In Brands, Exclusives, Insight, Marketing, People

When it comes to influencer marketing, follower count isn’t everything. A recent report released by Tribe Dynamics showcases the importance of engaging with a community over a simple follower count number. “With follower count, more is not always more,” says Conor Begley, Co-Founder of Tribe Dynamics. Brands with the highest earned media value seek out influence with a high engagement rate versus simply a large follower count. Every modern beauty brand should understand the importance of earned media value, the power of  micro-influencers, and signs of growth and prosperity of these partnerships. Here’s what you should be doing in 2017 according to the Tribe Dynamics Q2 Beauty Report. 

Bank on Earned Media Value

Earned media value gives a specific dollar value to digital word of mouth based on content created across the internet. “Digital earned media is the single largest driving force in beauty today. It is easier than ever to discover new brands and products online, and consumers prefer authentic recommendations from trusted third-party sources over paid advertising.” says Begley. EMV can be a confusing thing to measure because there are so many factors at play, much more than simply how many followers an influencer or brand has. Social media personalities, brands, retailers, and publications all have influence that determines overall media value. It’s important to look across multiple platforms to gauge the true impact, including common social sites like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but also blogs and websites. Engagement is measured in more than just how many likes a post gets. Factors like comments, retweets, repins, and shares have higher engagement value than just likes or views.

Focus on Micro vs Macro Influencers

Prioritizing macro-influencers with high follower counts is a mistake many brands make. “Brands should work to create diverse communities of influencers of all follower counts, engaging influencers that inherently love their brand and products,” says Begley. More successful brands understand that micro-influencers have higher engagement because their content generates authentic passion from their followers. This is key to steady growth and long-term successful partnerships. A smaller follower count can provide more opportunities for growth than more popular pages. The Tribe Dynamics Q2 Beauty Report established that “The large majority of beauty influencers are micro-influencers (under 100,000 followers on Instagram and YouTube). Of those micro-influencers, more than 60% have fewer than 20,000 followers.” Micro-influencers comprise a larger share of the beauty community than macro and have greater engagement from their tight-knit following. A few brands successfully engaging with micro-influencers are Kat Von D Beauty, ELF, Lush, and La Mer. 

Look for Signs of Growth

Tracking the growth of partnerships is important in determining which relationships to invest in. Sustained growth is an important sign that influencers will continue to grow. The frequency of activity of micro-influencers is important as well, because the fastest-growing influencers produced 73% more content than their slow-growing counterparts. Followers also gravitate more towards people who produce varied and unbranded content. “Not only are there simply more micro-influencers, but they also boast significantly higher engagement rates than their more prominent counterparts,” assures Begley. Followers don’t want to feel like they’re constantly being sold to, and they trust someone who has no motive other than to post about what they love.  Tribe Dynamics also reports that “Followers of micro-influencers are twice as likely to ‘like’ and ten times more likely to ‘comment’ on an Instagram post than followers of powerhouse influencers with more than 1M followers.” A healthy mix of branded and non-editorial lifestyle–focused content is key to engaging followers.  

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