Does influencer marketing need celebrities?

  • Categories:

    Influencer Marketing

  • Date:

    October 10, 2017

Does influencer marketing need celebrities?

Influencer Marketing

When you think of effective influencer marketing strategies, think small.

That’s right. Your brand can reach its target audience by working with influencers who have a robust, but reasonable, following. Emerging data shows that these individuals, known as micro-influencers, have higher rates of engagement than their uber-popular counterparts.

According to recent studies of influencer social media data[1], engagement with both organic and paid posts decreases as an influencer’s following increases. For example, influencers with 1,000 or fewer Instagram followers have a like rate of around 8 percent, while those with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have a like rate of about 4 percent.

The like rate continues to decrease as the influencer’s following increases, and this trend applies to both paid and organic posts.

People engage with micro-influencers at a higher rate than their more famous counterparts for a number of likely reasons:

  • Social media algorithms may deliver influencer content to only a small percentage of followers.
  • People may feel more of a connection with influencers who seem more like them.
  • Alternately, micro-influencers may work harder to engage with their audience in hopes of growing it.

Micro-influencers can also be described as people who are hands-on experts in their category. That means they aren’t just riding on celebrity. Instead, they bring real skills to the fore, often sharing their own DIY work, experiences and how-to guides with their audience.

This mix of expertise and authenticity can have powerful results. It’s like word of mouth marketing on steroids. Micro-influencers have “buying conversations” including product recommendations 22 times more than the average consumer[2].

We looked to micro-influencers this year to amplify word of mouth marketing for VELUX skylights, a product for which experiencing natural light from above is of the utmost importance. We partnered with home décor bloggers to tell a compelling story about transforming their ceiling or fifth wall with the addition of skylights. The program was designed to show how skylights can be used as a design element and to dispel commonly held myths about skylights.

We worked with five bloggers whose blogs ranged from 65,000 to more than 350,000 unique monthly visitors. They average 58,000 Facebook followers. And while skylights aren’t a DIY project, each blogger wrote about skylights in the context of an overall room makeover that they completed themselves.

We installed VELUX No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights in each blogger’s home. They each wrote three blogs about the process:

  • Anticipating their skylight makeover
  • Documenting the skylight installation
  • Revealing their skylight makeover

The bloggers shared their blog posts to their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They posted pre- and post-renovation photos to Instagram. Each blogger also participated in our filming and photo shoot at their homes, and we produced additional content for use on and VELUX social channels. One blogger hosted a Facebook Live Chat and wrote a blog about the fifth wall design trend.

Thus far, the average Facebook engagement rate for the program is 6.5 percent. On the influencers’ blogs, our average click-through rate is nearly 4 percent.

Influencer marketing is a fledgling industry that’s growing fast. Data analysis by multiple influencer marketing companies shows an average engagement rate of 2 percent for influencer programs across products and industries[3]. Watch that number closely as the industry matures.

The lesson is: Working with influencers who have a loyal following and a focus that matches your brand’s target audience interests is an effective way to tell your brand story.

[1] Micro-influencers Bring Mega ROI for Brands, Entrepreneur

[2] Nationwide study comparing effects of micro-influencers versus average consumers by Dr. Jonah Berger of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Keller Fay Group

[3] Influencer Marketing Benchmarks for 2017 and Beyond and 2016 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks

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