The rise of the micro-influencer and how it changed influencer marketing

Influencer marketing and its role on social media is changing, and probably for the better.

Social media continues to be a significant and growing player in influencer marketing and correlated sales. Considering the success of celebrity endorsements across various digital platforms, it’s clear that social media and its various celebrity influencers have a huge impact on how and why consumers buy their products. A 2017 insights report by Gartner L2, a business intelligence firm that measures the digital performance of brands, found that, on average, 70% of tags across various industries had partnerships with Instagram influencers.

These numbers cannot go unnoticed. They’re huge and play a big part in the marketing game, but at what cost?

Think of the famous Air Jordan 1 “The Ten” sneaker design by famed fashion designer Virgil Abloh. You might remember that it got its mass appeal from an influx of celebrities promoting the shoes on social media for the world to see. Such prominent celebrities included Travis Scott, Drake, Bella Hadid, and Naomi Campbell, among others. These endorsements appealed to consumers, creating massive success through major influencers with millions of followers.

It is true that influencers have a huge impact on driving sales and producing results. We can see this in the global success of brands like Nike and Adidas, who have endorsed the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kanye West, LeBron James, and a host of other world-famous influencers. There is no sugarcoating the fact that influencers play a very important role in the success of the brand. This is because influencers can connect with people in a way that sparks passion and curiosity, something most brands simply can’t do on their own.

But is there so much that influential celebrities can do? Are celebrity endorsements always a surefire way to get consumers to convert? As the social media and digital space continues to grow and evolve, it seems that consumers are slowly moving away from the heavy endorsements that celebrities often receive and are looking for something more: meaning.

The marketing and consumer space is a give and take wheel of constant change and growth. Endorsing celebrities for specific brands and paying them to endorse a product doesn’t work like it used to. As brands start to see, consumers have become savvy with celebrities who endorse just about anything.

Today, what consumers want is an influencer they can relate to, an influencer who develops meaningful and authentic relationships with people.

“Tea [people] The ones that have the most impact are the authentic ones, and micro influencers are usually much more authentic than big celebrities. Today’s consumer knows that big names get paid to wear particular brands, and when compensation is added, the authenticity of the endorsement is called into question,” says Matt Powell, sports industry analyst at The NPD Group Inc, a firm market research…

Consumers respond well to influencers who engage with them, show that they share the same common interests, and also show that they really care. When consumers see that authentic connection, they engage with it. This is why influencer marketing is increasingly shifting towards influencers with a high engagement among their fans.

Sales conversion is not always guaranteed with the power of influencers. What drives conversions and engagement are meaningful interactions that create genuine connections with a brand. These connections interact with people on a deeper level that shows common interest, drives engagement and exposure. This type of connection goes beyond simply promoting or selling a product, and is typically found among micro-influencers with smaller niche audiences but high engagement. These types of micro-influencers connect with consumers on a personal and emotional level: “If you can connect emotionally with people, that’s a consumer for life,” says Barney Waters, president of K-Swiss.

This exact approach can be seen in K-Swiss’ 2017 marketing campaign. The brand uses influencers with niche audiences that are highly engaged. “Fame alone is not enough. You have big-name celebrities, but if they don’t have strong social engagement, it doesn’t really matter. It’s like a billboard in a forest. Consumers have a higher expectation. They want to know who you are and what do you stand for,” Waters says.

Waters has her own strategy when it comes to influencer marketing, and it’s simple: she wants to connect with consumers on a more personal, up-close level. How is that? Creating shoes that relate to and are designed for young professionals. This different approach is one he took in 2017 and it’s very different from other brands.

So yes, it’s a fact: influencer marketing is changing. And today, influencer marketing is shifting towards more meaningful engagements.

Mike Froggatt, the director of the Gartner L2 intelligence team, says that when a celebrity is associated with several different brands, engagement suffers. Froggatt also claims that micro-influencers are up to eight times more likely to endorse or engage with a product than mega-influencers. So who’s winning here? The micro-influencer with a niche audience and a lot of engagement, or the influencer with millions of followers but little engagement?

“If you look at Kim Kardashian West or Justin Bieber, they have a huge audience that’s extremely diverse, where a lot of that audience isn’t strongly connected to them. But if you look at these smaller people, they tend to have a lot more influence over their audience,” says Gil Eyal, CEO of HYPR, an influencer marketing platform. Eyal also states that there seems to be a confusion between fame and influence.

“Most of the market is doing [a] mistake. have a list of [people] rather than see who is going to be really effective,” Eyal continues.

Another great example of the growing shift towards micro-influencers is the world famous shoe manufacturing company Vans. Vans endorses influencers who have real, authentic connections to the brand.

“We want to continue to make sure we stay loyal to our consumers and highlight the diversity of Vans family members who have a genuine connection to the brand,” says April Vitkus, senior director of global brand strategy and marketing at Vans. An example of this is Natalie Westling, a skateboarder and model who had been a fan of Vans for a long time before signing an endorsement deal with the company. When the brand approached her about partnering with an influencer after learning of her devotion to the shoe company for a long time, she was featured in a global campaign celebrating the Sk8-Hi shoe.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how a brand uses influence to its advantage. Influencer marketing only works if it is used in the right way. Whether it’s a world famous name like Kim Kardashian or Taylor Swift, if a brand doesn’t connect with its audience and resonate with them on an authentic and emotional level, chances are most consumers will take notice.

It’s time for brands to rethink their influencer marketing strategies and consider what micro-influencers can do for a brand’s success, and it all starts with authenticity and engagement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *