An influencer with a smaller but more loyal following might be the way to go for brand marketers looking to reach their target audience.
“Influencer marketing is still effective when they’re looked at as peers,” said Kyla Brennan, the founder and CEO of HelloSociety, an agency that connects brands with influencers for specific campaigns. “When it comes to celebrity accounts, who have maybe millions of followers nobody actually believes that a celebrity is a real fan of a product they’re trying to sell,” said Brennan.
HelloSociety, which was acquired last year by the New York Times, has found that “micro”-influencers, or accounts with 30,000 or fewer followers, are more beneficial for marketers to work with.
According to the agency, 60 percent higher campaign engagement rates are driven by micro-influencers; those campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger followings, which makes them more cost effective; and micro-influencers drive 22.2 times more weekly conversations than the average consumer.
“Engagement goes down once you reach a certain threshold of followers,” said Brennan,” which is almost counterintuitive. “
Just because an influencer has hundreds of thousands, or millions, of followers doesn’t mean that the specific campaign will be more effective than if a marketer or brand works with an influencer with fewer followers.
“You might get eyeballs, but they won’t be eyeballs that care,” she said.
Followers of influencers who post about a niche topic, like interior design, care about the way they decorate their table, “even if the influencers aren’t a ‘household name,” said Brennan.
HelloSociety advises influencers it works with when it comes to these campaigns, but ultimately they leave it up to the influencers about the frequency of brand partnerships.
“It’s not always about how many brands you work with,” said Brennan. “It’s more important how you work with them. You need to go above and beyond while being flexible and professional. Brands remember who’s good to work with.”