Influencer Marketing: Why Micro-Influencers are the Future

By Charlie Patel July 20, 2020 0 Comments
What are Micro-Influencers
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What if I told you the future of influencer marketing are micro-influencers, would you believe me? You might not have actually heard the term or know what is a micro-influencer. To most people, the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the word “influencer” are people such as Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian.

However, it’s difficult to relate to influencers of that size as they get substantially larger every year and are out of reach. These days, more and more brands are drawn to the idea of working with content creators more relatable to a smaller yet engaged audience.

Influencer marketing is now a multi-billion-dollar industry. However, there’s more than one size of influencer available to choose from. While it’s easy to get bogged down in thinking that the size of a person’s following on social media is the biggest factor in determining their value, it isn’t always that simple. Influencer marketing isn’t just about getting eyes on your content, it’s about attracting the right audience. 

Micro-influencers could be the key to generating real engagement for your brand through social media campaigns. Here’s a guide to the micro-influencer revolution. 

What is a Micro-Influencer?

A micro-influencers is an ordinary person who is paid by brands to promote their products on social media. Unlike their more popular counterparts, micro-influencers have a lower following but tend to be the trusted voice in their smaller circles.

These “everyday people” take advantage of an emotional connection with an audience of several thousand people, to promote products and services. 

There’s even a term for those that have audiences smaller than micro-influencers. They’re called nano-influencers. More and more brands are seeking these type of influencers for their campaigns.

One of the reasons why micro-influencers and their nano counterparts have become so valuable is that plenty of research suggests that people trust the recommendations and advice that come from people they know. Because micro-influencers focus on developing a real connection with their audience, they benefit from that extra layer of trust from their audience making them ideal to promote a brands’ product or service. 

How Many Followers Does a Micro-Influencer Have?

Micro-influencers are often labeled as such based on their follower count; however, the exact range varies. Most platforms seem to be aligned in that the average range falls between 10,000 to 100,000 followers for a micro-influencer. On the other hand, nano-influencers typically have fewer than 10,000 people in their communities. 

Of course, it’s not just the number of followers that make a micro-influencer stand out. These individuals also have a specific niche or subject to cater to. Rather than trying to capture the attention of a broad pool of people, micro-influencers attract a specific audience demographic. This logically leads to:

  • more conversions
  • higher engagement
  • greater cost-efficiency per customer

In other words, when it comes to influencer marketing, it’s not just the quantity of followers that counts – it’s the audience quality and engagement too. 

Here’s a quick table I whipped up to explain the different influencer types:

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NOTE: There’s no single definitive source on these audience sizes and labels so if you search elsewhere, it’s likely they may classify micro-influencers as having 1k – 100k, or 5k – 100k, or some other range. I’m using the most common ranges for these influencer types based on what I’ve seen commonly referenced throughout the industry.

How Much Do Micro-Influencers Make?

One of the great things about micro-influencers is that they’re often more affordable than macro-influencers or celebrities. Many larger influencers charge a fortune for their sponsored posts on social media. For instance, Kylie Jenner gets about $1.2 million per post. Is that crazy?

On the other hand, 97% of the micro-influencers on Instagram charge less than $500 for a single promotional post. This makes it easier for businesses of all sizes to get involved with influencer marketing. You could even work with dozens of micro-influencers at once and still pay less than you would for a macro-influencer or celebrity influencer. 

Depending on the platform, the costs will increase. For example, producing a video for YouTube is likely to cost more due to content production costs, length, and type of campaign.

For bloggers, these rates will vary greatly based on the following factors:

  • Blog category / audience demographics
  • Traffic
  • Content quality
  • Domain authority
  • Ability to drive more views through social channels or an email list

We’ve seen rates from $100 – $2,000 for stellar pieces quoted by bloggers for brand campaigns.

Why Micro-Influencers are Better

If you’re wondering whether working with smaller influencers is beneficial, all you need to do is ask yourself what’s important for your campaign. Would you rather have greater reach or more engagement? While larger influencers get your message in front of more people, those people won’t necessarily interact with the post or connect with your brand. 

Here are some reasons why micro-influencers are ideal:

1. Micro-influencers have better engagement

Markerly conducted an interesting study into Instagram engagement a while ago and found that as the number of followers for an influencer increases, their number of comments and likes from followers generally goes down. The analysis found that:

  • Users with fewer than 1,000 followers had an engagement rate of approx 8%
  • Users with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers had an engagement rate of approx 4%
  • Users with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers had an engagement rate of approx 2.4%

Given such figures, it’s no surprise that we recommend working with influencers who have audience sizes in the 1,000 to 100,000 range – especially for new campaigns. Using micro-influencers, companies can obtain higher engagement rates and more targeted traffic.

