If you have scrolled through Instagram lately, it is hard to miss Kylie Jenner’s posts about FitTea and Khloe Kardashian’s posts about Sugar Bear Hair. When products like these are featured in celebrity social media accounts, we can’t help but wonder if they actually work as well as the Instagram advertising says.
From a product marketer’s point of view, we aim to find influencers who can most successfully drive sales through methods such as product placement. In this case, an influencer’s higher number of followers does not necessarily translate into higher sales figures. First of all, the influencers chosen must have accounts that are relevant to the product advertised, allowing for a seamless integration of product advertisement and regular content. Next, it is extremely useful for influencers to have high levels of engagement with their followers. High levels of engagement lead to increased amounts of trust from followers, thus driving action following exposure to advertised products. As mentioned in Mad Marketer’s recent article, “82 percent of respondents said that they were ‘highly likely to follow a recommendation’ if it was made by a micro influencer”. Influencers with a relatively lower number of followers are naturally able to easily connect with their followers, leading to more effective instagram advertising.
Surprisingly, influencers on social media platforms such as Instagram eventually reach a threshold where they max out possible interactions and engagement levels with their followers. With a constantly increasing number of followers comes a diminishing effect of advertising. Understandably, reaching a large mixed audience is not as effective as targeting a smaller group of interested subjects. As the number of followers increase from thousands to millions, the return on investment measured in comments and likes on posted photos decreases drastically.
So, which influencers should your brand invest in? According to Stories by Buffer micro-influencers are users who have a follower count between 1,000 and 100,000. These users also often belong to a specific niche; they post content limited to their specific topics or angles and attract followers who are interested in those subjects. Entrepreneur Magazine claims that posts made by micro-influencers have a “like” rate of 2.37%, higher than 1.66%, the “like” rate for users with over 1 million followers. Luckily for advertisers, micro-influencers also tend to not charge unreasonably high prices for partnerships, given that the advertised product organically fits with their content.