Influencer marketing has been a technique that companies have used for decades. Initially, top name brands have partnered up with celebrities in ad campaigns. However, with social media dominating the marketing world, brands are now partnering with Instagram and YouTube personalities instead.
Influencers are individuals that have thousands to millions of followers online that (usually) are based around trust and relatability. The term “Influencer” has become a job title in recent years, making many macro-influencers six figures a year.
This proved to be a wildly successful marketing method for brands who hope to get their products and services in front of the consumer’s eyes. However, now companies are seeing a significant return on investment with lesser-known online personalities, called micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers have taken social media by storm. Neglected initially due to the myth that they won’t convert; more businesses have noticed the benefits of investing in micro-influencers instead of mega influencers. So, what are they, and why should you use them?
What Is A Micro-Influencer?
Micro-influencers are online personalities that have anywhere between 1,000-100,000 followers. However, many brands prefer micro-influencers to have 3,000+ followers. Recent studies have shown that micro-influencers have a whopping 85% higher engagement rate than macro-influencers.
Micro-influencers are often deeply connected with their audience. They rely on their followers and will often spend more time to communicate and engage with their audience. It’s a rarity for the same effort to be allocated from macro-influencers, who have thousands of comments and a handful of brand deals on any given day. Many macro-influencers hire agencies to conduct their social media presence, which results in their engagement being less authentic.
The golden ticket for micro-influencers is that they are experts in their chosen niche. Micro-influencers typically make their mark in a specific corner of the market. For example, micro-influencers may be avid travellers, beauty bloggers, fitness gurus or perfume lovers. This results in a core audience of people who are interested in the niche and the products associated with it.
Why Should I Use Micro-Influencers?
Some reports suggest that some macro-influencers can cost as much as $60,000 on a single post. Not only is this alarming, but it is also out of the budget for many companies. You will be appealing to a broad audience for this rate; however, your return on investment may suffer due to reduced engagement rates and declining influencer trust.
However, micro-influencers are significantly more affordable than their larger counterparts. Depending on their following, you may negotiate a review for free products, or, at worst, a smaller fee. This is a much more efficient option for smaller businesses and start-ups. However, even larger companies are starting to notice the benefits of going in this direction.
If your company sets a quarterly influencer marketing budget, you may only be able to afford 1-2 macro-influencers. However, for the same price, you may be able to afford between 5 to 20 micro-influencers. This places your product in front of 5-20 unique audiences.
As mentioned earlier, micro-influencers have significantly better engagement rates with their audience than macro-influencers and celebrities.
Not only does this start the conversation, and potentially place the post on the discover feed, but it strengthens the trust between a micro-influencer and their audience. Micro-influencers often consider their “followers” to be more like peers. 84% of consumers report that they are more likely to purchase a product suggested by a peer than an advertised product.
This statistic alone suggests that a micro-influencer is more likely to convert then a macro-influencer, or celebrity.
Furthermore, micro-influencers are more likely to receive brand deals than larger online profiles. This more strategic and less frequent product placement will typically have a more substantial impact on a consumer than a profile that is continuously being sponsored by brands.
Marketing experts suggest starting niche and then broadening out. Majority of micro-influencers follow this formula because it works! They determine an active community of people that have one thing in common. This results in a community of engaged people who are active in one particular industry.
This attests to be useful for businesses looking to collaborate. For example, if you own a perfume company and have pinpointed a YouTuber in the perfume niche, you can assume that all 14,000 of her followers are probably perfume-lovers as well.
This way, you’re getting your product in front of 14,000 people who are excited about your industry. By finding a micro-influencer within your niche industry, you’re more likely to convert sales than broader profiles.
Provides More Social Proof
Social proof is one of the most significant assets of a company. Consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service that has been highly rated by other costumers. This is why Yelp and Google Reviews exists! It’s a go-to for people who are deciding to take the plunge and purchase a product.
By working with more micro-influencers, you are gathering more content and social proof from multiple people that support your brand – as opposed to the 1 or 2 that you may work with if you hire larger influencers.
Not only does this create more social proof for your brand, but it also creates more content for you to build your social profiles with. Instead of hiring expensive photographers, you will have high-quality photos and video by micro-influencers that are strategic with editing.
How To Find Micro-Influencers?
The best way to find micro-influencers is to get active within your niche! Browse through social media profiles (such as YouTube and Instagram) to find micro-influencers that are working in the industry that your product or services are.
You’ll want to find micro-influencers that will appeal to the target demographic of your branding. Pay attention to age, location, and gender when choosing the best micro-influencers for you.
TOP TIP: Try to find local micro-influencers to your city! Influencers, and consumers alike, tend to support local brands and companies. If you can find a local micro-influencer, you may benefit from lower pricing and a more enthusiastic post.
One of the best things about hiring a micro-influencer is that they are accessible to businesses: both financially and physically. A good micro-influencer will be easy to contact and will be excited to build relationships with brands.