person Guy Potter access_time March 12, 2018
Measuring Effectiveness: Micro-influencers and Agile Research

With GDPR fast approaching and tightening-up data protection, not to mention squeezed marcomms budgets, marketing and PR pros are exploring ways of taking a more targeted, trust-based approach to their campaigns, while also making sure they get the most ‘bang for their buck’.

Welcome to the rise of micro-marketing.

This is marketing at a very personalised level; and which is why we’re seeing the growth of Micro-Influencers, who are having conversations with small, but engaged audiences.

Micro-Influencers aren’t necessarily new, but they are starting to gain more traction as brands start to focus less on reach and more on engagement.

 

What is a micro-influencer?

An influencer is a celebrity or individual that regularly blogs or posts on social media about their lifestyle, favourite topic, or passion projects.

Macro-Influencers have a reach of 1million+, but with Micro-Influencers it’s more likely to be in the thousands. Their content can be very niche, based around expertise in a certain field or driven by a hobby or passion.

As blogging and social isn’t necessarily their full-time job, this is where Micro-Influencers have an advantage. They can afford to be selective and are therefore endorsing from a position of personal interest and knowledge.

How effective are they?

In a word, very. Our research has shown that half of respondents look at what bloggers or influencers say about products, and another 50% said this is something they would seriously consider doing in the future.

People trust Micro-influencers as they are perceived to be motivated by a genuine passion for a product or service. Indeed, other surveys have shown that 30% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a non-celebrity blogger, whereas only 3% would buy on the back of a celebrity endorsement.

For marketing or PR teams working on a tight budget they are, by far, a more cost-effective option.

Insights and Analysis – pre and post-campaign

As with anything new, marketers are still finding their way in this space, and we are all on a steep learning curve. However, even though you’re dealing with smaller numbers when using Micro-influencers, it is still just as important to ensure you are measuring and gathering insights along the way.

A survey from Zine highlighted that 41% of influencers say brands ask them for follower numbers when researching them, but only 29% are asked about their audience demographics. Only 11% of influencers who are paid to post a blog for a brand are asked for their analytics to prove the value of the post.

It is clear that consumers look for trust, connection and specialist knowledge when following an influencer, but it also appears that brands are taking this at face value, which is creating a disconnect, between engagement and actual influence, and this is where insights can be invaluable.

Quick Insights

As we highlighted in our Martech blog, data is nothing without insights; even when using influencers you still need insights in order to ascertain whether they are the right fit for your brand or client. Not only that but post-project, you also need to assess campaign effectiveness.

This is where quick insight comes into its own. As with all things data, you need to look at the ‘why’ and its relevance. For example, a Micro-influencer may have 2,000 followers, but what is their engagement rate? How influential are they, do their followers respond to their calls to action?

Unfortunately, there are some influencers who pay for likes and follows, so make sure you’re researching them thoroughly and doing a lot of social listening before engaging with them. It’s also worth doing a tracking study to get respondent feedback on your Influencer shortlist. This will also help establish if there are any disconnects between how the Influencer is marketing themselves versus the realities.

Using realtime or Agile research can help you with your Influencer due diligence. Admittedly, there may be additional spend with this, but I’m sure you’d rather that than waste your budget on an ineffective Influencer.

Agile research can be a great tool to help marketers get to grips with the new face of micro-marketing. It is a steep learning curve, so why not use insights to help you get a better idea of the micro-influencer landscape.

Value for money?

As mentioned earlier, micro-influencers are great for when marketing or PR budgets are tight. Agile research is also a very cost-effective way of getting detailed insights, quickly and effectively.

And, when the board start to look at the viability of a campaign, then pre and post campaign measurement will also prove invaluable, especially if stakeholders are a little nervous about the effectiveness of a relatively new way of marketing.

The marketing and PR landscape is changing, spend is reducing and campaign lifecycles are getting faster, so it’s crucial you get more ‘bang for your buck’, but this is nothing without effective insights and campaign analysis.

 

Guy Potter is maru / usurv's head of research and clients.
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