In an era where celebrities suffer from a diminishing appeal as brand ambassadors, micro influencers are heralded as the “new normal”.
With its scalability, low cost, and high value, micro influencer marketing can help you reach out to a highly engaged audience on a small budget.
So who are micro influencers, and why are they so effective? Check out this complete guide to micro influencing for Shopify merchants in 2021.
Who are micro-influencers?
A micro-influencer is an individual with approximately 1,000 to 100,000 followers who use their base to promote products and services.
Micro-influencers are seen as experts in their field of niche. They could be passionate about travelling, tech, lifestyle, photography, fitness, fashionistas, or a foodie– just to cite some examples.
According to the micro-influencer statistics kalypsoapp, the majority of the micro influencers on Instagram have 15K followers, making this cohort the largest group of content creators.
Why is micro influencing marketing so effective?
Micro-influencers deliver highly engaging content to their followers. Not only do they churn content frequently, but micro influencers thrive on being responsive to their audience. This in return helps to build engagement and interaction for the product or service endorsed.
Unlike macro-influencers with an audience of 150,000 to 500,000 followers, micro influencers have an entrenched affinity and strong bond with their followers.
According to Grin.co, influencers with 1,000 followers generate 85% higher engagement over influencers with 100,000 followers. Similarly, micro-influencers with a larger group of followers tend to display lower levels of engagement.
The same research also highlighted that micro-influencers increase engagement rate by 50% among retail and entertainment clients.
As such, the majority of top micro influencers have between 1,000 to 100,0000 followers, with this size potentially being the sweet spot.
A study by Experticity indicated that 74% of micro influencers share more direct recommendations to buy a product or service over the general population. Interestingly, 82% of consumers are more likely to act upon the recommendations from micro-influencers as opposed to their friends or the general public.
And all these suggest that a smaller audience allows for more hands-on marketing. There’s a lot of personal interaction between micro influencers and their followers. And creating wow experiences on social media is what they do best.
Who are some micro influencers?
Here are trending micro influencers on Instagram that lend a voice to brands through their growing community of followers.
With 17.1K followers in the fitness and lifestyle sphere, mrhugofilipe is a popular brand ambassador for home appliances, men’s apparel, and events.
Along with his twin @rohanhbain, this native Toronto photographer showcases his visual storytelling craft through his lens with well-composed food shots, mood footages, and scenic landscapes.
Why Are These Micro-Influencers Better Than Celebrities?
Unlike celebrities, micro influencers are more accessible and display greater degrees of genuinity in their post, over celebrities in general.
Celebrities not only come with a hefty price tag. But you’ll have to work through layers of approvals and longer turnaround times, which make it arduous for marketers.
Furthermore, digital influencers come across as “real people” with real struggles, real jobs, families, and responsibilities.
Because celebrities tend to be generalists, they may lack the expertise needed to create strong attachments with their followers on a particular subject. These factors contribute to why more and more brands are banking on micro-influencers over celebrities.
Nevertheless, celebrity marketing adds glitterati and elevates brand status to levels beyond what micro-influencers can do.
Having said that, both micro-influencer marketing and celebrity endorsements are complimentary advertising methods depending on a brand’s budget.
What are the benefits of using micro-influencers?
Here are 5 reasons why brands consider micro influencer marketing over other forms of digital marketing.
- Higher Engagement Rates
According to a study by HelloSociety, micro-influencers generate 60% more engagement than other campaigns. This is because micro-influencers can create stronger bonds with their followers, making their recommendations more trusted and valued.
It is this unique audience relationship that makes micro-influencers much sought after. Micro-influencers can leverage their micro-audiences that are highly scalable, allowing brands to cross-sell and upsell over time.
Did you know that an average micro-influencer charges $500 for a single sponsored Instagram post? In fact, 84% of surveyed micro influencers are willing to charge $250 and less for a post.
Did you also know that the average cost for a sponsored blog post by a micro-influencer is $1000 or less? With 96% charging $1000 or less, and 87% charging $500 or less per post, the math clearly highlights the affordability of influencer marketing.
