Influencer marketing has opened up a new world and created more opportunities for brands to connect directly with their consumers. They do it by creating branded content with social media influencers who can expand their audience reach organically while attracting their target market at the same time. It's no surprise why nearly 60% of marketers are planning to boost their influencer marketing budgets.
However, getting top influencers to promote your product or service can be difficult for startups and small businesses. They would have to compete with the big guys - known companies that already have a huge fan base. They would also have to shell out large amounts just to get these influencers on board. This is where micro-influencers come in.
In this article, we will focus on social media micro-influencers: what they are, where to find them and how small businesses can benefit from their marketing.
What Are Micro-Influencers?
Micro-influencers can be anyone from bloggers to just everyday consumers that have built a loyal following on social media. They can also be described as influencers with a smaller audience, but have highly engaged followers. It’s not the number of followers that make them, but how much engagement they get. That is how their audience shows they value their thoughts and opinions: through shares, likes, and comments.
Why Use Micro-Influencers?
In today's world where 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals, it's clear why brands have shifted their focus to influencer marketing. However, due to the changes in the algorithm on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook where it has become apparent that the quality of followers is more valuable than the quantity, micro-influencers have become the practical choice for companies in promoting their brand because of the genuine engagement they create from their small circle of loyal followers.
Why Micro-Influencers Are Better:
1. They don't require a huge budget.
A lot of marketers nowadays use celebrities as part of their marketing strategy, but they are actually missing out on a much bigger opportunity with micro-influencers. They charge significantly less than top-tier influencers. Some would even agree to promote the brand when they are offered free products or services.
There was a research study that involved 2,500 micro-influencers and it was revealed how much they expect to be paid per platform. See the results below:
2. They get more engagement and buying conversations.
A study conducted by Dr. Jonah Berger showed that micro-influencers have up to 22.2 times more conversations each week than an average consumer. The research also highlighted the fact that because they are real life influencers who are truly passionate about what they are recommending online and offline, their impact to people is more powerful, hence consumers are more likely to act on their recommendations.
Micro-influencers also drive better engagement despite the lower count of followers and subscribers. Here are some statistics provided by Contevo that might surprise you:
- Users with 1,000 followers or less get 9.75% engagement.
- Users with 1,000 to 4,000 followers get 4.5% engagement.
- Users with 4,000 to 100,000 followers get 2.4% engagement.
- Users with 100,000 followers get only 1.75% engagement.
See the difference in engagement? Micro-influencers with 1,000 followers or less got an impressive 9.75% engagement on average. That's because of the highly engaged audience they have. This should be an eye-opener to companies who are planning to use the power of influencer marketing. It doesn't always mean the higher the number of followers an influencer has, the better the return or sales.
3. They are regarded to be more knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Micro-influencers are passionate and invested in the content they post. Remember that they are also everyday consumers. These are people who might have tried your service or product not because they were paid, but because they are genuinely interested in them. Thus, they will be more authentic in their recommendations and opinions about it. That’s one of the ways how they become trusted by their followers.
They also have a significant impact compared to an average person. Micro-influencers are perceived as more credible (94% vs. 83%) and more knowledgeable (94% vs. 84%) about the product or service they promote.
Here's an infographic to sum it all up:
Finding The Right Micro-influencers To Join Your Team
Social Media Platforms
You can use the location tag feature on Instagram when looking for micro-influencers either locally or internationally. You simply have to type in the city or country in the search bar and browse through the posts shown in the results. Take a peek at users social media profiles and see which ones fit your qualifications and align with your company's core values.
Another way to search for micro-influencers is through hashtags and keywords. This will easily help you to look for people who are interested in a particular topic. So, if you are running a travel company, for example, you can use hashtags like #travel or #travelblogger.
It's a bit more difficult to find micro-influencers on Facebook because of the way Facebook is designed and that is to connect with people you already know. Facebook also has privacy settings which makes it hard for marketers to look for people especially if you don't possess their names. The right approach here is to look for Facebook groups in your niche. For instance, if you want to target single parents, there are numerous Facebook groups focused on single parenting. Using the search section of Facebook will help you find the right group and people.
Look into your existing followers. They might be a goldmine of micro-influencers, but the question is: how do you scout them? It's a waste of time and effort if you manually search for them. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there in the market that can make your hunt easier. Using the right social media management platform can help you identify who the key topic influencers are. These are people who contribute to a particular topic the most. With Social Media Monitoring you can track people by their activity on a particular network.
If you want to avoid the manual labor of searching people online using Google, get in touch with agencies focused on micro-influencers. They have a database of people who are willing to work with companies and promote their products or services through their own social media channels. They usually know the analytics of the micro-influencers signed up in their network so they can easily determine which ones are the best fit for your brand.
Qualities Of A Good Micro-Influencer
Now that you know where and how to find them, let's talk about the characteristics of a good micro-influencer.
Their values should be aligned with your brand's core values. Don't just randomly pick an influencer based on how their Instagram profile looks. You should also look at the content they post if they are a great reflection of your business as they will become voices or spokesperson for your brand.
Their interactions with their followers should be of quality.
The number of followers should not be the basis when looking for micro-influencers. It should be the genuine conversation between influencers and audience. You will know if the quality of their social media interactions is good if most of their followers are reacting to their posts.
Their reputation online should be free from controversies.
You have to check if they are caught up in suspicious affiliations or if they have published shady posts on their social media channels. Make sure they are not in any way connected to these questionable groups or organizations.
Success Stories Of Brands With Micro-influencers
Cosmetic companies like Sephora are obsessed with micro-influencers. They feature beauty enthusiasts on their Instagram account and actively engage with their followers by setting up events hosted by influencers. Here's an example:
They run daily #DWPickoftheDay where followers are encouraged to use the hashtag #DanielWellington. They are urging micro-influencers to promote their brand through Instagram and get free publicity in the company's official account in exchange.