Examine how social media ‘micro-influencers’ are changing marketing
Influencer marketing has grown rapidly in recent years and marketers are leveraging social media influencers to increase brand awareness. While the word ‘influencer’ has been creating a buzz in the social media marketing world for years, there is now a new term on the block – ‘micro-influencers’.
Who exactly are micro-influencers?
Micro-influencers are “average Joes” – people who are just knowledgeable and passionate about a specific topic or brand. It could be a food blogger, traveler, fashionista, or fitness guru surrounded by an engaged community that shares their interests. Due to their strong online following and authenticity, micro-influencers can easily help brands connect with their target customers.
“People can pierce the noise. People trust people. Influence is all about relationships. – Ty Heath, B2B Marketing Specialist
THE TREND OF MICRO-INFLUENCERS
For a growing number of brands, influencer marketing has gained a place in their 2021 social media marketing strategy with the goal of connecting with their customers in new ways.
A recent report by Linqia found that 71% of corporate marketers who knew how the marketing budget would be allocated in 2021 said their influencer marketing budgets would increase during 2020. Linqia also found that micro-influencers with followers between 5K and 100K was the most common goal for branding campaigns and the number of marketers who wanted to work with them increased by 10% from 2020.
According to the online sales and marketing training company iMPACT +, “With a smaller number of followers, micro-influencer followers tend to see themselves as peers of the influencer rather than fans. That’s why leveraging micro-influencers who are followed by your target audience can put your products or services directly in front of the right people.
FOOD BRANDS USING MICRO-INFLUENCERS
Trends in influencer marketing are driven by consumers looking for transparency and wanting to feel included in a brand’s story.
Eating is an important part of socializing, and many food brands focus on having influencers tell their stories, right down to the origin of the food. Consumers are more likely to engage and respond when the message comes from someone they trust rather than a company representative.
McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway are all integrating influencer marketing into their broader fast food advertising strategy. All three companies have leveraged social media stars in an effort to reach millennials. Their approach was to target Instagram influencers to create sponsored articles. The McDonald’s campaign alone generated over 300,000 likes.
But, finding success through influencer marketing isn’t limited to big food brands. Small businesses in the food and beverage industry have also incorporated this trend into their campaign strategy, for example:
- Station 16 – Seafood restaurant and bar: The Sacramento Seafood Restaurant demand for influence requires individuals to share photos, videos and articles on their online platforms. In return, they are involved in brand campaigns, events and gain early access to promotions.
- Spiceology – Chef-led spice and seasoning company: This spice company is looking for chefs, barbecue enthusiasts, food and lifestyle influencers and their application requires you to apply with your social media details and follower metrics.
- Three Brothers Vineyards and Estates: The Geneva wine and microbrewery estate is looking for influencers in the food industry. Their application requires social media links, number of followers and engagement metrics.
the the Wall Street newspaper (May 16) recently reported that marketers are looking for new ways to present themselves to consumers who watch less traditional TV. While this move reflects fewer long-term TV advertising deals, advertisers are looking for new ways to reach their target audience – and micro-influencers just might be the answer.
Influencers are even used in politics. When the Biden-Harris campaign used nurses, teachers, essential workers, truck drivers and fathers to distribute 15,000 Instagram stories, they had a 305% higher click-through rate than traditional celebrity influencers.
Ultimately, influencer marketing can be a boon for any organization, regardless of size or industry. After all, using micro-influencers is economical, generates higher engagement rates, humanizes a brand, and tends to build trust.