What are Micro Influencers and How Can They Work in Influencer Marketing Campaigns?
What are Micro Influencers and How Can They Work in Influencer Marketing Campaigns?
There’s so much debate these days on the classification of certain follower counts. It changes all the time, it’s confusing, there’s absolutely no official standard, and estimations will vary depending on who you ask.
However, we put together a very standard, widely accepted breakdown of exactly what a nano influencer, micro influencer, macro influencer, and celebrity influencer is.
In this post, we’re honing in specifically on micro influencer marketing campaigns.
What are micro influencers?
10K - 100K instagram followers - typically, a smaller audience. A Grin study showed that the majority of micro influencers focus on a blog and Instagram as their main platforms. While, yes, this is still a very large range, it does seem to be the sweet spot for engagement rates.
Totally anecdotally, we find this is the case very often as well with the influencers we work with. With less than 100K+ followers, the majority of a micro influencer’s following lives on their blog and Instagram. YouTube is also increasing in popularity for micro influencers as well.
Why should brands use micro influencers for influencer marketing campaigns?
Maybe within the last 2 years, there’s been a major shift from a focus on followers to a focus on engagement when it comes to influencer marketing campaigns.
The sentiment used to be, the more followers the better! Brands found it hard to believe creators with smaller communities could drive the same results for their campaigns.
Fast forward to 2020, and research shows that this absolutely is not the case. Facebook Ads Expert, Ali Parmelee from IMPACT, said this about micro influencers, "They're more accessible," Ali pointed out. "Because people love to see themselves in these aspirational ads, and that more niche, every day-person influencer makes that much easier."
Each type of influencer has their unique place in influencer marketing, but we love micro influencers for more than a few reasons.
Micro influencers typically have higher engagement. Why is this? With a smaller audience, they are more likely to follow, like, comment, and interact with their audience. This builds a personal relationship and makes the micro influencer more relatable than a celebrity.
Megan Mosley from Referral Rock summarizes this well:
"A micro-influencer has the ability to connect with their audience on a deeper level, this is because they are sharing with maybe around 1k-100k of followers compared to large fan base (over 1 million) influencers and celebrities.
Because their fan base is more tight-knit, they are able to create more personalized content and thus create a more authentic moment with fans (because they also have real knowledge of the products too). Plus, engaging with followers is much easier to manage since there aren’t millions of them. All of which makes it an effective tool for marketing." - Megan Mosley
A great way to track engagement is to ask micro influencers for an analytics report at the end of the campaign. Many creators don’t do this automatically, so make sure to ask and specify which metrics you are looking for.
70% of micro-influencers work on fewer than 5 marketing campaigns in a year.
As of 2018, micro influencers were working on less than 5 campaigns a year. Crazy!! This shows how much of their potential goes untapped. We assume that number has gone up since 2018, but overall, micro influencers are absolutely still being underutilized in influencer marketing campaigns.
89% of micro-influencers post their content on blogs or Instagram.
89% of them post on blogs and 80% of them on Instagram. These are both strong and popular platforms, and brands should be aware that a micro influencer's following lives in these two spots. Instagram is great for community and real-time connections, but blogs are still great at driving long term traffic. In fact, many micro influencers seem to excel at SEO.
For brands, a comprehensive SEO and organic search strategy can take months to build up, but micro influencers already have domain authority and tons of content to rank high on google searches.
Alex Berger, creator of The Berger Bungalow, is a perfect example of an incredible micro influencer who shines on Google search rankings. Often ranking on Page 1 near the top for certain terms, brands often seek out Alex’s blog as the perfect placement for evergreen content.
6.7X more efficient at engaging audiences than bigger influencers.
Micro-influencer content is 6.7X more efficient at engaging audiences than bigger influencers, and working with them is likely to be more cost-effective, too.
Why is this?
- Less followers = less clutter, maybe less spam followers
- Fewer campaigns = less brand saturation, more time in between sponsored content
- Less followers = also equals more time and attention to respond to comments, answer messages quickly, etc.
Micro Influencers Bring Higher Credibility to Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Who are you more likely to trust, your best friend or Kim Kardashian? Micro influencers bring a level of credibility to the table that celebrities can’t provide. People look up to them because they trust their judgement. Typically, micro influencers are providing unpaid, genuine reviews. This means, when their reviews are sponsored, people are more likely to trust them because they have been authentic in the past.
Micro Influencers are Accessible
They are your friends! Micro influencers are more accessible than a huge celebrity like Lebron James. If you think a pair of shoes are cool and want to know if they’re comfortable, chances are Lebron isn’t going to reply to your DM. However, if you see an athlete with 50,000 followers wearing the same shoes, he will probably answer you! This allows companies to put their products in front of their target audience and have the opportunity for them to ask questions. Additionally, you’re putting that product on an “normal” person, which gives you social proof you have a great product.
Featured Micro Influencers
Really quick, we want to share some of our favorite micro influencers and recent campaigns they’ve worked on.
Becca is a micro influencer superstar with Instagram Story views that brands’ dreams are made of. We recently stalked one of her screenshotted photos where you could see how many Story views she gets - and her engagement is through the roof!
Not only if she actively engages like crazy with her audience, they’re engaging back in spades. With super strong engagement numbers, Becca is a prime example of how a smaller following can drive amazing results.
Favorite Campaign: Becca works with many amazing brands, but we can majorly appreciate a campaign that seemed to come out of left field but was also really engaging. Becca worked with Crocs on a new product, sandals, that were actually pretty cute and did a giveaway to her followers that again drove a lot of conversation.
Madeleine Raiford-Holland, @moderatelyhighmaintenance
Another creator we always love, Madeleine creates incredibly high-quality, beautiful content for brands. Not only does her audience drive amazing engagement, but many times, rbands ask for licensing or usage rights to utilize her content for their own purposes. If that’s not the mark of killer content, I don’t know what is.
Favorite Campaign: ThredUp - ThredUp is known for using micro-influencers to drive awareness and adoption of their secondhand fashion store. With Madeleine, it was a match made in heaven as she began to shift her focus to sustainable clothing instead of fast fashion retailers.
Another micro influencer who always has her brand partnerships game on point, Rachel is a true extension of a brand's marketing department. She’s a PR pro’s dream when it comes to professionalism and also understanding the business side of a rband.
Favorite Campaign: Lexington Law - a long-term partnership full of financial resources for twenty-somethings, Lexington Law feels synonymous with The Confused Millennial these days. As a regular reader, seeing consistent, long-from valuable content about what could be boring financial topics is amazing. A multi-platform partnership appearing often on her blog and Instagram is the best of both worlds for her and Lexington Law.