Micro-Influencers And Your Marketing Campaigns

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But first Macro....

Tom Brady and TAG Heuer, Beyonce and Pepsi, Blake Lively and L'Oreal, the following aforementioned are famous brand spokespersons or ambassadors. Their fame and celebrity status makes them solid investments for mega-brands to use for their company image and marketing campaigns. These global brands can also afford the Hollywood "A listers". Famous people are what we'd call macro-influencers. Their sheer fan size and reach is huge, global. This type of pairing of famous people and brand endorsements has been the traditional way brands have selected their spokespersons. 

Loving the new Starbucks holiday design! #feelslikeChristmas #yesplease #jolly #caffeinated #Home4theHolidays #Starbucks #ad  {celebrity post example noting ad or sponsorship}

Loving the new Starbucks holiday design! #feelslikeChristmas #yesplease #jolly #caffeinated #Home4theHolidays #Starbucks #ad

{celebrity post example noting ad or sponsorship}

While macro-influencers, such as Kim Kardashian, heavily use popular social media channels like Instagram to promote brands they work with, there has been an interesting shift as it's come to light that many celebrity lifestyle posts were really ads in disguise {shocking? Eh, not so much}. Because their fans are loyal and do in fact purchase what they see their favorite celebrities use, the Federal Trade Commission had to issue guidelines for celebrities and digital influencers to adhere to when posting a promotional post on social media. All ads must include a visible"#ad" or "#sponsored" depicted clearly within the post. This lets the fan know that ie. Kim Kardashian is being paid to promote X product. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter's ad usage has exploded over the last couple years with the increase of users (Facebook is currently at 2 billion users).

To depict social media's ad power, it has been estimated one of Selena Gomez's posts, across the major social platforms, is worth $550,000 (calculated by number of followers, click through rate, and follower engagement).

While it's not public, a celebrity like Selena Gomez most likely charges way more than a smaller brand could afford. In essence, macro-influencer posts are not cheap, and not as authentic with the newly required FTC guidelines, and therefore are not viable or affordable options for non-mega brands.

How can a smaller company compete in a macro-influencer world? Enter: The Micro-Influencers! Social media has provided more niche and less expensive opportunities for smaller and mega-brands alike. Smaller brands can more so readily afford micro-influencers and larger brands can diversify their marketing dollars. 

As a business owner you may or may not have heard of micro-influencers. The concept in relation to digital marketing is relatively new as the rise of social media has enabled people outside of Hollywood to become stars in their own right and well, famous! However, the micro-influencer has been around for a while. It's the new restaurant your friend recommended, or the detergent you use because your mom said it's best, or your news network doing an expose on a local charity and then you deciding to donate. These are the kind of influencers that someone is engaged with and that impacts that person's purchasing decisions. Digital Micro-Influencing is the modern word of mouth

Social media has enabled users to tag a business, products, check-in to a business, start hashtag trends pertaining to a business, post photos of a business, recommend a business and more! An excellent example of a micro-influencer is The Blonde Abroad. Kiersten (founder of The Blond Abroad) is a world-traveler/blogger that has built up her own brand with a loyal following. Her reach and influence has been recognized by brands such as GoPro, Crystal Cruises, LifeProof, and FujiFilm, to name a few. Kiersten's following is currently around 440K on Instagram (her largest social media platform following). She specifically posts on all things related to travel: hotels and where to stay, where to eat, best travel accessories etc.. Compared to Selena Gomez's 123 million Instagram followers, Kiersten's numbers pale in comparison yet her brand is hyper-focused on one industry: travel. This, along with the quality brand, content, and fan following she has built, makes her a very attractive brand ambassador and micro-influencer for small and larger brands working within the travel industry.

Another interesting example of a micro-influencer with an even more specific influence is Jenny Francis. Jenny is a vintage sewing aficionado that started as a blogger but now has brand collaborations with relevant vintage, sewing, or lifestyle companies, such as Hotter Shoes. Jenny serves as an example that whatever specific industry your brand or business is in, the internet is a huge place, and you'll find your micro-influencers!  Instagram is a great place to start to find your micro-influencers, the platform yields high engagement and creative storytelling opportunities, a win-win for brands. You can easily search for hashtags relevant to your brand and see who is posting. Additionally, there are platforms like Hootsuite and others that can monitor hashtag uses. 

There are tons of micro-influencers across all social channels: video makeup vloggers on YouTube, comedians formerly on the Vine now Instagram, ardent novel bloggers on GoodReads, to Facebook video stars. While these social media users may not have as many followers compared to a celebrity like Selena Gomez, they have created their own brands with their own loyal following. With that said influencers like the Blonde Abroad will likely have a going rate for hashtag usage or shout-out posts that smaller companies still may not be able to afford...

Your first designated micro-influencer actually may be a friend right under your nose. Reach out to someone that you know that you think would help positively expose your brand. Much like authors do for the GoodReads platform (the go-to for all book lovers), provide your friend with a free product in exchange for an honest post or review. By going with a friend first, who you're likely friends with on social media, will also give you a clear look at engagement, comments, feedback, likes etc. 

Micro-influencers are bottom-line good for your brand, especially if your business or product is niche. For higher and quality engagement, according to HelloSociety, "[micro-influencers] with 30,000 or fewer followers, are more beneficial for marketers to work with." It looks good, especially on the digital plain, to have proponents of your business beyond channels you control for more authenticity. It's beneficial for sales and brand awareness that business owners identify these micro-influencing brand ambassadors...they're out there!

Morsel Resplendence wants to help business owners with their modern marketing needs. We care about the details and making sure small business owners are set up for success. Contact us today for help with your website, brand strategy, specific campaigns, and more.