To paraphrase rapper 50 Cent’s debut album ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’, we all love a self-made success story. We’ve looked up to the glitz and glamour of influencers for a long time and the stats now confirm this favouritism: 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than they do traditional marketing advertising.
But it’s the pocket-sized influencers that have taken the world by storm recently. Because the power of influencers does not necessarily lie in their follower count, but in their ability to actually influence through authenticity and curation.
We’ll walk you through the what, the why and the how of this new breed of influencer, to show you how brands can harness the surprising might of the micro-influencer.
Who is a micro-influencer?
Just like heavy-weight influencers, micro-influencers are social media users who specialise in a particular activity and frequently share social media content about their interests. The ‘micro’ only comes in to denote their network size: according to MediaKix, micro-influencers are defined as accounts with anywhere from 10,000-100,000 followers.
Influencers come in all shapes and sizes and can be found in virtually every pocket of the web. Here is a small taster of some of the most popular micro-influencers in the UK right now:
- Grace Surguy – specialising in style and beauty – 61.5k Instagram followers
- Jasmin/ These county roads – specialising in travel and food – 40.9k Instagram followers
- Bronte King – specialising in body positivity – 56.2k Instagram followers
- Sug Sean – specialising in men’s lifestyle, style, and grooming – 58.3k Instagram follower
- Danielle Duggins – specialising in parenting– 38k Instagram followers
When smaller is better
While many businesses assume that going bigger is better, that is not always the case. Micro-influencers are often an underutilised tool that can separate brands from their competition because of these five killer advantages:
- Availability: Due to their large audiences, macro-influencers tend to be in high demand for brand partnerships. This typically leads to more complicated and long-lead arrangements, constraining brands that need to move quickly in a rapidly changing market. Micro-influencers are more readily available and flexible to brands’ needs.
- Cost: How much a brand pays an influencer for sponsored content is linked to their number of followers. With their smaller networks, micro-influencers are affordable partners for brands. Since they’re usually very keen to grow their following, micro-influencers tend to overserve their brand partners in an effort to build a long-term relationship. So brands can expect a strong ROI for their The lower costs for partnering also means that a business can expand its reach by working with multiple influencers that cover many different market segments. In both cases, it’s a win-win.
- Authenticity and trust: Brands everywhere, beware: the more famous a social media influencer becomes, the less trusting your customers are of their Consumers are very well aware that many social media heavyweights plug products they have no real interest or knowledge about for the sake of profit. With their reduced number of followers and offers of partnerships from brands, micro-influencers often reach out to brands they want to work with. Which in turn translates to sponsoring content they actually love, want to support and share with their audience. And audiences recognise this and trust their brand recommendations all the more for it.
- Engagement: What the micro-influencers lack in numbers they make up for in engagement and conversion. With greater levels of authenticity and trust between micro-influencers and their viewers come greater numbers of comments, time spent online, and, most critically, clicks of the ‘purchase’ Studies show that micro-influencers boast up to a 60% increased engagement rate compared to macro-influencers and have a 20% higher conversion rate that can help brands boost their e-commerce sales.
- Niche Markets: Micro-influencers can reach audiences no one else can. As micro-influencers tend to be an expert in their subject area, brands can tap into these highly curated communities, enabling a degree of targeting that’s impossible with macro-influencers.
Micro-influencers – where art thou?
So, if micro-influencers are so important to brands today, where can they go to find suitable partners?
Start by doing careful and comprehensive market research to gain an understanding of your target audience and their buying behaviours. Listen + Learn is always happy to step in and help you with this so don’t hesitate to get in touch. It may also be worth building up your own internal social insight capabilities so you stay agile, flexible and can monitor market changes consistently.
A second step could be to put your research skills to good use to find the type of influencers that fits your audience profile. Put your keyword research to use. Try searching the internet for top bloggers in your industry. Bloggers typically have social media accounts tied to their blogs so you should be able to quickly get an understanding of their reach and what content they share. It is also good to identify the hashtags most commonly associated with your brand, product and industry. You can use them to find the trending accounts and pages that have a good amount of engagement.
Once you have identified a range of suitable micro-influencers that fall within your niche market, it’s worth doing a lot of digging to make sure their content is of high quality and that their following includes members of your target audience.
To gain a detailed insight into the following of each potential micro-influencer, you’ll want to look at things like:
- Age: while not essential, the best micro-influencers tend to be of the same generation as your target audience.
- Location: the more local, the better.
- Gender: while this is changing and will differ greatly between industries, matching gender is usually wise.
- Interests: this is key – interests should match closely.
- Previous engagement with your brand: Start with your brand’s social media followers. The best micro-influencers will be ones who are already invested in your brand.
Scanning these areas allows you to compare results, or to quickly have a list of potential influencers to reach out to.
Once you find the closest overlap between your target audience and the audience of the micro-influencer, you’re good to go. Reach out to the best candidate and cross your fingers – odds are the micro-influencer will be as excited as you about a potential partnership. Good luck!
As we have seen, choosing micro-influencers will mean greater availability and access to niche audiences, lower costs, closer relationships and better engagement rates across the board.
So step aside macro-influencers. There’s nothing micro about the power of micro-influencers.