Note from conference founder: This is a guest blog post by Stephanie Robbins.

In the past year, one of the most popular buzzwords used in marketing meetings everywhere has been ‘influencer.’ Companies large and small are hoping to harness the power of individuals to impact consumers’ buying decisions. Brands recognize the importance of working with influencers with a range of audience sizes. There are mega influencers, like Kim Kardashian, who have larger than life personalities and the follower count to match; to micro influencers, like the hyper local lifestyle blogger, who can engage and garner high levels of trust because their message reads like one of a close friend.

While debates continue over which level of influencer provides the greatest value to a brand, I will continue creating campaigns that integrate the potential of both levels. This post is a case study illustrating the leverage and difference between two influencers.

First, we need to define mega and micro influencer. I work with small to medium size companies so my numbers may differ from the larger Fortune 500 brands. However, it is best to establish some metrics so we are on the same page.

Mega Influencer

  • Followers over 100,000 on and/or offline
  • Aspirational to followers
  • Can be niche or lifestyle focused
  • Unable to respond individually to all followers due to larger numbers
  • Produces significant social media engagement such as Likes, Views, Shares and Comments

Micro Influencer

  • Sweet spot of between 1,000-10,000 followers
  • Create related micro-moments that their followers find inspirational but also attainable
  • More responsive to followers due to smaller numbers
  • Smaller numbers of Likes, Shares and Comments in quantity but higher in ratio

 

Case Study: A Tale of Two Influencers

I recently ran a campaign for a company that sells all-natural and vegan cosmetics and skincare lines. The campaign focused on the launch of a new cosmetic product.

 

Campaign Objectives

  • Increase revenue for online store
  • Increase awareness about the new product and its benefits
  • General brand awareness

 

Campaign Details

  • Influencers received product in advance to review and photograph
  • Facebook boost budget provided by brand
  • Required a blog post, Facebook and Instagram post (for this campaign no video, Live or otherwise was used)
  • Hybrid compensation based on shared revenue and fixed fees
  • Tracking provided by social media metrics (Likes, Shares and Comments) as well as coupon codes, affiliate tracking links and custom and unique landing pages

 

Introducing The Influencers

Mega Influencer

  • Vegan and all natural niche
  • Solid knowledge in cosmetics and skincare
  • Over 600,000 followers on Instagram
  • Over 24,00 followers on Facebook
  • 300+engagement on all posts
  • Provides high quality images and content, professional influencer
  • Well respected by brands and niche community
  • Experienced in both sponsored and performance based campaigns

 

Micro Influencer

  • All natural and organic niche
  • Solid knowledge in cosmetics and skincare
  • Around 10,000+ followers on Instagram
  • 8,000+ followers on Facebook
  • Provides high quality images and content
  • Well respected by brands and niche community, professional influencer
  • Experienced in both sponsored and performance based campaigns

 

Influencer Campaign Results

Mega Influencer Results

  • 300+shares
  • 1,000 likes
  • 5 sales

 

Micro Influencer Results

  • Under 10 shares
  • Under 100 likes
  • 100+ Sales

 

Why the large discrepancy in sales despite varying engagement? People buy from friends. As a smaller influencer, the micro influencer can engage more closely with followers. As such followers not only feel closer to the influencer but are invested in his/her success. The influencer is like a close friend whose advice or recommendation is more actionable than an inspirational celebrity.

As the campaign manager, it would be easy to say that the micro influencer won by a landslide. From a purely revenue generation viewpoint, this is certainly the case. Luckily, I engage with my clients in a more holistic way. I can see and promote beyond the tangible measurement of revenue or clicks. I believe both influencer campaigns were successful and unknowingly supported each.

Did the mega influencer bring value to the brand and generate sales? Direct sales…no. But indirect sales… ABSOLUTELY. In fact, I would go so far as to say the mega influencer helped bring sales to the micro influencer. The mega influencer brought awareness beyond the reach of the micro influencer. Additionally, when promoting within a niche, there is no doubt in my mind that the followers intersected to create a motivated and educated consumer ready to purchase.

My conclusion is that as brands and consultants we need to stop thinking of influencers in a linear way. I cringe when I hear declarations that the mega influencers are giving way to the micro influencer/micro moments. In reality, influencer marketing campaigns need to be a marriage of both opportunities to rise above the noise of an increasingly loud marketplace.

What is your experience working with influencers? Are you seeing the same type of results I had in your campaign? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

 

About Stephanie Robbins

Stephanie Robbins, Founder of Robbins Interactive, is an Influencer Campaign Manager who connects brands to niche online influencers to incrementally grow revenue and brand equity.  With 20+ years of digital marketing experience, she represents a select few brands that she can authentically promote to influencer  community that trusts her.

 

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