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The rise of micro-influencers: AllSaints’ Cass Gowing on the new influencer marketing strategy to know

By Cass Gowing | AllSaints

July 22, 2016 | 3 min read

Who’s fed up of celebrities and top tier bloggers obviously plugging brands in sponsored Instagrams?

Cass Gowing

Whilst these influencers may have the numerical outreach on social, users are quick to identify paid-for posts and the lack of authenticity in their product recommendations (definitely not helped by recent copy and paste caption errors a la Naomi Campbell).

The newest trend in influencer marketing puts customers back in the limelight. Introducing, micro-influencers: your existing customers who have anywhere from 500 to 10,000 followers on social. Yes, you heard me correct – it’s time to focus on the people that actually buy your product and harness their powers of influence based on their authentic promotion of your brand.

By focussing on a smaller audience pool you’re latching onto the customer’s ability to influence their friends and family on social media based on the trust they have in their personal relationship. To non-marketeers this may sound like common sense but it actually requires a huge mindset shift and it may result in your PR department having a nervous breakdown (“they have HOW many followers?!”).

Markerly, an influencer marketing technology company, recently reported that Instagram engagement drops as follower numbers rise. Its stats show that macro influencers with 1 million to 10 million followers have on average an engagement rate of 1.66 per cent. Drop their outreach to 1K-10k followers and you hit a like rate of 4 per cent. Less than 1000 followers? Like rate storms to 8 per cent engagement. A micro-influencer sharing your product on social is the modern day word of mouth review; it’s trusted and authentic.

In May 2016, AllSaints launched #ItsUpToYou, the first User Generated Content campaign we’ve ever run. We asked our global customers to share an image of them wearing AllSaints to Twitter or Instagram. The campaign was launched with mid-tier bloggers to raise awareness through different demographics to our own then focused on championing micro-influencers through showcasing their UGC imagery. By switching the spotlight from ourselves to our dedicated customers we’ve seen spikes in social engagement, brand interest and are looking to see the results in terms of customer loyalty for months to come.

Within your social strategy the key is switching the mentality from product to people. Ditch the smoke and mirror campaigns to focus on the long-term gain by nurturing the relationships with your customers. Empower your customers and fans of the brand and you can guarantee you’ll unlock brand love whilst expanding your audience outreach through authentic content.

Cass Gowing is global head of social media at AllSaints and was the guest for this week's #SMBuzzChat. She tweets @CassGowing

Marketing Social Media Marketing Influencer Marketing

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