Compare this to a conservative digital advertising campaign on Facebook or Instagram that averages at $10,000, campaigns that fail to achieve their optimization targets and reach would chalk up high conversion costs.
As a ballpark cost, you can expect to pay these amounts for a sponsored post with micro influencers, based on their follower size.
- $800-1500 for 25-50k followers
- $1500-2000 for 50-100k followers
- $2000-6000 for 100-150k followers
- $6000-10000 for 250k-1m followers
- $10000+ for 1M+ followers
(Source: Influencer Agency)
As for branded tweets, 96% of micro influencers charge $200 or less per tweet.
In essence, brands looking to have measurable results on digital campaigns should consider micro influencer marketing given the lower than anticipated cost.
- Track Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Any marketer who invests in marketing dollars must be able to track results to the dot. Thankfully, influencer marketing can do that.
Tracking the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign will help you better optimize and allocate resources to top performers while pulling out from poor performers.
You can track the source of traffic volume using redirect services like bit.ly and URL parameters. Promo codes come in handy to track offline activities such as purchases or store visits. Each micro influencer can be given a unique promo code that can be used by its followers when they make a purchase or visit the retail outlet.
Other digital matrices that are used to measure micro influencers include the number of comments, subsequent engagements generated from sponsored posts, and total reach.
- Higher Conversion Rates
Micro-influencers stamp their mark for being more invested in the quality of content produced. To these cohorts of self-created advertisers, content is king and engagement is their major tool of the trade.
Because they are personally invested in their craft, micro influencers deliver 6.7X more engagement than influencers with a large follower base. Their tenacity to have 22X more weekly conversations than the average consumer translates to heighten social buzz for the brand. (Source: Expercity)
Coupled with a lower cost, this naturally leads to higher conversion rates and lower costs per acquisition.
- Niche Markets
Micro-influencers allow marketers to reach out to their audience in niche markets. Unlike traditional advertising and macro influencers who boast massive impressions, micro influencers possess a tribe of followers with interests closely aligned with your brand.
Essentially, you’ll get more bang for your bucks investing in a micro influencer with a highly engaged base sharing the same persona as your target audience.
How to Choose the Right Social Media Influencer
There are many pivotal factors to consider when choosing the right social media influencer. Influencer selection can be tricky with many underlying nuances that can tip the scale of results. Jumping head in and going with the socialite with the biggest followers will not deliver the desired results.
What should a brand look for in a social media marketer? Here are some dos and don’ts on how to select the right social media influencer for your brand.
- Ensure that the micro-influencer's audience is similar to your target audience
Does the micro-influencer’s audience share the same demographic and behavioural profile as your target audience?
To ascertain this, scan through the influencers’ previous posts and review if the content resonates with your audience. Ensure that the micro influencer uses the same social media platform as your brand.
If your brand is big on Instagram and Facebook, but the micro influencer has little engagement and followers on Instagram, this could be a red flag.
Bearing in mind that 70% of brands are active on Facebook, 50% on Snapchat, and 42% on Twitter, the micro influencer you choose to engage should have the expertise backed by a sizable audience on these platforms
- Check that the micro-influencer shares the same values
Explore the micro-influencers feed and ascertain if both of you share similar values
Cross-check the language, tone, and social profile’s reputation over the past few months.
If you’re selling family-friendly products or services, you’ll want to ensure that the micro influencer does not post provocative or racy photos and does not curse online.
- Promote social media authenticity
Micro-influencers command higher engagement value because of their authenticity.
Successful micro-influencers develop genuine content, rather than a polished marketing pitch that can turn into a blind spot.
Consumers today want influencers who don’t put up an act. They want heartfelt confessions and transparency.
Consumers appreciate influencers who share personal stories with positive learnings, and they value seeing real struggles from rags to riches behind B2B brands.
- Mention That A Post Is Sponsored
In September 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developed guidelines governing marketers and influencers to protect American consumers.
The guideline requires influencers to disclose to their viewers if a post or marketing initiative is an advertisement by using the hashtag #ad or #sponsored.
