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Collaborating with micro-influencers for brand communication and engagement

Influencer marketing continues to be one of the most debated topics in the communication and advertising industries, this was evidenced in a panel discussion at the Sunday Times Gen Next Youth Marketing Conference which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre, on 13 June 2019. The panel discussion on influencer marketing shed light on the rise of micro-influencers, their relevance across various networks and how they can rally people behind brands that resonate.

Micro-influencers are making strides in brand communication as more people opt for niche communities and increased engagement.

Online Marketing

Online Marketing

In her post on micro-influencers, Myriah Anderson, Manager of Demand Generation, described micro-influencers as individuals that have between 1 000 to 1 000 000 followers/audience members and are considered experts in their respective niche. There was general consensus in the influencer marketing panel that, more often than not, brands can unlock more value by aligning themselves with micro-influencers. This stems from the decline in engagement when an influencer passes the one million follower mark. One of the observations was that influencers tend to lose perceived authenticity with increased follower growth and more brand alignment, which may be because influencers become their own brand and their focus shifts from genuine love for the product to generating income through sponsored posts.

Markerly published insights after analysing more than 800 000 Instagram users, with the majority having at least 1 000 followers. This research covered a total of approximately five million posts. Their findings revealed a trend where users with less than 1 000 followers generally received likes on their posts about 8% of the time while those with more than ten million followers only received likes 1.6% of the time.

Findings revealed a trend where users with less than 1 000 followers generally received likes on their posts about 8% of the time while those with more than ten million followers only received likes 1.6% of the time.

This has created a niche for micro-influencers to take advantage of what the macro-influencers are lacking, where engagement and authenticity are concerned. Brands are starting to see the value of aligning themselves with these influencers, as was the case when Woolworths collaborated with a group of four young men whose post went viral after posting a video which prompted the #WooliesWaterChallenge on Twitter.

Micro-influencers are making strides in brand communication as more people opt for niche communities and increased engagement, rather than a broader more generic approach. This may spell a change towards a narrow-casting form of communication where brands stand to increase resonance among smaller communities.

Have you seen a change in engagement for your brand through influencer marketing? We’d love to hear your story.

Tshepang Tlhapane

Tshepang Tlhapane is a Media Analyst at Ornico. His insatiable curiosity has led him into various media platforms where he previously worked as an entertainment journalist and a blogger. Tlhapane’s work has been featured on influential platforms including The Times newspaper, Live Magazine SA and Daily Maverick.

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