To a certain extent, influencers – whether you love them or hate them – are everywhere. Social networks are their playground. Some of them have a more massive online following than Hollywood stars. And it can be argued they have a bigger influence too.
Their (not so) secret weapon is that they are relatable. They’re just like us all – or at least they appear to be. This gives them a great relevance, and a power that brands have been missing for a while: Trust.
That being said, some of them underwent a starification process which damaged this essential component of their success. Their audience felt that, in their rise to fame, they gradually lost touch with their fan base – making their opinion less impactful. People now ask for new, highly authentic influencers and as a result, new people are emerging: micro influencers.
Micro Influencer – who are you?
Micro influence is word of mouth on steroids. Think about your parents, friends or colleagues giving you advice but at the scale of the Internet. They are Bloggers, YouTubers and even increasingly Snapchaters. Contrary to star influencers, they are not followed (or known for that matter) by a large group of people but rather by a targeted audience with the same interests and passions.
When you think about micro influencers, what comes to mind is the word “specialist”. They are not comedian or entertainer at heart. They are passionate about a specific field and thanks to their content creation and/or their background, they have become opinion leader and prescribers to their online community.
In other words, this means than a consumer good distributor might want to work with influencers that are as popular and visible as possible but a technical or niche brand may find micro influencer to be the best fit.
Another important part of micro influence is that more often than not, they are not “professional influencer” per say. Their content creation is a hobby which makes it look genuine by its non-professional nature. This specificity should be taken into account: it doesn’t really matter if your motor sport influencer recommends your tools in a poorly lit garage with greasy hands or if your sport gear Instagramer is all flushed and sweaty. It may not look corporate, nor branded, but it shows that your product or service is actually used by the influencer in a believable setting, just like they would use it at home.
Micro influencers are your field geeks. They know their stuff, have a strong opinion on what they like and will certainly not work with just any brand for fees. They will be picky and only choose to work with brands they believe in, so they can remain authentic.
Collaborating with them will not make you aim for a large, non-targeted groups but rather for smaller, more loyal audiences. They need to be aligned with your core demographics.
Micro influencers aren’t overly famous and still likely growing their fan base. Chances are, they will not ask for large amounts of money: sometimes, a simple boost of their visibility or a chance to try your brand new product will be all they ask for. ROI is nearly guarantied.
Micro influencer: a seasonal job?
Even if micro influencers are the underdog characters of influence marketing, it doesn’t mean they won’t ever gain major visibility. As a matter of fact, big name influencers have all started small. They grew bigger with time and efforts. Betting on the smaller Instagramers or YouTubers will get you to earn their trust before they are much harder to reach once they’ve had their big break.
We might see more of them actually start doing more partnership for money regardless of the products or affinity with their community. But these might now grow much larger as they are only as good as their fans are loyal. Their field of expertise is restricted, they are experts. This is what they should be talking about. This is what is exciting to them, what they are passionate about.
Giving them the chance to become even more knowledgeable about their area of expertise will be a tremendous opportunity for you to actually engage with them in a sustainable way.
There is an even larger category of influencers that didn’t build a community but have gathered organic connections. This category is the rest of us: you and me. Internet has amplified the strength of our very own voice and each time we talk about a product, a service, a brand or a personality, we influence our own community. That level of word of mouth shouldn’t be neglected. We genuinely have the power to influence others, to interact with them. We are unbiased and benevolent toward them, and this make us trustable. Event if we don’t have any particular expertise, affect and authenticity is our brand of influence.
By investing in customer centric strategies and developing UGC campaigns companies are already making us ambassadors acknowledging the power of the everyday influencers.
If you are interested in getting to know more about who are your influencers, big and small, visit Plugr.net.
— Valentine Boudias