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Why Micro-Influencers are Taking Over

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If you’ve been following the trends in influencer marketing, you know that going with the underdog has become the best bet. Micro-influencers are outperforming macro-influencers, and you can leverage this digital marketing shift for your own business or niche brand.

What are Micro-influencers?

Micro-influencers are content creators with a small but loyal following on social media platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. By definition, they typically enjoy a reach of between 10,000-50,000 followers, but quality over quantity is where they excel. 

This smaller following, however, means micro-influencers can better establish stronger relationships with their followers. In turn, if a micro-influencer recommends you to his or her audience, their followers will be more likely to engage with your brand, check out your products, and even recommend them to others. 

Micro-influencers Offer Authenticity and Relatability

People venture onto social media platforms because they crave connection. After all, it’s only human nature to want to find a group where we fit in and belong. According to PRWeek, 56 percent of internet users prefer to follow everyday people on social media rather than superstars.

Micro-influencers build relationships by providing genuine content, personal interactions, and relatable experiences. They offer an experience that is authentic, relatable, and trustworthy. Rather than seek out celebrity status, they more easily relate to their followers by discussing real-life problems directly with them, and their followers listen when they offer solutions. 

For marketers, this means that if a micro-influencer agrees to promote your product or service, they can speak directly and authentically about your brand without sounding like a paid ad or promotion.

Micro-influencers Garner Higher Engagement Rates than Macro-influencers 

Micro-influencers also make it a point to remain more accessible than celebrities or other influencers, making it easier for consumers to interact with them on social media platforms such as Instagram or TikTok. As such, they tend to have far higher engagement rates than macro-influencers with a larger online presence.

In fact, there is a negative correlation between the number of followers one has and their average rate of engagement. Micro-influencers with fewer than 5,000 followers have an average engagement rate of 5.7%, per data compiled by Influencer Marketing Hub. As the number of followers passes 100,000, this percentage declines to 1.7%.

Cost-effective Marketing Alternatives

Due to rising customer acquisition costs, companies that rely on online advertising platforms like Facebook and Google are diversifying their marketing strategies to include micro-influencers. ProfitWell reports that the CAC rose by over 60% between 2014 and 2019, and that was even before the pandemic.

One reason micro-influencers are more cost-effective than macro-influencers and traditional advertising calls back to their higher engagement rates. Followers who see your ads from micro-influencer accounts are more likely to click on and engage with them through liking, commenting, and even sharing them. 

According to industry research, micro-influencers also provide a conversion rate some 22 percent higher than macro-influencers. This uptick in sales can be directly correlated to the increased trust their audiences place in them over higher-profile individuals, though it also helps that these influencers often have personal experience using the product being promoted!

Providing Brands with Niche Expertise and Targeted Audiences

Micro-influencers’ smaller, yet more personal following is often a result of expertise in a specific niche market or industry, allowing them to build a dedicated and highly engaged audience within that niche. When you advertise through micro-influencers, you can target your marketing efforts to a specific demographic and reach a more interested and receptive audience. For example, if your brand sells specialized camera lenses, social media users who are comparing product options will prefer to hear reviews from someone who actually uses the equipment in the field. 

When you reach out to a micro-influencer, you’re likely to find someone who’s passionate about what they do and eager for new opportunities. They want to share their expertise with others and build their brand as credible experts in the field. If you share a niche with a micro-influencer, there’s a good chance they will be interested in testing and promoting your product or service.

Finding a Micro-influencer to Represent Your Brand 

In essence, micro-influencers offer better engagement, higher conversion rates, and greater customer satisfaction than marketing through macro-influencers, making them more cost-effective for brands looking to reach target audiences on social media. If you’re looking for an edge in today’s competitive market, consider investing in micro-influencers who resonate with your brand and niche.

To start, you can either do your own organic search for these micro-influencers or hire a public relations specialist who specializes in influencer marketing. For an organic search, consider reaching out to people who follow you on social media and have between 1,000-10,000 followers. This strategy has the potential to introduce you to influencers who are already fans of your product, and if they’re already a customer, their agreement to advertise your product would be spontaneous and genuine.

Hashtags on social media are another way to reach micro-influencers. The next time you find yourself scrolling through your TikTok or Instagram feed, try searching for micro-influencers who regularly publish content that is directly linked to your product, brand, or market.

While the amount of research it takes to find just the right micro-influencer can be intimidating, a PR professional can assist you if you lack the time and resources to handle the procedure on your own. These professionals can assist you in every stage of the process, including search, selection, influencer management, content creation, and campaign analysis. 

About the author


Chan Desai

Chan Desai is an Account Strategist for Otter PR. Chan graduated with a Master’s degree in Management Communication, with a focus on Marketing Communication, and an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies with a focus on Media Studies. She also has a double minor in Public Relations and Journalism. Her experience stems from direct fieldwork in the media, and public relations experience from working in-house to agencies alike. Chan is a savvy PR professional with a passion for effective storytelling which has translated into earned client successes. Chan has landed her clients in a range of publications, including but not limited to Forbes, The Washington Post, Benzinga, Fast Company, WWD, Yahoo, Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, New York Weekly, California Business Journal and MSN.