Do micro influencer marketplaces compromise authenticity?

Micro influencers are more effective when it comes to engagement levels

According to a survey of top influencers conducted by marketing platform Influence.co, Instagram influencers with less than 1,000 followers have an engagement rate of just over 15%. And the higher the follower count, the more the engagement plummets. Let’s say you have 100,000 followers or more checking your feed – only a tiny 2% of those will engage with your content. Enter the micro-influencer. Or lots of them.

In the latest edition of The Drum magazine we look at the rise of micro influencer marketplaces that allow brand managers to work with influencers at scale. But do they threaten to compromise the trust and authenticity micro influencers trade in?

“We believed if the micro-influencer didn’t own the product, or wasn’t willing to buy it, then they have no right to recommend that their tribe does,” said Jules Lund, founder of Tribe marketplace. “Not only does that maintain authenticity, but it means they submit content with no guarantee of getting paid.”

While the benefits of such marketplaces are many; influencers can browse briefs from a whole host of brands, while brands can turn projects around fast. However, some remain skeptical about the authenticity of executing campaigns in such a way.

“A lot of these marketplaces are relatively advanced in their influencer identification process, and their focus on micro-influencers is bang on,” said Felix Morgan, senior strategist and innovation lead at Livity. “But I think they’re underpinned by a fundamental philosophical flaw. Influencer relationships should not be seen as a media buy, they should be seen as a mutually beneficial partnership.“

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