By this point, most businesses are familiar with influencer marketing. Last year, approximately 86% of marketers said that they used influencers in their campaigns, and the percentage has risen significantly since then.
What are micro-influencers, and why are they such a hot topic all of a sudden?
A micro-influencer is like any other influencer: they are the influential members and content makers on a given social network. What makes them “micro” is the size of their following.
Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 90,000 followers. Those who have followers in the hundreds of thousands are called macro-influencers. The next step after that is a mega-influencer, which is anybody with over a million followers.
Though there is a tendency among marketers to want to go big, micro-influencers shouldn’t be dismissed because of their relatively modest follower counts. In fact, that should be considered their greatest asset.
Instagram is full of micro-influencers. They make up a considerable portion of its user base. And if you want to get anywhere on the platform, you’ll need their help.
Here are 10 reasons why your brand should be working with micro-influencers on Instagram:
1. Lower costs.
All marketing campaigns have limitations. One of the most pressing of these is the budget. It’s the harsh reality that keeps many visions grounded.
Not everybody can afford the biggest, flashiest forms of advertising. For some businesses, it’s just a matter of making the most of what they’ve got.
With the recent boom in influencer marketing, prices have been skyrocketing. Trying to work with the most popular influencers is becoming expensive. Some even charge 6 figures for a single post!
For the amount you’d pay for one macro-influencer, you could work with dozens of micro-influencers. This is why they’re often the most cost-effective option.
A typical micro-influencer on Instagram will charge between $75 and $250 per post. Some might even ask for less than that. It’s an incredible return on investment for the amount you spend, and can be a boon to smaller businesses who don’t want to break the bank with their marketing.
2. Targeted audiences.
What does a micro-influencer have over their counterparts with larger follower counts?
The ability to target specific niche groups.
At first you might wonder why this is better than reaching the greatest number of people possible. The answer is simple: The smaller an audience, the more passionate and tightly knit they tend to be.
The problem with believing that more viewers is always better is that it assumes that everybody is equally interested in your product. This is rarely the case.
Let’s say that you sell bicycle gear. If you work with an influencer who has a broad audience of 500,000 followers, not all of them are going to be cyclists. However, if you work with a micro-influencer in the cycling community who has 10,000 followers, you can be assured that nearly all of them ride bicycles.
3. Higher engagement.
One of the benefits of having a smaller audience is that it’s easier to interact with them.
You’ll notice that some macro-influencers just stop talking to their followers. It becomes overwhelming when they have so many people trying to get their attention at once. So engagement rates drop after a certain point.
Micro-influencers have more freedom in this regard. Many of them are able to have meaningful conversations with viewers, or like and comment on other people’s posts. This helps them build trust and form relationships with their followers. As a result, they tend to cultivate a loyal audience.
When a micro-influencer promotes a brand, their followers are more likely to notice and engage with the post. This in turn leads to a higher chance of conversion.
4. Easier to work with.
The higher level an influencer is, the more difficult it is to reach out to them. Macro-influencers are often swamped by inquiries from brands. Consequently, they tend to be more selective about who they work with.
Micro-influencers don’t usually have this problem. Some of them aren’t even aware that they’re considered influencers, or that they could make money doing what they normally do. They are often ecstatic about any offers they get.
Without having to compete with other brands, you can have clear and unbroken communication with an influencer. There is more room for negotiation and collaboration between both parties. They have the time to develop effective content with you.
You’ll find that micro-influencers are often very friendly and agreeable, which makes for a pleasant work relationship.
5. Quality content.
Instagram is a platform of content creators. There are millions of talented individuals on the website who have their own unique visual styles. Some micro-influencers gain their followings because of their strong eye for photography or video content.
This means that you don’t have to sacrifice quality while on a tight budget.
Most micro-influencers strive to give their followers consistently great content. They work hard to build their viewer base, rather than coast by on popularity.
If you search around a bit, you’ll probably find a micro-influencer whose aesthetic meshes well with the one you’ve established for your brand. You could even ask for their permission to post their work on your feed
6. More authenticity.
Traditional marketing is gradually going the way of the dinosaur. You need to adapt to the digital age if you want to survive.
For instance, major celebrities no longer have the drawing power that they used to have. They are seen as artificial, their opinions bought by the brands they endorse.
Influencers are viewed as honest, everyday people, so their opinions are generally trusted. Their genuine enjoyment of a product can be enough to sway many people’s purchasing decisions.
A brand can gain credibility through working with micro-influencers. Just don’t try to control their content. Let them express themselves as they normally do.
7. Room for experimentation.
A good thing about micro-influencer relationships is that they’re low-risk endeavors. Even if a post doesn’t yield as much engagement as you had hoped, it was still worth the negligible amount you paid for it.
Feel free to experiment. Try new techniques with micro-influencers. If they don’t work out, you can learn from the mistakes you’ve made. On the other hand, you might discover successful new strategies that you can implement in the future.
Think of it as a way to optimize your Instagram marketing for the best results.
You should also take note of your experiences with the influencers. Learn what they tend to respond to, so that you can improve the ways in which you communicate with them.
8. Enthusiasm for the brand.
Sometimes you don’t have to look far to find a micro-influencer. Many of them might already be following you.
Comb through your followers for potential micro-influencers, or use the search function to find anybody who has posted about your brand. It’s always better to work with people who already purchase your products and demonstrate an attachment to your brand.
As stated above, influencers are respected for their perceived authenticity. If they truly enjoy the things they recommend or showcase in their content, then it will shine through.
The beauty of this approach is that there’s already an organic relationship between both parties. It only needs to be encouraged and allowed to grow.
9. Stronger partnerships.
If a micro-influencer isn’t working with any other brand, you can try to form an exclusive, long-term partnership with them.
Try to continually build this relationship up. Perhaps you can assist in planning and sponsoring a personal project they’ve always wanted to do. Or maybe you can fund their participation in an event you’ve already planned.
It’s important that you don’t make this partnership a one-off occurrence. The longer you stick with micro-influencers, the greater the rewards. Eventually your brand will become a common name within their respective communities.
10. Increased visibility online.
The truth is that it’s harder than ever to spread brand awareness on the internet. Countless users have adblock plugins for their browsers. Those who do view advertisements will skip them the first chance they get.
These trends are forcing businesses to become smarter and more creative.
Influencer marketing is potent because internet users actually want to view it. They look up to influencers for their critical thoughts and appraisal. It’s content that gets actively sought out, rather than passively overlooked as background noise.
Micro-influencers help diffuse a brand’s presence throughout the digital ecosystem. Instead of attempting to stand out, it’s better to blend in naturally. You will gain more visibility through integration. Consumers prefer this method because it doesn’t feel like the marketing is being forced upon them.