Celebrity marketing is old news, with businesses of all sizes shifting to micro influencers.

Sure, Big Brands will continue to feature stars. How about Sofia Vergara, her son and their fabulous shampoo? Jennifer Aniston and her beloved skin creme? Or Dennis Quaid and his fake spokesman take on insurance? These commercials are fun to watch, make you recall the brands, and may or may not influence what you buy.

 

Celebrities Lose Their Followings

“Users just aren’t as keen to interact with a celebrity as with someone they can relate to more closely,” explains Sidney Pierucci in Medium. “In a time when we all have the capacity to be content creators, consumers are looking to each other, more than ever, for recommendations.”

It makes sense when you think about it. Almost all of us are aware of the hefty checks those mega-influencers receive from endorsing a brand. It’s rare to see name-brand people — whom we view more like Gods than ourselves — engage or talk with their fans online. And those do who connect with their audiences will never get to know them, or vice-versa. Their follower counts outnumber them by, well, some measure that may not matter anymore.

Why would the average consumer have any reason to trust someone who they don’t really know, and who doesn’t really care about them?

Welcome To Real People Marketing

These days, we communally search, browse, shop, compare notes and trust people that are pretty tightly connected to us. It turns out that smaller influencers attract more engagement — and it’s who you know or perhaps who connects with your immediate circle.

Markerly studied 800k Instagram accounts and revealed that influencers peak at 1,000 followers, attracting eight percent (of followers) who liked posts and 0.5 percent who commented. Once influencers hit 10k followers, their engagement rates drop nearly in half.

SocialPubli (PDF) polled 1,000 influencers with fewer than 10k followers and asked them how they maintain engagement. The responses kept things personal and real: be authentic (32%); share quality content (27%); and engage with followers (27%). Plus a whopping 99% of them say they believe in the products and services they promote.

If you’re a business executive, manager or owner, we hope you don’t declare: “I need to roll out an influencer program, stat!” Like any marketing initiative, we recommend assessing what fits your brand and goals first. A formal program with free products or compensation fits some, while engaging in a focused campaign with less structure fits others beautifully.

There’s a lot to consider. As a business seeking to develop closer relationships, create more trust and make shoppers feel well-understood, there are different paths to get there. Remember it’s entirely possible to create communities around others who already like you and ask them for help.

Turn real people into your influencers and brand fans. #CelebsAreOut

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