Alex Handley, Account Executive
Gone are the days when being a social media influencer meant having celebrity status. In 2020, anyone, anywhere can be an influencer, so long as they have a trusting audience. This leaves many brands and companies wondering: can influencers with a smaller, more nichefollowing pack the same punch as big-name bloggers and A-listers? Lately, all signs point to yes.
Today’s hyper-marketed online audiences are warier of brand partnerships than their predecessors. Compared to a few years ago, personal social channels are teaming with #paid, #partner and #sponsored posts. As consumers, we know when our attention is being explicitly sought out. But we like it that way! …Provided it’s done well.
It’s true—this influx of commercial disclosures is driven by users, who are seeking greater transparency from brands big and small. In order to shine through disclaimers while ringing true to audiences, influencer engagement needs to be as authentic and brand aligned as possible. In this sense, working with micro-influencers make this easy because they’re highly relatable and often viewed as trustworthy and credible. At the end of the day, it is important to select an influencer partner based on values and how they reflect your brand than on whether they have a massive following.
If reaching a large following isn’t necessarily everything, how else can value return be measured? Depending on your marketing and PR goals, another key indicator of success to consider is engagement. Social media, which naturally facilitates two-way communication, is the perfect platform to get past “views” and inspire action—whether that be a like, comment, share or follow. Micro-influencers are often able to connect with their audiences on a deeper level simply by having a more modest following, and this more personal approach leads to formidably higher rates of engagement.
This personal touch is yet another benefit of working with micro-influencers. These niche content creators work hard to deliver incredible videography, copy and photography and are often closer to their audience, knowing them inside and out. Micro-influencers can be valuable strategic partners, bringing creative ideas and unique insights to campaigns as collaborators rather than “channels.”
High followings are hard won and there will always be a time and a place for partnering with celebrities and bigger name ambassadors. But reach and fame are no longer the be-all and end-all of influencer engagement. While it may be tempting to seek out and select the partner with the most followers, keep in mind that micro-influencers are trusted, engaging and collaborative. Micro-influencers may be small, but they make a mighty impact and should not be overlooked.
Alex Handley is an Account Executive at Brookline Public Relations. She is a strategic thinker and team player with a passion for working collaboratively, fostering connections and delivering solid results.