Photo: George Panchev

Photo: George Panchev

Small is the new big when it comes to influencer marketing. Businesses are beginning to value the diversity and niche-focus of these influencers to further their targeted campaigns. Let’s examine the rise of micro-influencers, the macro impact they can have, and how to best partner with these small but mighty influencers.

What is a micro-influencer?

Influencers are active social media users or bloggers that a brand partners with in promoting a product or service to a niche, targeted audience. These are often individuals, often celebrities or experts or otherwise public figures, with 10s of thousands of followers on social channels.

But what truly makes someone a micro-influencer ? These are the social media users who may not be walking the red carpet at the Emmy’s or being interviewed by CNN. But they still have a robust and loyal following in their particular lane.

Their numbers of followers may not compete with the likes of Taylor Swift or Chef Curry, but the micro-influencer has a hyper-engaged audience that is keenly interested in what these individuals posts about their particular interests.

So, while the quantitative reach may seem smaller, partnering with a micro-influencer actually puts your content in front of a much more focused, relevant audience.

The appeal of micro-influencers

Consider the findings of a Markerly study of Instagram users’ engagement: The key finding of our data is that as an influencer’s follower total rises, the rate of engagement (likes and comments) with followers decreases.”

  • Those with less than 1,000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time.
  • Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time.
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This represents the audience engagement a micro-influencer can offer. But another advantage is their niche-focus. These are people who inspire and encourage followers to buy the product/services they suggest. In fact, according to Experticity, micro-influencers have up to 22.2 times more buying conversations each week than the average consumer.

82% of consumers are highly likely to follow a micro-influencer’s recommendation — Experticity

Micro-influencers are also more affordable. Instead of paying a celebrity an exorbitant amount of money for an endorsement, you might gain the enthusiasm of a micro-influencer with free product compensation instead.

By partnering with the right micro-influencers, you can diversify your efforts and gain a foothold with a fan base that truly listens to the social conversations these individuals post.

Partnering with micro-influencers

How can you best partner with a micro-influencer? You have to find them first, and the best place to start is your own social media. Who follows your brand already and offers personalized, authentic content that is engaging thousands of followers?

Once you’ve approached the people who already know and are interested in your brand, don’t be afraid to reach out to other micro-influencers you might find by searching relevant hashtags.

You might also check your own employees social activity to see who has a loyal following that could help you further grow your business. 

Do a Google search also to find top local bloggers in your area. For example, a restaurant in Dallas,TX might search “Dallas + food blog” to see what turns up. You can also do a google search to identify influencer outreach agencies. There is an entire cottage industry developing around influencer matchmaking.  

Ultimately, micro-influencers are what’s next with influencer marketing. They have credibility with an audience that brands can’t match with sponsored ads or even with celebrity endorsements.

“Micro-influencers are the new vehicles through which marketing efforts will travel the fastest. It’s a long, tried, tested and true adage that word of mouth is among the most trusted methods of growing a brand or acquiring new customers. Social media only amplifies this. Now instead of an individual speaking with just one person, one person can effectively share communication with tens of thousands of people who are sure to react in one way or another. Celebrity is great and don’t get me wrong, so are their social media numbers which are beyond incredible but what’s to be measured is the ability for one to connect. It’s way easier for me to relate to someone who seems way more reachable than the prior, which in turn is probably what is evident in the conversion that micro-influencers are able to achieve.”