What is a Micro-Influencer and How Are They Helpful?
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Influencer marketing has become a buzzword in the world of social media marketing. Its popularity has soared immensely in the past decade, and today, it’s become a term that a large number of people are aware of.
One of the major reasons for the influencer marketing boom is that the content created by social media influencers and bloggers is viewed as third-party content. As a result, it’s more effective than content created by the brands themselves.
In fact, 63% of consumers trust things that influencers say about brands as compared to what brands post about themselves. Additionally, 58% of consumers also mentioned that they’ve purchased products due to an influencer in the past six months.
However, influencer marketing comes with its own set of downsides. Many influencers don’t follow the FTC guidelines when posting sponsored content on social media and get penalized for it. This can harm your brand name as well.
There have been a few instances in the past when brands and influencers ended up on the wrong side of influencer marketing.
Some of the most prominent ones being the Lord & Taylor campaign and Diclegis. This is the reason why even FTC has come out with stricter guidelines that are meant to make influencer marketing campaigns more authentic.
Undeterred by these factors, influencer marketing continues to grow, and it’s expected to grow at 32.4% CAGR till 2024.
However, brands have started partnering more with micro-influencers than mega-influencers. Nearly 36% of marketers partner with micro-influencers as compared to just 30% with high-tier and celebrity influencers.
One of the possible reasons being that these influencers have fewer followers, and that makes them seem more trustworthy and relatable.
But isn’t popularity social media marketing?
Popularity’s importance has shrunk in comparison to relatability. In fact, relatability is 2x more essential for consumers to follow an influencer as compared to popularity. But that’s not the only advantage of working with micro-influencers.
There are numerous other reasons why they’re helpful for your brand. However, before diving deep, into the marketing aspect, let’s first try to understand what is a micro-influencer?
What is a Micro-Influencer?
Micro-influencers are those influencers who have between 10,000 to 100,000 social media followers. They are considered experts in their niches, which are usually highly focused. As a result, they tend to have higher engagement rates and niche audiences.
Additionally, due to their small audience size, they’re able to connect with most of them on a personal level. This makes their content and suggestions seem more authentic.
Want to know why?
It’s because, according to a survey, about 91% of millennials trust online reviews just as much as they trust their family and friends. And the bonds they form with micro-influencers leads to greater trust as well.
Thus, partnering with micro-influencers who are followed by your target audience can help you put your product or service right in front of them. Additionally, such content can provide social proof and improve your credibility as well.
Now that you know what a micro-influencer is, let’s take a look at how they can help you take your marketing strategy to the next level.
Pro Tip: Try to build solid relationships with micro-influencers before approaching them for a partnership. Strong, long-term relationships will help you plan and execute a successful influencer marketing strategy.
Advantages of Micro-Influencers
Let’s now take a look at what a micro-influencer is good at. Here are some of the advantages of partnering with micro-influencers for your campaign
1. Higher Average Engagement Rate
Nearly 89% of marketers say that Instagram is the most important channel for influencer marketing.
However, due to its effectiveness, the platform is getting overcrowded with sponsored posts. This has led to a reduction in the overall visibility and engagement of the posts and the average engagement rate of influencers has dropped drastically.
In fact, the average engagement rates of Instagram influencers fell to 2.4% in 2019 as compared to 4% in 2016. Similarly, the engagement rates of non-sponsored posts have also dropped to 1.9% from 4.5%.
Travel influencers aren’t an exception too. They had the highest engagement rates (an average of 8%) in 2018. However, their engagement rates also dropped to 4.5% in 2019.
The previously cited study by Mediakix also found that nearly 75% of marketers consider engagement rate as the top influencer marketing metric. Hence, marketers need to find and work with influencers who have higher average engagement rates. This is where micro-influencers excel.
According to a survey, the average engagement rate of micro-influencers is greater than that of macro-influencers. In fact, micro-influencers on Instagram had an engagement rate of 7.6%, while macro-influencers could only manage 5.3%.
