Influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers are more influential than those with more than 1 million, a study has found.
Influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers are having more influence on people than those with millions, a University of Auckland study has found.
Melanie Spencer, chief executive of social media marketing agency Socialites, said the industry was experiencing a swing towards using micro-influencers – those with 10,000 to 100,000 followers – in marketing campaigns.
“Vanity metrics of high follower numbers and ‘posey’ content has become frowned upon.”
Influencer marketing delivered 11 times higher return on investment that other internet marketing, and audiences were now wanting “real”, natural and authentic influencers, she said.
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“They are looking for the niche and the smaller influencers who truly engage with their audiences.”
It was a shift since influencers hit the social scene about 10 years ago.
Back then, creators who had a large following had a huge impact, but now content is more powerful than a popularity test.
“We’ve seen the industry move away from a posed, aspirational and a filtered world.
“Overly posed and contrived content just doesn’t fly any more, and we’ve moved into a far more authentic world with the rise of TikTok.”
A study on micro-influencing by University of Auckland associate professor of marketing Yuri Seo found those with a smaller platform were more effective than mega-influencers at encouraging followers to buy products if they were associated with fun, pleasure and excitement, such as premium hotels, restaurants, perfumes, or high-end electronics.
The Advertising Standards Authority has issued guidelines for so-called “influencers” – individuals who have large followings on social media. (Video first published September 2020)
“Big is not always good when it comes to social media influencer marketing. In fact, across all the tests we conducted, micro-influencers either completely outperformed mega-influencers or were at least as persuasive,” he said.
Seo and his fellow researchers found people perceived micro-influencers as more intimate and authentic, and these positive perceptions could rub off on the products they promoted.
They performed just as well as mega-influencers when promoting utilitarian products and experiences.
“Consumer psychology has previously taught us that this rub-off effect usually occurs only when people think about fun and pleasurable things and that it doesn’t occur when people think about practical and serious (utilitarian) things such as basic kitchen appliances, motels, or financial services,” he said.