We – the SMI (social-media influencer) teachers – I admit – were wrong. It is not true that the mega-influencers lost their influence. It is not true that micro-influencers took over. Or it’s not the whole story at least. Let me explain:
Who are the mega-influencers anyhow?
Mega-influencers are defined as someone that owns a social media account, and has >1M followers, and influence, such as:
1. Short History Background
At “the beginning”…, the journalists, the media, brands, and…everyone – when they say the word “Influencer” that’s what they refer to were the mega, the celebs, the super models, the insta-famous…. Those were the “most beautiful”, most flashy, most glorious boys and girls, such as Kanye West and his Wife Kim, Huda Kattan, Lilly Singh, Serena Williams, etc. all very famous, very public figures. Those were THE influencers, by all.
But to hire their influence, you’ll had to pay a fortune (hundreds if not millions of dollars per brand deal on Instagram), and so brands, while they were searching for something else (because ads smells funny those days, and still are), they stumbled upon SMALLER (and smaller and smaller and the Nanos..), cheaper and yet have their own advantage SMI. What advantages one will ask: apparently it was found out that the small ones – their engagement rates is by far higher than mega (and that’s not a surprise, as they are smaller, and can communicate back-and-forth with all their engagers, and their communities feels like home).
The Mega’s KPI (stands for Key Performance Index, it’s the way you benchmark performance) – we found out – also didn’t make sense – it was number of.. followers (which we know by now is not the only SMI KPI, as big amount of followers don’t bring big amount of engagement)
So then the trend “switched” to the smaller SMIs – also called micro and Nano-influencers – those were called influencers too, side-by-side with their mega competitors.
As with other trends, it turned to be dramatic and exciting and it aimed to take over the mega ones, i.e. the old crown-holders. The Megas were often scolded of not only being entitled and evils…but they are worthless in their influence neither in their content creation. In other words, they bring no influence, they are not content creators, nor influencers. One newspaper article after another, one expert blog/speak after another, the Micro-influencers is the only way to go, G-D save the new Queens, that was the trend…
However – something didn’t smell right, it didn’t:
1.a. Miss Piggy was forgotten
Yes, that’s right, how can we have forgotten Miss Piggy (if I could only noticed the betray, I should have known something is wrong then!)
Miss Piggy is a well established Mega-influencer. Her KPIs are beyond amazing , behind any imagination…: close to 5% engagement (million of followers commenting over her Twitter/Instagram/etc posts!!), for eg., not to mention original, wittty, great details, NOT boring, content.
Apparently, there are many Mega-Influencers that perform really well!
So… let me say it:
Many mega-influencers DO influence, many of them DO do a good job. In what, though:
2. Megas Bring Sales
Micro-influencers can’t bring sales, and that’s amazing and against the odd (because social media was built to build communities, not sales).
Mathematically, you need a massive massive traffic, to be converted to real sales units. Micro-influencers don’t have such massive of traffic/eyeballs. Mega do, so although most Mega are very general (eg “lifestyle” or “singer” Vs micro-influencer that can be “$29 perfumed that smell like Chinese Orange in Durham County”), still, 0.4% conversion rate of 3M users will bring actual sales revenue to pay company salaries. 0.4% off 10,000 won’t.
3. Megas Bring VALUE to The Brand
The above is a WSJ news, where buying shares at Kim Kardanshian’s helped Cutty Inc – a beauty brand – shares going up 13.4% in one of the worse time for the beauty industry – COVID19 pandemic.
It can be the other way, though:
In fact recently when VCs are looking to invest in a new startup, they will invest much more if one of its founder is “influencer founder”, a term coined by…
4. Megas Bring Attention
The Megas bring – almost all agree – attention to the brand, new product, new ideas, etc.
Mega has tons of followers. No, those are not managed (usually) to be a part of a family, a home, a community, but oh yes for awareness, and attention that they’ll give, once their Mega announce their love to something, over their social media posts (remind them to ad “#Ads” to their content please?).
Here are two examples of audience response to Megas posts:
5. Many of Megas DO Have High-Engagement Rate
Many of Megas DO Have High-Engagement rate, it is not true they all don’t, here are some examples:
Any engagement of over 2% from over 2 millions is amazing.
6. Bringing Themselves to The Content
But do they deliver content? Are they really content creators? Well, most Megas bring different content than non-Mega:
While small SMI needs to work 2-4 days creating original somehow artistic photography, and write and re-write beautiful words to it, Mega don’t need to.
Instead, they take “regular” content, insert their name (and sometimes face) into it, and viola, that content become “gold”. THEY are the content they create, and it’s working like a charm!
And so, the answer is YES, they do create content.
To conclude, don’t turn your back to Mega-influencers – if you do have large budget, and if you do look for huge exposure, and sometimes engagements too, and yes yes yes – sales – do the influencer marketing deal with them.
PS/It is advisable to include small influencers in your campaigns too, make it more interesting this way.
Good luck, heroes!
SMI* = Social Media Influencers