Who would you trust more, a celebrity with millions of followers or someone relatable with a few thousand? Increasingly, companies are putting their money towards micro-influencers as a way to get their marketing message out. But what is a micro-influencer and why are they talked about as the second coming of influencer marketing?
What is an Influencer?
The traditional definition of influencers is typically people with large followings on social channels who charge equally large sums of money for a branded social post. Through the popularity of this type of advertising, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of influencers who “sell out” their opinions to promote a product or a brand. Kylie Jenner famously earns $1 million for posting an Instagram post to her 150 million followers. There is an argument around the fact people know how much money big influencers get for endorsing a brand which in turn could make the endorsement seem less genuine and credible.
Introducing the latest marketing golden bullet, Micro-influencers. They are smaller influencers who have follower numbers in the thousands rather than hundreds of thousands or millions. They often have niche audiences who are highly engaged with the content they post.
Adidas Tango Squad
The senior director of global brand communications at Adidas argued that a message would be more genuine if spread to 500 kids with 2000 followers instead of one influencer with 1 million followers. Which comes back to the notion that you would probably be more influenced by your friend endorsing something than a known full-time influencer, who earns their living on saying nice things about brands. The argument by the senior director at Adidas references their Tango Squad initiative where they use 17-19-year-old “up and coming” football stars to be part of their influencer group. The thinking behind it is giving micro-influencers the tools to grow their own social channels while at the same endorsing the Adidas brand.
Influencers have had a bad rep for the past couple years due to a lack of transparency around what they were being paid to say and not. With new regulations around influencers needing to disclose whenever they post branded content, brands have had to look into new ways of ensuring the content is perceived as genuine. The transparency debate has opened up the market for these smaller influencers, as they often have a closer relationship with their follower base.
That said, both macro and micro-influencers have their strengths and weaknesses. Micro-influencers have the ability to reach out to a targeted group of people but with a lower overall reach, whereas macro-influencers have a more widespread reach with less ability to target.