While 47% of consumers use ad blockers, influencer marketing is on the rise due to an influencer’s ability to raise brand awareness with their authentic yet branded media. Interestingly, influencers with larger followings charge brands more but engage with their audience at a smaller rate.
So, what is a brand to do? Research shows that the mid-level influencer is easier on the budget yet gets higher engagement and conversion rates for brands. Yes, you read that right. Working with mid-level influencers costs less but does better things for brands. Let’s get moving before your competitors capitalize on this strategy better than you do…
What is a Mid-Level Influencer?
A mid-level influencer is someone who has between 10,000 and 100,000 followers on any given social channel or has 10,000-100,000 monthly views on their blog. They specialize in a topic that aligns with their brand partners and they provide “cravable” content and brand recommendations to their followers.
Working with a mid-level influencer is easier on the budget and brands are seeing powerful results from these content creators. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also easier to get the attention of mid-level influencers than that of celebrities or A-Listers, so brands save time with their outreach.
It’s All About Engagement
84% of consumers make purchase decisions based on recommendations from peers. Fortunately, mid-level influencers are often perceived as peers as opposed to celebrities. Hence, a mid-level influencer’s ability to curate and engage with a smaller audience is extremely effective.
One study found that influencers on Instagram with fewer than 100,000 followers engage with their audience at a rate of about 8% while bigger, “A-list,” social stars engage with their audience at a rate of under 2%.
This engagement is crucial for brands because consumers want to ask questions and feel heard by these brand ambassadors in order to make a purchase decision.
Big Brands Are Harnessing the Mid-Level
Big beauty brand, L’Oreal used the power of mid-level influencers to promote their biolage styling products and attributes this strategy to a 10% growth in their Instagram following.
HelloSociety, an influencer marketing agency acquired by The New York Times, found that when they activate mid-level influencers for their clients, they see 60% higher engagement rates.
Sleek watch brand, Daniel Wellington, works with mid-level influencers who take Instagram photos of themselves wearing the watches in their everyday lives. See an example here. They also provide their influencers with discount codes to give their audiences. This allows them to track direct sales and the influencer can offer something even more valuable to their followers.
Natural care products brand, TOMS of Maine, used mid-level influencers to boost social media engagement. Working with mid-level influencers allowed them to scale the number of influencers they worked with and reported boosting consumer engagement by 600%.
How to Find the Right Fit
If this post doesn’t have you at the edge of your seat and ready to start working with mid-level influencers, nothing will. So here are some quick recommendations on how to get started working with these valuable content creators.
- Prioritize a content fit and areas of expertise. An influencer with 10,000 followers who talks about something niche specific is going to boost a brand way more than an influencer with 200,000 followers whose content topics “sort of” align with a brand.
- Define your influencer marketing strategy by deciding if you want to run it in house, partner with an agency or work with an influencer network. From there, make sure you cap the number of followers an influencer has by 100,000 to ensure optimal engagement.
- Allocate a budget before you reach out to influencers. Then, determine the amount of influencers you can work with based on the rates they quote you. The average cost of a mid-level influencer post depends on a lot of variables, but for time sake, plan on $150-$500 per post.
- Determine goals so that you know how to seed and challenge your influencers with themes and creative content.
Do you have any questions or comments about working with mid-level influencers? We would love to have a conversation with you in the comments below!