As a digital marketing agency in Charleston, South Carolina, we know that brands have been forced to transform the way that they market ever since the rise of social media. Over the last five years, the need for using social media as a marketing tool has become essential, and that trend looks set to continue into the future. The next big trend is set to be an increase in the use of micro-influencers. While this is not a new tactic, the use of micro-influencers is set to launch on a much more widespread scale, and that means that modern marketing tactics are going to need to evolve. While using the rich and famous to influence brand perception has been in use since the early days of advertising, micro-influencers are becoming the new must-have for businesses of every size.

What are Micro-Influencers?

Celebrity endorsements used to be a key way for big brands to build their reputation and expand their audience reach. From George Clooney drinking coffee to Kim Kardashian approving of a new makeup range, celebrity endorsement has always been a goal for marketers keen to take advantage of an established fanbase. It’s easy to see why.

With millions of followers on their social media platforms, it was a simple solution for breaking new ground for any new or established brand. However, that trend has slowed down, and now brands are looking at people with much smaller followings on their social media. Micro-influencers are those that may have anywhere from 2,000 to 100,000 followers, which is a huge drop from those names that have followers that count up to the millions.

Influencer Marketing: The Basics

Understanding influencer marketing is possible, and you can turn to SEO agencies to help guide you. It is not simply a case of sharing content whenever and wherever possible. Rather, marketers will need to have a strong understanding of influencer marketing, and will also need to understand both the potential benefits and the common mistakes for better SEO performance in South Carolina or wherever they may be based. There are four main areas that will need to be addressed for those marketers who want to adopt and get the most use out of their micro-influencer usage.

These are:

  • Choosing the best influencers for your brand, and ensuring that you and they are on the right platforms for your audience.
  • Establishing trust between the brand and the micro-influencer, as well as ensuring that their followers also have a high level of trust in your micro-influencers of choice.
  • Authenticity: This is one of the most important factors to determine. You will need to ensure that the micro-influencers that you opt to collaborate with are not being followed by bots or fake follower accounts. This is one of the main concerns for modern marketers keen to take advantage of the potential benefits of micro-influencers. It’s no use to optimize your strategy only to find that your micro-influencer is being followed by nothing but fake accounts. Local SEO agencies can help you to find reputable micro-influencers in your area who are worthwhile to get in touch with. Getting in touch with digital marketing agencies in Summerville or South Carolina or wherever you are based can keep you on the right track. The good news is that the majority of social media platforms are taking steps (albeit some more quickly than others) to eradicate fake accounts and the use of bots. You can assess the impact of a micro-influencer by looking more closely at their levels of engagement. Ignore follower numbers for a better digital campaign and look instead at the level of engagement from followers that your influencers have.
  • Establishing the usual ROI is going to be the final determining factor for those opting to focus their marketing strategy on micro-influencers. This can be challenging, as the results of your new SEO and micro-influencer campaign may not be seen for some time. Measuring your ROI is going to be an essential process to ensure that you are adopting the best use of micro-influencing. This looks set to be one of the most challenging aspects of this new marketing trend. Being able to justify its use through improved brand perception and increased sales will be vital.

Why does micro-influencing work?

With such widespread adoption by brands of all sizes and sectors, there are clearly going to be some good reasons for that rise. There are some obvious and not-so-obvious reasons why marketers in 2019 should be looking more closely at micro-influencing. These include:

1: Trust and Authenticity

Due to the fact that most influencers will already be a fan of the brand, they bring with them an authentic enthusiasm for a product or service. This creates an effect that is similar to traditional word-of-mouth. The fact that micro-influencers are real people and wearing a brand of clothing because they like it rather than because it’s for a fashion shoot, then the followers of that influencer will be getting that direct recommendation.

2: Relatability

Micro-influencers are not famous all over the world, and as such, they become much more relatable to modern audiences. Traditional use of celebrities has always lead to an inevitable disconnect from audiences because the rich and famous can more easily live very different lives from the majority of people. Micro-influencers are more likely to live similar lives to their audience, and that can establish both trust and relatability. From a South Carolina localization to a more global approach, relatability is one of the key advantages of micro-influencers campaigns.

3: Cost Effectiveness

Obviously, making use of micro-influencers is going to be much more cost effective than paying a celebrity to endorse your company. By avoiding both agencies and campaign budgets, it is far easier to create a cost-effective marketing strategy that is low-cost and high-value. That’s why it’s so important to understand exactly what you are looking for from your micro-influencer of choice. Knowing your end goal will make it far easier to calculate whether your ROI is within acceptable parameters.

4: Long-term Association

If you think that being endorsed by a micro-influencer will only have a positive effect in the short-term, then you are mistaken. You may think that you can gauge your influencer effectiveness by looking at your sales figures, but the fact is that long-term association with the right micro-influencers can have a positive effect on the long-term perception of your brand. The more micro-influencers that you make use of, the more eyes will be seeing your product or company, and that can have a positive effect on your own follower numbers and even your conversion rates.

With lower costs and more positive effects, the future of marketing looks set to be dominated by the micro-influencer. Marketers in 2019 will need to be aware of the logistics and potential pitfalls of a micro-influencer marketing strategy. For brand awareness, authenticity, and cost-effectiveness, micro-influencers could be the key to a more successful and positive year for any business.