Featured in Forbes: Maximizing Influencer Partnerships Means Getting Micro
Microinfluencers made a name for themselves in 2017, and their ability to lead the masses has only grown in 2018. These social media celebrities may vary in follower count, but they all share one thing: an audience of super-engaged users. Forget the big names and, instead, take advantage of these small but powerful internet personalities.
Investing in up-and-coming talent may seem counterintuitive until you consider the value of this targeted engagement. More agencies recognize that promoting a message to a huge pool of consumers means nothing if it’s not a good fit for the brand. And based on our experience, microinfluencers provide equal (if not greater) engagement as their macro counterparts, plus more intimate audience relationships, the opportunity for longer-term partnerships and improved return on investment (ROI).
Here’s what you need to know to craft your own marketing strategy with these internet icons in mind.
Where Are We Now?
There’s no current standard for how much companies are spending on influencers. Although the largest majority in Linqia’s The State of Influencer Marketing reported spending $25,000 to $50,000, the full range stretched from less than $10,000 to $500,000 and beyond. The beauty industry was the first (and most effective) industry to capitalize on influencer potential. Having started representing clientele in beauty, I’ve witnessed the influencer media model grow into lifestyle, luxury and more. As influencer marketing budgets are set to increase for more than 70% of respondents in Celebrity Intelligence’s Influencing Beauty report, I anticipate other industries are soon to follow suit.
This increase could show up as brands paying big prices for big names or distributing their funds to work with multiple microinfluencers across niche audiences. No matter the route, this diverse method allows for flexible, cost-effective partnerships -- a good move considering 92% of surveyed marketers in Linqia’s 2018 study found influencer marketing to be effective when measured by engagement, clicks and impressions.
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Alongside greater investment in influencers, the face of the internet is getting a revamp. Gone are the days of consumers sitting passively behind a screen. Now, social media users are demanding a place at the table and influencers are pulling out the seat. To preserve the credibility of this relationship, brands should find partnerships that appear effortless to followers and seamlessly integrate your product into an influencer’s existing story.
Macrobenefits Of Microinfluencers
The most significant benefit to microinfluencers is their small but involved army of followers. According to a study by Markerly, Instagram engagement peaks for users with around 1,000 followers. For this demographic, audiences liked posts 8% of the time, while users with more than 10 million followers got likes only 1.6% of the time -- meaning more eyes on your product doesn’t always translate to more interest.
These intimate, tailored communities nurture a deeper connection with micro-influencers and their audiences. By making their followers an integral part of the content-creation process, influencers ditch the internet’s detached reputation and create personalized, meaningful connections.
Still, it would be naive to disregard performance entirely. The key is balancing optimal engagement and interest, a goal that’s easier to achieve when accessing these specialized audiences.
Where Can You Start?
The breadth of the influencer landscape is a blessing and a curse. Brands are never without options, but knowing which is the right choice can be overwhelming. In reality, it takes more than selecting a picturesque feed to discover your brand’s dream influencer. Start by considering your company’s unique identity and goals and ask, “Why this user or campaign?”
Then start your search. The best place to find relevant talent is on your own profile. See who’s already engaging with a brand’s existing campaigns and content, then reach out to show your appreciation. Establishing a relationship with influencers who already love a brand helps ensure authentic content, and because followers rely on influencers’ honesty, producing natural-feeling content is vital to protecting their trust.
An influencer’s heart lies with their followers, and few are willing to sacrifice the relationships they’ve established -- and for good reason! Fullscreen and Shareablee reported in the 2018 Influence by the Numbers study that over one-third of participants would trust a brand more after seeing it promoted by an influencer.
Turning to the numbers is another effective strategy. Sixty-seven percent of respondents in the Influencing Beauty report found that a data-led approach is most effective, in addition to considering the skills, themes or values of an influencer. By gathering audience insights and engagement metrics, agencies can analyze how an influencer’s audience compares to a client’s target demographic and how they will fit with the brand’s goals.
By being clear about a brand’s values and how they are exemplified through a partnership, agencies can access the tight-knit communities held by microinfluencers. Combine a client’s identity and goals with data to identify relevant talent and develop a variety of well-tailored contracts. With this strategy, brands can collaborate to develop longer-term relationships with microinfluencers that result in more creative, effective storytelling.