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Small but powerful: why working with micro influencers pays off

As soon as influencer marketing has established itself as a permanent institution in online marketing, it is time to differentiate the term. "Micro influencer" is the buzzword of the hour - and that describes influencers with a relatively small number of followers, whose commitment is disproportionately high.

Declining engagement with increasing number of followers

The engagement of an account decreases disproportionately with the increase in followers. This phenomenon has been observed for some time, but a study by Markerly of two million social media influencers now confirms this development: While Instagrammers with less than 1,000 followers have an average like rate of around eight percent, this drops when the number of followers is between 1,000 and 10,000 to four percent. Influencers with a number between 10,000 and 100,000 are only faced with a like rate of 2.4 percent, which drops further to 1.7 percent from 100,000 followers and is somewhat stagnant there. The same applies to the comment rate and affects both organic and paid posts.

According to the study, the optimal influencer with the greatest influence has between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. Because users are often only classified as real influencers as soon as they have exceeded the magical 25,000 mark, this group is classified as a micro influencer.

More impact than celebrities and big influencers

Sarah Ware, CEO and co-founder of Markerly, confirms that they are tough: On behalf of a customer who sells tea, the agency started an influencer campaign with the Kardashians. It is well known that they have millions of followers and have generated hundreds of conversions accordingly. However, real success for the customer did not materialize until the agency began to work with 30 to 40 micro influencers: “The brand was able to convert at an even higher level,” Ware told Digiday.

The explanation for this is obvious: If, for example, Adidas collaborates with Lionel Messi, who has almost 56 million followers on Instagram alone, the company achieves a high reach with the campaign, but under certain circumstances a very broad target group who does nothing with sportswear has on his hat. Micro influencers, on the other hand, usually have a very loyal, topic-related followers who can be addressed much more easily. However, companies have to put more work into micro influencers, as several of them would often have to be activated at the same time - the monetary commitment, on the other hand, remains almost the same as when working with a celebrity. In the best case, you can use a platform to research suitable niche influencers or fall back on employees who have a high level of expertise in the areas and can identify influencers.

Micro influencers in action against the algorithm

Micro influencers are on the rise. A large number of agencies have already recognized the value of smaller followers, but there is currently no uniform definition of number or designation, although micro influencer is quite apt here. While some agencies are looking for influencers with 100,000 to 200,000 followers, the social ad platform Gnack takes a more pragmatic view and relies on influencers with fewer than 10,000 fans: The group of these is mostly made up of family and friends and the influencer's trust factor is correspondingly high. "We’ve seen some micro-influencers’ on certain campaigns get up to 25 percent engagement, "said Gnack's Chief Revenue Officer, Chico Tirado.

We see micro-influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers. Their content will be organically performing better on the platform due to the inherent superior engagement. - Chris Gonzalez, Gnack CEO

Now that Instagram is rolling out an algorithm and companies fear for their visibility, many are relying on micro influencers, which the platform will probably classify as relevant due to their engagement rates. Furthermore, the content of family and friends on social networks is often weighted more heavily than company content, which also leads to higher visibility.

Source: Digiday

Studied social science with a penchant for online and marketing. Was editor and content manager at OnlineMarketing.de from 2014 to 2019.