Ah, Fyre Festival. What have you done?
The debut ‘luxury’ festival in the Bahamas promoted by Ja Rule & a host of high-profile social media influencers went belly up. It was essentially theft, whereby tickets sold started at $1,500 USD and went up to $200k. The event was a disaster, the festival-goers were treated with third-world accommodation and food that wouldn’t be tolerated in the fastest of fast food restaurants. It was basically shit.
I’ve been following along the backlash on social media, in particular LinkedIn where many experts are throwing their hat in the ring and giving their 2 cents about how and where it all went wrong. The most common theme seems to be how ‘influencer marketing’ is now dead and influencers will no longer have any influence after a select few promoted the disastrous festival. One article which has 12,000 shares on social media says that “Instagram influencers are utter nonsense” and they have “braggadocious vanity”. The latter may actually be true in some cases.
Personally, I think that the article is pretty vain.
I make it very clear that I use influencer marketing for my business, Uncle Jack, and have benefited immensely from it. The influencer game in 2017 is not the way it was in 2015. Now, every consumer business wants to get in on the action and use big influencers to promote their product. This has lead to huge demand for the influencer industry which has jacked up prices. The times are a-changin’ in the influencer world and the necessity to have ‘big’ influencers posting about your brand is less relevant now.
2017 is not the year of the influencer as proclaimed by many experts, it’s the year of the micro-influencer.
2017 is the year of the micro-influencer.
Let me explain…
The logic is pretty simple. When you engage a huge influencer with millions of (broad) followers, the likelihood is that only a small % of the followers will be even slightly interested in your business. Micro-influencers are niche influencers with smaller but more targeted followers. Micro-influencers genuinely care about your brand, they believe in your product and often they’ll accept product rather than money to champion your brand. I’ve had a quote from a huge Instagram influencer with 6 million followers to make one post on her Instagram which was in the ball park of $35,000 USD ($46,000 AUD) in which we would have no creative control. My product sells for around $100, so we would have to sell 500 + products to break-even. In my experience, we wouldn’t even get close. The math just doesn’t work! Enter the micro-influencer. Micro-influencers have a niche following that are more likely to be interested in what you’re offering. For example, if I sell headphones for athletes, I can directly target 30 – 50 micro-influencers with followings from 1k – 50k to post about my business and cut-through would be higher than engaging one huge influencer with a broad following. Why? Because the people who follow the micro-influencers actually care about they’re posting about in that niche. They have credibility in that niche, they don’t just promote anything that they can get their hands on.
If I spent $46,000 on Facebook Ads…
Granted, if I spent big on a huge influencer I could associate that person with my brand. But how long is that association really going to last? A few weeks? A few months if you’re lucky. If I went and spent $46,000 on Facebook Ads this is what I estimate: @ $0.65 per click, I could generate 70,769 clicks to my website If I convert this traffic at a very conservative 1.5%, this would generate 1,061 sales. If my product sells for $100, that’s $106,153 in sales.
If I spent $46,000 on Micro-influencers
Assuming that each influencer would cost me $50 in product and/or fees, I could reach 920 targeted micro-influencers. If the average following of each micro-influencer is 25,000 I would reach 23 million people. So, what’s the verdict? The big influencers are not all they’re made out to be from a business perspective. You would be far better off investing those dollars into pay-per-click advertising or better yet, highly-targeted and niche micro-influencers.
2017 is the year of the micro-influencer.
Photo: Rose Bertram Instagram