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UPDATE January 29, 2019 — Collaborating with a digital influencer to create sponsored content is now one of the most trusted and effective strategies for brands to reach consumers. According to a survey conducted by Augure, 84% of companies plan on working with a social media star in the next year, while 81% of brands that currently use influencers as part of their marketing strategies claim they were satisfied with campaign results.
As the influencer marketing industry grows and evolves, however, many brands are finding that partnering with smaller, niche-focused “micro-influencers” may sometimes yield higher levels of engagement and better returns for brands.
Marketing with micro-influencers comes with unique pros and cons. Though micro-influencers are often less expensive than traditional macro-influencers who have between 500,000 and 1 million followers, brands must partner with a larger amount of micro-influencers to achieve the same reach.
Provided the campaign goals and audiences are a good fit for micro-influencer marketing, there are a number of ways that brands can partner with micro-influencers to promote a product, service, or the brand itself. Through sponsored posts, product placement, event coverage, and more, brands can reach specific, engaged audiences.
Micro-influencers typically specialize in a single niche or topic and build their followings around that niche. Fashion, beauty, photography, and travel are among the most popular, but here are the top 10 micro-influencers to follow before they get huge.
There are cases where micro-influencers are the best pick for an influencer marketing campaign, but brands and marketers should be aware that bots and fake followers are a huge problem on Instagram, the hub of micro-influencer activity. From social hacks to falsely inflated rates, find out how to avoid being scammed by micro-influencers here.
Industry standards define micro-influencers as social media influencers with a relatively small follower-base (10,000-50,000 followers) of highly-engaged, extremely attentive social media users.
In the wake of revelations that some high-reach influencers actually purchase followers to artificially inflate their reach, many brands are eschewing the “bigger is better” (in terms of audience size) influencer marketing mantra in favor of working with smaller, more engaged social media stars (i.e., nano-influencers). New research suggests that micro-influencers:
A recent survey found that a correlation existed between engagement rates and the number of followers an Instagram influencer claimed—as the number of followers an Instagrammer earned increased, the influencer’s engagement (predictably) plunged. Instagram influencers with fewer than 1000 followers reported an 8% engagement rate, while those with over 1 million followers only engaged with 1.7% of their audience (Digiday).
Related Post: Four Ways To Ace Your Influencer Outreach
According to a study conducted by The Keller Fay Group and Experticity, 82% of consumers said they would follow the recommendations of micro-influencers. The study also found that, on a weekly basis, micro-influencers give over 20 times more recommendations than the average consumer (Marketing Dive).
Like celebrity endorsements, some partnerships with high-reach influencers can be expensive—marketers can expect to pay $50K–$100K for just one post from a “famous” Instagrammer or blogger. Collaborating with micro-influencers not only ensures that brands are targeting the right audience, but it also allows CMOs to create multiple campaigns and achieve a level of brand ubiquity in a given niche or marketing vertical.