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Influencer marketing has seen a huge jump within the last 10 years with the rise in social media. There are so many different types of marketing that different influencers are participating in that you may not even notice as you scroll through the trending page. Micro influencer marketing may be one of them! Due to their smaller audience, micro influencers are easily a good fit for start-up companies to reach out to. However, because micro influencer marketing is geared less towards the general audience, and more towards a specific crowd, there are downsides as well.
What is Micro Influencer Marketing?
Micro influencers are influencers with roughly between ten to fifty thousand followers, which is relatively much smaller than the known influencers such as the Kylie Jenners of the world. To give reference to micro influencers, here’s a tier list of the influencer levels.
- Mega influencers, who have 1M or more followers.
- Macro influencers, who have a range of 500K to 1M followers.
- Mid-tier influencers, who have 50K to 500K followers.
- Micro influencers, ranging from 10K to 50K followers.
- Nano influencers, with 10K or fewer followers.
As you can see, micro influencers are the second to lowest in the ranking of influencer levels. While they have less numbers, they tend to have a very engaging audience, as most micro influencers direct their content towards different niche groups. They generally have a more specific target audience than a mega influencer would have. For example, a mega influencer may have a target audience that consists of (but isn’t limited to) teenagers. On the other hand, a micro influencer may have a target audience of not only teenagers, but teenagers who are specifically interested in beauty products. Micro influencers and nano influencers tend to have the most niche audiences you can get, at least for the most part!
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When looking into the intricacies of micro influencers, they tend to have more individuality in their styles than bigger influencers. This definitely isn’t to say that bigger influencers are all the same, but it just means that there are a lot of nuances when it comes to micro influencers and working with them. Some may have a very close approach when it comes to their fanbase and connect to them with the force of their personality. Others may have a fanbase that doesn’t tune in as much but still remain followers of the influencer. This will be discussed more in the pros and cons section, but overall, it’s a good general rule to consider.
Psst…are you interested in micro influencers, or types of influencers in general? Head over to our Top Lists page to see the top influencers for every niche!
Changes Within Recent Years
Micro influencer marketing has become a very popular strategy in recent years. Social media plays a huge factor because of the surge of influencers and their differing levels of popularity entering the marketing world. Since social media has only been around for a couple of decades, micro influencer marketing does not have a very extensive past compared to other marketing methods. But, social media has helped these niche influencers find their own fanbase.
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We all know and relate to how annoying online ads are on all social media platforms. We hate seeing something blatantly being used to get us to buy something. With the decline in reliability and authenticity with traditional digital marketing, companies have been turning to a more personal way of marketing. That is why, With most of us on social media, influencer marketing, in general, has seen a giant increase. We tend to believe people that we know, whether that be your family, best friends, or people you follow. This is exactly why influencers have been receiving an increase in endorsements and promotions — because that is where the market is headed.
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Pros and Cons of Micro Influencer Marketing
When it comes to any kind of influencer marketing, there will always be ups and downs. In this table below, we’ve laid out both the pros and cons of micro influencer marketing below. Keep reading afterward to see a more in-depth view of them!
|Cost (more affordable)
|Less experience with brand partnership
|Niche, specific audience
|Difficult to reach consumers
|Tight-knit relationship to audience
|Less brand awareness
|Possibly less “real” engagement
Going a bit more in-depth into these pros and cons, an important rule to consider is that many micro influencers are different and nuanced. While the stats tend to show the pros and cons rather clearly, micro influencers do have their differences. Nevertheless, let’s take an analytical look at the pros first.
As far as positives go for micro influencer marketing, they tend to have…
- Fewer expenses. They’re more affordable to work with than a mega influencer, macro influencer, or even a mid-tier influencer. If a brand wants to save more money during a campaign, working with a micro influencer can be a good direction to go with.
- A niche audience. As described above, micro influencers have a target audience for sure, especially when compared to bigger influencers. This can be great for brands who highly relate to a micro influencer’s audience!
- A close relationship with their audience. This ties into the next pro closely, but the important part of this pro is that their audience will be very likely to listen to this influencer and take a look into whichever brand the influencer is campaigning with.
- Higher engagement. As micro influencers have closer relationships with their audience, their audience tends to be a lot more active than a huge influencer with tons of followers. Therefore, a brand may partner with a micro influencer over a mega influencer due to this fact.
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Speaking of engagement, check out this list of some of the top micro influencers on Instagram who would be perfect for an upcoming campaign.
While there are positives, there will always be negatives. Micro influencers may have…
- Less experience with brand partnerships. While you can be sure that mega influencers with over 1M followers are working with brands most of the time, micro influencers may not be. This means that micro influencers may not have the best experience in the field as far as campaigns go, which some brands may not be a fan of.
- Difficulty in reaching consumers. Yes, micro influencers tend to have less reach than mega influencers. This is mostly number-related, but can also be about the amount of work it may take to reach consumers. There’s a lot of details and nuance that go into influencer marketing campaigns, so when brands work with micro influencers, they have to be hyper-aware of them.
- Less ability to lift brands. This is a number related con. Micro influencers have a lesser reach, so the amount of brand lift a brand would get from micro influencer marketing would technically be less than if they campaigned with a bigger influencer.
- Possibly less “real” engagement. Some micro influencers could have bought fake followers, meaning that their following count could be inflated and superficial. While we’d like to believe that all influencers are the real deal, this is a risk that some brands may not be up for.
As you can see, some of these pros and cons tend to relate to each other. One of the biggest relations here is the fact that micro influencers can give you higher engagement, but possibly less “real” engagement. It seems a bit contradictory at first, but the most important thing when it comes to micro influencers is nuance. In the end, it really depends on the influencer themself.
All in all, micro influencer marketing will always have its pros and cons. Some brands will choose to work with bigger influencers to lift their brand, while others may look for a more targeted approach. As different brands look for different influencers to campaign with, there will always be room for micro influencers.