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The Rise of Micro-Influencers: Why They're Crucial to Your Marketing Strategy
As a business leader, you understand the power of a strong community and the role it plays in building a successful brand. In today's digital media landscape, micro-influencers are leading the charge in creating community-focused content that not only resonates with audiences but also drives meaningful engagement.
Micro-influencers have 10K-100K followers, comprising 91% of the influencer market. They excel at engaging their audiences through frequent posts and interactions, such as responding to user comments and direct messages. These creators have a unique ability to blend their personal expertise with a brand's product or service in a way that feels natural and approachable. Their content feels like it's coming from a trusted friend rather than a faceless corporation. You might recognize them as the chatty colleague at work, your childhood friend, or the barista with the funky glasses at your local coffee shop.
HubSpot’s Director of Community, Evan Hamilton, explains the impact of these community connections on the buyer journey. “Buyers increasingly rate peer perspectives as far more convincing than any marketing material or sales call a company can muster up, which makes getting real people out there talking about your brand all the more essential. Micro-influencers are a great way to create that convincing content and help uplift that influencer...building a mutually beneficial relationship that will only grow in value as the influencer grows their reach.”
An industry survey found that video is on the rise from 2022 to 2023, with TikTok going from 5% to 9% usage and YouTube from 60% to 65%. So, it’s no wonder that micro-influencers are dominating our online buyer journey. Micro-influencers dominate the online buyer journey because they effectively influence users on the social media platforms they frequent the most. Hootsuite reports that gaining “reputation and authenticity” for an influencer to grow their reach are not easy to attain or quantify. Here are their qualifiers to determine someone’s level of influence:
- Connection: Has the influencer fostered a strong relationship with their audience? Does their lifestyle feel aspirational or attainable?
- Communication: Can this influencer communicate a product’s or brand’s value with their audience without it feeling like a sales pitch?
- Values: Does the influencer work with brands that align with their lifestyle or values? Do they endorse things followers might view as scammy (weight-loss teas, “get-rich-quick” schemes, etc.)?
- Authenticity: Do they endorse anything that would make a user stop and ask, “Does this person REALLY use this brand?”
There is work to be done to ensure this opportunity is capitalized on, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Unlike a content producer that you will hire full-time or contract, a micro-influencer is more cost-effective to bring on board for various campaigns. Some influencers are compensated with the brand’s product or services and exposure to gain more followers to further expand their community reach. They have a true passion for their niche market and are thrilled to connect with others in a similar space, while creating their own evangelists. They do so at higher rates than their celebrity counterparts. Research by Markely showed that celebrities may have millions of followers, but followership does not correlate to more comments and engagement on their social media. 82% of consumers were more likely to accept a recommendation from a micro-influencer.
“Consumers crave relatability. If we see someone that looks like us, talks like us, or has the same problem as us, we are more likely to listen and try whatever new product or business they are talking about. Micro-influencers harness this relatability in their content. They aren't valuable because of how many followers they have or if they are a celebrity. Their value is in the trust and connection they foster. Micro-influencers create an opportunity to tap into the masses strategically with choices that are focused more on who is watching vs who is creating. It's a way for brands to embrace inclusivity and diversity to create true connection with their audience, understanding that connection is more powerful than follower count,” says HubSpot Principal Marketing Manager, Christina Garnett.
Now that we have your attention, NP Digital co-founder and INBOUND speaker alum, Neil Patel, has tips to utilize and grow your business with micro-influencers. Be sure to watch out for imposters though, as not all micro-influencers are the real deal!
Tap into your creative self. Grow your community and continue the conversation with other marketers at INBOUND 2023.