Working with influencers is an irrefutably powerful marketing tactic in the digital age. The concept is typically linked to celebrity status influencers or mega-influencers, who boast audiences in the millions and can get a marketing message out in an extremely proficient manner.
However, these larger influencer accounts tend to max out many businesses’ marketing budgets. Fortunately, there’s an alternative. Micro-influencers. These are individuals with between 5,000 and 10,000 followers. And below them is another group, nano-influencers, who typically have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers.
Setting up a network of micro and nano-influencers can take a lot of time and effort. It requires cultivating numerous relationships, tending to endless communications, and a lot of free product shipments and individual payments. However, investing in a micro-influencer strategy can be the ticket to success for many organizations. Here are a few of the biggest reasons why.
Micro-Influencers are More Affordable
Financial limitations tend to be reason number one for most micro-influencer strategies. However, this doesn’t simply signal a lack of finances. It also points to a more significant positive financial benefit.
Micro-influencers are often more affordable on a per-impression or per-engagement rate. With limited reach comes a limited price tag. A head-for-head count can often turn up a better rate for a micro- or nano-influencer than you might get with a more popular social media figure whose track record enables them to demand greater compensation.
This makes micro-influencers a serious cost-saving marketing method. The individualized nature of working with each influencer account also means you can cap your efforts at whatever marketing budget you have set at the time. Then, when more funding becomes available, you can increase the size of your micro-influencer team. At the same time, if your budget shrinks, you only have to let go of one or two of your least effective influencers.
Micro-Influencers are More Effective
One would think that a larger influencer could sway more people to purchase a product or service. However, time and again, the statistics point to the fact that smaller crowds tend to be more active and more engaged.
Often this stems from the intimacy created by being in a smaller group. A comment can be read and responded to by fellow fans as well as the influencers themselves. Statistically, this tends to increase engagement by as much as 50%. In one case, using nano-influencers with 1000 followers generated 85% more engagement than those with 100,000 followers.
Along with the obvious benefit of greater engagement, brands using micro-influencers can also benefit from a more natural sense of brand awareness. Working with such a decentralized group of influencers can lead to a large number of smaller organic mentions throughout various social media spheres. This can help with brand awareness without putting “all of your marketing eggs” into the basket of a single mention from a celebrity influencer.
Micro-Influencers Can Collaborate
Collaboration is a key part of a successful influencer campaign. However, when you’re working with a busy celebrity or social media personality, you’ll likely only get a fraction of their attention at any given moment. This can make genuine collaboration difficult.
Micro-influencers tend to be less overwhelmed and can focus more intently on each company that they work with. This can allow you to share products, set up phone calls, and even collaborate using a virtual whiteboard or a workflow platform to ensure that you’re all on the same page.
Micro-Influencers Give You Greater Precision
When you opt to work with a celebrity or a mega-influencer, you can reach a lot of people very quickly. While this can provide a huge spike in brand awareness all at once, though, it often lacks the legs to go the distance.
Once the celebrity has finished their endorsement, both they and their followers move on to the next “big thing,” often leaving sponsors in the dust. Additionally, the blast of brand awareness is often wasted on countless followers who could care less about your particular product or service.
When you work with a micro-influencer, though, you often get a much greater sense of precision. You can target a more diverse audience since, in reality, you’re targeting dozens or even hundreds of audiences through an equal number of influencers.
Micro-Influencers Increase Your Content Creation
Content creation is a critical factor in the modern marketing world. The act of brainstorming ideas, creating the content itself, managing the content throughout the publication process, and then responding to customer engagement after the fact can be downright overwhelming.
That’s where micro-influencers can swoop in to save the day. When you work with a large group of micro-influencers, it can exponentially increase the quantity of content that you’re creating at any given moment by outsourcing 99% of its creation to others. Not only that, but it passes this crucial task off to a group of individuals who have proven that they’re masters of the content creation craft.
A single campaign can flood social media with hundreds of quality, hand-crafted posts. These are created by different people with various skills and perspectives. Each one will have a unique, positive take on your brand. And the best part is, you can even reuse much of your influencer’s content as reposts on your own brand’s social media pages.
The Downsides to Working Micro-Influencers
Of course, you can paint anything in a rosy light if you try hard enough. While there are genuine benefits to using a micro-influencer approach, though, it’s only fair to also include some of the more significant downsides to the popular strategy. A few of the biggest concerns include:
- Limited resources: Often micro-influencers will have to work with limited resources. You may find yourself having to step in to help in various ways, like purchasing certain equipment for an ad or helping them design and stage a room to properly showcase your products.
- Complex payments: It may be expensive, but it’s easy to pay a single mega-influencer in one mighty transaction. Paying dozens of micro-influencers (often different rates, no less) can be a pain in the neck at the best of times.
- Time invested: One of the biggest downfalls of micro-influencers is the time that it takes to set up and run a campaign. Along with the endless hours spent dealing with correspondents, it can often feel like herding cats as you try to move so many different personalities toward a single, cohesive brand message.
- Serious logistics: Finally, orchestrating the shipment of sample goods, helping micro-influencers set up and use your products, and generally making sure that their reviews and content are up to snuff with your standards can be exhausting.
While these are real concerns, none of them should be dealbreakers. If you find that you’re working with limited funds, investing the time and effort into a micro-influencer strategy can often deliver significant, equal, and at times even superior results when compared to a macro-influencer investment.
Micro-Influencers for the Win
Some serious hurdles come with a micro-influencer-driven marketing campaign. However, these challenges pale in comparison to the tremendous benefits that come with collaborating with smaller influencers.
From lower costs to greater engagement, collaboration, precision, and more, there are plenty of reasons to steer in the micro-influencer direction with your marketing strategy. It will take a solid amount of up-front investment, but the results should speak for themselves before long.
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