What do Christiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Kim Kardashian West have in common? They’re widely regarded as the biggest social media influencers in the world, and it would be no exaggeration to say they have a combined following in the billions.
While these huge names have the numbers, a growing number of social media marketing experts believe that lesser-known names might have more selling power. In 2021, look for the rise and rise of the micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers are social influencers with an audience of around 10,000 to 100,000 followers, although that number is fluid depending on who you speak to. They might not have a large following, especially in comparison to the macro-influencers of this world, but it is a loyal following. Because micro-influencers have fewer followers, they’re usually more engaged with them on a day to day basis. This is especially true when you compare them to the macro-influencers with millions of followers who would find it virtually impossible to connect with their followers in any capacity – and they probably wouldn’t want to anyway. Can anyone seriously imagine Christiano Ronaldo chatting to a mere mortal about Clear Hair Care? (One of the brands he promotes on Instagram, for a very luxuriant fee, of course.)
According to a study carried out by one social media company, micro-influencer campaigns have engagement rates up to 60% higher than macro-influencers. The same study also states that their campaigns are up to six times more effective per engagement than the campaigns of macro-influencers. Meanwhile, another study found that 82% of consumers would consider buying a product if a micro-influencer recommended it. Yes, micro might not be as big as macro when it comes to numbers, but size doesn’t really matter as far as consumers are concerned.
So why do micro-influencers hold their own against macro-influencers when it comes to social media marketing? As well as being more engaged with their followers, they’re also seen as more authentic and relatable. 99.99999999% of the population could not possibly relate to the champagne and caviar lifestyle of those mega-celebrity billionaires who make a lot of their money as macro-influencers. Yet micro-influencers are seen as more down to earth. More like us. They tend to have more direct relationships with their followers and are perceived as more authentic. They’re generally invested in the online community they’re part of and spend more time interacting with their audience than the more famous influencers who seem to reside on another planet. This authenticity builds a deeper level of trust, and when a consumer believes what they hear about a product or service, they’re more likely to buy.
Macro-influencers are good for business through sheer weight of numbers. But micro-influencers are perfect for a more nuanced and targeted digital marketing approach. Think of it as quality over quantity.