What exactly makes someone an influencer? Is it a verified checkmark by their name, a string of product endorsement deals or simply mountains of followers?
If you were under the impression that influencers are only those individuals with follower counts in half a million or million-plus range, you would be mistaken (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us).
Just like some of the best things in life — think cakes or dogs — influencers come in all shapes and sizes, from the household name mega influencers to the micro-influencers on the other end of the spectrum.
While the term ‘micro influencer’ might not sound very influential on the surface, these individuals can be a great asset to your brand marketing strategy. We’re here to clear up common misconceptions about micro-influencers and let you in on the actual impact they can have on your brand.
What is a Micro-Influencer?
The first myth that micro-influencer marketing needs to debunk is that a micro-influencer can’t make a difference in advertising efforts. The best way to combat this misconception is to know just what a micro-influencer is (and what they aren’t).
A micro-influencer is somewhere in between the recreational everyday social media user and the super successful, well-known influencer that pops up all over your social media feed. Micro-influencers typically have anywhere between 10,000 and 50,000 followers.
It’s not only follower count where micro-influencers and mega influencers differ. While a prominent influencer may post a range of content from workout routines to vacation photos, micro-influencers are much more focused in their postings. A micro-influencer has acquired a following in a niche area, usually related to just one or two specialized interests. For example, they might be highly regarded in the fly fishing community or be known for creating seasonal recipes specific to their region.
How Can a Micro-Influencer Benefit Your Brand?
Another misconception about influencer marketing is that it is most successful when brands partner with mega influencers. In fact, influencer marketing can be much more impactful when a micro-influencer is tapped to help market your brand. Here are just some of the reasons why:
- Follower Engagement
- Authentic Partnership
- Reaching Niche Audiences
- Available to Collaborate
At first glance, it might seem like micro-influencers would have less follower engagement because they aren’t as famous as bigger influencers. Instead, micro-influencers are known to have higher engagement rates with their followers than other influencers. For example, in 2021, micro-influencers with less than 15,000 followers had a 17.96% engagement rate on TikTok, whereas mega influencers with more than 1 million followers had only a 4.96% engagement rate.
The individuals who follow micro-influencers are dedicated followers with shared interests who care about each posting made. With mega influencers, fans might only like specific posts or care about one of the star’s many interests. When a micro-influencer promotes your brand’s products or services, you can be sure that their followers will see the post and take an interest in it.
A marketing partnership with a micro-influencer is more likely to come off as authentic than one with a mega influencer. Your existing customers will see the influencer as someone who genuinely cares about your brand, and the influencer’s followers will trust that the influencer actually likes and promotes your products. If there is overlap between your customer base and the micro influencer’s audience, the influencer marketing campaign is even more likely to be well-received on both ends.
Reaching Niche Audiences
While it might seem like a mega influencer could help you reach a huge audience, with brand marketing, it’s more about getting the right audience. Micro-influencers are known for the specific niche topics that they regularly post about and have built their followings on. With micro-influencer marketing, you can effectively reach niche audiences that you wouldn’t be able to target with traditional marketing strategies. Suppose a wellness brand decides to launch a new shampoo made of all-natural, sustainable ingredients. In that case, they might reach out to a micro-influencer who is well-known in the environmentally friendly hair care industry. This would help the shampoo make a bigger splash in its target market than it could if the brand chose to partner with just any influencer.
Available to Collaborate
Mega influencers are more likely to be selective about which companies and products they work with and are less available and open to collaborations with just any brand. A newer brand has a better chance at partnering with a micro-influencer than one with millions of followers. There are also many more micro-influencers on social media than mega influencers, meaning that any brand should find the right one to work with. Whether you are looking for a dog grooming or winter accessory knitting micro-influencer, you should be able to find one willing to work with your brand.
Key Tips for Working with a Micro-Influencer
A micro-influencer truly is a better bet for most brands than social media stars with massive follower counts. Even big companies like Coca-Cola, Sperry and Sephora have successfully partnered with micro-influencers. If you’re stuck on how to make the most of micro-influencer marketing for your brand, here are some helpful tips:
Determine Marketing Goals
Creating a marketing plan before jumping into any new brand strategy is always a good idea. Knowing what you want to accomplish from a micro-influencer marketing campaign will help you find the right micro-influencer for your goals and forge a successful partnership.
Work with More than One
Don’t be afraid to work with more than one micro-influencer. If you have multiple products in your brand lineup, find micro-influencers that make the most sense for individual products. You can also utilize micro-influencers in different regions to promote your brand across a wider geographic range.
Get Creative and Collaborate
The biggest asset a micro-influencer brings to the table is their audience of engaged, dedicated followers. Don’t hesitate to listen to their ideas and collaborate on creative ways to market your brand to their followers. After all, they know their audience best (and that is why you hired them in the first place).
At LaRue PR, we enjoy helping brands take social media and digital marketing tools and turn them into marketing campaigns that get results. No matter which step you’re at in the process — whether it’s searching for the right micro-influencer for your brand or capitalizing on the impact of a successful influencer marketing campaign — we’re here to help you achieve all of your marketing goals.