What Is a Micro Influencer?
Influencer marketing represents one of the most significant shake-ups in the marketing sphere since… well, maybe ever. Today’s brands have been handed a direct line to consumers by way of the public figures they know, love and trust.
And successful businesses have latched onto this revolution in marketing efforts that feel genuinely organic. Globally, businesses spent an estimated 16.4 billion dollars on influencer marketing in 2022 alone.1 It’s a massive market that comes with astronomical potential.
But in a world of big campaigns and bigger budgets, there’s one aspect of influencer marketing that doesn’t have to be enormous: an influencer’s following.
Welcome to the era of the micro influencer.
What is a micro influencer?
So what is an influencer anyway? When the average person thinks of an influencer, they likely picture a YouTube celebrity sensation or a wildly successful TikTok creator with the population of a small country wrapped around their finger. But these days, influencers come in all shapes and sizes.
Micro influencers are online personalities whose followings range from 10,000 to 100,000.2 Some brands may shy away from these “small fry” contenders, but the truth is that micro influencers can deliver in ways that household names can’t.
Types of influencers
The number of followers that constitutes a “class” of influencer varies depending on the source. However, in general, influencers can be grouped into the following four categories:
- Nano influencer – These small-scale social media figures have fewer than 10,000 followers (but ideally more than 1,000).
- Micro influencer – These smaller influencers have managed to amass 10,000 to 100,000 followers.
- Macro influencer – These up-and-comers have between 100,000 and 1 million online followers.
- Mega influencer – These are the global icons; mega influencers boast more than 1 million followers.
At under 100,000 followers, micro influencers sit in the “Goldilocks zone.” They’re not so unknown that no one’s paying attention to them, but they’re not untouchable big shots either. There’s an approachability about them that allows brands of any size to experiment with influencer marketing in the future or present.
6 rewards businesses can reap working with micro influencers
There’s a reason that partnering with micro-influencers is one of our 8 influencer marketing trends for brands to watch. Scratch that—there are actually 6 reasons why the majority of brands today prefer to work with micro influencers.3
#1 Micro influencers cover niche markets
When macro and mega influencers reach superstar status, they inevitably appeal to the broadest possible audience. But micro influencers still cater to a specific crowd.
Think of it this way: There’s simply no way that all 18 million of an influencer’s followers will share interests that align with a brand’s campaign. However, there is a high likelihood that the 12,000 users who follow a micro influencer will respond well to a sponsored product that fits into the influencer’s niche.
Ultimately, views and impressions mean nothing if they’re not culled from the right people. Let’s imagine two scenarios where a power tool brand takes on influencer marketing:
- Scenario 1 – The tool company teams up with a soccer player with 22 million followers. The sponsored content post receives 1.8 million impressions from sports fans around the world.
- Scenario 2 – The tool company partners with a DIY micro influencer with 35,000 followers. The sponsored content post receives 20,000 impressions from enthusiastic carpenters.
While the numbers in the first scenario may make it seem like a more successful campaign, there’s more to the story:
- Even though there’s likely some overlap between soccer fans and power tool users, many of those impressions will be wasted on an audience that isn’t invested in the product to begin with.
- On the other hand, the company can nearly guarantee that the vast majority of the micro influencer’s followers will be interested in power tools.
#2 Users engage more with micro influencers
Mega influencers are celebrities. When social media users comment on a famous person’s post, they don’t expect a response. They might hope or pray for one, but the odds aren’t in their favor.
However, micro influencers feel approachable and relatable to their followers. They’re not international supermodels or popstars; they’re regular, down-to-Earth people.
Perhaps this approachability is what causes users to engage with micro influencers’ posts about 60% more than they do with macro influencers.4
And because the communities surrounding micro influencers are smaller, users don’t simply comment to engage with the influencer; often, they also communicate with each other. These extra likes and comments give the sponsored post an organic boost, which can help it perform even better.
#3 Micro influencers come across as more authentic
Over the years, consumers have become accustomed to the influencer marketing strategy. When social media users see a macro influencer hawking a product, they recognize that it’s an influencer doing what they do best: Endorsing a product for a paycheck.
