One of the most popular and fastest growing types of influencers to work with are Micro Influencers. As brands have more of these influencers to choose from, it’s important to understand who they are and how Micro influencer marketing works.
“Micro influencers are frequently the ‘sweet spot’ of any influencer program, both in terms of audience engagement and sales.” – GRIN: How to work with nano, micro, macro, and mega influencers
Image via Impact
The Value of Influencers at Every Size
“Choosing the right type of influencer requires you to know your target audience well, including your various audience segments. For most brands, using different influencer types to reach specific segments is the most effective approach.” – GRIN: How to work with nano, micro, macro, and mega influencers
For example, here is a list of each influencer type and their most common campaign objectives:
- Nano influencers (1,000-10,000 followers): These influencers are specialized and niche. They are great for boosting sales among small, specific audiences.
- Micro influencers (10,000-100,000 followers): These influencers are small enough to reach highly-engaged audiences and large enough to raise brand awareness. They are great for increasing revenues, launching new products, publicizing holiday promotions, and generating awareness.
- Macro influencers (100,000-1 million followers): These influencers have large audiences and may even hold celebrity status. They are great for generating brand awareness and growing audiences.
- Mega influencers (1 million+ followers): These influencers are celebrities and generate the kind of brand excitement that you’d expect from a celebrity endorsement.
While follower counts allow marketers to categorize influencers by type (Nano, Micro, Macro, Mega), an influencer’s engagement rate is a more critical metric. Higher engagement rates indicate greater authenticity, and you will gain more ROI on your influencer campaigns with greater authenticity.
Engagement Rate = Post Engagements / Number of Followers
As such, it is generally true that the smaller the influencer’s audience, the higher the engagement rate. Conversely, larger audiences usually see smaller engagement rates on average.
However, lower engagement rates among larger audiences is not necessarily a bad thing. Macro and Mega influencers offer greater exposure, while Nano influencers generally see a higher percentage of audience comments, shares, and clicks.
And that’s why Micro influencers are especially valuable; they land somewhere in the middle and offer a sizable and engaged audience.
What is a Micro Influencer?
“Micro influencers combine the deeper relationships enjoyed by Nano influencers with a broader reach achieved by celebrity influencers. These influencers are the most popular and account for nearly half of all influencer marketing dollars spent in 2019.” – GRIN: How to work with nano, micro, macro, and mega influencers
With follower counts between 1,000 and 10,000, Micro influencers are among the most popular influencers in the industry. Most Micro influencers are particular about the brands they work with and are also willing to try new things.
Micro influencers care deeply about delivering value to their audience. They’ve worked hard to create an online community sharing similar lifestyles, goals, and problems. Additionally, Micro influencers frequently endorse their favorite brands without being asked.
Image via Rakuten
By a slight margin, D2C brands use Micro influencers more than any other type. They are cost-effective and can produce user-generated content that enhances a brand’s products and services.
Why are Micro Influencers so Valuable?
The key to influencer authenticity is ensuring that your influencer feels excitement about your products or services. With audiences under 100,000, Micro influencers offer several great advantages that make them enticing to influencer programs.
Most successful Micro influencers achieve engagement rates between 3% and 15%. As the chart below indicates (courtesy of Smart Insights), the highest engagement rates most often belong to influencers with smaller audiences.
Image via Smart Insights
That said, 10% engagement with an audience of 1,000 produces 100 meaningful engagements, while 3% engagement with 80,000 produces 2,400 meaningful engagements. When you recruit influencers, you’ll want to keep these metrics in mind.
Micro influencers are generally effective at producing better quality engagement than mere “likes.” Marketers can usually count on their Micro influencers to convert more easily than influencers with larger audiences.
While Micro influencers may not always be as connected with their audience as Nano influencers, they frequently do as well or come surprisingly close. Like their Nano counterparts, Micro influencers produce content that is notably interactive.
When vetting influencers, you can gauge audience connection by examining the kind of comments and ongoing user-generated content from an influencer’s posts. Additionally, Micro influencers tend to maintain their audience connection as they incorporate sponsored posts.
Brands love Micro influencers because they can put their products/services into action in ways that branded content cannot. These kinds of lifestyle posts produce higher levels of authenticity and produce a halo effect that falls upon the brand that the influencer promotes.
With audiences under 100,000, it is easier for D2C brands to target niche audiences by lifestyle, region, income level, age, and so on. With specifically defined audiences, brands can tailor their influencer campaigns with greater accuracy.