In this light, an experienced micro influencer should know the importance of indicating that a post is sponsored.
- Be blinded by the number of followers
While having a sizeable follower base is important to reach a wide audience, it should not be the sole factor in deciding which micro influencer to engage
Instead, look for micro-influencers who can create resonance and engagement on a mass level with their audience.
To ascertain this, check out the conversations evoked from the influencers posts,
Viewers value micro-influencers who respond to their comments and are likely to give their support.
The reality is, brands new to outreach marketing could engage micro-influencers with a smaller following. You could reap more benefits as there will be fewer marketers competing for promoted posts.
This would translate to a lower cost for outreach marketing. Besides, the promoted posts would be rotated frequently and be seen more often.
Micro influencers with too many sponsored ads can dilute their follower base. Viewers today want to see a good balance of organic and sponsored posts.
You’ll want to reach out to influencers who can give their time and attention to your brand. This allows for co-creating of promoted posts that feel more organic and seamless on their feed, as opposed to one that feels monetized and forced.
If you’re looking to hire an influencer but do not know where to start, ConvertOut’s Affiliate and Ambassador Portal will set you in the right direction.
This Shopify app allows you to automate your micro influencer program. The ConvertOut app puts an end to manually sending out discount codes to your micro influencers. Through automation, your ambassadors are empowered to pick their own promo code, monitor their sales, and request payouts through the ambassador portal.
Where Do I Find the Right Micro-influencers For My Business?
You can start by searching at social media platforms that your brand is present.
If Instagram is where you have a significant base, then search for content creators that share the same interest and values as your brand.
It will be hard to find one micro-influencer with a significant following on all the platforms you operate on. So be realistic by engaging leading microinfluencers for each social media platform during your outreach initiatives. Realistically, you will need to manage multiple micro influencers across different platforms to maximize performance.
If An Influencer Starts Doing Sponsored Posts, Are They Selling Out?
Contrarily no. In fact, influencers who are successful are the ones doing sponsored posts.
Without quality engagement with their audience and a decent follower base, organizations will not park their money with these micro influencers.
When influencers fail to strike a balance between organic posts and sponsored posts, there’s where a decline in follower base occurs. Followers who originally followed because of content will become jaded by multiple cross-sell initiatives on their feed.
Micro-influencers who spam their feed with too many posts per day to accommodate sponsored posts also risk selling out.
Brands Who Have Seen Success with Micro-influencers
Leading grocery delivery service Happy Fresh works with a squad of micro influencers with personas that match their target audience. Boasting 25.9K followers, dog mother @ shayna_apopofcolour breathes fresh air to the brand and narrates the benefit of shopping with Happy Fresh through her sponsored post.
Driving home another consistent message of zest and convenience is Happy Fresh’s partnership with Tokyo 2020 Olympian @sydneypickrem8, backed by 9K followers.
To target consumers living outside the US, America’s giant retailer Target works with native Toronto micro influencer@ natalieast to invoke purchase intention. With 21.3K followers under her belt, Natalie helps to educate her followers about how to order purchases online from Target to Canada via a blog, indirectly leading to sales.
To keep things fresh, class teachers are constantly on the lookout to redecorate their classroom cost-effectively. Recognizing cognisant in brand persona, Target collaborated with @hipsterartteacher to showcase her shopping escapade at Target and how she could achieve her ambition to up-cycle with a budget of $50!
Conclusion: Reach New Markets with Micro-influencers
There is an unparalleled newness, authenticity, and trust that micro-influencers can offer over other channels of engagement. Micro-influencers have reinvented the narrative from more is better, to less is stronger. Backed by their nimbleness, adaptability, and content creation prowess, micro-influences can help brands penetrate new markets faster and cheaper unlike before.
Helping you in your digital journey is ConvertOut’s Affiliate & Ambassador Portal, where you can grow sales with influencers through automation. ConvertOut lets you set dynamic commission tiers for different influencers, automate email communications, and robotize dissemination of promo codes. So that you can focus valuable resources on what you do best.
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