As a savvy marketing machine in the world of influencer marketing, you’ve heard the term micro-influencer, but what is it? Micro-influencers are everyday consumers with a social following of 10,000 – 50,000 followers around relevant topics. Your influencer marketing strategy is most likely composed of celebrities on Instagram, Youtube stars, bloggers, or even a mix of all of them.
What you may not know is that micro-influencers are more effective for brand partnerships than any other category of influencer and you should consider micro-influencer marketing in your marketing strategy. Brands value partnerships with micro-influencers because of their highly-engaged audiences, cost-effectiveness compared to larger creators, and their ability to do more for your brand than larger creators like reviews and research. Follow along for more information on what micro-influencers are, how they’re different, and why your brand should work with them.
What is a Micro-influencer?
Micro-influencers are everyday consumers with a social following of 10,000 – 50,000 followers around relevant topics. They are creators who make content as a “side-hustle” and often aspire to become a macro-influencer one day. Micro-influencers have built a loyal following based on the authentic content they create and have a strong understanding of what content performs well with their smaller audience.
Micro-influencers can be found across all social media platforms, but the most common platforms used by micro-influencers are Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook. A few examples of micro-influencers are Steph Mendoza, Sarah Aman, & Rachel Benson.
What are Micro-influencers on Instagram?
Micro-influencers on Instagram are the same as micro-influencers on other platforms, their only difference being the platform they utilize is Instagram. Instagram represents the birthplace and backbone of the influencer marketing industry as many creators have begun their work as an influencer on the platform and grown their following through the content they share.
One reason micro-influencers are on Instagram is because it is the most frequently used and widely trafficked platform across all domestic and international age demographics. Another compelling reason micro-influencers use Instagram is that the majority of brand collaboration opportunities occur on the platform. To learn more about influencer marketing on Instagram, check out Mavrck’s Instagram Influencer Marketing Guide.
How Many Followers do Micro-Influencers Have?
Micro-influencers typically have a range of 10,000 – 50,000 followers. That being said, with the variety of influencers, growth of social media usage, and growth of the influencer marketing industry, this range can vary and changes over time. Depending on the specific platform like Instagram, TikTok, or Youtube, the following range for micro-influencers can shift. Brand marketers can use 10,000 – 50,000 followers as a general guideline, but you should consider average followings and users of your preferred social network and how that might affect the typical follower range.
Macro- vs. Micro-Influencers: What’s the difference between them?
The main difference between macro- and micro-influencers is the amount of followers they have. Macro-influencers typically have 100,000 – 1 million followers and micro-influencers typically have 10,000 – 50,000 followers. There is not a set range of followers that qualify a macro- or micro influencer but a good rule of thumb is if a creator has more than 100,000 followers they can be considered macro- and if they have less than 100,000 they can be considered micro-influencer. A few good examples of macro-influencers are Travis Burke and Tavaris Jefferson.
Macro-influencers are valued by brands because their large follower base provides the potential for widespread organic reach through brand collaboration content. Brand collaborations with macro-influencers are most often used as a top-of-funnel strategy for brands to increase awareness of new products, services, or promotions.
Their reach in tandem with the consumer trust attributed to a product or service endorsed via branded content through a macro-influencer post has made them a valuable asset in a marketing strategy. That being said, as the influencer marketing industry matures, brands have realized there is a downside to partnering with macro-influencers.
Given their large following, the content macro-influencers share garners hundreds of thousands of likes and impressions. This may seem positive, but more important than likes and impressions is the quality of engagement and conversions, which are difficult to measure and attribute to macro-influencer content.
Micro- vs. Nano-influencers: What’s the difference between them?
The main difference between micro- and nano-influencers is the number of followers they have. Micro-influencers typically have 10,000 – 50,000 followers whereas nano-influencers typically have under 10,000 followers. Again, no exact number qualifies nano-influencers, but under 10,000 followers acts as a good benchmark. Nano-influencers are widespread and vary greatly in the topics and platforms they focus on.
Nano-influencers can be valuable to smaller brands looking to reach niche audiences or early-stage influencer programs with limited budgets. Given their smaller following, brands don’t commonly use nano-influencers to spread awareness or increase conversions like micro-influencers. Instead, brands may gather cohorts of nano-influencers for market research like product surveys, NPS surveys, or reviews and testimonials.
Should Your Brand Leverage a Micro-influencer?
In almost all cases, your brand should be leveraging micro-influencers. At Mavrck, we always recommend that brands work with a mix of influencers to accomplish their program objectives. Take some time to analyze your brand and influencer programs. If any of the following micro-influencer benefits align with your goals, you should start working with micro-influencers.
