Companies are consistently thinking about ways to enhance and amplify their brand to audiences that care about their mission. In the age of mass advertising, many brands are looking for ways to market their vision in a more genuine and connected manner. Celebrity influencers have clearly provided an advantage in connecting companies with audiences, at least for companies that could afford the cost of influencers like Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kalie Kloss, and the likes. In the past, smaller businesses almost exclusively ruled out influencer marketing due to cost constraints; however, the threshold for influencer marketing has been reduced as micro-influencers have proven to not only be a cost-effective solution, but also provide many benefits that macro-influencers are potentially less effective for. We advocate using micro-influencers because they provide:
1) More focused connections to audiences: A micro-influencer's social media page typically has a more focused content theme. In many cases, audiences follow micro-influencers for the expertise of content they bring, as opposed to purely following the personalities of the influencer. The nature of this relationship allows companies that use micro-influencers to have more focused and direct connections to the audiences they identify with.
2) Higher engagement rates: Influencers that publish more focused content typically have a more captive and highly engaged audience. Micro-influencer partnerships are extremely valuable because of the balance they provide between the affinity an audience may have for an influencer’s personal brand, and the interest an audience has in the content being posted. While on a relationship level a micro-influencer’s audience may feel more connected as compared to a celebrity, the audience also likely has a vested interest in the content topics the micro influencer touches on—explaining the higher engagement rates seen in micro-influencers.
3) Targeted returns on investment (ROI): Using a focused approach to influencer marketing is crucial for maximizing ROI. Companies should aim to maximize the engagement they are paying for by being selective in which audiences are most valuable to them, a practice that may lend itself to the use of more niche micro-influencers. Furthermore, brands need to outline and create strategies and objectives as they think about what they are trying to achieve by implementing an influencer marketing campaign. Amongst other objectives, companies may be aiming to increase general brand awareness or drive a short-term sales lift. By being precise in their objectives, companies can maximize their ROI by using the most appropriate influencers. Whether these goals emphasize audience demographics, audience interests, audience loyalty, influencer expertise, or any other parameters, using a data-driven approach to analyze audiences and influencers can help companies meet their objectives.
As we think about how brands should approach the use of macro and micro influencers, we emphasize the importance of using a data-driven approach to look at a wide set of influencers that can help brands meet their goals. The plethora of data on influencers requires brands to be thoughtful on the parameters they want to target in a campaign. Furthermore, there are millions of influencer mixes brands can use in a campaign. As a result, brands need a way of assessing and optimizing the outcome of different campaign possibilities. By doing so, brands can be confident in their ability of achieving targeted ROIs through more focused audience engagement.
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