While Instagram influencers still garner a lot of traction for many big brands, more and more are turning to micro-influencers for brand deals. There are a lot of subcategories of influencer these days, and micro-influencers are still relatively undiscovered. 

While you may be dreaming of making it big, perhaps it’s best to refocus on becoming a micro-influencer. And if you’re a brand, forget about a Kardashian deal, and turn to the local community you want to reach out to. Why is micro-influencer marketing so successful? 

People trust micro-influencers in a way they don’t trust other celebrities, and they’re much more likely to take the recommendation of someone they already know and follow over someone they don’t. Let’s take a deep dive into why micro-influencer marketing is so successful, and how you can get started…

What’s A Micro-Influencer?

Technically, a micro-influencer is any person on Instagram who has between 1000 and 1 million followers on Instagram – although it’s pretty safe to say once someone reaches a million followers they’ve surpassed the micro levels. What I’ll refer to as a “true” micro-influencer is someone with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. Their communities can be pretty niche, but they generally have a very engaged audience.

Micro-influencers are rising because their engagement rates tend to be much higher than the most-followed people. In fact, the average micro-influencer engagement rate is around 85% higher than someone with more than a million followers. That’s a significant difference! 

Micro-influencers are considered experts in their fields, and their communities are generally much more engaged and active than others. Some micro-influencers you might be aware of, are local fashion and beauty bloggers, food bloggers, or travel bloggers. (The travel community, in particular, generates a lot of micro-influencers focused on a particular travel niche.)

As millennials and Gen Z prove their dislike for overly corporate marketing tactics time and time again, it makes sense that brands would turn to micro-influencers. Trust is what’s lacking in so much of it. Young people, especially young Instagram users, want to feel seen and heard. They want advertising to be personal to them rather than just a number. To young people, a micro-influencer’s personal touch is marketing gold.

The Benefits of Micro-influencers

If you’re a brand looking to advertise, you might think going straight to The Rock with your pitch will skyrocket your business to the next level. But that’s not always true. If you’re new, The Rock probably hasn’t heard of you. You might not have the budget to work with a big celebrity. Or you might be a business specific to a certain locale looking to advertise within it. 

If any of these sound like you, it might be time to consider reaching out to a micro-influencer. Before you say “bigger is better”, read on. Using a micro-influencer has some great benefits you may not have thought of. Let’s take a look at a few of them below: 

  1. High Engagement 

We’ve already touched on this a bit, but if you’re a brand looking for an influencer to make a deal with, their engagement rate should be a top priority. After all, you don’t want a deal that isn’t going to lead anywhere. Because micro-influencers have smaller communities, it’s much easier for them to know exactly how to advertise to their audience. Micro-influencers are connected to their community in a way bigger names just aren’t.

It isn’t just about the rate though – it’s also about their own engagement with a community. Let’s say, Ariana Grande, is drowning in millions of notifications a day, but a micro-influencer can answer personal questions about a brand and respond to audience concerns faster. They have the ‘real’ factor: their audience sees them as someone they can know and trust, which, speaking from experience, is a way better way to attract new buyers than a click-and-post celeb ad campaign. 

  1. Better rates

A micro-influencer is a lot more affordable for starting brands to work with. They won’t demand millions from you, especially if they’re on the lower side of Instagram followers. Micro-influencers’ lower rates mean they’re much more accessible for starting brands, and their high engagement is a boost both to you and to them. 

Brands often find that micro-influencers are also a lot more willing to negotiate. Since you’ll likely be working directly with the influencer themselves rather than a representative, there is more wiggle room when it comes to asking for things. Increased communication allows both parties to express themselves clearly.

Since it’s much more affordable, consider working with more than one micro-influencer to cast a wider net. It’ll most likely have serious benefits and get you into a super niche market! 

  1. Good Conversion Rates

There’s a reason influencer marketing is so effective. Did you know that 49% of Instagram users trust influencer recommendations? And they’re even more likely to trust someone that they know and trust from years of following. 

Instagram users feel like they grow along with the influencers they follow. I can speak from personal experience here: I’ve bought clothes because an influencer who had a similar size, shape, and coloring to me looked amazing in them. If I had seen that advertisement on a sidebar, it wouldn’t have even caught my eye.

Particularly if an Instagram user has trusted a different recommendation from an influencer, they’re far more likely to repeat a purchase. Many people have discovered some of their favorite products through Instagram brand deals! And having a small, tight-knit community only lends legitimacy to an influencer recommendation.

An influencer recommendation is way more personal than a magazine ad or modeling campaign, and a micro-influencer ad is double the effectiveness. If you’re serious about earning cash, why not hire a micro-influencer to increase your reach?

  1. Reaching a Niche 

Buyers nowadays are suspicious with their money. If you’re a new brand barging into a niche market, it can be very hard to earn consumer trust. Especially with young people tiring of constant advertisements directed at them without any specificity. They crave personalization and communications. The good news is that micro-influencers already have a solid, specific audience that’s just waiting for you. 

When considering a micro-influencer, consider the type of person you want to advertise to. Are you looking to target teenage girls? Working moms? Boys 18-25 who are into sports? No matter the specificity – Chances are, there’s a micro-influencer for that. There are niche Instagram communities all over the place. All it takes is a few hashtag searches for your specific target audience, and you’re on your way to the micro-influencer campaign of your brand’s dreams.

 Micro-influencers Are On The Rise

Brands love micro-influencers for a lot of reasons. Their high engagement rates and ultra-specific niches are marketing gold. They’re more affordable than a Kardashian. And they often do the most amount of conversion for the brands they work with. If you’re a brand looking to boost sales, it’s definitely worth considering a micro-influencer (or more!) for a campaign.

If you want to become a micro-influencer, take the time to foster a very close community. Make a special effort to keep up with your followers and build that kind of close-knit following brands are looking for. Make an effort to keep a high engagement rate and stand out – and you will.