The macro impact of micro-influencers
By aligning micro-influencers together instead of established influencers, brands have managed to create a mammoth impact in a more cost-effective manner today
Social media influencers have established themselves in the marketplace as real brand ambassadors and have partnered with some of the biggest companies in the world, thanks to the exponential rise of digital media advertising in the post-pandemic world.
However, brands and their content teams are learning that influencers with huge followings don’t necessarily yield the greatest success in campaigns. Enter the micro-influencers who are believed to have stronger relationships and trust with their audience than an established influencer with a large following.
Micro-influencers played a key role in this festive season by influencing the buying behaviour of millions of customers, advertisers and social media buyers say.
Not “Micro” Anymore
Micro-influencers are not really “micro” as far as their influence on customers is concerned.
Hima Bulusu, Associate Director of TheSmallBigIdea, a social media company, admits that “The audience invariably trusts a known person more than a faceless brand and this has been the crux of influencer marketing for years. However this year, the festive season was a little extra special. The audience and brand communication moved on from the ‘new normal’ to the ‘actual normal’. Right from clothes, makeup, sweets, lights, theatres to the joy of purchasing something new; everything became relevant again and how! And who better to sell these to the audience than micro-influencers, who can be precisely moulded to the brand’s core communication,” says Bulusu.
Bulusu remarked, “Unlike the big influencers whose own image needs to be inconspicuously connected with the brand’s messaging to create effective communication, micro-influencers come minus this notorious baggage. From hiding in the guise of organic audiences to subtly persuading their fan base, their individual contribution to the brand might seem like nothing but a drop in the ocean. But by activating and aligning them together, brands have managed to create the impact of tidal waves with these little influencer droplets.”
“The big difference between influencer marketing and other forms of advertising is that the influencers ‘influence’. And consumers are looking for authenticity and reliability. So it’s a great match on building more and more reach and consideration for brands,” says Sahil Shah, Managing Partner, WATConsult.
As far as budgets go, influencers come in a varied range depending on their circle of influence, relatability and content which also gives brands a lot of flexibility to plan and run their campaigns.
While influencers charge anything between Rs 20K to Rs 4 lakh for a video and text post, depending on their following/engagements on the content, micro-influencers are usually given Rs 1-20 K. So, brands can choose many micro-influencers in the same budget that allows them to rope in just one or two macro-influencers.
A brand may also make the micro-influencer a “brand ambassador”, earning a small commission for sales generated through unique hyperlinks contained in the micro-influencer posts and bio profile.
The key is that ad posts must be genuine and reflect the influencer’s true feelings for the brand and products.
Earlier brands using influencer marketing were those into fashion and beauty, but now the category has expanded to FMCG, Tech, Home & Living etc. Pre-Covid there were launch events etc, but now brands are taking it virtually and doing a heavy influencer blowout to get more reach for their product/service, industry experts say.
“Majority of sectors that go for a metro first audience as their primary TG still look at big influencers. This includes everything from Fashion & Lifestyle to Automobile and FMCG. It’s also because of the added reach benefits the big influencers come with. However, FMCG as a category is always looking at growth markets, which in India are in the deepest parts of the country. What better than micro-influencers to drive that in the overall media mix,” says Sahil Shah, Managing Partner, WATConsult.
He noted that a flurry of new platforms has come up that are Bharat first apps (such as Meesho) to drive the comms around the festive season.
How much do companies spend on micro-influencers vis a vis macro-influencers?
Shah says, “It’s still less than 40% if you compare the sheer volumes as macro-influencers are comparatively way too expensive. But if you compare that by the sheer number of influencers then definitely micro will be much more.”
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube