Let’s face it: if you’re pushing your marketing or ad strategy out onto the main social channels you’re targeting one demographic over all others: Millennials. With their current occupation of over 70% of user profiles on Facebook, Millennials are the most populous generation on social media.
They’re also the most populous generation in human history, and they’re poised to enter their peak spending period in the next few years. In other words, brands are stepping over one another in the competition for the shrinking ad space on social channels, in the hopes that an especially shiny paid ad might just entice a Millennial to click.
They may be all over your news feed, but they couldn’t be farther from clicking your sponsored social ads: less than 6% of Millennials believe that online ads are credible. And as much as they don’t trust a paid advertisement, that’s how much they do trust the recommendations and product endorsements of other people- more specifically, of the people that they know and follow on social media. It comes as no surprise, then, that the onset of the age of social media addiction has given rise to a strategy that allows marketers to tap into this social media-savvy generation in a more effective way: influencer marketing.
Influencers come in packages big (a la Kylie Jenner) and small (like your friend’s sister, who just got her 6,000th follower on Instagram), but they all have one thing in common: instead of disrupting a Millennial’s social experience online, they facilitate a better one. Influencers meet Millennials where they are on social media channels like Instagram and Facebook, and then they take it a step further by engaging in the same behavior that brought everyone to these channels in the first place: through the sharing and creation of personalized content.
The influencer marketing industry is largely associated to celebrities, athletes, and other social influencers on the mega scale who have the potential to reach millions of people with a single branded post. However, as influencers have become the go-to strategy for social media, marketers are learning that the most effective influencer campaigns are the ones tied to data-driven conversion metrics, instead of “traditional” influencer metrics of impressions and likes. For example, measuring an influencer by engaged reach instead of potential reach allows marketers to translate the strategy into a consistent ROI value for brand objectives.
While an influencer’s reach estimates the entire audience that may see an influencer’s post, their engaged reach estimates the percentage of that audience that will actually engage with their content, and therefore be more likely to convert towards the branded objective instead of just scrolling by and delivering meaningless impressions.
Once an influencer’s engaged reach becomes a part of the conversation, mega-influencers start to look less appealing, while smaller scale influencers like macro- or micro-influencers grow in value. For example, Kylie Jenner is known to be in the “top two percent of social influencers”, and yet her engaged reach averages less than 2% on her Instagram posts. In other words, her sixty million followers might just be a moot point for your brand.
Mega-influencers solve the question of how to get to where Millennials are, but they don’t solve the question of how to engage with them once you’re talking to them in their news feeds. So what if you used the same tactic, but replaced celebrities with every day people?
Micro-influencers are every day people who possess relevant influence around specific topics. Because they’re normal people without an agenda, they average between 25-50% engaged reach per branded post. Yes, their audience is far smaller, but the level of engagement, trust and authenticity that a micro-influencer can foster with his or her followers makes it exponentially more likely that their audience will travel through the funnel. Micro-influencers’ engaged reach is like the ultimate stamp of peer-approved credibility that Millennials crave, which makes it exponentially more likely they will convert on that content.
The bottom line? It may already seem like Millennials have already taken over, but they’re about to start spending even more- and a micro-influencer strategy will get you over the obstacles and through to the conversion finish line.
Want to see what a micro-influencer strategy could do for your brand? Check out our latest white paper “Rise of the Micro-Influencers” below: