Can micro-influencers deliver a strong ROI for your fashion brand?
Instagram Photo by @mystyledlife
In today’s highly-competitive marketing landscape, digital marketing has become critical for many industries to both survive and thrive. With 4.66 billion active internet users as of January 2021 (about 60% of the global population), companies are eager to tap the growth opportunities from the online market. Total global advertising spend in 2020 alone was estimated at $378.16 billion. Among the popular strategies adopted by big business is micro-influencer marketing. But with so many individuals hopping onto the bandwagon, does all the hype deliver the goods, that is, increase the sales of your fashion brand? Here are the ways going the micro-influencer route can be good for your ROI.
Micro-influencers substantially impact the fashion industry which counts the millennial population among its top-dollar customers. Any marketer who has done their homework would know this to be true for several reasons. One is that millennials are significant trendsetters who consider style as a critical expression of their individuality. Second is that Generation Y was born and raised in a digital environment and would therefore be highly conversant in the language of digital technology. And lastly, they have surpassed their predecessors in purchasing power with a buying capability of $1.4 trillion in 2020 alone. Therefore, it would be a sound decision for any strategically-minded fashion company to tap the services of micro-influencers to penetrate the millennial market which has the motivation, the monetary means, and the digital savvy to know the difference between megabits and megabytes.
Consumers and customers desire to feel empowered with their purchasing decisions. They no longer want to be dictated upon by cold, impersonal fashion giants, as well as the high-profile personalities they pay to pitch for them. This is in contrast to the accessibility of micro-influencers whom they can relate to on a personal level. Their followers even see themselves as friends instead of fans. The unspoken but universal communication is this: “We are more alike than different. I get you, and therefore, you can trust me.” The effectiveness of this message shows up in statistical findings that show that 60% of millennials would be more likely to be influenced by indirect sales messages coming from YouTube vloggers than by top movie actors or celebrities. Imagine what impact 36 million Gen Yers (or half of the 2019 population of about 72 million) can have on your sales charts!
If relatability generates interest for the initial tier of the conversion funnel, it is the credibility of the micro-influencer that drives the would-be customer to the consideration phase, which may then lead to sales conversions. 80% of consumers have made purchases based on an influencer-marketed recommendation. Consumers will place their trust in someone they not only see as an expert in niches they are interested in but, more importantly, one who is more intent on helping than selling. Two ways that a micro-influencer can be an effective social proof messenger is if they can have consistently organic interactions and can repurpose content that will be relevant to their targeted follower base, such as product reviews, makeup tutorials, and so on).
Source: Engagement rate analysis by Influencer Marketing Hub
Any fashion company worth its salt should have a clear strategy for its LTM or Customer Lifetime Value. The cradle-to-grave approach allows multiple marketing touchpoints for the
milestones of a customer over their lifetime and can also be a strategic source for product development and innovation. Choosing a micro-influencer with fewer yet more loyal followers with a higher level of interaction will prove more profitable than an affiliate who is more widely followed but has limited interaction with their base. A study reveals that micro-influencers with less than 2,000 followers can have a 151% higher engagement rate versus those with millions of followers. Just think of the plethora of opportunities for your brand as it accompanies your influencers’ followers over their lifetime.
Twitter Photo by Adam Gonon
You need not dig deep into your pockets for micro-influencers who only cost a fraction of what you would shell out for top celebrities. With a more freed-up budget, you can tap more micro-influencers and reach more sets of followers. Not only do affiliates’ services cost less, but you can also pay them based on performance. This means that, depending on your business model and budget, they only receive their payout if they can meet the objectives for which they were hired, such as generating views and clicks, securing leads, and clinching actual sales.
Tracking your digital metrics such as awareness (followers, impressions, traffic, etc), engagement (likes, shares, comments), and conversion (trackable links, affiliate links), is necessary to make timely checkpoints on the cost effectiveness of your online marketing efforts vis a vis their results. While thorough monitoring and data consolidation and processing may prove challenging, several SaaS companies offer services that allow businesses to accurately measure the effectiveness of their digital strategies at affordable rates.
The right micro-influencers for your fashion brand can be an effective direct-to-consumer digital strategy to strengthen your business’s topline numbers as well as its profitability. They can effectively draw interest from the targeted millennial market with their accessibility and can engage and sustain a meaningful relationship with their loyal follower base — all in a highly cost-effective manner. Thus, it is paramount that you give careful and deliberate thought in choosing the micro-influencers whose values align with your fashion brand and company.