The micro influencer effect and why they’ve become a winning marketing tool

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During the ongoing challenges of 2020 our social media usage increased and evolved, resulting in the rise of the micro-influencer.  A space that was previously heavily characterised by the appeal of aspirational content, Instagram has matured into a platform bursting with relatability.  As consumers seek out a new level of connection, rather than peering in at the lives of A-listers or socialites, they want to know about ordinary people who are making the most of every day, using their creativity to get them through the current situation as best they can.  Step forward fabulous micro influencer accounts like On the Spike (journalist Esther Coren), Wear’s My Money (blogger Kate Hiscox and a personal favourite) and Pink House Living (Author Emily Murray).

A brilliant antidote to the corona-coaster and life’s challenges in general, micro influencers attract higher engagement rates at the fraction of the cost. A micro influencer is an influencer who has accrued between 1,000 and 100,000 followers on Instagram.  The smaller audience doesn’t mean they have less influencing power.  Quality wins over quantity and now brands often choose to work with a selection of micro influencers rather than one big name.

Generally, micro influencers have other day jobs and are every-day consumers sharing their lives and insights.  As well as educating and inspiring their followers, they are learning themselves on the way.  We worked with several micro influencers for a recent Peabody campaign including Jacqueline Mercer, the creator of Tiny and The House.  A shoe designer by trade, Jacqueline has gained 32.9k Instagram followers sharing lifestyle content based on her own home and family.

Clearly being a micro influencer requires personality and creative flare in order to draw in the followers, but they are more grounded and on our level.  Their appeal stems from their ability to build relationships with their followers that are based on honesty, trust and friendship.  Although their followers are less, their active engagement rates higher because they are genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about their niche. Established thought-leaders in their community, they offer a highly effective platform for brands to connect with potential audiences.

Influencer and interior designer Sophie Robinson, who recently graduated from micro to macro influencer, referred to this new appetite for authenticity when we worked with her in the autumn.  She commented: “We’re spending less time looking at people we feel we don’t know on social media and even I admit that I deleted my account right at the start of lockdown because it just wasn’t resonating with me.”

Humour and relatability are what we want now.  This is where a micro influencer’s charm, realism and personality really strikes a chord.  Brands are taking full advantage of this and so is the property industry.  Homes are the backdrop of the majority of social media posts right now and we’re searching for ways in which to improve our home surroundings, so it’s a brilliant platform for us.  The goal of influencer marketing should always be to take consumers somewhere else and add to the conversation.  Interiors, lifestyle tips, and home related content delivered by people we can relate to opens up a compelling new line of communication with potential homebuyers.

In conclusion, lockdown etiquette means that smug people living unrealistic lives are out and those who are keeping it real are in.  What matters to us right now is much more basic.  I can see this transformation in myself. Rather than lusting after new outfit inspiration and updating my wardrobe accordingly, I can honestly say that my favourite purchase of 2020 was my brand-new Dyson.  It’s bought me much pleasure during the past 10- months whilst all four of us have been at home creating endless dust.  Who is this person?  I don’t even recognise myself!