Broadly speaking we can split influencers into three categories: celebrities, macro-influencers, and micro-influencers.
Celebrity endorsement has been around since time immemorial and we are well used to seeing celebrities promoting brands across all media platforms.
As discussed previously, while celebrity endorsement may work well for a few large brands it doesn’t scale well to the mass market. Two major issues of working with celebrities are that, firstly, they usually charge vast sums of money, making this activity cost prohibitive for most brands.
Another problem is that there is often no genuine connection between the celebrity and the product they’re endorsing. Why should a consumer trust a celebrity’s word if they have little or no connection to the brand or product they are promoting?
This is where influencers come into their own and provide real benefits for brands.
Macro influencers are specialists within their chosen sectors. Here at Little Red Rooster we define a macro influencer as someone that has between 100,000 to a million+ followers across their social media or blogging platforms and a dedicated focus on a particular subject.
Most well-known bloggers can be considered macro influencers. It is exactly this notoriety which is the issue with this group. Many now have agents and are operating much like celebrities do, charging large sums of money to promote brands.
So how do brands forge authentic, beneficial and affordable relationships with influencers? Here at Little Red Rooster we believe the answer lies amongst the underground, yet ever growing network of micro influencers.
First up, what is a micro influencer? Little Red Rooster defines them as people who have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers across their social or blogging channels, with expertise or a passionate interest in a specific niche subject.
So why do we believe that working with micro influencers can be beneficial for brands?
There is no doubt that researching and building a relationship with the right micro influencer is extremely time consuming, however the benefits are well worth the effort for the following reasons:
Increased engagement and authenticity
Micro influencers do not have the reach that celebrities or macro influencers have but the audience they do have is extremely engaged and genuine. The reason for this is that micro influencers are small enough to be able to form personal relationships with their loyal followers, regularly commenting and replying to posts and conversations.
Micro-influencers are also authentic. Each operates in a very select niche, focussing on a specific topic, whether that be fashion, interiors, technology, design or health and fitness, for example. As such they are experts in their chosen field and their opinions are taken seriously and are trusted by their audience.
Micro influencers most often reflect the thoughts, desires, likes and dislikes of their followers and it is this which makes them so relatable and is what makes them popular in the first place.
For micro influencers authenticity is their currency, providing another benefit for clients as they are unlikely to sign up to take payment from brands which don’t fit with their ethos and for which they feel no genuine brand love. If they post lots of #sponsored posts or #ads that do not sit well with their raison d’etre, they will quickly lose their authenticity and along with it their authority and following. So, in the world of micro influencers it really does pay to be authentic.
The best activity occurs when a micro-influencer genuinely likes a product and is perfectly happy to write about it in return for the item being gifted, rather than being paid. This is the holy grail of influencer activity which truly benefits both brand and influencer alike and it is this which Little Red Rooster continually strives to achieve for its clients.
More cost effective
Brands can work with micro influencers for substantially less than the cost of working with macro-influencers or celebrities. The reason for this is that the majority of micro-influencers are (relatively!) ordinary people, who blog or participate on social media alongside holding down regular jobs.
In many cases, brands can work with micro influencers purely for the cost of a free product sample. Alternatively, micro influencers may ask for a nominal fee to promote a brand, however this is in the hundreds of £s rather than the thousands!
Because of the comparatively low cost of micro-influencers, brands then have the option to work with a number of different advocates, helping to spread brand awareness out to a larger selection of followers.
A more targeted approach
Micro-influencers are recognised by their following for their knowledge and expertise on a particular niche topic. From home audio, fitness technology, interiors and fashion accessories, the list of topics covered by micro influencers is almost endless, so all brands should be able to find suitable micro-influencers who can help to promote their brand, whatever it is they are selling.
As micro influencers closely reflect their following, brands can easily select a range of influencers that appeal to the correct consumer demographic they are going after, whether that be identified by gender, age, interests, social status, or disposable income.
Finally, micro influencers operate across a number of platforms; blogs, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and as such brands can select influencers which operate on those channels which offer the best return for their specific products.
Friends with (SEO) benefits
Micro-bloggers create links back to websites which help brands increase their SEO.
If a brand receives a link from a blog which operates in the same niche as the brand itself, then Google will recognise it as being a genuine link and will increase a brand’s Google ranking as a result.
Unfortunately, links from social media have less weighting, however if the link receives lots of click throughs, eventually Google will accept its validity and will bump up a brand’s SEO ranking accordingly.
Increased likelihood of sales
Due to the level of trust and authority micro influencers have amongst their following, if a member of their audiences sees a product review or recommendation that appeals to them, they are likely to click through to the brand’s website or stockist as a committed lead.
As such, brands know that click throughs and leads received because of their micro-influencer campaigns are further along the purchasing chain than leads collected from many other sources.
@taislany wearing @silhouetteeyewear
Interested in harnessing the power of micro influencers to promote your brand? The LRR Collective is our very own little black book of micro influencers which has been extensively researched and selected to work across the full spectrum of fashion, interiors, design, technology and lifestyle sectors.
This carefully curated collection of influencers is an extensive, ever evolving database which Little Red Rooster utilises to cherry pick the correct contacts required for each of our client campaigns and initiatives.
If you would like to find out more, why not get in touch with Vic or Henry here.