Forget Macro: The rise of the micro-influencer (and why they’re the future of marketing)

In a modern world that’s driven by social media channels, influencers have become a marketing staple. Almost every company with their head screwed on is using this tool to grow their business. With some influencers achieving followers into the millions, it’s a no-brainer that getting endorsement from an influencer is a good idea. However, what is lesser known (and far more effective) is micro-influencers. Here’s why.

Mega-influencers have gotten too big for their boots (sorry Kylie Jenner). They have become to view themselves as brands, making them inaccessible to most companies. This presents a much more brand-to-brand style partnership than ever before, and these kinds of relationships require monetary investment – so unless your company has got hundreds of thousands of pounds stashed away to pay for the privilege, it isn’t a feasible option. However, it’s not just budget that’s an issue here, it’s what these influencers represent.

As influencer’s perceptions of themselves change from being social media users to bonafied brands, their content has become increasingly inauthentic, far more polished than when they started out. Mega-influencers become content-based advertisers, rather than influential content-makers.

The beauty of influencing for brands is that it’s a subtle way to market products to their consumers. For example, if someone sees a smaller influencer that they admire raving about their new favourite café, they are far more likely to go and check it out. This comes down to the trust. People trust that smaller influencers are being genuine with their opinion because they have less reason to lie than a mega-influencer receiving a massive wodge of dough. Authenticity commands a committed following for micro-influencers, and using them is a far more natural-feeling way for a brand to spread their message to these followers.

Whilst bigger influencers spread their message across the globe, micro-influencers have a much more localised effect. This is great for brands because it allows for them to target specific audiences. Let’s say you’re opening a restaurant in south London: collaborating with a micro-influencer who posts about the latest cool trends in this area will undoubtedly increase your chances of reaching people who might spend time there. Makes sense, right? Well, imagine that these chances were even further increased if the influencer you’re working with specialises their posts exclusively on restaurants in London. This brings us onto niches.

Micro-influencers focus on niche areas far more than larger influencers. Their interests as a person are channelled into their influencing work and as they get more complimentary offers from companies in this area, they are driven further into this niche. As the number of influencers continues to grow, so will the niches, which essentially means there’ll be the perfect influencer to match every kind of company. For brands this means that not only can you geographically localise your message but you can also make sure that it’s reaching the right people.

This all seems very clever, doesn’t it? Well, you would think so. However, many brands are still yet to recognise the effects that micro-influencers can have on their business. We’re not sure why this is but what we can be sure of is that this won’t be the case for very long. The fact that micro-influencers are accessible, cost-effective, reach specific audiences and trusted by these audiences, is too obvious to stay a secret. Our advice is to strike while the iron is hot, before everyone else has caught on.

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