“The more the better” is a popular notion in the history of mankind, and particularly of the business world.

Sometimes, less is more and hence less can indeed be better. Such is the case of micro-influencers. While their reach pales in comparison to the stars, they have recently become the go-to option for marketers when it comes to influencer marketing. Who are they? Why work with them?  Find out more about this cost-effective PR channel.

Who are micro-influencers?

Firstly, let’s address the paramount question of who are actually considered micro-influencers. The birth of social media has gifted many individuals platforms to showcase their talents and voice their opinions. While many may be familiar with top social influencers such as PewDiePie and Michelle Phan, a new wave is rising in the influencer industry. They are not A-listers. They do not have millions of followers. But their voices carry very significant weight among their followers. The word ‘micro’, like any other adjectives, is highly subjective. Although different businesses and agencies have their own interpretation of what qualifies one as a micro-influencer, the general consensus is someone with 10,000 followers – 100,000 followers on a single platform.

Influencer categories by Blogs Release.

Influencer categories by Blogs Release

Why work with micro-influencers?

Parallel to the situation of publishing houses’ advertising rate, the smaller the reach of the influencer, the less costly they are to engage. This is a great news for small and medium-sized enterprises with tighter marketing and public relations budget. This cost-effective PR channel is not the only reason marketers are flooding these micro-influencers’ inbox with invites and proposals. According to a research by Markerly, the engagement rate and number of followers of social media influencers are inversely related beyond the 1000 followers threshold on Instagram and Facebook, an effect similar to the law of diminishing returns.

Source: DIGIDAY

Markerly Engagement and Followership Statistics
Source: DIGIDAY

As the follower base grows beyond 1000 followers, the engagement figures relative to the size of the follower base falls. The findings by Markerly is also further supported by statistics from Hello Society on the engagement level of micro-influencers.

Hello Society February 2017 Data

Hello Society February 2017 Data
Image Source: Adweek

The driving forces behind these impressive figures: niche and authenticity. Despite the smaller number of followings, what sets a micro-influencer apart is a relatively more defined audience. Aside from being ‘experts’ in their field of interests, successful micro-influencers also tend to take independent stances instead of acting purely as corporate mouthpieces, making them generally, or 92 per cent according to MuseFind, more trusted sources compared to traditional marketing channels in the age of Adblockers.

PRotip: If you need to have absolute control over every single detail of a micro-influencer’s post, you probably should not be engaging one in the first place.

How to work with micro-influencers?

To engage micro-influencers, first identify them. The most obvious ways to do so is through the brand’s list of existing followers or through relevant hashtags. After identification, the next step is to assess if the influencer’s image and follower base match with the brand’s positioning and target market. As they usually strive on a strong sense of individuality and a defined scope of influence, pushing a product that is not of interest to the influencers and irrelevant or inaccessible to their followers would only be a waste of resources. If the process seems too tedious, a PR agency with an established network of contacts should be able to get the work done.

PRotip: Focus on building a long-term working relationship that would benefit both the brand and the influencer. Strong brand affinity is a better currency than a fat pay cheque! 

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