The rise of Mi­cro-in­flu­encers: is small the new big?

With in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing on the rise across the Arab re­gion and world­wide, brands are of­ten caught up in a ‘big­ger is bet­ter’ par­a­digm when it comes to se­lect­ing rel­e­vant in­flu­encers.

ArabAd - - CONTENTS - By Christina Fakhry

And while it may seem nat­u­ral for mod­ern-day mar­keters to grav­i­tate to­wards the most pop­u­lar ac­counts, namely those of celebri­ties and megain­flu­encers, to help pro­mote their prod­ucts, re­cent stud­ies ap­pear to re­fute this sa­cred rule of num­bers.

Fol­low­ing an anal­y­sis of over five mil­lion In­sta­gram posts, award-win­ning in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing firm Mark­erly un­veiled a clear down­ward cor­re­la­tion be­tween fol­lower size and post likes. “The key find­ing of our data is that as an in­flu­encer’s fol­lower to­tal rises, the rate of engagement (likes and com­ments) with fol­low­ers de­creases,” the data re­port reads.

Build­ing upon th­ese find­ings, Mark­erly re­ported that in­flu­encers in the 10k-100k fol­lower range, oth­er­wise re­ferred to as mi­cro-in­flu­encers, have the best com­bi­na­tion of engagement and broad reach, with like/com­ment rates ex­ceed­ing those per­tain­ing to their more widely fol­lowed coun­ter­parts, whom brands are oth­er­wise more likely to ap­proach.

An­other study by Hel­loso­ci­ety, a so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing com­pany that was ac­quired by The New York Times in 2016, sim­i­larly found mi­cro-in­flu­encers with 30k fol­low­ers or less to be more ben­e­fi­cial for mar­keters to col­lab­o­rate with. Ac­cord­ing to the study, mi­cro-in­flu­encers are 6.7 times more ef­fi­cient per engagement than in­flu­encers with larger fol­low­ings, which makes them more cost ef­fec­tive.

And while th­ese niche in­flu­encers may not en­joy the same recognition as prom­i­nent celebrity in­flu­encers, they have re­port­edly gar­nered more tar­geted/loyal au­di­ences that they are able to en­gage with on an in­ti­mate level, thereby mak­ing them a smarter (let alone sig­nif­i­cantly less ex­pen­sive) in­vest­ment for mar­keters look­ing to build aware­ness around their brand.

But as more and more brands con­tinue to seek out the en­dorse­ment of cov­eted celebrity in­flu­encers at any cost, it be­comes all the more im­per­a­tive for lu­cid mar­keters to en­lighten their clients on the sta­tis­ti­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the afore­men­tioned find­ings and sub­se­quently re­di­rect their strat­egy to­wards a sig­nif­i­cantly more valu­able/ac­ces­si­ble re­source rep­re­sented by mi­cro-in­flu­encers.

The ra­tio­nale be­hind this due shift is pretty sim­ple, and it is about time that brands ul­ti­mately take it up as their goto in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing al­ter­na­tive for achiev­ing higher brand engagement. The pace at which such a shift will take place, how­ever, largely de­pends on mod­ern mar­keters’ ea­ger­ness to push for it among their clients.

Does this mean mi­cro-in­flu­encers are on the way to de­throne celebri­ties in terms of online in­flu­ence? Not nec­es­sar­ily (nor is this the point, at the end of day). But it surely does im­ply that their cus­tomised in­flu­ence is more apt to meet brands’ needs in to­day’s over-sat­u­rated so­cial me­dia en­vi­ron­ment.

In­flu­encers in the 10k-100k fol­lower range, oth­er­wise re­ferred to as mi­cro-in­flu­encers, have the best com­bi­na­tion of engagement and broad reach.

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