Influencer Marketing

What is a Micro Influencer and How to Find Them

By Editorial Staff

If you are a smaller brand, looking to jump into influencer marketing but don’t have a large budget, you should consider working with micro influencers. Maybe you’ve tried working with larger, well-known social media influencers and haven’t been getting the stellar results you were hoping for. Or, maybe you are thinking “what is a micro influencer?” Whatever stage you are at, we can help you succeed in your influencer marketing escapades by solidifying your understanding of what is a micro influencer and how you can find them.

What is a Micro Influencer?

At the very core, micro influencers are social media creators with around 10K-50K followers. This range may vary depending on who you talk to, but here is a quick breakdown of the influencer levels:

Influencer LevelFollower Range
Mega1M+
Macro500K - 1M
Mid-tier50K - 500K
Micro10K - 50K
Nano<10K

Micro influencers are those creators who have built a loyal following within a niche, such as travel, food, photography, and cultivate those communities with tailored content. At this level of an audience, micro influencers typically are able to interact more regularly with their followers– sometimes on a more personal level. This is a large proponent of how micro influencers generate higher engagement as a result.

To more effectively answer the question of what is a micro influencer, we need to look closely at the details of the interactions with their audience. One step above nano influencers, micro influencers are members of the community who have become known for their knowledge of their niche. This can range from followers attracted to their lifestyle to an active audience also dedicated to that niche. Because it is more than the number of followers that separates micro influencers from their counterparts, this type of interaction and trusted relationship is key to their success.

Brands Looking to Work with Micro Influencers

While brands are trying to figure out the distinction between influencer levels, content creators themselves may wonder what is a micro influencer. Labeling yourself as a micro influencer will often feel strange emerging from nano to micro influencer status.

A micro influencer may or may not have worked with brands previously. But now they are on the radar. If not, it is the responsibility of the brand to gain the influencer’s trust and build a confidence in the working relationship to make it worth their while. Micro influencers have a strong affinity to their audience and would not want to jeopardize that.

That being said, brands may find themselves working a little harder to convince micro influencers to work with them. However, it usually pays off very well for both parties!

Some micro influencers may be willing to promote a brand for free if it truly aligns with their audience. As a brand, you should consider the standard you are setting with these micro influencers. If the content performs well, you may want to work with them again and should consider a paid agreement for a long term relationship. By showing the influencers you value them, they will produce better content and, as they grow, will remain loyal advocates for your brand.

With most of Gen Z building their own following on social media, micro influencers are extremely popular. Pretty soon, no one will dispute that micro influencers are the influencers of the future. When everyone is rising in status, there is still something that draws us into those who remain tight with their audience and true to themselves. If you couldn’t already answer what is a micro influencer, authenticity is a strong characteristic to look for.

Why Work with Micro Influencers?

If you still are not clear on what is a micro influencer and why you should work with them, let me break it down into a good old fashioned pros and cons discussion.

Advantages

  1. Higher engagement
  2. Closer to their audience
  3. Lower cost
  4. Niche market = targeted audience

Micro influencers provide brands the opportunity to interact with targeted, active audiences. Through tailored messaging, smaller-scale activations can generate higher returns than macro influencers could with a single, generic blast. Being closer to their audience, micro influencers are generally more relatable and knowledgeable on how the majority of their followers will respond to such content. They also have probably done fewer sponsored posts in the past, making their audience more receptive and less likely to view it as a sell-out. 

A perk of being new to the influencer scene is that brands can activate micro influencers for a much lower price. If your campaign budget cannot support larger influencers, you are in luck! Activating micro influencers can return higher engagement and conversions because of these creators’ proximity to their followers within their niche.

Disadvantages

  1. Lower reach
  2. Less brand awareness
  3. Risk of fake followers
  4. Inexperience with brand partnerships

For a fair view of what is a micro influencer, and what it would look like to work with them, there are some downsides to consider. Obviously, micro influencers are going to have a smaller reach than macro influencers. To still reach a wide audience, brands would need to work with multiple micro influencers. However, more influencers does create a risk if you are not familiar with scaling campaigns. 

On top of that, fake followers are still a risk in social media marketing. While fraudulent accounts are something to watch for in any influencer activation, working with micro influencers who haven’t had much brand partnership experience increases this risk. You don’t want to overpay for campaigns that underperform.

How to Find Micro Influencers

Once you have answered what is a micro influencer, you are ready to go! Depending on the social media platform you are looking to activate, there are many ways to find micro influencers. Read up on our previous blog walking you through all the steps on how to find influencers in your industry. These points still apply whether you are looking for celebrities or micro influencers.

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1. Targeted search

If you are truly starting from scratch, search hashtags within your niche. You can also search by location tags and industry specific terms. Another approach is to find larger influencers within your industry who possess the target audience and look for influencers in the comments on their posts. Most micro influencers follow other influencers they admire and emulate. There are also databases and search tools to help you find the right influencers.

2. Verify followers

First of all, check that their follower count is within range of a micro influencer. As we outlined above on what is a micro influencer, you are looking for 10K – 50K followers. Once you know they are a valid candidate, you will need to vet their following to ensure they are real accounts. There are also tools such as the NeoReach API that can assist with this search and verification process.

3. Analyze their feed

Finally, once you have a list of potential matches, look through their profile once more. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

  • Engagement – Do they get regular engagement (likes, comments, sharing)?
  • Audience sentiment – What are the comments on their posts?
  • Aesthetic – Does their style match your brand? Would you be a good fit?

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We have answered what is a micro influencer and how to find them. Now, we want to give you the confidence and inspiration to go out and create your own successful micro influencer campaigns. Brand collaborations have seen amazing results with micro influencers and, for some, provide the foundation for their entire influencer strategy.

This article was written by Gabrielle Sinacola

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