Trend: micro-influencers for marketing

More and more companies are boosting their marketing with micro-influencers. We explore what’s behind the trend.

On average, micro-influencers generate much higher engagement rates than big accounts, making them extremely attractive for promoting products.
Image: © lithiumphoto / Adobe Stock

Micro-influencers: smaller following but greater credibility

It’s not always the best option for companies to collaborate with influencers as brand ambassadors simply based on the fact that they have an enormous following. In fact, we’re currently observing a completely different trend in how influencer marketing is being leveraged by companies, with less familiar faces being increasingly favored to help promote products among the relevant target group.

Compared to macro-influencers, who have around 100,000 to 1 million followers depending on which definition you look at, micro-influencers reach about 10,000 to 100,000 followers. Nano-influencers are the only group to have a smaller following.

Micro-influencers therefore have a much smaller community than prominent Instagram stars, but they make up for it by being more authentic, more credible, and closer to their followers. Some of them have a normal job outside social media, meaning that the target group can identify more with them, their day-to-day life, and the challenges they face. More often than not, they also specialize in niche topics, while big influencers usually just promote their lifestyle.

Why marketing with micro-influencers can pay off

When it comes to influencer marketing, companies can benefit in a number of ways from approaching smaller accounts to convince them to collaborate. After all, influencer marketing KPIs don’t just include a profile’s following, other factors also play a role in assessing whether an influencer will be a suitable ambassador for a product or brand – particularly aspects such as trustworthiness and engagement rate. That’s where micro-influencers really set themselves apart because they often have a closer and more direct relationship with their community. In this respect, micro-influencers generate an average of two to three times higher interaction rates in the form of shares, likes, and comments as compared to macro-influencers.

Another advantage: according to a specialist report published by the German Association of Online Research “agof” (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Onlineforschung e.V.), almost 85 percent of heavy followers, i.e. those who are extremely active on social media, follow subject-matter experts.

So, how can companies benefit from that? Especially when addressing niche topics, many micro-influencers act as specialized influencers and have been credited with expert status, making them trustworthy collaborators. However, to maximize their added value, you need to make sure your products can be authentically aligned with your chosen influencer’s profile on Instagram and other social media sites.

The significantly lower costs are also a compelling reason to use micro-influencers for marketing purposes. While macro- and mega-influencers will charge a lot for you to ride on the back of their success, it will cost you much less to have your products promoted by micro- and nano-influencers – simply giving them your product for free will often be payment enough for them.

Macro- vs. micro-influencers – it all depends on the product

Whether a skincare product for neurodermatitis, a milk substitute, or pet supplies – especially when promoting niche products, it can pay off for companies to collaborate with micro-influencers as brand and product ambassadors, as long as their content reflects the corresponding topic. While the credibility of influencers seems to be decreasing overall, nano- and micro-influencers are generally still really trusted by their community. Accounts with a big following may seem to reach a lot of people at first glance, but their waste coverage is high. Using micro-influencers instead can enable you to address a precisely defined target group more directly and make a more convincing impression – and to top it off, you won’t have to dig as deep into your pockets.