Influencers come in many forms, but one of the biggest differences between them is the level of engagement. No longer is it about measuring the amount of followers an influencer has; the key to success for a brand utilizing influencer marketing is now all about engagement.
How much interaction does an influencer have with their audience? How involved are they? The more involved they are with their followers, the more loyal their followers will be to a brand they recommend.
One type of influencer tends to have higher engagement on their platforms — especially engagement with Gen Z (anyone born between 1996 and the early-mid 2000s). This generation makes up 40% of global consumers with $143 billion in spending power, and the influencer to reach them is the micro-influencer: someone who has between 1,000 to 100,000 followers.
Here’s why Gen Z leans so heavily toward micro-influencers today and why brands need to incorporate them into their influencer marketing strategy.
Gen Z Wants Authenticity
Marketing to younger generations now means being more transparent, authentic, and raw with promotion. In particular, Gen Z is looking for a true voice to listen to, a voice to influence their purchases and even their lifestyles. As the modern-day digital “best friend”, the micro-influencer fulfills this need for recommendations in how they speak directly to their followers and stay true to their niche in a relatable way.
This study reveals that 52% of Gen Z trusts the influencers they follow. So, whether it’s a product review, a live stream, or a staged post, micro-influencers provide a trusted path from product post to purchase.
Micro-Influencers Interact and Engage
Again, micro-influencers are much more interactive and engaged with followers than most larger scale influencers (who have their own perks). Micro-influencers have such dedicated audiences because they aren’t serving mass-appeal; they’re serving up content for a specific consumer.
They also engage with their followers. An influencer who has millions of followers cannot possibly engage on a personal level with comments and responses because of the sheer volume of messages they receive. A micro-influencer, on the other hand, may have the ability to join the conversation with their followers in a more direct way. This also fuels that trust and authenticity — plus, when followers feel heard, they stick around.
As a result, brands that utilize micro-influencers in their strategy increase the odds that consumers will engage, convert, and commit to their brand.
Micro-Influencers Keep You on the Gen Z Migration
This born-into-digital generation is always looking for new platforms to explore. But where are they right now? Mostly recently, of course, it’s been Tik Tok. Gen Zers are always looking for visual content they feel emotionally connected to, so micro-influencers that enable video and high-quality visuals will help your brand grow as Gen Zers explore.
The LIKEtoKNOW.it app is another top destination (the fastest growing) that’s attracting younger generations through our LTK Shopping Video feature.
Importance of Diversity to Gen Z
Around 48% of Gen Z identifies as racially or ethnically diverse. As Gen Z explores online, they’re not looking for a one-size-fits-all influencer. They’re on the search for influencers who reflect the values of individuality and diversity the way they do.
When working with micro-influencers to reach Gen Z in this way, brands will want to spread out their spend across several micro-influencer accounts to appeal to various niches and diverse audiences. More good news here is that micro-influencers tend to be more affordable for brands.
Local and Cause Driven is Important to Gen Z
Gen Z holds true to their values, and that means local businesses and causes. When a brand is aligned with positive change and values, Gen Zers are much more likely to buy from them. The same goes for influencers — when an influencer promotes good causes, small businesses, and other positive messages, Gen Z consumers are more likely to follow them and take their recommendations seriously.
Brands should work with micro-influencers because they put a focus on community and connection — again, through their engagement levels, but also through their localized appeal. Micro-influencers have a strong connection with their local communities and do a good job of showing that by promoting local businesses and events their followers will care about, as well as getting involved with charities and foundations.
At the end of the day, the micro-influencer will get your brand in front of audiences that are more likely to convert. If ROI is your primary goal, start incorporating these smaller-scale influencers into the mix because they’re not just about pure fame; they’re making a difference in the market. And given the fact that many are just starting their influencer careers, you’ll have created a long-term partner who will continue to grow their audience – and your reach.
Thumbnail Photo: itsjustinesjournal
Ready to reach Gen Z? We’ll help you connect.