Why micro-influencers are so effective at spreading the word?
Before addressing the question it would be worthwhile to know what micro-influencers are? And even before that what the influencers are? An influencer is a person WITH THE ABILITY to influence the potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.
Also, an influencer is a person who can add serious credibility to your brand. Micro-influencers are just one out of the four types of influencers, the other three being; Mega influencers,macro-influencers and Nano influencers. This classification is based on the size of their following i.e. Nano influencers less than 1000, micro-influencers 1000-100000, macro-influencers 100000-1 million, mega influencers 1 million to 10 million.
Though this classification is based on a number of followers, micro-influencers are considered distinctively superior over the other three as far as the efficacy of the word is concerned. To support this argument let us first look into the nature of the other three influencers. Mega influencers (more than 1 million followers) are famous rather than influential.
The audience which they have command over is extremely diverse with different topics of interest. Their relationships with the individual members are somewhat more distant, as not being subject matter experts they lack the ability to delve deep into any specific subject. The only little advantage which they have is a larger reach of the audience in one single go. But that also is meaningless as far as convincing the customer the end-user is concerned.
Also, one notable great disadvantage is that owing to the high brand value they have a high cost, in fact, a cost that is sometimes disproportionately high with respect to the content. Additionally, mega influencers provide greater exposure and are more comfortable with working with brands and companies in outdoor campaigns of marketing. In a nutshell, mega influencers are ill-focused and cost-intensive in nature and therefore do not provide the full value of money to the client and in the opinion of some marketing, gurus do not have real influencer power as their followers are too diverse demographically and psychographically. They thus are suitable for top strata of marketing companies with high appeal to the masses, not the specific customer segments.
Now, coming to the macro-influencers, with a customer following from 100000 to one million. They are the ones who have acquired games through the internet (unlike mega influencers who existed long before the advent of the internet) by producing funny and inspiring content.
If any client is looking to achieve a twin target of reaching a specific set of the customer on one hand and to reach the masses on the other hand, then macro influencer is a better option than a mega influencer. One example is that if one wants to reach a broad demographic segment like a young females-a macro influencer is a better way to go.
Next, the third segment is relatively a very new category of the influencer. They have got a very small number of followers than any other category of influencer i.e. less than 1000 followers. This is a category that has influence within their community or local neighbourhood of community. A few examples are local community leaders, local government leaders etc.
Basically, the utility of nano influencers lies in their ability to get a regular daily quota of the customer by introducing the brand's product or service to the friends and families of the customers. The greatest benefit of utilizing nano-influencer is that they have the highest level of engagement. Also, the brands represented by nano-influencers are more authentic, given the fact that a nano-influencer has a real-life relationship with the majority of his or her followers. But, in this case also, despite the high level of engagement the typical audience size doesn't permit for greater reach.
The small audience size is the biggest disadvantage of nano-influencer, and if the client wishes to go for big and ambitious social media campaigns they have to look for more connections and make more orders which ultimately turns out to be a highly time-consuming process. Thus, nano-influencers are also not very effective in spreading the word. Finally, we arrive at the inevitable choice left with us i.e. micro-influencer.
The prefix Micro speaks volumes of the word micro-influencer which implies that it addresses the finer aspects of it. Firstly, it addresses an audience size of 1000 to 100000 which is sufficiently big. More importantly, micro-influencers focus on a specific NICHE or area and are generally the topic of expert or industry expert. Micro-influencers enjoy a stronger relationship with their followers in comparison to other types of influencers.
The main driving force behind this is their perception as an opinion leader of a subject matter. Also, micro-influencers has a UNIFORM audience as compared to other influencers. Because of the comparatively smaller following and not having celebrity status, the clients/brands can bank on their followers being interested in whatever made them famous on the internet. micro-influencers thus ultimately prove to be reliable. This point can be illustrated with the following example. If any micro-influencer gained a sizeable following through travel blogging then he can be an ideal option for a travel agency or airline.
As far as the cost is concerned micro-influencers cost far less than macro-influencers and thus give the best value for money to the client. Though they have a big following they do not charge the same rate as those who have a larger following.
Micro-influencers are thus the best because they are more focused, less costly, enjoy greater intimacy with the follower more authentic & reliable.
Above all the above factors, TRUST is the foremost quality which the followers look for in micro-influencers. The point is that users do not trust celebrities or experts with 100000 followers anymore. As per one study only 4% trust what influencers say online. People understand because such influencers post about a brand because they paid them for this advertisement.
Authenticity and relatability are more important than popularity now. As micro-influencers specialize in a particular vertical and share content about their interests only. Their audience s are hyper-engaged. So, if a brand works with a highly relevant micro-influencer, it can extend the reach of the user engagement significantly. It is not a surprise that consumers are more likely to buy from someone they know and trust. So, if a micro-influencer whom they follow recommends something, they will trust this recommendation more than a direct ad from a brand. And this is where a word of mouth takes the stage and becomes most effective.
Therefore, we can conclude that Micro-influencers are undoubtedly the most effective influencers in spreading the word.