Image via SocialPubli
Higher engagement means that more people will notice your brand, and that can lead to greater exposure for you. This can be a lot more helpful than reaching a larger audience of people who may not end up noticing your brand.
When people see your product or service on the influencer’s social feed, they might even check it out and purchase it. This way, micro-influencers can drive sales as well. Pro Tip: Engage multiple micro-influencers to increase your reach and engagement. With an effective strategy and the right micro-influencers, you can drive great results, even with a small influencer marketing budget.
Partnering with influencers can be an expensive affair, especially if you’re going after macro-influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers.
Hence, it makes sense for small businesses to approach influencers who don’t charge as much. This makes micro-influencers a perfect match for small businesses.
Typically, social media influencers charge about 1 to 2.5 cents per followers. This translates into $100 to $250 for every 10,000 followers they have on their social media accounts. As the number of followers increases, this rate will, of course, increase. Thus, usually, micro-influencers typically charge less than macro-influencers, which can make them a great fit for small businesses and startups.
Not only does this make them affordable, but it also opens up the scope for you to partner with more than one micro-influencer. This way, you can not only increase your reach but can also reach out to different buyer personas through your micro-influencer marketing campaign.
Some micro-influencers may not even ask for monetary compensation. They might be happy with a freebie or a friendly shoutout. This makes them extremely affordable for small businesses.
3. Higher Conversion Rates
Typically, micro-influencers have a highly-targeted list of followers. As a result, their audience is more likely to listen to their recommendations as compared to those of a macro-influencer. One of the reasons being that they can relate better to the micro-influencers who live lives that are similar to their own.
When you partner with the right micro-influencers, their audience will align with your target audience. As a result, there’s a great chance that they’ll find your brand and product appealing. This can push them to become leads or purchases from you.
Additionally, as mentioned above, they trust online reviews as much as they trust their peers. This way, the influencer’s recommendations may strike the right chord with their audience. As a result, they may be more likely to trust your brand. This, in turn, can help improve your conversion rates.
For example, NFL Fan Style partnered with 12 macro- and micro-influencers who had audiences ranging from 7K to 600K. However, from these, the four with the least follower counts were the ones who drove 93% of the traffic, which, in turn, likely led to more conversions.
Image via Pinterest
When it comes to millennials followers, relatability becomes a big factor. As mentioned above, it’s twice as important than popularity as a quality that causes them to follow influencers on various social media channels. This is where you can strike gold by partnering with micro-influencers to effectively execute your influencer marketing strategy.
Why? Because these social media personalities don’t have lavish lifestyles, and most of their followers can relate to them. While they may view macro-influencers as celebrities, micro-influencers seem more like people who are “just like them.”
As a result, the recommendations that the influencers make will seem more relatable to the audience as well.
For instance, Amber is a micro-influencer who is a homemaker. She regularly posts content that many others can relate to.
Image via Instagram
This is in stark contrast to an influencer like Lauren Conrad, who leads a more glamorous life.
Image via Instagram
5. Larger Number of Choices
Nearly 5.7% of Instagram users have between 10k and 50k followers. Additionally, 2.8% of users have between 50k and 100k followers. On the other hand, those with over 100k to 1 million followers account for only 3.7% of all Instagram users.
Image via Mention
So, when you decide to partner with micro-influencers, you have access to a greater pool of influencers. In numbers, it translates to nearly 85 million micro-influencers. With such a huge number of micro-influencers, you can expect to find an influencer for almost every category possible.
How can that help you for your influencer marketing campaign?
Regardless of what you sell, you can find a micro-influencer that’s suited for your brand. This wouldn’t be the case with macro-influencers, who are fewer in number.
6. They Are More Authentic
In a survey, 98% of respondents said that they had spotted unnatural increases in the follower count of individuals on Instagram. While bots may target a variety of accounts, they are more likely to target larger or influencer accounts.
However, when it comes to micro-influencers, the chances of such a thing happening are less as they aren’t as popular. As a result, you can be sure that a majority of their followers are authentic, and that you’d be targeting real people when you partner with them.
