The word “influencer” is thrown around a lot today, and many people have at least some degree of understanding of the term. But have you ever heard of a “micro influencer?”
What are micro influencers?
Micro influencers are online personalities with somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Depending on your experience with digital advertising through social media, this may seem like either fairly low or fairly high numbers. Compared to the average Instagram user, they are pretty high. But if your organization is considering hiring Robert Downey Jr. to Tweet about your product, you might be wondering why anyone would pay a micro influencer for an endorsement. The secret is that these micro influencers typically read as more relatable to their fans than larger influencers, and also tend to have a more dedicated and attached following associated with them. The micro influencer market is growing, and smaller social media users are getting a multitude of interactions.
Microinfluencers at work
Sperry and Audible are some notable companies using social media to spearhead micro influencer campaigns on Instagram. These are two gigantic and notable brands, but they used relatively small influencers to make a big impact in the marketing world over the past few years. If you have not heard of them, Sperry is a boat shoe manufacturing brand that attracted numerous Instagram users who were already posting occasional photos of their products. They were able to track down micro influencers that had ideals that were in line with theirs, and enlisted their help for free by offering the chance to be featured on the official Sperry Instagram account–by simply tagging them in their photos and showcasing their products. The audio book service provided by Amazon, Audible, took a different approach by paying small influencers to endorse their services. Again, Audible tracked down users that had both followers and a history of appreciating literature and other values of the company.
These tactics from Sperry and Audible proved wildly successful and they are still regarded as some of the best micro influencer campaigns to this day. After all, micro influencers tend to engage followers at a significantly higher rate than larger influencers. Reportedly, micro influencers that are at 1,000 followers consistently get an 85% higher engagement rate than those with 100,000 followers. So, if your company hires an influencer with 1,000 followers you are sacrificing the number of viewers for a number of meaningful connections. Users tend to trust and interact with micro influencers more because they are seen more as peers to the average social media user rather than as a larger force who will not recognize them. Using micro influencers for advertising gives the audience an opportunity to put themselves into the shoes of the person who is being sponsored. As time goes on and technology advances, more and more people share large chunks of their lives online. Essentially, what a good number of micro influencers are doing is just that, and it is why their followers are so captivated. There is always the promise of, “That could be me”, or “They might respond to my comment.”
According to a study from January 2020:
- 57% of marketers claim that influencer posts outperform their own original content.
- Around 70% of marketers sponsor influencers in some way or another to support their brands.
- The marketing industry surrounding influencers will likely reach around $10 billion by 2022.
Benefits to using microinfluencers
The most important benefits to utilizing micro influencers as a business are affordability and authenticity. Celebrities charge top dollar to have a product or service featured in one of their posts. This is money that a lot of businesses simply do not have to spare, and micro influencers are notoriously more affordable to hire than celebrities. Rates of the average micro influencer fluctuate, but average roughly $1,000 for a post from someone with around 100,000 followers. On top of these numbers, 99% of micro influencers claim that they firmly believe in the services that they endorse which offers the undeniable authenticity that bridges the gap between a company and consumers.
How to find microinfluencers
So now that you know so much about micro influencers, how do you find them? Most importantly, keep an eye on social media. If your brand has an existing Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube page then search those platforms for either your organization’s name or keywords related to your services or products. This ensures that you are establishing a genuine connection with a micro influencer who will be excited to work with you. Similar advice goes for newer platforms like Snapchat or Twitch as they breed up and coming micro influencers and even encourage continuous feedback and communication between the creator and viewers. Wherever you look, be sure to inspect the quality of content and follower engagement in the comment sections. This can help you to avoid individuals who purchase social media followers and create fake online identities. Hashtag searches are also a great tool for certain platforms. Searching for a hashtag that includes your brand name can help you to find people who are already engaging with and committing to your business. Additionally, there are influencer databases like Scrunch (scrunch.com) and Tinysponsor (tinysponsor.com) that offer statistics and pricing on influencers of all sizes in a familiar freelance-style reminiscent of Upwork or Fiverr.
There may be safety in numbers on social media, but it is hard to beat the affordability, reliability, and authenticity associated with advertising through micro influencers. Whether you are a small business trying to effectively use your marketing budget or a larger corporation that wants to appear as more relatable to your consumers, micro influencers are the future of digital marketing through social media.