With the influencer marketing industry expected to become worth $13.8 billion this year and social commerce currently valued at $89 billion, brands view influencers as a necessary part of their marketing mix and have plans to increase their budget.
Micro-influencers, those with 100,000 followers or less, have been touted as having higher engagement rates than macro-influencers—those with between 100,000 and 1 million followers—and celebrities due to the more intimate, genuine relationships they have with their audience. The pandemic has accelerated micro-influencers’ earning potential, as findings from Izea reveal that in 2006, these influencers charged between $5 to $10 for a post on social, whereas in 2020, that figure surged to $1,500 to $1,600.
This represents a considerable jump, yet micro-influencers are still relatively cost-effective when compared with their counterparts—macro-influencers and celebrities, which can charge north of $10,000 for just one social post.
According to Digiday, micro-influencers are particularly appealing to direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands given their unique word-of-mouth-style marketing. DTC brand Spotlight Oral Care told Digiday that these creators started playing a larger role in their strategy during the pandemic because they are “better for actual conversion and longer-term partnerships where there is already brand awareness in a market.”
One quarter of Spotlight Oral Care’s digital media budget is dedicated to influencer marketing, which includes a mix of micro-influencers, macro-influencers and celebrities. In addition, the brand recently increased its influencer marketing ad spend by 50 percent and hired an influencer agency.
DTC children’s medicine brand Genexa, which consider micro-influencers essential to their brand awareness strategy, increased its social ad spend from 10 percent of its digital marketing budget this time last year to 25-30 percent currently, the company’s chief marketing officer Kelli Lane told Digiday.
Bite, a DTC oral beauty brand, attributes much of its viral success to micro-influencers in the zero-waste space that praised its products during the brand’s 2018 launch. Co-founder Lindsay McCormick notes that Bite allocates 60 percent of ad spend toward Facebook and Instagram, but that it plans to diversify that spend with a mix of micro-influencer marketing and paid posts, according to Digiday.
A 2020 Linqia study found that 77 percent of marketers want to work with micro-influencers versus 64 percent who want to partner with macro-influencers. That’s because of micro-influencers’ higher engagement rates and perhaps a lack of public trust in bigger influencers. As per a GlobalWebIndex study, 56 percent of US and UK respondents said they believe influencers with up to 50,000 followers are the most credible.