The arrival of the micro influence and why you have to adapt your influence marketing strategy. 

“Influence Marketing “ is one of the buzzwords of 2016 and in view of the interest for this keywords on search engine… it is only the beginning. But watch out! The era of micro influence started. 

If you don’t know what influence marketing means, here is a quick definition: Influence marketing is a type of marketing that relies on collaboration with influencers (bloggers, youtubers,…) to promote a product or a service of a brand to the audience of the influencer. With the increasing use of influence marketing, more and more analyzes and researches are carried out. One of those researches focuses on the criteria to select the right influencers based on the size of their audience. If you are interested in influence marketing, you have probably heard about micro-influence. 

Influence marketing is dead, long life to micro-influence marketing 

In the United States, everybody talks about micro-influence even if there is no precise definition for this word. Medias like Adweek, CNBC, or Forbes define micro-influencers like people who have less than 10 000 followers on social media. Others talk about a range between 500 and 5 000 followers. The definition is not precise yet and then can be confusing especially since it depends on the sector. 

For example, a beauty influencer with 10 000 followers on Instagram can be considered as a micro-influencer, on the other hand, someone specialized in diving with 10 000 followers can be considered a Top Influenceur. 

A simplified categorization:

  1. Top-Tail Influencers (1 million or more followers)
  2. Middle-Tail Influencers (Around 100 000 followers)
  3. Micro-Influencers (Around 10 000 or less followers)

Micro-influencers with a huge influence

The rise of micro-influencers is not a fashion trend, but leads to a specialized strategy, maximizing the engagement rate. The engagement rate is defined by the interaction rate (likes, comments, shares,…) compared to the number of subscribers following the account. A study carried by Digiday shows that the engagement rate of Instagram account with less than 1 000 followers is on average 8%. The same rate for accounts between 1 000 and 10 000 followers is on average 4% and accounts with more than 1M followers is around 1,7%. 

Several arguments explain this phenomenon:

  • Micro-influencers talk often about precise subjects and they are considered as experts. 
  • Their expertise gives a strong authenticity to the contents and they are seen as a relevant source when it comes to recommendations. 
  • Micro-influencers take more time to exchange with their community, they create a stronger link with their audience. 
  • Influencers with less followers have a bigger part of followers who know them personality, then they trust more easily the influencer.

We can add, when brands ask for a Top-Tail influencer, there is a risk that the competitors have already worked with the same influencer. Working with that same influencer become less relevant but still expensive. 

How to take advantage of the micro-influence?

The right choice of the influencers and a content creation strategy must of course be in the heart of the influence strategy. On the other hand, instead of hiring an influencer with 100 000 followers and an audience with less precise interests, it is more relevant to work with 10 influencers with a more targeted and engaged audience. 

For the launch of a movie in December 2016, Universal France compared the campaign with an Influencer Top Tail (2M followers) and a campaign with 100 micro-influencers (less than 5 000 followers). Tanke (publisher of the platform AdMingle) executed the campaign and got really impressive results: the rate of video views, likes, shares compared to the number of fans were sometimes 10 times higher. (4.7x for the videos, 5.6x for the likes, and 10.3x for shares). It should be noted, however, to obtain those numbers, it was necessary to activate several hundreds micro-influencers. 

What are the limits of a micro-influence strategy?

Increasing the numbers of influencers in a strategy increases the need for coordination. 

So it is mandatory to have relevant tools and skills to manage a high number of influencers. If you have internal teams to manage influence marketing campaigns, you need to give them support by choosing techniques that allow to automate tasks. 

How to adapt my influence strategy by including micro-influence and micro-influencers? 

Micro-influence is not a unique solution because a good influence strategy is not based on punctual operations, but indeed on a long term plan in which you will create collaborations with different types of influencers. We are talking about hybrid influence strategy that includes Top Tail influencers or celebrities mixed with Middle Tail influencers and micro-influencers.