From Michael Jackson’s blockbuster Pepsi commercials to LeBron James’ rumored $500 million deal with Nike,1 we’ve all heard of celebrity endorsements. And based on the amount of money that brands throw at celebrities, these promotions have clearly been proven to work. Yet in a world of increasingly savvy consumers, many brands are taking another look at how they connect with their audiences.
Micro-influencers — born at the intersection of social media and grassroots marketing — are a smart and significantly more affordable answer for some of today’s hottest brands. Unlike celebrities who have widespread appeal, micro-influencers are YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and blog users with highly targeted, extremely attentive followers. Their follower count fluctuates within the 1,000–100,000 range. The majority of their followers have had some sort of authentic interaction with the account owner, which allows for the account to be perceived as an authority on a given topic.
Why are brands partnering with influencers?
For a much smaller investment of marketing dollars, brands can connect with micro-influencers to have them mention a product in a way that followers trust more than traditional advertising. In fact, 92% of consumers say they trust a micro-influencer more than they trust a celebrity or traditional advertisement.2 Micro-influencers can help establish trust with a company or product, getting your brand message out to a more targeted audience. Their closer-knit group of followers can lead to higher engagement rates, boosting conversation and generating excitement.
An untapped micro-influencer market: Health and wellness
While micro-influencer marketing has become common for fitness and beauty products, it’s not as well developed in health care. And while a vast opportunity exists, there are a few barriers to note. Health and wellness influencers have traditionally operated offline. Yet as consumers consistently look online for health information and as telehealth continues to grow, influencers in this space have great potential. Many fall right into the sweet spot in terms of follower size.3 Many health and wellness influencers have medical or other licenses, and this means they have stricter standards — and FDA regulations — to adhere to. Unlike a pop star who can easily pitch her “favorite” smoothie or lotion, this group has clear guidelines for ethical standards.3 That said, there is great potential within the health care space. As opposed to throwaway consumer products promoted by other brands, health care companies have truly life-changing messages to share on topics like back pain, heart health and diabetes.
How can your brand find micro-influencers?
Keep in mind that you want to find people who have a true and targeted interest in your brand’s focus area. To find them, start by looking at your social media followers. Then research relevant hashtags and search for top bloggers. You may also want to try tools like Markerly, Insightpool, Ninja Outreach, Followerwonk and BuzzSumo.
While it may be tempting to look at people with the largest followers list, in this case less is likely more. Consumers feel more connected to and most trusting of influencers with small online communities.
Let’s keep the conversation going
Connect with Fusion Hill to explore creative ways to incorporate micro-influencers in your social media strategy.
September 14, 2017 | Research