Mass marketing is dead. Gone are the days of billboards as the cornerstone of a marketing strategy. You don’t need a single, larger-than-life message broadcast to every single person driving by. Instead, you need a niche. You need a message tailor-made for a very specific segment, and that segment only.
They’re the epitome of depth over breadth. What their social media presence lacks in volume, it makes up for with increased trust and influence within their (very focused) target audiences.
But what is a micro-influencer exactly, and should you hire one for your influencer marketing campaigns? Below, we’ll define micro-influencers and how they can help promote your brand to help you make your decision.
- Micro-influencers are influencers with 10,000–100,000 followers on any platform who specialize in sharing meaningful advice about topics they are knowledgeable about.
- In comparison, nano-influencers have 1,000–10,000 followers. A macro-influencer will have 100,000–1 million followers, and a mega-influencer will have over 1 million and is often a well-known celebrity.
- Benefits of a micro-influencer campaign include amplified reach due to highly engaged audiences, cost-effectiveness compared to larger campaigns driven by traditional influencers, and easy collaboration with fewer restrictions and demands on editorial control.
- The main disadvantage of micro-influencer marketing is the time investment required for finding the right fit for your brand.
- Micro-influencers typically charge between $100–$500 per post, depending on the type of promotion, which is significantly lower than celebrity endorsements that range from thousands to tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars per endorsement.
- What Does Micro-Influencer Mean?
- Advantages of Micro-Influencers
- Disadvantages of Micro-Influencers
- How Much Do Micro-Influencers Charge?
- How to Find and Work With Micro-Influencers
What Does Micro-Influencer Mean?
A micro-influencer is an influencer who has 10,000 to 100,000 followers on any platform. They aren’t as well known as celebrities or mega-influencers with millions of followers, but they do have dedicated followings and knowledge about particular topics.
A quick language lesson: The term “micro-influencer” is derived from the words “micro,” meaning small or limited in importance or size, and “influence,” or the power to sway an individual’s beliefs.
Combine these two words — “micro-influencer” — and you have someone with a smaller yet specific network that holds significant control over opinion among their social media followers.
Micro-influencers specialize in sharing meaningful advice about topics they are knowledgeable about. For example, this could be beauty tips, home remodeling projects, financial advice, SEO tips, or cooking recipes. They have a deep familiarity with their particular product or subject area, and they can discuss their experiences in a very authentic and believable manner.
As a result of this focused technical expertise and niche approach, micro-influencers can develop a unique personal relationship with their audiences, which leads to higher levels of trustworthiness compared to larger influencers. When a micro-influencer recommends a product or service to their particular niche, they can have an outsized impact in converting potential customers.
Micro-influencer audiences also tend to be highly engaged with their specific interests. If you find the right influencer to work with, you can build brand awareness with a new audience tailor-made for your brand.
Influencers vs. Micro-Influencers
When you picture an influencer — particularly an Instagram influencer, you might think of Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, or any Instagram model known for their aesthetics and style. These people may be macro-influencers (500,000 to 1 million followers) or mega-influencers (1 million + followers), depending on their follower counts. These are the famous faces that often grace the covers of magazines, appear in television shows, and model clothing lines.
While macro-influencers tend to hold the most sway, micro-influencers have gradually become an increasingly important part of the influencer marketing landscape. Depending on your budget, a macro-influencer might not be as realistic of a choice as nano-influencers would be.
If you’re considering a foray into influencer marketing, it’s important to understand your options. The main difference between an influencer and a micro-influencer is the size of their audience. Traditional macro-influencers typically have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram or TikTok. Micro-influencers, as we mentioned, typically have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers on any given social media platform.
This difference in follower counts also impacts how influencers and micro-influencers work with brands. Micro-influencers won’t have the same huge collaborations with major brands that you might see from celebrity influencers. Micro-influencers also likely won’t have the same level of production value in their content — which, when it comes to coming across as relatable to their target audience, is not a bad thing.
(In case you’re curious, influencer marketing today isn’t limited to macro-influencers and micro-influencers. There are also nano-influencers, who have an even smaller audience. A nano-influencer has a follower count of fewer than 10,000 social media users.)
