The rise of Micro influencers

15 June 2018

Industry Insights

We now live in a world where it’s the norm to have a cheeky browse on Instagram and get sucked into a world of content that’s been posted by ‘influencers’ with ridiculous amounts of followers. It’s with no shadow of doubt that brands are heavily using influencers to hone in on these followers by providing the influencer with product to style and post. Great in theory, however… the landscape is changing and consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and know what has been paid for and what hasn’t.

Coming from an agency, we’ve worked with plenty of these influencers in the past. If you’d asked us this one, even two years ago, the work we did with them performed stronger than just your normal social content. That being said, was it worth the budget? Influencers now charge extortionate amounts of money for a single Instagram post and we’re increasingly seeing that they are not willing to do much else except that single post.

We’ve seen a change in the way we approach influencer marketing because of this. We’re still firm believers in using ‘real-people’ to endorse our client’s product, but there’s been a shift in what we see as an influential stat. We’re now looking at engagement rate more than ever before, over vanity follower figures.

It’s a bit more work, but why not work with someone who has 10k followers but generates over 500 engagements equating to a 5% engagement rate over someone who has 2 million followers generating 30,000 likes equating to a 1.5% engagement rate? Yes, the reach is higher but the chances are that you’ve supplied your micro influencer with just product over paying your Macro influencer £1k for one post.

Having said that, we did some work with Sam Briggs who, whilst not someone who regularly posts paid for content but has a large following and went over and above for our client and the engagement we saw was really strong. We put a lot of time and effort into identifying someone who would resonate with our client’s audience. It’s very easy for a fashion retailer to work with the usual ‘fashion influencer’ suspects that all their competitors use as well. Check out the Sam Briggs case study here

I think what’s key here is that if you’re using a macro influencer as part of your marketing strategy, you need to look at their engagement, and not just their following. You need to decide if they will resonate with the audience. You need to determine if your competitors have exhausted anything similar with them. Is there someone you can use more creatively (I had to admire boohoo for using Zendaya around the launch of the Greatest Showman – well played boohoo). Or would you be better identifying those ‘real-people’ with smaller audiences but who will get the engagement rate and are not seen to be advertising a product they don’t actually like.