There has been a huge shift in influencer marketing. As consumers become more digital savvy, they see through the mega influencers with millions of followers and crave something more real and authentic. Enter the micro-influencer >> an influencer with significantly fewer followers but astoundingly more engagement from the community they have cultivated. Rather than paying for followers, or gaining followers by giving away free products, these influencers have built their communities around simply who they are and what they believe in. Consumers follow them because they truly believe in their lifestyle and feel less marketed to and more like the influencer is just sharing a product that they actually use in their life.
Here are some things to think about to update your influencer strategy and start engaging impactful micro-influencers:
Rearrange Your Budget
Instead of dropping thousands on a macro-influencer, divide the same amount among many micro-influencers. If you are not sold on the micro-influencer concept, spend half of your budget on one mega-influencer and then divide the other half among macro-influencers. Track the ROI and let it speak to how much more engagement and brand awareness you receive from the macro-influencer versus the pool of micro-influencers.
Narrow Your Target Audience
The secret to a successful influencer marketing strategy is knowing what audience you are targeting inside-out. How do they behave online AND offline? What products are they already talking about? How are they currently talking about your brand? Look beyond the normal demographics and find out everything and anything you can about them. This will help ensure that you are choosing the right micro-influencers for your brand and your consumers.
Track How Your Target Audience Currently Engages With Influencers
This is a step that a lot of brands miss, and pay for down the road. You absolutely have to know how your target audience currently engages with influencers to know what influencers are going to be right for your brand to use. For example, if your current target audience is not engaging with influencers at all, you want to make sure that your influencer strategy is very authentic and feels like a natural part of your consumers’ dialogue online. If they hint a bit of ‘sales’ material at all, they will tune it out. If they are regularly engaging with influencers, you will want to track how they are engaging with them and look at what attributes the influencers they are engaging with have in common. This will help you pick out similar influencers to use.
Do Your Own Influencer Homework
They are hundreds of agencies ready and willing to choose your influencers for you. I’m not saying to not let them help you along the way, but I am saying that you need to do your own homework first. Take a look at what influencers are out there that might be relevant for your brand. Keep your target audience in mind. If your consumers have a lower income bracket, you don’t want to use an influencer that is constantly dressed in designer clothes with their matching designer purses. You also would not want to pick an influencer that is always on vacations in foreign countries with beautiful ocean views from their hotel room. You will want to pick an influencer who is more showing their day-to-day moments in life and not always showing off an extravagant lifestyle. However, if your target audience has a higher income, you will want to look at micro-influencers that are sharing lavish photos of their extravagant lifestyle. At the end of the day, you want to choose micro-influencers that are living a lifestyle similar to that of your target audience so they can relate to the influencer on an authentic level.
Don’t Force It
If your target audience is not responding to micro nor macro influencers, don’t force influencer marketing on them. Using influencers to sell your products/services do not work for every target audience. Sometimes an audience is too independent to care what others are doing or spending their money on, or sometimes they are so burnt out from the unauthentic macro-influencer phase that they can even see through micro-influencers and they do not want any of it. As with anything in social media, it’s a great idea to test and put some money behind influencer marketing to see if it works for you, but it’s even more important to learn from the experience and stop if it isn’t working for your brand.
Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful as you embark on your influencer marketing strategy. Remember the most important thing is that consumers are becoming more and more savvy, craving real, authentic experiences that fit into their current lifestyles. Micro-influencers can have a greater impact than macro-influencers because their communities are more likely built around similar values and interests.
Do you have experience with macro versus micro influencers? If so, leave your comments below!
– Marji J. Sherman