Why Micro Influencers Matter

Illustration of a person holding a pink megaphone in front of a phone. Working with micro influencers blog post
Illustration of a person holding a pink megaphone in front of a phone. Working with micro influencers blog post

Influencer marketing has grown rapidly over the past decade, and marketers are leveraging influencers to increase brand awareness more so than ever. But while big named influencers like Kim Kardashian were once the only sought after option, we now live in an age where micro-influencers reign supreme.

Marketers now know that when it comes to influencers, the number of followers isn’t the only, or even the best, metric to use for determining "influence." People relate to people, and for audiences today, authenticity, trust, and connection is what they value from brands — but it's something that micro-influencers already offer. Today's influencers are in many ways an extension of the kind of word-of-mouth marketing businesses covet: recommendations from friends, family, and now someone on the internet who just happens to have an audience devoted to their content, style, and interests.

Micro-influencers by definition have fewer followers. But these niche audiences are loyal and highly engaged. 

There’s a difference between a celebrity and an influencer, and there’s also a big difference between a macro-influencer and a micro-influencer. Today there are actually 4 broad buckets of influencers: Nano, Micro, Macro, and Mega. In this blog we’ll be looking at what a micro -influencer is, how to find them, the benefits of working with micro-influencers, and tips for building a fruitful relationship.

Contents

What is a Micro-Influencer?

A micro-influencer is a content creator who has a "smaller" platform on social media — the general consensus is that micro influencers have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. They’re often experts on a specific topic, industry, or skill, and have a highly engaged online community. Sometimes nano-influencers (1000 to 10,000 followers) are roped into the Micro category, and for the purposes of this blog we'll be considering them fairly similar.

How are Micro-Influencers Different From Macro-Influencers? 

Macro-influencers have larger followings (typically between 100,000 and 1 million) and could be considered more of your standard "public figure" than a micro influencer. In many cases being an influencer is their full time job, thus they are more expensive to work with. While micro influencers do support themselves with brand partnerships, it's likely they also have a 9-5 or other means of work as well.

How Can Brands Benefit From Micro-Influencers?

Marketing team around a table strategizing working with micro-influencers.

There are many advantages for brands working with micro-influencers. It can be more cost effective for one thing, and if you find someone you really like working with, you can grow with them as their audience grows, putting you in front of larger audiences from an already established place of brand credibility. It's also a great way to grow brand awareness and your social followings since you're getting in front of audiences who already like to engage on their social channels.

Here's a few key benefits of working with micro-influencers:

Budget friendly

While we'd all love a celebrity endorsement for our business, for most of us it just isn’t feasible. Now, smaller brands on smaller budgets can partner with less famous people who still have a wide-spread influence. The ‘micro-influencer’ is inexpensive (in relative terms), effective, and just what your brand needs if you’re not in a position to hire Mr. Clooney or Ms. Aniston.

As a benchmark figure, micro-influencers can charge as little as $100 (nano-influencers will charge less — between $2-$10 in some cases) for a post depending on their follower count. By saving on costs you can work with several micro-influencers at once and benefit from multiple engaged communities.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, here are some rough ranges for how much nano or micro-influencers charge in 2022:

Instagram

  • Anywhere from $10 a post to $500 a post

YouTube

  • Between $20 and $1,000 per video

TikTok

  • You could pay as low as $5 for a TikTok influencer post, or as high as $125

Twitter

  • Between $2 and $100

Facebook

  • Nano or micro-influencers on Facebook could charge between $25 and $1,250

High engagement rates

Micro-influencer team filming in an office building.

Your brand’s visibility increases when using micro influencers. According to a recent study, TikTok is where brands considering influencer marketing may want to focus. Instagram shows a high engagement rate for nano-influencers, but much lower for standard micro-influencers. YouTube shows what might be considered an average engagement rate. But TikTok blows them out of the water with engagement rates all above 10%.

