The Impact of Micro-Influencer Marketing Is Anything but Micro

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Influencers with smaller followings and great engagement rates deserve your attention.

In an eMarketer interview, “The Value of Working with Microinfluencers,” Laura Brinker, vice president of beauty brand partnerships at Influenster, argues that micro-influencers are here to stay.

The Q&A with Brinker shed some light on how best to work with influencers and what to expect this year. Brinker’s company focuses on micro-influencers (also known as consumer advocates), which eMarketer defines as someone with 1,000 to 10,000 followers, because they feel that this is “where the marketplace is headed.”

Brinker thinks this is the direction because companies will tire of paying. Initially, they went to influencers because they didn’t want to pay celebrities but now the larger influencers expect payment. Plus, those with smaller followings, albeit with great engagement rates — emanate a more authentic and “influencers, they’re just like us!” feeling. That’s not to say a person with millions of followers isn’t powerful, because they are: They can generate more awareness than a person with 10,000 followers.

Influenster evolved from its roots as a sampling box as its executives noticed that its users would talk effusively about the products it received. Today the company is a platform where “people can research and review products, and where brands can connect with audiences.” According to Brinker, “98% of the 25 million reviews on the platform are not incentivized.” They just want to share their opinions.

Plus, those with smaller followings, albeit with great engagement rates — emanate a more authentic and “influencers, they’re just like us!” feeling.

Those who are pro about micro-influencers feel that not only do they want to share their thoughts but that others want to hear them. A separate Adweek article from 2017 highlights some research from digital agency HelloSociety, which connects brands with influencers for specific campaigns and bought by The New York Times, which states that “60 percent higher campaign engagement rates are driven by micro-influencers; those campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger followings, which makes them more cost effective; and micro-influencers drive 22.2 times more weekly conversations than the average consumer.” It should be noted that HelloSociety defines micro-influencers as those accounts of 30,000 or fewer followers.

Influenster evolved from its roots as a sampling box as its executives noticed that its users would talk effusively about the products it received.

Brinker increasingly feels that influencer marketing will be included in every part of a marketing plan and that all the different kinds of influencer marketing — paid, earned and owned — will have to work together.