Micro-Influencer Marketing: How Zara Saw Success

Micro-Influencer Marketing: How Zara Saw Success

Khalipha Ntloko
3 October 2019

In a world where seeing social media accounts with well over 100 000 followers has almost become the standard, it may be tempting for marketers to use these high-profile influencers to promote products. But studies show that the real influence lies in those accounts that have a smaller following. With only 60% of consumers saying that their peers impact their purchasing decisions, brands need to tap into the effectiveness of micro-influencers, who are your everyday people with less followers but passionate and focused on a specific topic.  

This was proven during the #DearSouthAfrica campaign that Zara recently rolled out for their official online store opening in South Africa. Without using celebrities or macro-influencers only, Zara was the top trending name globally just one day before their launch. Why? Because the fact remains that micro-influencers, with their highly engaged audience, are more effective when it comes to marketing

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The Power of Micro Influencers 

Marketers now know that when it comes to influencers, the number of followers isn’t the best metric to use when determining influence. People relate to people, and for audiences today, authenticity and relatability is the connection that they seek towards a brand – something that micro-influencers offer. With less followers, micro-influencers have a niche audience base that is more loyal, and ultimately, highly engaged. 

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This is why Zara’s #DearSouthAfrica campaign generated online conversations that reached over 6 million people worldwide – all just one day before the online store launch. On the actual day of the launch, there were close to 8 million people engaging with the ‘Zara’ and #DearSouthAfrica on social media. By using about 60 micro-influencers during the campaign, the outcome not only created a high level of brand awareness for Zara, but their strategic use of micro-influencers saw the brand tap into a wider audience that they would not have been able to if they had just used macro-influencers instead.

Cutting Costs But Increasing Impact

Many social media users on Twitter praised Zara, a global fashion brand, for going against the grain by using micro-influencers for the #DearSouthAfrica campaign. Using micro-influencers in your marketing strategy has a two-fold effect. 

Firstly, micro-influencers are cost-effective. Many celebrities or macro-influencers may ask for higher monetary compensation to do campaigns. Instead of compensating a celebrity or macro-influencer with R15 000 for a single post, why not get 20 micro-influencers and pay them R750 each for a post? You not only increase your audience reach through 20 different channels of influence, but you’re reaching a more highly engaged audience 20 times. See how effective this was for Zara’s #DearSouthAfrica campaign?

For brands who may be tighter on budget, consider compensation in the form of a trade exchange when working with micro-influencers. This usually entails supplying the influencer with products in exchange for content. This can help to establish a relationship between your brand and the micro-influencer, leading to more collaborations in the future. 

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Secondly, your brand’s visibility increases because of the impact they have. A recent study showed some interesting insights regarding the engagement rate of influencers:

  • Influencers with at least 10 000 followers have 3.6% engagement
  • Influencers with between 5000 to 10 000 followers have 6.3% engagement 
  • Influencers with between 1000 to 5000 followers have 8.8% engagement

Less is more, and in the case of the Zara #DearSouthAfrica campaign, using micro-influencers proved how much more they have to offer in marketing strategies. With so much traction being generated around the campaign’s hashtag a day before the launch, users from across the globe engaged with the campaign’s branded hashtag. This created quick online awareness that worked far better than traditional marketing strategies such as print, billboards or broadcast. 

The Groundswell Approach

Speaking of quick online awareness, if you want to reach as many people as possible across as many platforms as you can, micro-influencers are the way to go. Known as The Groundswell Approach, this is where any online environment is used for people to create the content they want in the way that they want. For a brand, this is a golden approach to building brand awareness and exposure. Zara saw the results of this approach with all the awareness that their hashtag created. 

What makes this approach even more effective is the consistency of the content. Remember that if you were to use only 5 macro-influencers for a campaign, their content only gets seen a few times by their audience. But if you used 20 micro-influencers, there’s a more consistent stream of content being shown around your brand. Spread this number of micro-influencers across different platforms, and you’ll have regular brand exposure where people are constantly seeing and talking about you. 

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Authentic Content Will Always Win

Not only are micro-influencers cost-effective, but they do so with quality and authentic content.  Regardless of how many followers they have, micro-influencers are known to still give great content in the medium that they know best. From engaging Instagram Stories to tweets containing images, the use of micro-influencers means you’ll get multimedia content that is quality and authentic.

But what adds to the authenticity of micro-influencers is their ability to get personal with their audience. Much of the success Zara saw during this campaign was how micro-influencers created content that got their audience involved. Many micro-influencers used Instagram to share details on how to use the Zara mobile app, while Twitter was used to ask their followers to help them choose items they should buy online. Both of these platforms showed how ready these influencers are to get personal and engage with their followers, which builds more trust within their audience base and towards your brand.

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So what can we take away from the success that Zara saw during this campaign?

Micro-influencers should not be ignored in marketing strategies. If Zara showed us one thing, it is that they have great value and incredible impact. With a highly engaged following, micro-influencers provide brand exposure that audiences will trust more. Your brand will truly benefit from the trusted credibility and personal connections that micro-influencers have.

Want to get this kind of in-depth analysis for every marketing campaign you ever run? Request a free demo today of our Social Media Monitoring tool from the Meltwater Africa Team – and see how easily and efficiently you can gain valuable insights to drive campaigns that will only ever be successful.