Instagram influencers

  • 1K - 5K followers have 4.84% engagement
  • 5K - 20K followers have 1.7% engagement
  • 20K - 100K followers have 1.22% engagement

YouTube influencers

  • 1K - 5K followers have 2.0% engagement
  • 5K - 20K followers have 2.7% engagement 
  • 20K - 100K followers have 3.5% engagement

TikTok influencers

  • 1K - 5K followers have 12.4% engagement
  • 5K - 20K followers have 13.3% engagement
  • 20K - 100K followers have 12.9% engagement

Improved trust

The best marketing shouldn't feel like marketing. Consumers are bombarded daily with different advertisements and marketing campaigns, all intended to get them to buy something. Consequently, consumers have developed a distrust of major corporate brands and advertising in general.

When you promote your products through micro-influencers, you go a long way toward humanizing and personalizing your brand, and inspiring trust in your consumer. Especially if you work with the same influencer multiple times, it signals to the audience that a) the influencer trusts your brand and b) you trust the influencer in the same way the audience does. You appreciate their communication style, post style, and you understand that their followers are the right niche for you.

How to Find Micro-Influencers

Finding micro-influencers does require some research, whether you go the manual-search route or use an influencer management platform to scale your efforts. Once you filter down your list you still need to dig deeper than the follower count to understand their relationship with their audience. Look at their replies and comments to see how their followers interact with each other, as well as the consistency of the influencers responses.

Micro-influencer standing in front of a camera in a kitchen holding blueberries. Micro-influencers tips blog post.

Here's a few ways you can start your search:

Want more info? We have a full blog post all about how to find influencers and sustain relationships!

Research on your own

While this can be time-consuming, it can be done. Once you’ve chosen a social media platform, search for profiles using a keyword and then use the filters provided to narrow down the results. You can also look through your current follower list for those who may be a fit.

Hire an agency

Agencies specialize in helping brands find a wide range of influencers. It can be costly, but is a good option if you're wanting to scale your influencer program, and require assistance in the vetting, pitching, and hiring process.

Use an influencer marketing platform 

An end-to-end social influencer management platform, like Klear from Meltwater, not only helps you find influencers but also helps you manage and measure your campaigns from start to finish. 

Request a demo for Meltwater's Klear to get started with influencer marketing!

In-app tools

Today's top social platforms for influencer marketing often offer their own native services for matching influencers to brands for potential partnerships. This is a great way to connect if you've got some very platform-specific ideas to pitch and want to find an influencer who is an expert in a particular style (such as Instagram Stories or YouTube vidoes).

Micro-Influencer Marketing Success Story: Zara, South Africa

Zara was the top trending name globally just one day before their South African online store launch, without celebrity endorsements or macro-influencer voices. How? Due to the power of micro-influencers.

Many social media users on Twitter praised global fashion brand, Zara, for going against the grain when they used micro-influencers for their #DearSouthAfrica campaign. The campaign successfully generated online conversations that reached over 6 million people worldwide – all just one day before the online store launch.

On the actual day of the launch, there were close to 8 million people engaging with the ‘Zara’ and #DearSouthAfrica on social media. By using about 60 micro-influencers during the campaign, they were able to inspire a high level of brand awareness and tap into a wider audience.

Keyword cloud from Zara micro-influencer campaign

In the case of the Zara #DearSouthAfrica campaign, using micro-influencers proved how much these social media content creators have to offer in marketing strategies, even for enormous global companies. With so much traction being generated around the campaign’s hashtag a day before the launch, users around the world engaged with the campaign’s branded hashtag, creating quick online awareness that worked far better than traditional marketing strategies such as print, billboards or broadcast.

Conclusion

Micro-influencers should not be ignored in your marketing strategies. If Zara showed us one thing, it is that micro-influencers have great value and incredible impact. With a smaller but highly engaged following, micro-influencers provide brand exposure that audiences will trust more. Your brand will truly benefit from the trusted credibility and personal connections that micro-influencers have.

The type of influencer you target will very much depend on your goals. If you want to boost reach, impressions & brand awareness, micro-influencers who have a larger following are a good way to go. If you want to increase engagement and conversions, consider a middle-range micro-influencer.

As the final note, it’s important to remember that any influencer marketing strategy takes time. Fortunately, many tools exist to cut down the time while increasing the impact of your micro influencer marketing strategy. Fill out the form below to get a 15-minute demo of how Meltwater's social influencer platform helps you search, monitor, and engage with influencers!

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