What’s a micro-influencer, you ask? Simply put, a micro-influencer is a person or company with a moderately small, but very focused, online presence. Usually having fewer than 100,000 followers – sometimes much fewer – micro-influencers are not major brands. They can be well-known bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers, to name a few, and their followers are characteristically attentive and devoted.
So why would you want to spend time and money involving these micro-influencers in your overall brand strategy? Here are just a few reasons:
Their followers are eager to engage.
Increased engagement typically leads to more customers, higher sales volume, and a stronger online presence. Micro-influencers might be the key to that amplified engagement that takes your business to the next level.
A recent survey by Markerly, a marketing technology partner, showed that when it comes to online engagement, bigger is not always better. In fact, with social media engagement, the opposite is likely true. According to a survey of more than 800,000 Instagram users, Instagram influencers who had 10 million or more followers got likes on only 1.6 percent of their total posts. On the other hand, influencers who had fewer than 1,000 followers got likes on about 8 percent of their posts.
So what’s the ideal number of followers for a micro-influencer to have? According to Markerly’s survey, influencers with 10,000-100,000 followers present an opportunity to reach a large audience without sacrificing rates of engagement. While the survey was specifically targeted at Instagram influencers, the same principle can be applied to influencers on YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, private blogs, and more.
Micro-influencers lead to consumer action.
In a survey of consumers performed by Experticity and the Keller Fay Group, respondents were asked how likely they were to follow a micro-influencer’s recommendation: 82 percent responded with “highly likely.” Can you imagine what that would mean for your brand or your products?
They lend authenticity to your brand or product.
If you were in the market for a specific product or service, would you be more likely to rely on an ad from a major international brand or a word-of-mouth recommendation from your next-door neighbor whom you’ve known for years? If you’re like most people, you’d be more likely to take advice from your neighbor – the person whose opinion you trust and who has proven to be reliable and honest.
Think of micro-influencers as the Internet’s friendly neighbors, promoting businesses and products they believe in to their dedicated fan base. Micro-influencers tend to have super-devoted fans who trust them and their opinions, so when they endorse a product, it means something.
This also means that it can be difficult to develop a partnership with micro-influencers, as they can be quite discriminating when it comes to sponsored content. They won’t get behind a product or service they don’t believe in, so it’s more important than ever to be transparent and authentic in your marketing. As long as you have a valuable product, service, or brand message, you should be able to find a micro-influencer who’s willing to work with you in promoting your business.
They reach a targeted audience.
Imagine this: a brand sponsors a post through a popular celebrity and immediately reaches 3 million social media users. That sounds impressive – and it is – but how many of those people are truly interested in the brand or service that’s being promoted? Potentially only a tiny fraction of the total number of users who see the post.
Alternatively, if a brand sponsors posts through five different niche micro-influencers who have 50,000 followers each, those posts are reaching only 250,000 people, but that’s 250,000 people who are much more likely to be interested in the content. That means they’ll be much more likely to click through to your site, browse around, become a customer, and recommend your business to their friends. Remember that for this to work, the micro-influencer’s audience needs to be a group that will be interested in what you’re offering.
Advertising with micro-influencers is less expensive than advertising through bigger outlets.
One way to save money is to partner with micro-influencers instead of spending mega bucks on advertising in larger outlets. Additionally, the return on your investment will likely be higher.
You may have to do a little more groundwork when engaging with micro-influencers. Because they have a smaller sphere of influence, you’ll likely need to work with multiple micro-influencers to get the overall reach you’re looking for. But the result – a potentially smaller but much more potent network – will be well worth the effort.
Micro-influencers may not initially seem as appealing as big social media stars or other, more traditional forms of marketing. However, their knowledge, authenticity, and sway with their followers make them a marketing sweet spot.