Advantages of Micro-Influencers
The main advantage of micro-influencers is their ability to target and relate to a much more focused, niche audience. There are three main advantages that arise from having this level of specialism:
Despite smaller audiences, the impact of a micro-influencer’s collaborations can still be felt by large numbers of people. Micro-influencers typically have highly engaged audiences that trust them to make purchasing decisions — in other words, when these influencers recommend something to their followers, they may actually buy it. This means better returns for brands due to higher conversion rates, compared with larger campaigns driven by traditional influencers.
The cost of using a micro-influencer is significantly lower than working with any type of celebrity or major influencer. This means you don’t have to commit a huge amount in upfront fees, nor pay high ongoing costs for your brand’s exposure.
Easy to Work With
It’s no secret that macro-influencers and mega-influencers are well-known personalities who can be a pain to work with. Micro-influencers typically have fewer restrictions and demands on editorial control, as well as fewer layers of approval and business red tape to get through when you create content together.
Disadvantages of Micro-Influencers
Before you become completely convinced that micro-influencers are the affordable silver bullet for your niche marketing dreams, though, there are a few considerations to take into account.
Micro-influencers are cost-effective, yes, but finding the right influencer can be a tedious process. Unlike larger brands and campaigns that feature well-known faces and influential personalities (aka mega-influencer) with follower counts of over 1 million, there’s no guarantee that a micro-influencer will have success with your product or service — especially if their niche isn’t quite right for your brand.
Because their follower count is smaller than that of major influencers, it also may take longer to achieve the desired results — investment over time often becomes necessary here. Also, micro-influencers may have more limited scheduling windows than celebrities or mega-influencers with bigger teams.
How Much Do Micro-Influencers Charge?
While exact rates will vary among social media influencers and depend on the type of promotion, micro-influencers typically charge between $100 and $500 per post or sponsored content. This is significantly lower than celebrity endorsements, which can range from thousands to tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars per endorsement.
However, despite their price tag being so much lower, don’t forget that you are still paying for quality. Successful campaigns will often include multiple micro-influencer posts spread over several weeks in order to hit your desired reach goals.
How to Find and Work With Micro-Influencers
Think a micro-influencer might be right to attract social media users to your brand? There are a number of ways to find and collaborate with micro-influencers.
The most straightforward way is simply going through social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or YouTube and searching for potential influencers that fit your brand. Make sure you look at more than how many followers they have, though. This isn’t about finding somebody who is internet famous. The right influencers will be a match for your brand in terms of audience demographics and interests, and they’ll post quality content that’s relevant to your specific niche.
Tools to Help You Find Micro-Influencers
Does manually scrolling through social networks sound like a chore you don’t have time for? You’re in luck. The rise in popularity of influencer marketing means that there are now many tools available online that can help you quickly find highly relevant influencers for your campaign.
An influencer marketing platform like Traackr or HireInfluence will provide a pre-vetted list of potential influencers based on demographic information from their respective channels. These tools can reduce research time significantly by allowing you to specify characteristics like location and particular interests when narrowing down matches.
Making Influencer Marketing Work for Your Brand
Once you’ve identified micro-influencers to work with, build your relationships gradually over time. Test the waters with multiple influencers on different social media channels and monitor how engagement rates vary. See how your influencers respond to requests and feedback, as well as how they do at keeping track of deadlines. On your side, keep your communication frequent and honest.
It’s also important that you establish an understanding regarding what sponsorships will look like on their accounts. Every agreement should include both parties’ responsibilities as part of the collaboration, so you can align expectations early on.
Working with micro-influencers should be seen as a long-term partnership. Keep an eye out for ways both sides can help each other, even beyond your initial influencer marketing campaign.
Micro-Influencer Marketing: The Power of Niche Audiences
Micro-influencers are a growing trend in digital marketing for many brands of all sizes, and with good reason. They offer enhanced levels of personalization, better engagement rates and ROI, cost-effectiveness, as well as a wealth of niche expertise that really narrows down your target audience.
However, when it comes to finding the right micro-influencer, there is usually some trial and error involved. Identifying the optimal fit for your brand will require a time investment or access to relevant tools.
The effort of an influencer marketing campaign can be well worth the effort, though. With the right influencer, you can see a much higher engagement rate than you would get from other channels. Now that you know what a micro-influencer is, the key thing to remember when exploring a campaign is to do your research, determine goals beforehand, and establish clear expectations upfront.