Small influencers poised to win more brand followers in 2022

The trend: In social commerce, brands are discovering that less is more when partnering with content creators to feature their products. Social media users with a small but loyal following are becoming the strategic play for younger consumers.

More on this: The popularity of nano- and micro-influencers, who generally wield between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, has grown in large part because TikTok and Instagram gave millions of users the ability to post videos about products and potentially get their content in front of millions of viewers. Brands also covet these influencers for their ability to find audiences with highly specific interests and help extend engagement.

Though conventional wisdom suggests that bigger is better, micro-influencers offer many benefits to brands.

  • Trusted advisers: These creators are trusted by their followers and seen as more authentic. A poll of 9,000 people in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia found that 56% would rather follow normal people on social media than celebrities because of the authenticity of their content.
  • Affordability: Nano- and micro-influencers are less costly than macro-influencers. HypeAuditor data revealed that 70.7% of influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers charge up to $100 per Instagram post, while 76.9% of influencers with more than 1 million followers demand $1,000 or more.
  • Availability: As social media platforms expand tools for creators, the potential micro-influencer market is growing.

Evolution = Opportunity: Social platforms are rolling out new features to give creators more ways to get discovered and make money, and one way they’re doing it is by connecting them with relevant brand partners. At the same time, widening social commerce capabilities are giving brands more ways to gain sales, making online connections to consumers all the more important.

  • Well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, Sephora, and Gillette as well as lesser-known direct-to-consumer companies have found success partnering with micro-influencers.
  • Spending on influencer marketing in the US is expected to rise 12.2% to $4.14 billion in 2022, on top of a 33.6% spike projected for 2021, per our estimates.

The takeaway: Influencer marketing is here to stay, and many brands realize that relevance and authenticity can help woo younger audiences. Partnering with smaller influencers will become a core element in the marketing playbooks of many brands for some time to come.