What the Rise of Micro-Influencers Means for PR Professionals

By: Isabella Sheridan, Account Supervisor at PRLab

April 8, 2019

It is essential for public relations practitioners to recognize the power of the social media influencer. With the rising growth of consumer trust in influencer recommendations, influencer marketing is posed to reach revenue of between $5 and $10 billion by 2022. Businesses that understand influencer marketing practices can make up to $18 in earned media value for every dollar invested into influencer marketing.

When formulating an influencer marketing plan, it is important for PR practitioners to consider the different types of influencers and what the client will gain from each type of collaboration. Traditionally brands have worked with celebrity brand ambassadors, individuals with millions of followers, who could influence large amounts of consumers. However, an increasing number of professionals have found the benefits of engaging with micro-influencers.

The definition of the micro-influencer is still up for debate as they are fairly new to the digital world. However, many studies consider micro-influencers to be individuals with less than 100,000 followers. Micro-influencers are considered to be authentic trend-forecasters and opinion-shapers who target niche audiences and have more engaged followers. Micro-influencers have been found to craft interesting stories and they focus on producing unique content that will engage their followers authentically. They care about the opinions of their followers and therefore personalize the experience and content they provide to their audience.

It is important to consider whether your client will benefit more from investing in a larger celebrity influencer or targeting multiple micro-influencers to promote a product or service.

When contemplating whether your client may benefit from a collaboration with a micro-influencer consider the following:

  1. Micro-influencers attract niche audiences.

While celebrities and mega-influencers attract millions of followers they are unable to interact with all of their audience members and therefore they may seem less approachable. Consumers today want to follow influencers who create niche and personalized content and are an expert in one industry. Micro-influencers develop a strong personal brand with a focus in one particular industry, such as fashion, travel, and fitness. They offer unique experiences and insights into these industries and genuinely enjoy the experiences they are promoting. Micro-influencers understand what their audience wants and tailors content to resonate with them in order to grow their platform. The influencers share content that resonates with them on a personal level, showing a genuine interest, which further resonates and builds their fan base.

When deciding which influencer to engage with, reflect on which industry or audience would benefit the most from your product or service and collaborate with the influencer that can connect you to your target audience. For example, if your product is a new recipe app, collaborate with a micro-influencer that is in the food industry.

  1. Micro-influencers offer a more affordable alternative.

On average a micro-influencer charges up to $250 per post, making them a very affordable option for product placements. Sometimes micro-influencers will also work with a brand in exchange for free samples or experiences. Celebrities on the other hand may cost you more than $25,000 per post which for smaller brands may not be a viable option. If you find yourself on a tight budget, micro-influencers may just be the right option for your campaign.

  1. Micro-influencers offer better engagement rates and ROI.

A study conducted by influencer marketing hub found that when comparing the engagement rates and ROI of micro-influencers and celebrity influencers, the benefits of working with a micro-influencer far outweighed that of working with a celebrity. Micro-influencers with an audience of 10,000 received 3.7 percent engagement rates on Instagram compared to only 1.1 percent engagement rates for influencers with over 100,000 followers. Further it was found that micro-influencers deliver 30 percent better ROI per dollar spent compared to 20 percent for influencers with over a million followers.

  1. Micro-influencers foster high-trust culture and authenticity

Consumers in 2019 prefer genuine and authentic recommendations. They want to know that the product they are buying is actually worth their money. Micro-influencers, hold fiercely loyal followings because of the genuine connection they have created with their audience through two-way communication, tend to promote products that they believe in and align with their brand. Because of how selective micro-influencers are of which brands to work with their followers place even higher trust in their recommendations because they know they are genuine. They share the products and brands that they love, even if the post is not sponsored or paid for. Further micro-influencers have very active relationships with their followers and respond regularly to comments and messages they receive further cultivating high trust levels, a quality which brands should take advantage of.

While the benefits to working with micro-influencers may be an enticing option when formulating your influencer marketing campaign, it is important that you evaluate your campaign objectives and research thoroughly into the influencer you are investing in. Make sure that when considering which influencer to work with, that their audience will be interested in your product. See if any of their followers are already fans of your client, and if they are the influencer may be more inclined to promote your products. Also conduct research into the influencers reach and engagement levels in order to ensure you are achieving the results that you want. If you stick to your campaign objectives and formulate a strong relationship with a micro-influencer you may reap high rewards.