There is immense power in familiarity, especially when it comes to people. We trust who we know, which is why celebrities have traditionally been highly sought after for marketing campaigns aimed at promoting brand, product, services, or ideas. Celebrity marketing has a track record of success, but as more “conscious consumers” arise, fewer global celebrities are able to create a meaningful impact. The trending pop star simply isn’t enough anymore. The result? Less trust, fewer sales.
To be clear, celebrity marketing is still very popular, but the term “celebrity” has a different notion today. Formerly, brands would partner up with celebrities such as actors, singers, and athletes to promote their products, services, and ideas through traditional channels like newspaper, TV, and radio. Consumers want transparency at the time of selecting and purchasing products, so what other figure could brands have to promote their products? The rat race to stay where the people are has led marketers to pursue alternative channels today. One of those changes has been the shift from celebrities to “real people.” Social media is one of the hottest means of communication right now. What that means is that attention can be obtained at a micro level and not just the macro. As a result, average, everyday people (referred to as “micro-influencers”) are being leveraged to create impact within small communities.
Influencers vs Micro-Influencers
Many of today’s major influencers began uploading videos on platforms like Vine and YouTube to build their following. Other common beginnings include blogging, creating original content on Instagram, or curating killer collections on Pinterest. Influencers are a great addition to businesses, but some have gained so much popularity than the line between “celebrity” and “influencer” has become very thin. This is the point where “micro-influencers” come into play. Micro-influencers are more relatable to consumers than celebrities and major influencers, which makes them more likely to be trusted and therefore valuable to brands.
Brands used to focus on follower base, thinking that more followers equaled more engagement. This turned out to be inaccurate, as there are endless examples of influencers with hundreds of “ghost” or “fake” followers contributing nothing to the bottom line.
Micro-influencers are effective due to their smaller follower base, which cultivates a sense of community and a willingness to engage. It is also important to mention the importance of niche markets. Micro-influencers tend to diversify content and request feedback in their quest to gain more followers. Honest reviews and open dialogue are valuable to the community, so for consumers to have someone they can relate to is essential for business.
How does this shift affect businesses?
As a whole, micro-influencers have a more authentic connection with their followers, compared to global, major market influencers. Brands that partner up with micro-influencers experience high-levels of engagement, leading to heightened awareness and sales. What is also important to mention, is that micro-influencers are affordable in the current market as their worth has not really been established yet, which puts everyone from Apple to the local computer shop on the same playing field. Partnering up with influencers is a great way of creating awareness for a brand or product, but when it comes to engagement and sales increase, micro-influencers might be the best option.
Veronica Scarlett Lopez Martin is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. Scarlett graduated in May 2018 from The University of Tampa with a Degree in International Business and Marketing. She currently works at CenturyLink as a CSM-Customer Support Manager within the strategic enterprise and government markets division. She is a blogger for the AMA Tampa Bay, with a background in marketing and technology.
Connect with her on LinkedIn.