Currently, Kylie Jenner charges $1.2 million for one Instagram post. While she has 341 million followers, $1.2 million for one post is betting more than or the majority of an influencer budget on the performance of a single post. Micro-influencers cost less to activate if you are working with a normal budget and they diversify your portfolio of content to not rely on the performance of one post.
Micro-influencers yield higher engagement rates if your brand is looking to increase engagement, Micro-influencers yield higher conversion rates among their smaller audiences if your brand is looking to increase conversions. Compared to macro-influencers, micro-influencers can be activated at scale if you are looking to grow your influencer programs.
Micro-influencers have more focused content themes and follower demographics if you are looking to penetrate new audiences. They can also do more for your brand like submitting ratings and reviews or providing feedback for market research on new products or services. Micro-influencers provide the triple threat of cost-effectiveness, versatility, and engaged audiences in brand partnerships
How to Work with Micro-influencers?
The process for working with micro-influencers entails 7 key steps: identify, communicate, negotiate, activate, manage, incentivize, and track your programs for optimal performance. Before starting your micro-influencer marketing strategy, align with all internal stakeholders to establish the goals of your program within the parameters of your budget and what metrics of measurement matter most.
One of the lessons we’ve learned at Mavrck is that micro-influencers can be a powerful tool for marketers if they are utilized in the right way by incorporating strategies that dovetail with the unique value micro-influencers provide. Misaligned goals before program launches can lead to poor performance and fragmented strategies that don’t fully accomplish objectives.
For small business brands doing this process manually, start by identifying 8-10 micro-influencers that align with your brand’s voice, tone, and values. Take a look at the creator’s demographic statistics to ensure the partnership would be relevant to your brand goals. Communicate with these creators by reaching out via direct message or inbox and ask them to participate in your campaign with a short brief providing the context of your potential partnership.
Negotiate a compensation rate based on your budget and industry data like Mavrck’s benchmark report or our recent blog on How to Pay Influencers. Once you have a cohort of micro-influencers willing to participate and are informed of your posting requirements, give them a flushed out content brief and timing to post then activate them.
Manage your program by manually checking that each influencer has posted and received any pre-post incentives necessary to complete their content. Once activated, keep a spreadsheet with incentives to confirm each creator has been compensated properly. Finally, manually analyze each piece of content’s key performance metrics and log the information in another spreadsheet to track your program and report on its performance.
For enterprise brands activating more than a handful of micro-influencers the previously described process is a tedious nightmare. The core goal of Mavrck is to make this process easier to save you time and money to focus on strategy rather than spreadsheet management. The following is how this process would look using the Mavrck platform and supporting teams.
Identify as many micro-influencers as your wish with discovery capabilities like search based on engagement rate, social platform, followers, demographics, audience demographics, and relevant topics. Automate your communication process with prompts and reach out to influencers at scale.
End-to-end automated program management saves time by eliminating tedious tracking processes and provides alerts for key communication. Activate as many campaigns as you want with no further cost based on the number of campaigns. Incentives are managed in the platform with a variety of ways to compensate influencers like cash or PayPal.
Reporting dashboards allow easy tracking across all campaigns in one place and identify your top-performing influencers and content to inform future strategy and establish long-term relationships with creators. If your team is at capacity but you want to run more campaigns leverage our services team to support your programs or even fully run campaigns. Check out our Tips For Planning Your Next Influencer Campaign blog to further elevate your strategy.
The Mavrck platform and team are valuable resources for enterprise brands looking to activate micro-influencers at scale.
How to Know if My Micro-influencer Campaign is Profitable?
A micro-influencer campaign is profitable if you meet or exceed the ROI goals your team set prior to launch. The KPIs of your program will vary depending on your goal. If you are looking to drive conversions at the bottom-of-funnel metrics like clicks or driven website traffic are cornerstone measurements.
If you are looking to increase top-of-funnel awareness, metrics like impressions and engagement rate will inform your performance status. For more information, check out our Guide to Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing and How to Work with Influencers to Drive Conversions resources!
Micro-influencer marketing is a powerful tool for brands to effectively and efficiently connect with their consumers. In the influencer marketing industry, micro-influencers represent the perfect balance between cost and impact for your marketing efforts. If you are a small business or early-stage program, manually activating micro-influencers can be a good starting point to get involved.
For enterprise brands looking to activate at scale, managing micro-influencers without a partner like Mavrck is time-consuming, costly, and will bottleneck the growth of your programs. If you want to learn more or speak with the Mavrck team the following resource will help inform your strategy and what you should look for in a technology partner as you delve into the world of micro-influencers: Buyer’s Guide to Influencer Marketing.