By now you’ve probably heard of and understand the terms influencer or influencer marketing, but when it comes to the term micro-influencer you can’t quite put your finger on what distinguishes them to the rest of them. Who are they? What do they do? Why should brands work with them? Where could brands find them?
Who are they?
First things first, who are the micro-influencers?
Well it’s in the name! Micro=small, influence=reach. Influencers with a small reach.
Micro-influencers have a smaller following than the celebrity influencers out there, they typically have more of a niche, focusing on specific content which speaks directly to their localized following.
What do they do? (Hint: #marriageproposal)
We’re guessing that you didn’t get much from our hint. No, they don’t propose to everyone they meet! But they are engaged...
…with their audience!
Ironically micro-influencers may have a smaller reach but not necessarily a smaller influence. Due to their smaller following, they have greater levels of engagement with their audience, are considered more trustworthy and their audiences more active, authentic and loyal.
As following grows, engagement rates fall. A recent study cited in Digiday reported that Instagrammers with under 1000 followers had a like rate of 8%, whereas Instagrammers with followers accounting to 1000 to 10000 had a like rate of 4%.
Why don’t brands work with them?
Most brands resort to the biggest known bloggers, driving up pricing at the top end whilst disregarding the better opportunity just below. There are several reasons why brands choose to work with celebrities and influencers of a larger following rather than micro-influencers despite their greater engagement rates.
1. Micro-influencers aren’t able to reach out to as many people as brands want whilst as celebrities can.
The logical solution to that would be to stretch the budget across working with multiple influencers.
2. But more influencers equals more work! Brands would typically, struggle, being unable to manage, keep on top of their collaborations when working with more than one influencer.
3. For brands with limited knowledge of the distribution of their respective audience across all channels, finding the right influencer is challenging and time consuming.
Why should brands work with them?
Working with influencers with more of a niche, brands are able to reach a more specific, targeted and focused audience. If for example a fashion brand, known for its’ classic designs of A-line, off the shoulder dresses collaborates with a huge celebrity influencer of 6 million followers, the post will undoubtedly reach a huge audience. But 65% of that audience, probably doesn’t even wear dresses, let alone wear a specific style dress like the one the brand is best known for. It's more sensible to work with 10 fashion bloggers who blog about dresses, who’s followers are active and interested in the product. The reach of each micro-influencer individually will add up to a number close to that of the celebrity influencer, but with a greater likelihood of sales for the product.
As we noted in our previous post “Being popular isn't the same as being influential”, engagement is much more important and a better indicator than reach in terms of swaying consumer decisions. Engagement translates into real customers, which is what it all comes down to in the end.
Collaborating with micro-influencers is like discovering Justin Bieber (on YouTube) before he was famous. Micro-influencers are at the stage just before being bombarded by brands with collaboration proposals. Influencer marketing is a new experience for micro-influencers. By tapping into such influencers and being one of the first to reach out to them, brands receive greater enthusiasm for their products, which will translate into authentic posts leading to higher engagement rates.
Where could brands find them?
Choosing to work with micro-influencers requires effort. It’s not a surprise that most brands work with celebrity influencers. Influencer marketing is still relatively new and brands don’t know any better!
What brands need is a proper search engine to identify micro-influencers quickly, which fit perfectly with their brand style and a platform to manage their collaborations.
That's why it's time for brands to enter the world of influencer marketing platforms. A new development in influencer marketing to streamline the process of sourcing, monitoring and managing entire campaigns.
Brands are able to browse, filter, and sort influencers, by engagement levels, channel reach, location and industry, all on a single platform, reaching out to multiple micro-influencers which fit their niche. But also a platform where micro-influencers can reach out to brands, when brands post collaboration opportunities.
Platforms like these, platforms like Zine transform a mountain of work for brands into a molehill. Zine formulates the future of influencer marketing, assists the rise of micro-influencers and facilitates brand growth.