2. Their audience is more targeted

You don’t just want to reach anyone. The aim of any marketing campaign is to connect with the people who are most likely to resonate with your brand. Micro-influencers have far more targeted followers than influencers with millions of people in their audience. This offers brands far more attention from potential customers.

A micro-influencer’s audience is more targeted and dedicated to the influencer, which makes them more attractive to potential sponsors than the big names in the niche.

For example, rather than partnering with one celebrity on a campaign, you could enlist 30-40 micro-influencers to work on the same project to achieve a higher conversion rate and more sponsored content. What’s more, around 82% of customers say that they’re more likely to follow recommendations made by a micro-influencer. 

3. Micro-influencers are cost-effective 

As the industry originally focused on mega influencers, micro-influencers have not been utilized as much by brands. Therefore, the opportunities available to micro-influencers have been limited until now. Based on our own experience, we’ve found that micro-influencers are substantially more cost-effective than their counterparts.

With a more targeted audience, better engagement rates, and less risk, it’s important to understand that the largest opportunity for brands resides in this category. The costs to hire micro-influencers also makes them more agreeable to both large and small brands.

4. Micro-influencers are more authentic 

Micro-influencers are more like you and me. That makes the content that they share more authentic and engaging. Instagram users that only have a few thousand followers will often post their own content, engage with followers through comments, and be more personable within their post captions. All of these subtle differences make a micro-influencer more authentic compared to a brand or a celebrity with an entire team behind them. 

The authenticity of a micro-influencer can help you to build your company’s credibility by showing that you know how to connect with real people. Additionally, Instagram also changed it’s algorithm a while ago to imitate the algorithm on Facebook. This means that the posts that appear first in Instagram feeds are usually the ones from your peers – hence, micro-influencers get more content seen by their targeted audience.  

5. Micro-influencers are more flexible

Most micro-influencers are operating as individuals. they do not have agents or teams that manage their collaboration or sponsorship requests like celebrities do. Therefore, it is faster and easier to reach an agreement for the production of sponsored content.

For example, brands can request rights to repurpose the user-generated content for their own marketing efforts. In this process, brands can benefit by offering to repurpose the content and linking back to the influencer giving credit where it’s due. It’s a win-win for both parties because micro-influencers need exposure to continue growing their profiles whereas brands need such authentic user-generated content.

How Do I Reach Out to Micro-Influencers?

It’s also a lot easier to reach out to micro-influencers and build the connections that are crucial to your brand. 

If you use social media regularly, you may also be aware of some of the influencers in your space. However, there are plenty of tools available to help you find the people in your network that have the right kind of following to drive more traffic to your brand.

Triberr for Brands

For instance, tools like our own Triberr influencer marketing platform for brands highlight amazing micro-influencers that consistently put out great content. Our influencer marketing program for brands and agencies allows them to see all influencers based on their audience size and category.  

Using a tool like Triberr, you can easily find relevant influencers in your circles. This reduces the amount of work that you need to put into building a relationship with a micro-influencer before you begin working with them. 

Manual Search

If you’ve got the time and motivation, influencers can be found through advanced searches on Google or other platforms.

  1. Google – use advanced search operators to identify users who have mentioned the words ‘influencer’ or ‘sponsored’ in their bio. This is usually a clear sign that they’re open to sponsored opportunities.
  2. Instagram or Twitter Search – search for posts that contain the hashtag #ad or #sponsored to identify influencers. Thereafter, filter your results for micro-influencers.
  3. Third Party Databases – most of the supposed ‘influencer marketing” platforms are actually just large scraped databases of social profiles. They could be valuable if you’re looking for a starting point, but it’s worth noting that in most cases the users aren’t even aware they’re in that database. Therefore, when reaching out to them, don’t be surprised by their responses.

Influencer Marketing Platforms

There are several other platforms that offer databases and allow you to manage your campaigns within the same account. Though, many of these are niche, platform, or size-specific, and require a minimum budget.

Once you’ve found the right influencers for your campaign, take time to narrow down to the most suitable candidates, and diligently review their profiles.

Ready to Work with Micro-Influencers?

What do you think? Are micro-influencers suitable for your next brand campaign?

Influencer Marketing: Why Micro-Influencers are the Future
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Charlie Patel

Charlie is always up to something. As a serial entrepreneur, he is CEO of Triberr - a content marketing suite and influencer marketing platform, Podcasts.com - a leading podcast host and directory, 99 Robots - a digital marketing & WordPress development agency, Ampfluence - an Instagram growth agency, and several other ambitious startups. He likes random emails from users, loves story-telling, but dislikes being in the spotlight.

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