To discuss the rise of micro-influencers, Saunders, creator and micro-influencer from YouTube channel Saunders Says, hosted a panel session, leading with the content vs influence debate. Using the example of celebrities and micro-influencers, Sam Barrett, from micro-influencer platform Takumi, argued that whilst the former are influential in their own right, the latter have had to gain influence by creating content that resonates with audiences. Robin James, YouTuber and influencer also sees influence as a by-product of content and maintains that this is one of the reasons engagement using micro-influencers is so high.
Randel Bryan from EndemolShineBeyond mentioned a number of studies that suggest that engagement decreases the bigger the influencer, perhaps because you can create personal relationships with micro-influencers who will engage with you, unlike celebrities. So which strategy is more effective?
For Angel Macarthy from agency Style Haul, it comes down to what the client is after. Working with both established influencers and micro-influencers, their company will often use both in a campaign, but to achieve different things. The value of the micro-influencer might not be driving awareness on mass, but rather reaching niche audiences, achieving high engagements through peer-to-peer conversations and even changing brand perception in this way. Sam also thinks there’s a place for micro-influencers in always-on social content. With the need for ever more and interesting content, having an army of micro-influencers who can capture it for you with a low level of spend allows you to not only reach new and engaged audiences, but also ticks the content production box.
Lucy Pilz from Milk Management carefully selects influencers for their projects, making sure they are consistent across platforms and urges brands to consider their choice of influencer. Will your brand resonate with their audience? If it does, this could be more valuable than a one-off endorsement from a celebrity, which explains the rise in the micro-influencer.