being communicated.” Priyanka Dayal, content marketing manager at Centaur Media PLC, said, “For influencer marketing to sustain, authenticity and credibility is key."
In the 2017 Consumer Content Report, 90% of millennials think that brand authenticity is important, preferring being ‘real and organic’ over ‘packaged and perfect’ with 30% of the millennials unfollowing an influencer account they think is not authentic (compared to Gen X - 16% and Boomer - 11%). Most of all, across the generations, 60% of consumers consider content created by fellow consumers to be more authentic than from brands.
Image taken from Pexels.com
Not only should we pay attention to the millennials, but the Gen Zers as well. Business Insider reported that Gen Zers have combined purchasing power of $140 billion, which spans between the age of 7 to 22.
This younger generation, the Millennials and Gen Zers have even greater opportunity to grow in their spending in the coming years. With that, marketers will have to re-invent themselves if they want to spend on dollars that can actually catch their attention. To do that, brands will have to build relationships with their audiences, and micro-influencers have a huge potential in becoming that mouthpiece.
Micro-influencer marketing has grown to become a largely untapped market that could communicate authenticity with Millennials and Gen-Zers. They are the groups that can easily perceive the real from the counterfeit and perhaps, it is now time for brands to be real with their audience of what they truly are made of.
Jordan Worona, CEO of We Are Verified, told Forbes, “Content teams are learning that you can't win by merely throwing influencers into content and brands are learning that influencers with huge followings don't necessarily yield the greatest success in campaigns. It’s the influencers who have built a real relationship, and trust with their audience, who are winning.”
People want micro-influencers because of trust and authenticity. Marketers who want to stay ahead will have to earn trust by sharing stories, having conversations and being genuine with their audience. Now, is the generation of real talk, less money.