Written by Hayley Coleby • Published 3rd April 2018 • 3 minute read
This year is set to be the years of the micro-influencer, so…
What are they?
Definitions of what constitutes a micro-influencer can range widely. Initially, they were described as someone with between 1,000-10,000 followers, but it now common to work with influencers with under 1,000 followers. The world of micro-influencers exists most clearly on Instagram, although they can be worked with across many channels. YouTube is another popular option for such ventures.
In general, micro-influencer campaigns will work with around 15-30 micro-influencers, in the place of one or two macro-influencers.
Who are they?
Micro-influencers range across every interest and discipline, and will often hold influence in a much more specific sphere, speaking and interacting directly and meaningfully with their smaller audience.
Why would you use them?
Due to their smaller audience size, they are often more engaged with their followers, building more authentic relationships. The relationships they have with their followers is often likened to a friendship: who would you rather take advice from, a friend or a near-celebrity you follow with over 150,000 other followers? With micro-influencers, unique relationships are built, the individual understands his/her demographics wants and needs better, and so will be able to work with a brand to portray their product or service in an authentic and targeted way.
They’re much cheaper to work with, meaning you work with more of them, covering a wider demographic, without diluting your message. As each influencer is encouraged to develop and lead their own branded content, each post and the individual campaign is targeted to their own niche, meaning neither the brand nor partnership should come across as inauthentic, as it so often does with mega-influencers. This authenticity is absolutely crucial to the success of an influencer campaign, from start to finish.
Influencer marketing on Instagram alone is already a $1 billion industry. It’s more effective than traditional influencer marketing; in general, engagement ratios peak at 1,000 followers, and begin to decline or plateau in users with over 100k followers. Users tend to want to interact with people they relate to closely, this results in micro-influencers having a 60% higher engagement than most larger influencers. Engagement rate is a key measurement of success in social campaigns, so it’s worth looking at an influencers current rate before you invest.
You have more people talking about your brand. That means more people using your hashtag, more people telling their friends, more buzz. Driving this network, both on and off social, is one of the key aims of influencer marketing, and micro-influencer marketing lets you infiltrate multiple markets and segments at once. There are really hundreds of good reasons to use micro-influencers, these are just a few of them.
How would you work with them?
As opposed to working with mega or macro-influencers, where you might come to them with a pre-established campaign, messaging and visual identity, micro-influencers tend to work best when encouraged to take the lead on a campaign. This allows them to craft a bespoke message for their followers, interpreting your brand in a way that makes it digestible and applicable to their audience’s needs. In this way, you create individual brand advocates, who are willing to shout about you for their reasons! Having their own voice is crucial.
Micro-influencer relationships work best when there’s longevity. Not only does this bolster authenticity, it provides a consistent message and positions with the influencers as true brand advocates.
It is worth noting that working with micro-influencers will take more time and effort. Inherently it is a bigger job, involving more people. This management may be offset by the fact that the advertising posts will be influencer-led, but curating the relationship itself is half the job. Be sure to have an overarching vision of the brand and campaign goals to best direct your micro-influencers into one united front. A bespoke hashtag and visual identifier can be a simple yet effective way to manifest this.