What is a “Micro-Influencer”?

The micro-influencer is a response to the quickly evolving consumer desire for authenticity. In the recent past, employing celebrity influencers was the way to go. After all, if these wealthy, high-profile celebrities endorsed something, it must be worth our investment, right? Well, until people started realizing the sheer amount of money that these influencers were getting paid for one single promotion. Anyone would take those deals, even a high-powered, millionaire celeb. And what are the odds that Kendall Jenner is actually slathering Proactiv on her face when she has access to the best dermatologists and luxury skincare products in the country? Pretty low, if you ask us. 

People are catching on. They want to see real people achieving real results from these products and services, not a highly doctored and over-produced commercial featuring people who probably can’t even accurately assess the price of a banana from the local supermarket. So here’s how you can not only provide your audience with authentic assessments of your product or service, while helping out small online creators and influencers in the process!

What is a micro-influencer?

A micro-influencer is someone with an online social media presence with a follower count ranging from 1,000 to 10,000. A lot of them have a narrower niche that isn’t popular enough to garner hundreds of thousands of fans, but the ones they do have are extremely loyal and offer high engagement levels that are excellent in proportion to their follower count. In fact, the biggest strength of the micro-influencer is their rock-solid engagement from followers who genuinely love and trust them. They are usually very aware of this fact, so they are likely to only work with brands they really believe in and can feel confident that they’re sharing something of value to their followers. 

The Secret Sauce of the Micro-influencer

The fact that these small creators are so protective of their brand and hesitant to jump into paid promotions may seem like it would be a downside, but that is simply not true. In fact, this works in your favor. Yes, you may have to spend more time seeking out the perfect fit who is willing to work with you, but once you find them, the partnership you form will be super strong and beneficial for both parties. While it’s easy to get a popular celebrity with millions of fans to agree to sell anything if you throw a whole bunch of cash at them, there’s really not much motivating them to do more than the bare minimum. Many of these kinds of promotions can come off as forced and disingenuous, especially since a lot of these celebrities aren’t actually real users of the product. Why would they express real passion about something they themselves don’t even care about, let alone use? 

On the other hand, because micro-influencers are so close to their audience and picky about whom they work with, if they choose to do an ad for you, it’s not uncommon for them to A) have already used and enjoyed your product or service, or B) love the concept and are excited and willing to give their all in testing and reviewing your product or service. These kinds of influencers rarely promote something unless they have tried it and approved of it for their own use, which is exactly what consumers these days are looking for. There’s a huge amount of trust involved in the process of working with a micro-influencer, but that’s far from a bad thing. 

The Benefits of Working with a Micro-influencer

Still not convinced? Here are some more benefits you can expect:

  • Budget-friendly. Because you’re not promoting to an audience of hundreds of thousands, naturally you’re going to find that smaller creators will charge much less for a promotional deal. Celebrities can charge up to $75,00 for a single Instagram ad, while 97% of micro-influencers on Instagram charge less than $500 for a promotional post. Obviously the catch here is that due to the small audience size of these creators, you will inevitably have to reach out to multiple micro-influencers to reach the number of people you’re hoping for, but you’ll still be saving money.
  • More communication. Because micro-influencers are typically just one person running a social media account, you’ll likely be able to communicate with them much more easily and effectively than if you were going through some bigshot celeb’s PR person. Not to mention that celebrities get thousands of promotion requests per day, so it may be eons past by the time they get to yours. In contrast, accounts with less followers aren’t going to be fielding an overwhelming number of requests, so they’ll be able to get back to you pretty quickly.
  • Ability to target specific groups. Most influencers have to start small in order to gain traction, meaning they’re likely most popular within a specific niche or among a specific demographic. This allows you to more easily narrow down and target those specific audiences, which can be really helpful.
  • Mutually beneficial relationship. Perhaps the best thing about working with small creators is that it’s more than just an exchange of money. You’re investing in their work and helping them establish their place as an influencer, and in return they are promoting your brand to their super loyal followers and welcoming you into their community. It’s a win-win for everyone!