Companies have been spending a lot of money in the past few years on a rather new form of advertising, social influencers. Social media has opened up opportunities for those with large followings to easily capitalize on their followers. But according to this article by the Wall Street journal, the influencer market is not as lucrative as it once was. Instead it is time to take a closer look at college micro-influencers.
Brands pay influencers thousands of dollars to post photos with products, to promote brands with tags and hashtags. However, Instagram influencer rates are declining as audiences become more aware of plethora of ads popping up on their timelines. However the Wall Street Journal article also cites that the money being paid to influencers is still on the rise. Companies may pay celebrity influencers with over 1 million followers at least $100,000 for a single post.
College micro-influencers are the most interesting part of this market. Usually these influencers have around 1,000 followers. They are able to reach their followers in a different way than celebrities and other large social influencers can. College students with a few thousand followers see much higher engagement with their posts (likes, comments, replies) than celebrities do. They can be part of the brand’s target demographic too. For example, a company might pay a social influencer to promote their product to female college students, but why not hire the female college student to promote it herself?
Furthermore, college micro-influencers have a greater influence on their followers. Many of their followers actually know them and are much more likely to consider the opinion of they’ve met vs. a social influencer whose job is to advertise on Instagram. Micro-influencers are a smart move financially too. They will post for much more reasonable prices than big social influencers. Posts for nano-influencers usually pay less than $500.
Global brand spending on the influencer market is at an all-time high (estimated to be at least $4 billion in 2020). Brands need to make sure they’re spending advertising dollars wisely. College micro-influencers are an underrated and effective method.