Have you ever heard of phrases like “TikTok made me buy it,” or “Found it on Amazon”?
When paired with a social media platform, these 4-5 words can boost a brand’s sales and attract new customers.
How? The power of influence.
More specifically, the power of social media influencers. With 38% of online shoppers relying on influencer reviews when purchasing products, brands should certainly be budgeting for influencer marketing in 2022.
So, what exactly is an influencer?
In the most basic sense, an influencer is a person who has the power to affect another’s decisions or opinions.
Simple, right? Now, bring social media into the mix and the definition expands.
A social media influencer is someone who has built a following and reputation for their knowledge on a specific topic, and (through their social platform) has the power to affect how other people view different brands and products.
Your friend who’s posting about their favorite running shoes? Whether they know it or not, they’re an influencer. The celebrity you follow because you love their style? They’re an influencer, too.
With access to social media platforms, we all can become influencers in one way or another – especially if we have a strong interest in a certain niche.
The differentiating factor lies within the size of the following – breaking influencers down into three main groups.
Mega-influencers are the Kardashians of the world, with upwards of 1 million followers. In true celebrity fashion, these types of influencers are likely working with a team of agents who manage their marketing requests and require a hefty price for partnering with a brand and posting sponsored content.
Though they are pricey, these types of influencers have a very strong pull when it comes to public opinion.
Take soccer-star Cristiano Ronaldo for example. When he encouraged viewers to drink water while moving two bottles of Coca-Cola out of a camera’s view during a live press conference, the soda company lost $4 billion in market value.
While he may not have meant to cause any harm to Coca-Cola, his power of influence was strong enough to cause a ripple effect. In fact, Ronaldo’s influence is very sought after in the influencer-marketing world.
According to a study by Statista, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most expensive influencers on Instagram, raking in an average of $1.6 million every time he makes a sponsored post.
Macro-influencers have a similar pull as mega-influencers, but with smaller follower volumes (500,000+). Think B-list celebrities or famous YouTube vloggers.
While these types of influencers are reaching a huge variety of followers, their engagement rates aren’t always competitive – the average engagement rate for macro-influencers falls around only 1.3%.
What does this mean for brands looking to partner with macro-influencers? Many of their followers may have varying interests, proving it more difficult to reach potential customers.
Ah, yes. The diamond in the rough, and our top pick for influencer marketing – micro-influencers. With smaller, focused audiences and a 20% higher conversion rate than larger influencers, this is the type of account that brands will want to look out for during their partner search.
Think beauty, health/fitness, travel, and lifestyle vloggers, bloggers, and more.
Micro-influencers have more than 500 but fewer than 500k followers, meaning their audience may be more niche compared to your all-around celebrity status macro/mega influencer accounts.
The more niche an audience, the easier it is for brands to connect to that audience via an influencer and advertise products that might be of interest to a particular set of people.
3 ways micro-influencers can benefit your online store
1. Brand awareness and trust
Connecting with potential buyers solely through advertisements is no longer cutting it for ecommerce brands. Why? Because consumers want a more genuine and trustworthy connection before purchasing a product.
Partnering with a micro-influencer whose followers have interests in line with your brand connects you to a whole pool of prospective customers – without having to throw a catchy slogan or over-produced video their way.
Instead, because they already have an emotional connection with the micro-influencer, consumers will see your brand as endorsed by someone that they know and trust, making it much more likely that they’ll trust your brand as well.
2. Increase in sales
Influencers can easily sway their audiences, encouraging them to take specific actions like visiting a brand’s online store or social media profile while encouraging them to buy their products.
The best part? The posts don’t have to be overly produced. Something as simple as a quick outfit check will suffice as long as your brand is tagged!
When Forever21 partnered with fashion influencer Kristal Heredia, who is known for embracing her curves and all things fashion, the brand connected with an entire network of potential customers – her followers.
Kristal’s followers, who likely already have an interest in plus-sized fashion, are more likely to explore Forever21’s plus-sized brand after seeing her post.
3. New content and more engagement
When micro-influencers create a quick video or post and include your brand, it automatically creates new content for your page. You can repost the content, add it to your Highlights or Reels, or simply like and comment!
In doing so, you’re fostering brand recognition with audiences you may not have reached through your own platform. Believe it or not, this type of content is more trusted than traditional branded social content. Only 38% of online consumers trust branded social media content, compared to the 61% of consumers who trust influencer recommendations.
If brands can find the right micro-influencers to partner with, they’ll be able to generate more targeted content, higher levels of trust, and more positive engagement like website and social traffic, ultimately leading to more conversions.
Thanks to the rise of platforms like TikTok over the past year, social media users are only one viral post away from gaining some serious traction and followers… opening the door to the huge world of micro-influencers.
For brands, this is a good thing! There are more social media users out there willingly sharing their interests with followers who care – meaning a larger pool of micro-influencers to choose from to extend your brand’s reach.