Micro influencers don’t suffer from this stigma. They’re seen as experts in their field—experts who would only recommend a product if they genuinely like it. Brands can lean on this built-in trust to tap into their target audience.
#4 Campaigns are more cost-effective
A single social media post from a mega influencer can cost more than $10,000—often much, much more.5
Micro influencers, alternatively, may charge as little as $100 for a feed post.5 Many small-scale creators will even accept products as payment. The difference is night and day: micro influencers are much more affordable.
And in addition to this numbers game, there are two more potential hazards involved with mega-influencer partnerships:
- High-risk investments – When companies spend an eye-watering number on landing a partnership with one mega-influencer, they put all their eggs in one basket. If the influencer does something to have their account suspended or gets mixed in a PR scandal, that investment disappears.
- Trying out new approaches – Another benefit of the lower cost? The ability to experiment and take risks. For example, brands could run A/B testing by teaming up with 20 smaller influencers and giving them all different instructions. Once the performance results of each post come in, identifying the best possible course of action for the rest of the campaign is easy.
Ultimately, micro influencer’s more accessible price tag means brands can partner with dozens of creators to cast a wider net—all for less than a single macro or mega influencer. In this way, working with smaller accounts lets businesses hedge their bets all while diversifying their marketing strategy and creativity.
#5 Communication is straightforward
For all but the biggest brands, catching a mega influencer’s attention can be next to impossible. These social media superstars often have managers, assistants or legal professionals who sift through partnership requests on their behalf, so brands may never negotiate directly with the influencer. Requests can sit unread for weeks, and responses can be slow.
Coordinating with micro influencers is much easier. Since their inboxes aren’t flooded with emails, brands can hear back much sooner. Many micro influencers will even answer DMs from businesses. Micro influencers are typically small-scale creators who may not make a living off of their craft, so they’re more likely to meet any interest from a brand with excitement.
Without a manager or assistant in the middle, brands have a direct and open line of communication with their hired micro influencers. From there, providing updates, giving feedback, and planning future campaigns becomes effortless.
#6 Relationships can blossom
In the same vein, micro influencers tend to have fewer ongoing brand deals. This relative freedom allows them to dedicate more time and effort to one brand.
Through this care and attention to detail, genuine relationships can form. Micro influencers who may have been unaware of a brand can suddenly become its most ardent supporter. One sponsored post turns into a series of videos, and an influencer becomes a brand ambassador.
These long-term partnerships are a win-win for influencers and brands:
- Influencers gain credibility by teaming up with an established company.
- The company builds familiarity among an influencer’s loyal followers.
And, if the micro influencer ever explodes in popularity, they’ll bring their favorite brand along with them.
Power Digital: Make a massive impact with a micro influencer campaign
Micro influencers offer brands of every size and stripe access to influencer marketing at an affordable rate. But for most businesses, the most challenging part of micro influencer partnerships is the needle-in-a-haystack task of finding them.
Unlike mega influencers, small-scale creators aren’t household names. It takes a team of seasoned professionals—an influencer marketing agency—to locate and recruit the best micro influencers for a brand.
At Power Digital, we go beyond the duties of your average digital marketing agency. We analyze your current strategies, match you with the right influencers, then assess and tweak the campaign to perfection so you can reach hundreds of thousands of consumers.
To find out more about our influencer marketing services, drop us a line today.
- Statista. Influencer marketing market size worldwide from 2016 to 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1092819/global-influencer-market-size/
- Forbes. Macro-Influencers Vs. Micro-Influencers: The Great Social Media Debate. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/03/01/macro-influencers-vs-micro-influencers-the-great-social-media-debate/
- Digital Marketing Institute. 20 Surprising Influencer Marketing Statistics. https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/20-influencer-marketing-statistics-that-will-surprise-you
- Forbes. Micro-Influencers: When Smaller Is Better. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2021/06/02/micro-influencers-when-smaller-is-better/
- Shopify. Influencer Pricing: How Much Should You Pay? https://www.shopify.com/blog/influencer-pricing