When it comes to influencer marketing, brands are quickly learning that perhaps size isn’t everything.
In fact, recent surveys show that the majority of consumers believe that individuals with smaller, more connected communities are actually more influential than their larger counterparts.
Sure, it's always a plus to get your brand in front of a few hundred thousand fresh faces on Instagram, but at what cost?
And so what if getting more out of your influencer strategy meant thinking small?
Welcome to the rise of the micro influencer.
This shift not only represents a major window of opportunity for brands looking to tap into niche audiences at a bargain, but also what follower counts mean to influencers at large.
What is a Micro Influencer, Anyhow?
At a glance, your average micro influencer looks identical to your traditional influencer when stacked side by side.
The striking difference on the surface, though? Their follower count.
These aren’t your Kylie Jenners or Nash Griers of the Internet: these are authentic, non-celebrities who have a dedicated niche following.
While there is no “magic” number for how many followers a micro influencer has, it’s not going to be in the six-figure range. Digiday defines such influences as having anywhere up to 10,000 followers, although that amount is subjective.
Taking a look at some of the micro influencers Instagram has to offer such as Australia’s own Ellese Chloe, it’s clear to see how smaller followings still get the job done.
Working with brands? Check.
Posting stunning snapshots? Yep.
Getting tons of love from followers. You bet.
Don’t let the follower count fool you, though. There’s much more value to smaller influencers than meets the eye.
Why Micro Influencers Are Totally Worth It for Brands
Influencer marketing in general represents a more authentic means for brands to spread the word.
So why so much love for micro influencers?
Higher Engagement Rates...
For starters, micro influencers traditionally have more engaged followings. When you consider the phenomenon of fake followers that’s infiltrated Instagram, brands have to tread lightly when it comes to hiring an influencer.
Although micro influencers’ may not boast those six-figure follower counts, the ratio of likes and comments to their followers is what signals their value.
At the end of the day, engagement rate determines how many people actually see an influencers’ posts versus bots.
Using an Instagram engagement calculator like the one from Phlanx, we can check out the average engagement rate of any given influencer.
Third-party tools tell the full story of an influencer versus follower count alone.
Think about it. It’s better to get in front of 10,000 legitimate people versus 100,000 fake fans, right? For those who want to get the most bang for the budget, micro influencers are often the way to go.
That leads directly to another major benefit of smaller influencers: the price tag.
...at a Lower Price
While you may have to shell out big bucks to someone with a larger audience, micro influencers will usually push your product at a reasonable rate. In some cases, they might even do an endorsement in exchange for a physical product by itself.
This spells good news for smaller brands who might not have the cash budget for a traditional influencer campaign.
A Prime Opportunity to Fine-Tune Your Influencer Strategy
And if nothing else, micro influencers are a smart way to test the waters of influencer marketing in general. Before you approach someone bigger, it flat out makes sense to refine your messaging and approach with smaller audiences first.
There are no real downsides to working with micro influencers, although we should not that they usually don’t represent “one and done” promotions. This might mean coming up with a micro-specific campaign of multiple posts across multiple channels, representing a commitment for brand and influence alike.
Ideally, you can form an ongoing relationship with multiple smaller influencers that represents a win-win situation for both sides. That is, you build up your reputation within your target audience as they gain more clout in the influencer space.
How to Find Micro Influencers
Finding the right micro influencer in the wild might require a bit of digging, but it can be done.
Relevant hashtags via Instagram are a solid starting point. Tools such as Phlanx and other engagement calculators can help you double-check just how engaged a potential influencer actually is to their audience.
You can likewise spot influencers mentioned in niche blogs or hanging out on in Facebook groups. Given how much vlogging has blown up, YouTube is also a prime place to find up-and-coming influencers.
Don’t neglect your own followers, either. Finding someone who’s already in love with your brand is pretty much the ideal situation: take a look at your biggest advocates to see if someone fits the bill. If you already work with other influencers, they might be able to refer you to an up-and-comer as well.
And if possible, try to keep your influencer strategy as local as possible. Most influencers would prefer to work with brands face-to-face for peace of mind. This likewise gives you the opportunity to make a strong first impression and iron out the details of how you can benefit each other. You may be surprised at just how far some free swag and a cup of coffee can go.
Of course, your best bet is to sign up for Hello Social’s own influencer marketing network. All you have to do is sign up and let us know a bit about the campaign you’re interested in running. Hello Social does the legwork of reaching out to influencers both big and small in Australia. Working with Tribe and the Right Fit, we bring even more influencers into our database to meet your needs.
How Much Should I Expect Pay Micro Influencers?
Good question! Although there is no “right” answer, some data from Sprout Social can help clue us in.
For an average influencer campaign, every $1 AUD spent resulted in a $6.88 AUD return in average media value. Noting that Instagram micro influencers with follower count around 1,000 cost roughly $110 AUD per post, it’s important to discuss conversion rates with your potential influencer before diving into a campaign. With this in mind, more followers don’t always mean more cash spent.
Ready to Work With Micro Influencers Yourself?
As authenticity matters more and more to brands and buyers alike, except the micro influencer boom to continue throughout 2018 and beyond. Securing influencers for your brand means being proactive and finding the right fit, so don’t hesitate to reach out to run your first campaign today.
And with the help of an experienced agency that’d been around the block, finding an influencer in your niche doesn’t have to be a giant guessing game. Rather than sitting on your hands in hope of organic traffic, start socialising ASAP and figure out how to become a micro influencer success story.
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