Who are micro-influencers and why should you work with them?

When it comes to choosing which influencers to work with, it’s usually not about the number of followers. Actually, it’s the other way around: micro-influencers often bring much better results than famous influencers with millions of followers!

Wait, who is a micro-influencer?

In general, the term “micro-influencer” refers to an influencer with a smaller following.  The exact numbers depend heavily on the market: in a small market, a micro-influencer can be defined as an influencer with 1000 to 10 000 followers.  In a big market such as the US, micro-influencers are often defined as influencers with less than 100 000 followers.

The idea of using micro-influencers might be confusing at first. Why should you work with someone who has a smaller followers base? Let’s find it out!

1. Micro-influencers are more relatable

Micro-influencers aren’t celebrities. Unlike Kardashians, they are easy to relate to – and that’s why their followers trust them.

They have their ups and downs, their struggles, and insecurities.  They create their own content, sharing bits, and pieces from their lives. Occasionally, they also share their favorite brands or products and usually don’t get paid for doing it.  And even if they do, the recommendations feel so much more authentic as they have built the relationship beforehand.

Usually, micro-influencers are very engaged with their audience.  They are happy to chat with their followers, answer to their comments and build connections with their followers. They are just like friends on social media!

Moreover, micro-influencers are oftentimes very loyal. As they don’t have many brand collaborations,  they stick to their favorite brands and continue recommending them even when the official collaboration has ended.  

micro-influencer @lemettikatja and Valio collaboration photo

Jekaterina Lemetti (@lemettikatja) x Valio campaign photo

2. Micro-influencers are good for reaching niche markets

Most micro-influencers focus on a specific topic in their content – which means that their followers are also following them for that type of content.  Therefore, micro-influencers are a very good way to reach a specific target group.

For example, a book blogger might not have a large audience – but their audience follows them to get reading recommendations and know about the latest book releases. Therefore, for a book store or a distributor, collaboration with this influencer might have a very good return on investment.

This is especially important for the local brands: if you’re targeting customers in a specific country, working with a global superstar would mean that most of your investment would go to waste! For the local brands, working with local micro-influencers is so much more cost effective.

3. Micro-influencers have higher engagement

As micro-influencers often have a strong community and they are engaging with their audience, influencers with a smaller following have a 60% higher engagement rate than large influencers.

Average engagement rates of influencers on Promoty:

• Up to 1000 followers – 16,2%
• 1000 to 5000 followers – 13,1%
• 5000 to 10 000 followers – 7,5%
• 10 000 to 20 000 followers – 5,3%
• 20 000 to 50 000 followers – 4,2%
• over 50 000 followers – 3,5%

Thanks to higher engagement, the posts of micro-influencers get a better position in the eyes of the Instagram algorithm, and the posts reach a bigger part of their followers.

Here’s an example of two campaigns:  a campaign with one big influencer with 50K followers and a campaign with 10 micro-influencers with 5K followers each.

micro influencer vs big influencer comparison

CPE: cost per engagement

Although the potential audience size is the same, micro-influencers have higher engagement, which means that the campaign posts will probably have more likes and comments – and due to the higher engagement, probably also a higher reach. 

4. Micro-influencers bring higher ROI

While big Instagram celebrities can ask for hundreds or thousands of euros just for one post, then micro-influencers ask for remarkably lower prices.

Moreover, if you are able to find the top fans of your brand who are using your product anyway and are happy to recommend it to their followers, they’ll probably be ready to participate in the campaign for a smaller fee or in exchange for products only!

Combining the smaller fees with more trustworthiness and bigger influence on their audience, collaborations with micro-influencers might bring significantly better return of investment for brands.

Krista Saadma and Valio collaboration photo

Krista Saadma (@krista_saadma) x Valio campaign photo

What are the disadvantages of micro-influencers?

Often, micro-influencers put way more effort into content creation than experienced influencers to prove themselves and continue to work with the brands.

However, this is not a rule – sometimes, their visuals are not that professional yet. They might not have the skill of telling a brand story without being too promotional. And sometimes, as they don’t have much experience working with brands yet, they might be less professional and slightly difficult to work with.

That’s why it’d be good to use an influencer marketing platform like Promoty, where you can see their statistics, previous collaborations and also review the campaign posts before they go live.

Also, we strongly recommend that you review the influencers’ posts, photo quality and post captions before you confirm the collaboration with them. That will also give you a good understanding of the influencer’s skills and the expected outcome of the collaboration.

Of course, a good campaign brief would help, too! While experienced influencers often need a lot of creative freedom and know what works for their audience, micro-influencers might need more detailed guidelines from the brand.

Do we have any micro-influencer case studies?

Yes, we do! For example, Finnish chocolate and candy brand Halva did a product campaign with 99 micro-influencers. The main goals of the campaigns were to maximize visibility on Instagram and get more followers to the brands’ Instagram pages.

That helped Halva to reach 380 000+ people and get +6852 new followers on Instagram –  in a small market like Finland; it’s quite a noticeable reach! As influencers were rewarded with products, the campaign budget was 1014€ (Promoty’s fee only). That’s what we call cost-effective influencer marketing!

Halva’s Kingis Product Launch

Goal: Engage influencers to get additional visibility for Halva’s new product launch

Reward: Product (box of candies)
Posts: 99
Reach: 389 845
Likes: 28 826
CPE: 0,02€
New followers: 6852

How to find relevant micro-influencers on Instagram?

In general, there are three ways to find micro-influencers for your brand:

a) Start with your own customers. If there are any influencers among your existing customers, you should start from there – especially if they are already your fans! As they already know your brand, collaboration posts would be more authentic and therefore bring better results.

b) Find influencers manually on Instagram. Finding suitable influencers on Instagram can be quite time-consuming. However, if you want to take this route, you can use the search based on locations, hashtags, and the “suggested for you” function.

c) Use an Instagram influencer marketing platform. We’ve built our platform in a way that influencers apply to brands’ campaigns by themselves. This helps you to quickly and easily find influencers who are interested in your brand and would love to spread the word!

Additionally, you will see their detailed Instagram statistics, audience demographics, previous collaborations and you can review the submitted content before it goes live.

micro-influencer's profile view on Promoty

Influencer’s Instagram audience view on Promoty.

Once you have found the first micro-influencers for your brand, you can start working with them. If you find more micro-influencers, you can add them to the campaign!

According to the Pareto principle, 20% of the efforts bring 80% of the results. Of course, that also applies to influencer marketing! In other words, you can assume that 80% of the impact is created by 20% of the influencers you work with.

Hence, your micro-influencer strategy should be optimized like this:

1. Choose 10-20 micro-influencers along per campaign.

2. When the campaign ends, compare the stats and choose 2-4 influencers (20%) who brought in the best results

3. Turn these 2-4 influencers into brand ambassadors, switch the remaining 80% into new micro-influencers. It’s like optimizing your PPC ads!

4. Repeat the process all year round. This way, you’ll build an army of micro-influencers who bring results to your brand

To sum it up: instead of buying one post from an Instagram celebrity, try working with smaller influencers in your field. That way, you get higher reach and more engagement for less, which might result in higher brand awareness and more new customers. Additionally, that would probably bring you better results with a smaller marketing investment, resulting in a higher ROI.

If you have any questions about Promoty or want to know how your company could get started with influencer marketing, let us know – we’d be happy to help!

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