Cost to Work with a Micro Influencer
Another benefit to working with Micro influencers is cost. Many Micro influencers are happy with product seeding campaigns. Most charge less than $200 per post. In contrast, Macro and Mega influencers might charge thousands of dollars per post, plus commissions.
That said, there is no set price for Micro influencers. It’s important that you learn how to negotiate with influencers properly to establish a sustainable influencer marketing budget.
How to Use Micro Influencer Partnerships Well
While influencer marketing best practices generally apply to every influencer type, there are a few considerations that will allow you to capitalize on Micro influencers’ strengths.
Campaigns that Connect with Audiences
Since Micro influencers engage highly-connected audiences, you’ll want to tailor your campaigns appropriately. Collaborate with your influencer to find post ideas that will further connect with audiences emotionally.
Micro influencer audiences want to interact with their favorite influencers’ posts – so make it easy for people to interact.
Influencer campaigns work well alongside experiential campaigns and branded events. Followers can interact with their favorite influencers virtually or by trying a featured product/service for themselves. If you’ve incorporated Micro influencers into a larger sales or marketing event, collaborate with your influencers about how to make the campaign more interactive for consumers.
Content that Asks the Audience to Engage
You can partner with your influencer to invite ongoing audience engagement. If you hope for shares and comments, inform your influencer. Being transparent with your Micro influencers about your campaign objectives will help them help you succeed.
Build a Conversation About Your Brand
Micro influencers are accomplished storytellers. Allowing them to showcase your brand can help you “get people talking” about your brand. Many influencer followers will then follow your business page and share sponsored posts.
Create Opportunities for Conversions
At the end of the day, you want audiences to convert. You can take advantage of these common techniques to turn influencer followers into long-term customers.
Affiliate links are critical for influencer attribution. They also make it easier for audiences to take the next step in subscribing or making a purchase. Ideally, you should create a separate link for each Micro influencer.
Discount codes are great ways to get audiences to act now. And similar to affiliate links, they can also help with influencer attribution.
Instagram personalities with 1,000 or more followers (i.e. Micro influencers) can create stories with a “swipe up” feature. Swipe-ups allow followers to respond simply by swiping up on an influencer’s story post. This action takes the follower to a purchase or subscription page for your brand.
Brands that are Killing It with Micro Influencers
Mejuri is a fine jewelry D2C brand that offers hand-crafted styles and a luxurious look. The brand makes standard jewelry, such as necklaces and earrings, as well as every-day accessories (like anklets) and even wedding jewelry.
Mejuri sells online and uses influencers to grow their brand. Among their favorite kind of influencers are Micro influencers.
How They’re Doing It
Image via Instagram
Mejuri partners with fashion and beauty influencers and loves to combine with high-end clothing lines. Micro influencers showcase Mejuri product lines in various up-and-close images, such as the post you see above.
Mejuri gives each #mejuripartner a special promo code to attract buyers and track Micro influencer performance.
Coca-cola has been an international brand for decades and is growing fast in other parts of the world. Not a direct-to-consumer brand, Coca-cola still partners with influencers in other countries to boost brand awareness and drive distributor sales.
How They’re Doing It
Image via Instagram
Coca-cola uses Micro influencers to provide brand storytelling. Since Coca-cola sells through distributors, they use Micro influencers primarily to build brand awareness.
Many are surprised that Coca-cola doesn’t partner with Macro or Mega influencers (since they have used celebrity endorsements liberally in the past). However, this beverage brand recognizes the power of authenticity, and Micro influencers are delivering a more sincere and personal touch.
REI stands for Recreation Equipment, Inc. and is a distributor of outdoor gear. This brand exists in storefronts across North America and online. Customers are members of the REI Coop and represent some of the most “outdoorsy” consumers in the world.
How They’re Doing It
Image via Instagram
REI loves to use Micro influencers for product reviews, breathtaking pics including products sold at REI, and helpful outdoor tips. This outdoor vendor also encourages influencers to partner with brands sold in REI stores, such as in the post you see above.
Conclusion: Micro Influencer Marketing Can Be One of the Most Successful Influencer Marketing Programs for Your Brand
Micro influencers are the favorite influencer type of many brands both large and small. Audience sizes are small enough to nurture authentic engagement and large enough to generate respectable brand awareness.
If you’re new to influencer marketing, Micro influencers are a great place to start. For those brands that have until now only used Macro or Mega influencers, adding Micro influencers to your mix could greatly enhance your influencer program.
This article originally appeared in the Grin.co blog and has been published here with permission.