Though the number of brands creating formalized influencer marketing programs has increased greatly over the past few years, it’s not really a new function if you think about. In its purest form, it’s been done for years and years. Brands just didn’t play such a significant role. Think about it. Since products and services first started to be sold, buyers have looked for information and recommendations from people other than the brands offering the products and services. Family, friends and celebrities (before celebrity endorsers became a thing) were all the earliest form of influencers.
Everyone is Influential
Today, influencer marketing has transformed into something much more expansive, yet also much more specific. Influence is now virtually everywhere – in person, on TV, on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, and the list goes on and on. Yet it’s gotten much more specific because of mid-level and micro influencers who talk about a niche genre and have a niche audience. Let’s take, for example, a travel blogger. This person has real credibility and experience. It isn’t just your aunt or friend recommending a vacation destination because they enjoyed a trip there. A travel blogger has been all over the world and can provide recommendations based on specific criteria – budget, length of trip, cultural experience, cuisine, etc.
While macro-influencers or celebrity endorsers can and do bring ROI for some brands, more and more companies are looking to work with mid-level and micro influencers because of the relationships they have and the personal engagement they maintain with their audience on a consistent basis. Brands are finding that they can gain more value and better results from working with mid-level or micro influencers rather than big name macro influencers. Why is this the case?
Expertise – Mid-level and micro Influencers build expertise within their realm of influence. A fourth grade teacher who blogs about education will be looked at as a qualified source of information on the topic. A celebrity who played a teacher in a movie is not a qualified source of information. When it comes to recommending a classroom planning software or a math textbook, who do you think holds more influence with teachers?
Authenticity – mid-level and micro Influencers are looked at more authentically and with more trust than their macro counterparts. Consumers feel like they’re getting more of a “tell it like it is” perspective from influencers who aren’t viewed as big celebrities.
Location – Proximity also plays an important role in influence. If Charlotte from Austin, Texas, provided a list of the top 10 best food trucks in the area on her food blog, her readers may put more weight in that list than the same list written by someone from Chicago.
Because of factors like expertise, authenticity and location, the opportunities are endless for brands looking to utilize the influence of a mid or micro-level influencer. Brands big and small are taking this approach to influencer marketing and consumers are benefitting from it. The important thing to remember is to find the right influencers for your brand that can make the biggest impact on your audience and for your business.
To learn more about how mid and micro-level influencers are disrupting social media marketing, join us for our live webinar .