Influencer marketing is no longer a tactic used only by big enterprises. Small- and medium-sized companies are also utilizing this trending method, opening new doors.
In my earlier blog, I discussed about 4 biggest benefits that you can get by utilizing micro-influencers. You might have been charmed by the fancy number of likes and comments from Lancome's Instagram posts, which I posted as an example.
Although utilizing micro-influencers may seem all roses, there are also some issues associated with it.
1. Trade-off: Gun or Butter? Engagement or Giant Fan Base?
Gun or Butter is a classical economic model illustrating trade-off theory. Trade-off appears in every single aspect of our personal lives, but also in business and micro-influencer marketing. The issue here is that micro-influencer marketing draws the inverse ratio between engagement rate and the scale of audience pool. As I mentioned in 4 Biggest Benefits From Using Micro-Influencers, the audience will more actively interacted with micro-influencers' posts because of their credible and authentic content. Although the engagement rate is high, their audience base remains the smallest amongst various categories of influencers, which might dissatisfy those trying to increase brand awareness as widely as possible.
Before choosing whether to use micro-influencer marketing or other alternatives, you should review the goals and objectives of your marketing campaign. If you are launching a brand/ product and need to raise awareness quickly to a vast general audience, the best option may be to use famous celebrities and public figures. On the other hand, when a product/ brand needs to continuously appear in social conversations to foster sales revenue, micro-influencers could be used. Also, depending on the budget, you can balance the usage of micro-influencers and mega-influencers as seen in the Lancome case.
2. Inexperienced beginners
Some micro-influencers may not yet be experienced enough in cooperating with companies. You might also believe in the impressive amount of followers and let micro-influencers post whatever content without mutual understanding. This lack of communication might cause inappropriate posts which could consequently distort your brand image.The image that your micro-influencers portray about themselves also extend to your brand image and how it is perceived by their audience. So you should either work with experienced micro-influencers (who are probably slightly more expensive) or be ready to train beginners (who are probably the cheaper alternative) to make sure they are on the right track.
But, monitoring and communicating with micro-influencers does not mean that you need to micro-manage the content they post. Micro-influencers are known and appreciated for their authentic content. They should be respected and given reasonable space for them to create their own content and promote brands on their own account.
3. You will get what you pay for
Theoretically, cost of using micro-influencers is typically lower than the amount spent on other types of influencers. So instead of using one mega-influencer, you could be using multiple amount of micro-influencers with the same budget.
However, moderate audience pool and inappropriate posts created by inexperienced micro-influencers might hinder you from getting desirable ROI (sales increase or high visibility).
Even though the cost of hiring micro-influencers may save you resources at a first glance, the investment could as well end up being a waste of money.
Again, it is important to find a good balance between using micro-influencers and other types of influencers and see what is the best combination for you to achieve your goals.
4. A mountain of workload
In order to find the best and most suitable micro-influencer for your brand, you need to do a lot of work and research, continuously work with them to avoid slanted content, and monitor results. The workload can be daunting.
However, not only is it important to monitor the quantity of activities of your influencers, but also to check the engagement level and quality of discussions that are happening. By quality, I mean whether the reaction of the audience towards micro-influencers' posts are positive or negative, and how much those positive reactions are getting visibility versus how much negative reactions are affecting your sales performance. These types of in-depth analysis can only be done after irrelevant data is cleaned out to get the most accurate statistics, which is not offered by the tools I mentioned above.
Accurate interpretation and usage of big data is only possible with high-quality analytics services. By analyzing what people say about your brand in social media conversations, you're able to create a more meaningful connection to them. In practice, this means more personalized messages and closer cooperation with your influencers. With accurate analytic service, you can also improve your relationship with your influencers and choose the best ones that are performing towards your goals.
If you take notes of the issues that comes with micro-influencer marketing and play your cards right, you will succeed in influencer marketing.