A person doesn’t need to have a million followers to be influential. Micro-influencer marketing is turning the idea that someone needs to be very well known to have clout and influence on its head. But what are micro-influencers?
If your brand has tried its hand at influencer marketing, using established influencers with large followings (more than 100,000 fans) on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter, but hasn’t quite seen the results you’d like, it might be worth giving micro-influencer marketing a try. Micro-influencers are great for brands with micro-budgets who are ready to give influencer marketing a go.
What Is Micro-Influencer Marketing?
Micro-influencer marketing is the use of what many people would consider “everyday people” or “average Joes or Janes” to promote specific products on social media. Those products can range from a facial cleanser or lotion to clothing, food, or a new service.
One of the reasons why micro-influencer marketing has become an option is that surveys have suggested that people trust advice and recommendations from other people that they know and trust. For example, Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising study found that the most credible form of advertising came from other people.
About 80 percent of respondents to the study said that they trust the opinions or recommendations of family and friends. On top of that, two thirds of respondents said that they trusted the information found in online reviews and opinions.
What are Micro-Influencers?
Audience count matters less when looking at micro-influencers than it does when looking at big-name or macro-influencers. In fact, there’s no firm definition when it comes to how many followers make someone a micro-influencer. Some effective micro-influencers have just a few hundred, some have a thousand, and others have tens of thousands.
What matters most is engagement. As AdWeek showed, engagement actually tends to drop the more followers an influencer has. Those with audiences smaller than 1,000 typically have engagement rates of around 15 percent. That means a person with 1,000 engaged fans might earn 150 likes on each post.
People with 1,000 to 9,999 followers often have engagement rates around 7.4 percent. That means a person with 2,000 might also get around 150 likes per post. Engagement rates fall to just 2.4 percent by the time a person has more than 100,000 fans, meaning they might only get 2,400 likes per post.
Another thing that makes a micro-influencer a micro-influencer is the subject or niche he or she posts about. Usually, micro-influencers are super specific in their posts, which is why they don’t appeal to a huge audience.
That actually works out well for marketers who are looking to target a specific demographic or who want to get their messages out to a very targeted audience.
Micro-Influencers Amplify Your Message
One way to look at the value of micro-influencer marketing is to ask the question “would you rather have a campaign with one big message or multiple smaller messages?” Since working with micro-influencers tends to be less expensive than working with a macro-influencer, you’re able to work with more than one person for a lot less money.
Depending on what you’re selling and who your audience is, you might be able to reach more people working with a micro-influencer than if you worked with one big-name influencer.
Mommy Blogger Micro-Influencer Example
For example, you’re selling a new toy designed to help kids learn to read. You could partner with a big-time mommy blogger/influencer with an audience size in the millions. But she might charge $5,000 per post, which may put you at the top of your budget.
If you work with micro-influencers, you can find three mommy bloggers in New England who have maybe 1,000 followers each. Then you another three in Florida who also have a few hundred engaged readers. Then a couple in the Midwest with about 1,000, and so on. You’re able to negotiate with each blogger and get them to agree to charge $100 for a photo of your product on Instagram. The average price is $62, according to the 2017 State of the Creator Economy study.
Even if you work with 10 micro-influencers, you’re still nowhere near the upper limit of your budget. Plus, you now know that your product is being promoted to parents across the US. You’ll also be able to track results to see which influencers have the highest rates of engagement and response.
Size matters, but sometimes it’s those with the smaller number of followers that provide the best return on investment. Try out working with micro-influencers. Then compare their results to what you get from working with bigger, more well known influencers.