To find micro-influencers who have genuine followers, you can use our platform, Fourstarzz Media. It features over 750k micro-influencers whom you can contact with ease.
Now that we’ve answered the questions of. “What is a micro-influencer?” and what advantages they offer, let’s take a look at who can benefit from them.
Who Can Benefit from Partnering with Micro-Influencers?
After going through the advantages of micro-influencers, you may be wondering if partnering with them is right for your brand.
Well, if your audience is active on social media, then partnering with micro-influencers is a great idea.
Additionally, micro-influencers are great for small businesses as you don’t need a big budget to partner with them.
This isn’t the case with macro-influencers, where only the big brands have the financial muscle to partner with them.
You must, of course, be careful while selecting the platform as well. Choose the influencer marketing platform which makes the most sense for your product or service and accordingly find relevant influencers. That can go a long way in developing a successful marketing strategy.
Instagram is a great platform for B2C products. However, LinkedIn might be better for B2B brands.
Similarly, brands looking for gaming influencers may prefer platforms like Twitch, which is a favorite of gamers.
It’s also essential to check if the influencers have values that are similar to those of your brand.
Let’s now take a look at how you can find micro-influencers for your business.
How Can You Find Micro-Influencers for Your Business?
Now that you know the answer to the question of, “What is a micro-influencer?” and how you can benefit from them, let’s figure out how you can find them.
Finding the right micro-influencers is crucial for the success of your influencer marketing strategy.
If you partner with the wrong influencers, you may end up wasting your marketing budget, or worse, tarnishing your brand’s name.
For example, Snap Inc’s PR firm partnered with actor, producer, and influencer, Luka Sabbat to promote their spectacles. However, he forgot to put on the spectacles in his posts and that led to the firm suing him.
You must thus analyze each influencer’s profile carefully to figure out if they’re reliable and have the right audience for you.
It will help to check each influencer’s engagement rate and reach as well. You should try to find a micro-influencer who can give you the best of both.
Here’s are some ways through which you can find micro-influencers for your small business:
Influencer Discovery Tools
The simplest way to find verified micro-influencers is by leveraging influencer discovery tools such as Fourstarzz Media.
Using our tool, you can search for micro-influencers via their name, campaign topic, hashtags, keywords they might have used in their bio (like “mom blogger”), or brands they have an affiliation with.
If you know the target hashtags of your niche, you can leverage our advanced search and hashtag search options to find relevant influencers.
Simply type in the hashtag and select advanced search options based on how you want to find influencers (using keywords, hashtags, influencer’s bio).
Based on these, the platform will bring up a list of relevant influencers.
You can further filter this list based on the niche, country, city, and even the social media channels they’re active on.
It’s also possible to filter out micro-influencers based on their reach, estimated social media post values, and engagement rates. Once you’ve selected all of your filters, you’ll get a list of relevant influencers.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
The platform also offers advanced filters for your audience. You can select various demographic options of your target audience, and the platform will come up with a list of influencers who have the same type of audience. This makes it easy to find influencers who have the same target audience as yours.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
For each influencer, you’ll be able to see their estimated social media post value, number of followers, engagement rates, location, and contact details. As a result, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether you should partner with them or not.
Additionally, the influencer marketing platform will give you detailed insights (you can download reports) into their audience. This includes their country, age range, gender, and interests. Through it, you can determine if their audience matches your target audience.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
Social Media Listening
Another method of finding influencers for your small business is through social listening. By monitoring your brand mentions, you can figure out who’s talking about your brand on social media.
For this, you can check out who has mentioned your brand name by searching for it manually on social media platforms.
It’ll show you a list of social media posts where your brand has been mentioned. Micro-influencers may have already created some posts about your products or services. You can analyze their profiles and figure out if you should go ahead and partner with a particular influencer for a campaign.
However, this process can be pretty time-consuming and you may not be able to find the desired influencers with ease.
Hashtag research is one more helpful way of finding micro-influencers. Hashtags help bring together similar content, and thus, by leveraging them, you can find micro-influencers as well.
