Using celebrities to endorse products is a staple of advertising but as social media platforms have evolved, there’s now a variety of approaches for employing people with large followings to help sell your brand. Influencers (people who’ve cultivated specialized and specific audiences around their expertise) are valued for their ability to advertise to a dedicated user base but are doing so now on a smaller scale—micro-influencers. Brands now routinely partner with people with smaller followings on social media—typically in the thousands or tens of thousands—but with more highly engaged audiences.
Unlike mainstream celebrities and public figures, micro-influencers are social media users who engage in their own specialized vertical and post frequently to a dedicated user base who actively engage with their content. Typically micro-influencers have better engagement rates with their followers, have a more targeted, narrow audience and are more affordable to do business with.
A study by Markerly on Instagram engagement rates found that as influencer’s followers went up, the amount of likes and comments from followers went down. Their findings eventually lead Markerly to recommend that brands pursue Instagram micro-influencers on Instagram followings in the 1,000–10,000 range because micro-influencers can reach higher engagement rates with a targeted audience that’s large enough. When comparing macro influencers like the Kardashians to micro-influencers, Markerly CEO and Sarah Ware told Digiday that partnering with 30-40 micro-influencers achieved a higher conversion rate than when the celebrities were promoting the product.
In addition to higher engagement rates and ROI potential, micro-influencers are naturally more affordable than celebrities with millions of followers. High profile celebs can often charge $75,000 for a single promotional post on Instagram. You can expect micro-influencers to charge less than $500 for a promoted post. We should note that often brands will engage several micro-influencers to maximize reach, but even 100 micro-influencers would cost less than a single celebrity on Instagram at these rates.
Another value for utilizing micro-influencers is that they are often perceived as more authentic—they’re real people which makes their content real, too. These power users with several thousand followers are far more likely to post their own content, engage with commenters and promote products they honestly believe in than brands or celebrities with social media managers might—they know that if they’re engaging with a product or a promotional posts, their followers are more inclined to look further into that promoted content. If a micro-influencer engages with a promotional post on Instagram, their followers might be more inclined to click to learn more about the brand they’re posting about. We should also mention that Instagram’s algorithm displays posts from users people follow and interact with the most, so quality, authentic content is usually shown ahead of promoted content from big brands. This can help elevate the content of micro-influencers over that of celebrities if the algorithm knows your engage with their content more.
Mansfield has experience working with influencers on digital, traditional and experential campaigns. For more reading on how to manage relationships with influencers of different magnitudes read our eight tips for negotiating with them here and email as at email@example.com when you’re ready to talk influencer strategies.
Social marketing, not to be mistaken for social media marketing, is when a brand combines commercial marketing with a social issue. Typically, a brand’s approach is to portray a positive message in the hopes of persuading its audience to get involved in progressive behaviours that will benefit others and the community, while also associating their brand with the positive message. If successful, a brand shines light on a current social issue and brings favourable attention to themselves.
Highlighting social good not only gives the brand good publicity, but also secures customer engagement, as it gives loyal and new consumers alike a reason to resonate with the brand. From women’s issues to environmental awareness, brands take on a wide variety of issues to distinguish themselves as a socially aware brand. Brands are constantly pushing out new ad campaigns to boost themselves and their social morale. Last week alone, we saw five social marketing ad campaigns that are quite effective in starting a discussion and raising brand awareness.
These are the five most powerful ad campaigns going on right now:
1. #YouHaveRightsNYC – the New York Commission on Human Rights
The New York Commission on Human Rights just launched a $468,000 ad campaign of 2,260 placards on subways and ads in newspapers and in various spots around the city. With the rise of complaints to the commission describing racial and religious discrimination, the city is rolling out this ad campaign to fight against discriminatory behaviour. The ads feature various minorities alongside a quote against discrimination and their rights under the NYC Human Rights Law. This ad campaign is successful in both promoting NYC as inclusive and addressing the social issue of discrimination.
2. #IsItOkForGuys – AXE
As apart of its ‘Find Your Magic Initiative,’ AXE is collaborating with influencers and three non-profit organizations to explore the issue of toxic masculinity. After commissioning a study that found that 72 per cent of men have been told how a real man should behave, AXE created this new ad campaign. Their latest video, ‘Is It Ok For Guys?’ focuses on real questions men have been Googling about masculinity. The powerful ad encourages men to embrace their differences and rise against damaging stereotypes with the final question of “Is it okay for guys to be themselves?” This ad successfully represents AXE as a forward-thinking, inclusive brand, while also shining light on harmful gender stereotypes.
3. #OurVoicesAreVital – Greenpeace
After a multi-million-dollar lawsuit was filed against Greenpeace by Resolute Forest Products last year, the environmental group is striking back with its biggest marketing campaign to date. #OurVoicesAreVital is an ad campaign complete with a social media launch and various videos, which encourage people to use their own voices against corporations that stand in the way of fighitng environmental, social and political issues. The new video shows the positive effects of collective protest through different mediums. Greenpeace is not only bringing attention to their ongoing legal battle, but also giving their own brand some good publicity.
4. #YouKnow – Carefree
‘You know what makes you feel confident’ is the newest collection of videos just launched for Carefree’s ‘No one knows’ campaign, which focuses on women sharing their secrets about having their period. The campaign will rollout across Canada with the hope that women will embrace the vulnerability they feel about their periods. Carefree wants to start a conversation around #YouKnow that ideally will revolve around women sharing their tips, tricks and stories. Carefree’s goal is to represent real female empowerment, with real women and true stories that are relatable, instead of the unattainable ads we usually see. Carefree has highlighted female empowerment, while also labelling themselves as a relatable brand.
5. #BlacksDontVote – Operation Black Vote
Operation Black Vote is an initiative in the UK that works towards having better racial justice and equality. ‘Blacks Don’t Vote’ is their current campaign focused on getting minorities to register and vote to make a difference. 1.4 million black and ethnic minorities didn’t vote in the UK last year and with the election coming up in a few weeks, this group is working towards giving minorities a voice. Right now, 28 per cent of minorities aren’t registered to vote. These simple ads are a plea to get registration numbers up. With this powerful ad campaign, Operation Black Vote is addressing the social issue of the lack of minorities voting, while also gaining traction around their initiative.
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