What Is Micro-Influencer Marketing and When Should You Use This Strategy?

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Influencer marketing campaigns can increase your brand’s overall visibility and boost sales for your products or services. Among several other benefits of implementing influencer marketing, working with influencers can give you direct access to your target audience, help you humanize your brand, and increase your credibility.

It can be difficult to decide what kind of partnership will be the most beneficial to your business. Many factors go into finding the best influencer to promote your brand, one of them being the size of their audience. In addition to their reach and your potential for exposure, there are several ways an influencer’s number of followers can affect your overall marketing strategy.

Keep reading to learn more about the different types of influencers and get insight into when you should include micro-influencers into your brand’s marketing strategy.

Differentiating Different Types of Influencers

With social media and the influencer industry constantly evolving, it can be difficult to solidify a definition or determine an exact audience size for each “level” of influencer. Modern-day social media influencers can usually be separated into four categories: Celebrities, macro/mega-influencers, micro-influencers, and nano-influencers. The requirements for fitting in one of these categories are still subjective, but the gist is as follows:

  • Celebrities are mainstream influencers with a high following and an extensive reach.
  • Macro/Mega-influencers have a significant presence on social media and a moderately large reach. They may not be household names like Kim Kardashian, but they likely hold authority in their online community and are experienced as an influencer.
  • Micro-influencers have fewer followers than macro-influencers or celebrities, but they may be well-known within their niche. What micro-influencers lack in overall reach they often make up for in their access to a particular geographic area or target audience.
  • It’s still up in the air regarding what exactly makes a nano-influencer, but they’re thought to have a relatively small and very interactive group of followers.

When Should You Work With Micro-Influencers?

So, what are the benefits of working with micro-influencers compared to other kinds of influencers? While it might seem like reaching the biggest audience possible is always the best move, there are more things to consider when making your partnerships.

The first thing to keep in mind is that macro-influencers can be harder to come by and be more costly. As an influencer’s audience grows, their price often does as well. It’s important to note that this isn’t always the case, and some macro-influencers price themselves in a more affordable way for the kind of promotion you’re seeking. Researching the current landscape is crucial before making partnerships. 

Micro-influencers do have something unique going for them: their engagement rates are usually higher than more prominent influencers’. For example, Statista recently reported that Instagram accounts with 15,000 to 100,000 followers had an average engagement rate of 2.13% as opposed to the average 1.28% engagement rate for accounts with 500,000+ followers.

Why Do Micro-Influencers Often Get More Engagement? 

There are several possible explanations for the high engagement rates of micro-influencers compared to celebrities and ultra-famous social media stars. One contributing factor is that they are more approachable due to their smaller audience, meaning that followers can look at them as more of a friend or peer.

Additionally, micro-influencers tend to produce content within a smaller niche or highly relatable content to a particular geographic area. This means fewer people are clicking “follow” just because the influencer is famous, thus there are fewer inactive or “ghost” followers.

How Your Brand Can Benefit From Micro-Influencer Marketing

Working with micro-influencers comes with many benefits for your brand thanks to their unique balance between audience size and engagement rates. Due to the more intimate community that micro-influencers often have, more people will be paying attention when your products or services are promoted. Of course, the more engaged an audience is, the more likely you are to see the results you want.

According to statistics from Shopify, 77% of marketers would rather work with micro-influencers over any other “level” of influencer. Why is this the case? It’s not just about the higher engagement rates that many micro-influencers get一it’s often about price and availability. There are more micro-influencers out there than there are celebrities or mega-influencers, meaning it will be easier to find one to work with in your price range. 

Though, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes larger influencers price themselves in a way that actually gives your brand more exposure for a lower price. Before making a final decision and reaching out to an influencer, it’s vital to solidify the goals of your campaign and do your research into the pros and cons of different prices points and levels of audience engagement.

Of course, many good things come with working with micro-influencers beyond the possible cost of services. For example, micro-influencers can be great partners when you’re trying to reach a particular audience or geographic area. Localizing your content in this way can give you a significant advantage.

Last but certainly not least, many micro-influencers may be thought of as more trustworthy and authentic by their audience, which are always good characteristics with which to associate your brand.

In Summary

There is a time and place for partnerships with each kind of influencer. While working with bigger influencers gives you the most reach, they aren’t always the best option.

Micro-influencers can make great partners when you are trying to reach a very specific targeted audience or an audience in a particular geographic area. This also means that if you have a long-term partnership with a “smaller” influencer, your visibility will grow as their following radius grows and their audience becomes more diverse.

When you go the micro-influencer route, it is also easier to find influencers that are closely aligned with your brand and that support a message that you are happy to associate your business with. This authenticity contributes to audience engagement and encourages people to check out your products or services. 

Price-wise, micro-influencers can often fit more easily into your marketing budget, but this will vary greatly depending on the kind of partnership you’re looking for. Therefore, it’s essential always to compare and contrast different influencers and price points in addition to engagement rates and reach.

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