You can find hashtags that are relevant to your niche and search for them on platforms like Instagram. This will bring up a list of the top posts that use that hashtag. You can check out the accounts that have posted them. Some of them might be micro-influencers.
For instance, if you’re a travel brand, you can look for travel-related hashtags. This will bring up a list of popular posts.
From there, you can check out each user’s profile to determine if they’re micro-influencers. However, just like social listening, this process can be fairly tedious and may not get you results quickly.
Image via Instagram
Tip: Find hashtags and enter them in Fourstarzz Media’s advanced search option. You can then easily filter search results and evaluate the audiences of each of the influencers before you even reach out to them.
Now that you understand how you can find reliable micro-influencers for your brand, let’s take a look at some of the brands that have partnered with them in the past.
Examples of Brands Using Micro-Influencers For Social Media Marketing
Now that we know what is a micro-influencer and how we can find them, let’s dig deeper to understand the power of micro-influencers by looking at some successful social media marketing campaigns from our customers and other brands.
Sapahn is a mid-west based fashion brand. “Sapahn” is a Thai word that means “bridge.”
This fashion brand sells handmade leather bags, handbags, and other accessories via their ecommerce store.
All of their products are produced by artisans based in Thailand. The mission of the company is to provide female artisans with a livable future by paying fair prices and giving back a part of the revenue to support projects in their villages.
Sapahn leveraged Fourstarzz Media’s influencer marketing platform to discover US-based micro-influencers who fit their brand’s aesthetics. The goal of their influencer campaign was to create awareness for their brand and promote their high-quality handmade products in order to give their ecommerce store a push.
Clare is an environment-cautious traveler and was intrigued by both the quality of Sapahn’s products and the cause they support. She did multiple Instagram posts and also explained the brand’s story through her Instagram Stories.
Here’s one of her posts that received 965 likes and many comments:
Image via Instagram
2UAUTO is a local service company based out of Wichita, Kansas that offers a home car cleaning service.
For their influencer campaign, the startup leveraged Fourstarzz Media to discover and engage with local micro-influencers based in Wichita. They collaborated with multiple micro- and nano-influencers who enjoyed their services and then created content for Instagram posts and Stories.
Erin tested their car cleaning service and posted many pictures on her Instagram feed, which resulted in hundreds of engagements, link clicks, and new leads for 2UAUTO.
Image via Instagram
Nutrafol is a natural medicine that can keep your hair healthy. The brand has products for both men and women who want to care for their hair. They regularly partner with micro-influencers to promote their brand and grow their sales.
They recently collaborated with Taralynn McNitt, a micro-influencer. As a part of the influencer marketing campaign, She posted about the brand on her Instagram account and the post managed to get over 300 likes and 12 comments.
Image via Instagram
Shine is a health and well-being app available on both Android and iOS. To increase their user base and spread awareness, they partnered with micro-influencers such as Britnie Kaplan.
She posted regarding the app on her Instagram account and her post received over 300 likes. It also got 38 comments, most of which said that they downloaded the app.
Image via Instagram
5. EM Cosmetics
As the name suggests, EM Cosmetics is a company that manufactures a variety of cosmetic products. They regularly partner with beauty influencers on Instagram to drive sales and promote their brand.
Recently, they collaborated with Kelsey, a beauty influencer who specializes in lipsticks. She posted a carousel post on Instagram showcasing multiple lipsticks manufactured by EM Cosmetics. Her post got over 600 likes and 70 comments, which helped enhance the brand’s reach.
Image via Instagram
Partnering with influencers can help you grow your followers and brand manifold. It’s a great way to amplify your social media marketing efforts.
Micro-influencers have high engagement rates, niche audiences, and better relatability with their audiences. They are top content creators who know how to get people to trust your brand and products.
This helps them establish solid bonds with their social media followers. Additionally, due to the low number of followers, their post values are not as high as those of macro-influencers.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up on Fourstarzz Media today and start finding micro-influencers for your influencer marketing campaign. Only $59/month. Instant access. No hidden fees. Cancel any time.