Once upon a time, the term “influencer marketing” was exclusively tied to big-name celebrities, glamorous photoshoots on exotic foreign islands, or only reserved for mega household names like Coca Cola or Estée Lauder.
Sure, the effect that Selena Gomez or the Kardashians have is huge, but they aren’t necessarily the “norm” for influencer marketing anymore. Brands quickly realize that their massive reach comes with a pricetag – Remember when Kylie Jenner asked $1.2M for a single Instagram post? Yup.
Instead, brands alternatively and opportunely turned their attention into something else that’s arguably much more important in the influencer marketing world: Engagement. And who has the highest engagement rate? Micro-influencers.
Who are Micro-Influencers?
These influencers are not the Kylie Jenners of the world, and they also don’t have millions of followers. Depending on who you ask, most people would agree that micro-influencers have less than 100k followers, but that’s still a very large range. At Upfluence, we consider micro-influencers to have between 5k to 20k followers, and anywhere between 20k and 100k can either be micro, or micro leaning towards mid-size influencers.
They might not be the first people you think of when you think of the word “influencer”. In fact, they are the people you might see every day on your way to work, at school, or you might even know a few. They look just like us – which is great, great news for marketers: They look just like us.
We like and trust people who are similar to us. In fact, marketers know that 83% of consumers trust their friends and families’ recommendations before making a purchasing decision. Micro-influencers hold a very similar power to this – and they can transform your business’ influencer marketing campaigns in massive ways.
Micro-influencers are more accessible
Although it might be easier to find macro-influencers and celebrities (We’ve all clicked on one of those “Top 10 Celebrities to Follow on Instagram” before), they can be harder to connect and work with. Most larger influencers tend to have managers or agencies to manage their brand collaborations, have very tight content schedules, or only work with certain brands due to different partnership deals they currently have.
Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are much more accessible – but that doesn’t mean they are any less professional and dynamic. This simply means you get to weed out the middleman and reach straight to the person who you’ll be working with. Here you can directly discuss the nitty-gritty details like scheduling, handling, or payment on a much more personalized level.
This not only saves you time and resources, but it also helps you establish a much stronger relationship with the influencer from the get-go, and have a much deeper understanding of the influencers who will represent your brand and products.
Micro-influencers are more affordable
This is obvious, but smaller influencers can charge less than macro-influencers or celebrities. According to Bloglovin, 84% of micro-influencers charge less than $250 per post. However, this number can vary greatly depends on the type of collaborations, the influencer’s industry, their location, their engagement rate, and many more.
No matter what the number is, it is much lower than the amount a macro influencer typically asks for, which can be in the thousand-dollars-and-upwards range. This discrepancy is not only because of the difference in the following sizes, but macro-influencers also tend to have a significantly different social status and impact, which comes with a much higher price. A beauty influencer her self, Samantha Ravndahl, with almost 1M subscribers on Youtube, shares that the bigger influencers make “a LOT more money, not including luxurious brand trips, gifts, commissions, etc.”
Don’t have a budget for influencer payment at all? Sampling campaigns are a great way to work with micro-influencers, who might be receptive to exchange products for posts. Read more about your brand value prepositions in our “Product vs. Payment” article!
Micro-Influencers have higher engagement
It’s not coincidental that smaller influencers tend to have higher engagement rates. Just like how you tend to have a deeper relationship with your small friend group, compared to a room full of people – influencers and the social media world are the same. AdWeek also reports that micro-influencers perform 60% better than their larger counterparts when it comes to engagement rate in campaigns.
In fact, the lower the following number is, the higher the engagement rate gets. This number is the percentage of the number of likes and comments divided by their total followers. Influencer Marketing Hub’s analysis shows that:
Influencers with 100,000+ followers have 1.7% average engagement rate
Influencers with <100,000 followers have 2.4% average engagement rate
Influencers with <10,000 followers have 4% average engagement rate
Influencers with <5,000 followers have 5.7% average engagement rate
Influencers with <1,000 followers have 8% average engagement rate
How low do you go, in that case? At Upfluence, we think the sweet spot is between 7k and 20k followers, and of course, it depends on your industry, location, and goals. (Hint: the Upfluence software doesn’t only show you every influencer’s engagement rate, but you can also define the engagement rate as a filter while searching for influencers.)
Micro-Influencers can reach niche audiences
Micro-influencers tend to have a niche, and their small(er) group of followers follow them for that niche – As compared to people who follow Kylie Jenner because she is Kylie Jenner. So if you are a baking appliances company, your natural fit would be with an influencer who bakes and whose audience already loves and expects their baking content.
The same goes for influencers in other industries: beauty, tech, fashion, or even niches like gardening, pet grooming, etc. At the same time, don’t be afraid to be creative with the niches you can reach. For example, a male fragrance company can still work with female influencers, if you position the fragrance as a “gift” from the influencer to their partner, father, or son, etc.
There are tons of untapped opportunities
In the Upfluence database alone, there are 1.6M influencers with less than 20,000 Instagram followers. This group of influencers spans across hundreds of industries, and there are constantly new waves of influencers appearing and growing. This leaves brands and marketers a massive, untapped land of opportunities for collaboration with content creators.
We mentioned earlier that micro-influencers are cost-effective. This means that instead of limiting yourself to a big macro-influencer payment, you can use that budget and time to utilize 10 or 100 times as many micro-influencers to work with, in various campaigns.
Micro-Influencers are easier to find than ever
Because there are so many influencers across different niches, manually searching on Instagram for the right one can be tedious, time-consuming, and even fruitless. Imagine having the task to find 500 niche influencers who:
- Have between 7k and 12k followers
- Engagement rate over 3%
- Located in Miami
- Industry: Organic skincare
- Gender: Female
- Audience: At least 60% female
It can take weeks to manually source these influencers, not to mention audience data you might not have access to. However, software like Upfluence can easily pinpoint these exact influencers and show them to you within seconds. This way, you truly have the power to focus on reaching out, building influencer relationships, and working on campaigns, instead of searching, searching, and more searching.
Examples of brands who leverage micro-influencers:
Glossier, a beauty company, has worked with many influencers with various follower numbers, especially micro and nano-influencers. As their messaging focuses on beauty being accessible to everyone, the diversity of their influencer representation has brought them incredible successes.
Daniel Wellington has partnered with many influencers ranging from a micro level to celebrities. This way, they can target influencers and audiences in different niches, with different styles, and in different countries.
Bumble, an online dating app, leverages micro-influencers in many different ways. They frequently have branded-parties where micro-influencers and prospective users can join. Bumble capitalises on social sentiment using it to position themselves as a young, hip brand catered towards the youth.
Are you ready to transform your business with influencer marketing? Explore how easy it is to find the right micro-influencers with Upfluence‘s AI-powered software: Influencer sourcing, outreaching, campaign scaling, and performance tracking all in one powerful software.