By Scott Sims
For decades, word-of-mouth promotion has been a substantial contributor to all kinds of business successes. The biggest issue about this type of marketing is the lack of a system to measure results and incoming traffic. With social media movement becoming increasingly relevant in marketing tactics, research has shown that using micro-influencers is a better way to drive business with more documentation.
What is a micro-influencer and why are they so effective?
Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Keller Fay Group, the leading authority on word of mouth marketing research, teamed up to study the new rise of micro-influencers. They described the term as: “a person who has a greater than average reach or impact through word of mouth in a relevant marketplace. Micro-influencers are not traditional celebrities, but rather individuals who work in their category or are truly knowledgeable, passionate and authentic and are seen as a trusted source when it comes to recommendations for what to buy.”
Micro-influencers typically have a large number of followers, between 1k-100k followers with a more specifically targeted audience than the average Hollywood celebrity. An article written by Ted Dhanik of adage.com emphasizes the importance of these lower level individuals of interest. According to Dhanik, using micro-influencers can drive advertising towards a smaller, but more engaged audience with relevant interests, thus generating better results. The people behind the profiles are real, raw and more authentic than the pop-stars and A-listers.
Dhanik continued the article by describing micro-influencers as having a genuine connection with their followers. Their products/services tend to be more affordable. They drive higher engagement rates. All of this is backed up with data found through research conducted by Markerly.
When comparing the amount of Instagram likes to number of followers, Markerly found that profiles with roughly 1,000 followers had an eight percent response rate vs. profiles with 10,000 to 1 million had under two percent.
The data is very similar when looking at Instagram comments:
Even though the quantity of activity on profiles exceeding 100k followers may be greater than those with 10k-100k followers, the overall percentage of activity is greater and the audience more specific, thus making influencers with less followers more effective.
Elaborating on the importance of targeted marketing, followers of profiles that do not hold a high status are following them because of their experience and knowledge of a specific topic, such as surfing or beauty. The Kim Kardashians of social media have a large following because of their status and name, making them less credible when giving product advice or recommendations.
To put it into perspective, desserts.paradise is an Instagram profile targeted at everyone’s sweet tooth. The page has 46.5k followers, putting it in the mid-range of micro-influencers. Most photos generate up to 6,000 likes. A high 13% response rate like this one is essential to success.
Social media promotion works much like traditional word of mouth advertising in many ways, but produce greater results. According to surveys conducted by Berger and the Go to the full article.