Today’s consumer considers a 5-star review from a verified online purchase as gospel and a collection of low product ratings or poor reviews can sink a brand in minutes. Long gone are the days of mass-market shoppers trusting the big advertising houses. Instead, shoppers look to what other shoppers think and the rise in prominence of the influencer is key.
If you’re ready to capture a greater share of the market by leveraging the reach of a brand influencer, there are several “levels” to consider. From micro to nano, and even celebrity-level, influencers can help push your brand to ubiquity in no time.
It’s crazy to think that one Instagram post from Kylie Jenner is worth an estimated $1 million, although she does have just under 120 million followers on the social media platform. That kind of reach is immense, but it also comes with an exorbitant price tag. For most businesses, this kind of PR push is unaffordable for an influencer marketing strategy budget.
A recent article by Forbes magazine indicates consumers may be growing weary of celebrity endorsers. Additionally, there are serious costs associated with celebrity influencers. The inherent risks of tying your brand to a person whose every move is photographed, videoed and cataloged around the clock, coupled with the slow decline of consumer sentiment toward these macro influencers, adds up to a risky venture for most brands.
Most marketing managers agree ‘micro-influencers’ fall into the category of anyone with 5,000 to 100,000 followers. With celebrity influencers falling a bit out of favor, micro-influencers can help nearly any brand improve market penetration and overall reach, while keeping the brand/influencer relationship as natural and organic as possible.
Finding effective brand influencers at this level can be a bit tough. Brands should first look to their own social media followers to find devoted advocates who already have a sizeable following of their own. Businesses can also start gathering potential micro-influencers by sending out samples of product and then asking for honest reviews and feedback via social platforms. Lastly, brands can work with a marketing agency to connect with influencers that have already been vetted and categorized.
Consumers are smart and can spot a paid professional endorser a mile away. Even micro-influencers have to be careful to always act in an honest and transparent manner, lest they begin to throw off the celebrity-endorser vibe. Nano-influencers are a new, emerging subset that marketers feel can deliver incredible ROI for brands that know how to build advocates from the ground up.
Simply put, a nano-influencer is someone where high follower numbers don’t matter as much as the relevance to the brand or product. Typically, they have approximately 1,000 social media followers. Certainly someone with influence, but about 10,000 times smaller than the average celebrity influencer.
Nano-influencers can remain completely authentic when reviewing or talking about products, while still having enough reach and interconnectivity on social platforms to virally highlight brands. The value here is having an influencer who is already an advocate of your brand or product. An influencer campaign is built upon the quality of followers, not necessarily the quantity.
The levels of influencer marketing continue to shift as part of a full-funnel marketing strategy. The biggest ROI may come from starting with the smallest group of influential individuals and building your brand from the ground up. You may find different categories of influencers work for different campaigns. Choose wisely.