TLDR: yes. Surprised? Keep reading.
If you’re not taking advantage of influencer marketing to widen your social media reach and boost your online presence, you’re missing out. Influencer marketing has quickly become the next big thing for brands and businesses because of two key advantages: it can be highly-targeted, and it can produce very strong ROIs.
But while massive influencers like Logan Paul and PewDiePie might be able to command over $100,000 for a single video, the reality is that some of those same people started out making less than six figures a year for their influencer activities. Simply put, their popularity exploded into true celebrity status, and the rates for working with them skyrocketed with their fame and following. For many big businesses with international brands and interests, these internationally popular influencers are exactly what they need.
But for the small brand and the local business, you need to set your sights on a different kind of influencer – the micro-influencer. These are lesser-known internet and social media personalities with smaller followings than their mega-star counterparts that your business could work with more effectively, and at a remote fraction of the cost.
Reach vs. Engagement
When you’re looking at influencers, it can be hard to draw your eyes away from the size of their following. The ability to reach a following of 100 million people with a single post sounds like a pretty powerful argument for paying out what could be hundreds of thousands of dollars for that single post, when you could be paying $100-$200, or even less, by targeting influencers with smaller, but highly-engaged audiences.
The trick is understanding the relationship between the size of an influencer’s audience and the level or rate of engagement between that audience and the influencer. Small audiences of around a thousand see the highest engagement rates, and those rates start to drop sharply once a following passes the 1k mark. Audience sentiment in these smaller followings also tend to be stronger. Over the next few thousand followers an influencer gains, however, their engagement rates will likely drop by about half. When you get to audience sizes in the millions and tens of millions, that rate could be about a tenth or less of an influencer with a more modest reach.
For the small business, it’s those small, highly-targeted, and highly-engaged audiences you want to reach – you can better tailor your marketing message to a focused audience who is more likely to engage with your message and take action.
Work with More Influencers
The lower cost and the more focused, but more meaningful reach of the micro-influencer lends itself to fostering relationships with a larger number of influencers. It’s entirely feasible for a small business to reach millions of engaged consumers over $20,000 of spend by marketing with micro-influencers. The smaller scale of followers and activities can also make it easier to build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with the influencers you work with – something that’s paramount to the success and sustainability of any campaign.
After all, it’s not a media buy you’re after, it’s a relationship with a new brand ambassador.