Influencer Marketing: Sometimes Less is More

June 2, 2017

Since the inception of smartphones and internet penetration, the way people communicate has changed dramatically. The rise of social media provides brands with newer opportunities to engage their target audience.


However, a study from TNS revealed that one in five consumers in Singapore actively ignore brand ads to prevent behavioural targeting – an advertising tactic that makes use of tracking technologies to identify potential consumers and bombard them with advertisements regarding their products across multiple platforms. This in turn will result in consumers feeling that they are being "followed" by these ads and will then opt to actively ignore them. As consumers become less susceptible to traditional forms of marketing, social influencer marketing becomes a key strategy for brands looking to engage with its target audience.


Fame = Success?


When it comes to influencer marketing, does the fame of the influencer equates to the success of a campaign? Not necessarily so - an influencer with a smaller following might be more effective in marketing campaigns as compared to an influencer with millions of followers. This is due to their niche and considerably loyal followers. While their reach may be smaller, these influencers are able to reach the brand’s target audience - the audience that matters - more effectively.


Macro Vs Micro


Is it possible to measure fame? In the age of social media influencers, this popularity contest is judged by the number of followers an influencer has. For example, in Singapore, micro influencers are considered those between 5,000 to 15,000 followers. These numbers may vary from country to country due to the population size of the country and its active online users.


Whilst the status of “micro” may seem unflattering, these influencers may be better choices for brands to work with than influencers with larger followings. Influencer marketing are more effective when influencers are deemed as peers by their fans. When it comes to celebrity-status accounts – those with millions of followers – their followers may not necessarily believe the brand they are endorsing with.




On the other hand, followers of influencers who post about a very niche and specific category, such as interior design, care about their opinion and preference. Even if the influencers may have a smaller following, they tend to have higher engagement rates. According to HelloSociety, 60% of higher campaign engagement rates are driven by micro-influencers. Those campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than those with larger followings. This makes them more cost effective as micro-influencers drive 22.2 times more weekly conversations.


For instance, in an article by Digiday, Markerly’s CEO said that when they engaged the Jenner and Kardashian sisters to do a sponsored post on Instagram on weight-loss tea, the widely famous sisters brought in hundreds of conversions, which is much more remarkable. However, when the same weight-loss tea company engaged 30 to 40 “micro”-influencers, the company achieved an even higher level of conversions.


Evidently, the success of a campaign does not lie in the number of followers anymore. The type of content and the engagement the social posting receives matters more to brands in gauging the success of the campaign.



Limitation and Conclusion

However, one of the drawbacks of using these micro influencers is that their reach is limited and that they often possess less influence or reach. Their effectiveness may be limited in areas outside their field or niche target group.


One way to fully understand and utilise these different types of influencers would be to turn to the experts - influencer marketing agencies. These influencer marketing agencies would have the know-hows and are able to advise brand marketers on the types of influencers that would be suitable for their brand. Factors affecting these decisions include the brand’s positioning, its branding and beliefs as well as weighing out which would be more cost-effective in achieving the maximum reach and impact.

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