Turning the Microscope on Micro-Influencers
- 29 October 2018
- Written by: Emmalena L. Ellis
Turning the Microscope on Micro-Influencers & Their Impact on Digital Marketing
In the beginning digital marketing followed the familiar path of traditional marketing channels. That is to say, designated strategies and results, tended to be confined to predefined sources – usually recognised ‘experts’ in the field. Examples included leading magazine journalists and editors with an online column, style advisors from leading department stores with a weekly newsletter or advertising on webspace and social media pages of recognised partners and brands.
However, whilst these techniques remain relevant and important towards creating a branded identity, marketeers must be vigilant in recognising how the consumer focus can be influenced and swayed by external sources beyond their control, i.e. celebrity endorsement, product reviews and overall sales analytics (especially when compared to existing or premade forecasts in this area).
It is important to clarify, that this does not mean that using such practises is a for-sure way to ensure your product is profitable. But with such a vast marketspace to cover, with over 40% of E-commerce alone coming from Amazon, it is key where possible, whilst considering factors such as sustainability or recyclability, how the product emotionally impacts its consumer. Simply put, when done well your marketing strategy should build rapport and communication from its audience, to drive real, resonating results.
Whilst the results of bigger and more established brands may initially seem unobtainable – especially when they have seemingly unlimited revenue and budgets, successful digital marketers needn’t be worried about ‘famous recognition’. Ultimately regardless of which industry you are looking to tackle, every business, including yours will always be vying for more traffic, more followers, and more conversions from as many people as they can reach online through both organic and paid campaigns. So, the best way to demonstrate your unique selling points is by finding common ground with your target audience.
Promotions & Emotions
How can you resonate with your market? One of the reasons that people will like or follow a page is due to the way it syncs up with their beliefs or ideals. Although every customer is different, when going back to basics emotion plays a huge part.
With a growing number of reactions now available on Facebook alone, it is easier than ever for brands to learn how their audiences are responding and interacting to their content. The widespread popularity of memes and viral videos has long dominated social media channels. According to statistics 3.8 million cat pictures and videos are being shared every day. Why is this? Because the videos are entertaining and easily identifiable through a wide range of age groups and other demographics. Successful marketeers and brands should approach their content campaign the same way: Thus, creating meaningful and relatable connections, which will fuel virality and growth by encouraging an audience response.
Consumers love to feel recognised; and whether advertising a new restaurant in the heart of Soho, a uniquely smelling perfume or a revolutionary new recycling method, it is important to raise brand awareness on relevant social platforms. However, it is here that some brands can become complacent. Whilst the total number of followers is very important, especially when compare our work against competitors’ brands. We must not lose sight of what has encouraged users to sign up or follow us in the first place.
So, whilst there are plenty who with growing budgets can gain further results by promoting their work with social media stars and celebrities, i.e. those with millions of likes and followers; if a brand wishes to maintain their existing customers, those regular likes or other engagements, maintaining a customer’s trust is paramount.
Which is why micro-influencers have become such a game changer. Despite having a smaller following, micro-influencers are usually members of the audience themselves. They are teenagers interested in video games creating Let’s Plays on YouTube, parents on Forums looking at saving money or millennials keen to share delicious recipes with their peers on their blog. Each one is more approachable and relatable, with an immensely dedicated audience of their own who are waiting to discover your product.
Giving Honest Feedback
Employing the help of a micro-influencer will certainly provide your brand and your consumers with a heap of benefits. Both the personal recommendations and reviews which are generated in the process are genuinely seem as more authentic. Especially when compared to sometimes costly and random celebrity endorsement. This is because micro-influencers have stronger and more tailor-made relationships with their follower base, thus generating higher engagement rates compared to mainstream advertisements.
Anyone can write a blog or set up a vlog, but by giving that trust to someone lesser known, can provide organic product exposure in real time i.e. without the filters or airbrushing can help settle the minds of fellow consumers who believe your brand is accessible and approachable rather than commercial and irrelevant. Before you begin, research carefully who out there is most interested in what you have to offer and will be willing to ‘spread the word’ and tell your story.
By doing so you’ll stop having to blindly stab in the dark for customers, as you’ll be able to leverage your efforts and thus target a more relevant audience, simply by using a trusted and influential medium.
Finding the Blogger for You
To navigate this mine-field, look through your followers. Who is the brand already associated with that might be a potential representative? Who is already talking about you?
Once you have found someone who matches your ideals, send them a message, if they have a blog or page follow and like this as your brand to show appreciation for their content. By creating this relationship, micro-influencers, who receive contact will be more likely to reply when an actual campaign is being built and ready to help you succeed.
By working together with micro-influencers links and connections can begin to be made. Both of you can share content on your individual social media channels, providing branded hashtags to engage further consumer interactions.
This whole process benefits everyone. For start-ups and smaller brands, micro-influencers can provide a cost-effective approach to influencer marketing. For bigger brands, trust and approachability can be restored to customers. And for the audience it is a way of making a product ‘real’ rather than another readily available but impersonal item on the production line.
To find out more about how influencer marketing and working with micro-influencers affects results in real time check out the Bat Radar Charts. Or join the conversation by sharing your thoughts today in the comments below.