Micro-influencers are online consumers who have around 500 to 5,000 engaged followers focused on certain topics.
Although micro-influencers typically gear information to a well-defined community on a hyperlocal level, they play a key role in helping brands go global.
This growing demographic of impeccably effective social influencers are giving celebrities, bloggers, and even YouTube stars a run for their money.
With local expertise and deep connections within their respective communities, these brand ambassadors carry the clout when it comes to creating a company’s inception with a critical mass of followers.
Brand ambassadors can be instrumental in helping a company reach unfamiliar demographics because they understand the consumers in their area. Know what messages work with them, and they have social media platforms that are locally networked.
“There are a lot heavy hitting reasons why micro-influencers are taking flight,” said Jac White, founder and CEO of Savoteur, a global digital publishing company.
White has created her entire business model around a vast network of culturally in-tune influencers with ties to relevant people, places, and activities in 56 cities on six continents.
With a network of more than 200 writers specializing in travel and culture content, White has been able to create a genuine, authentic experience for her readers. Entrepreneurs are quickly gravitating toward this concept to grow their business. Here is some advice White has to offer on the subject:
Look Past the Numbers
Typically, entrepreneurs and business-savvy people want numbers. They want hard data to help them make important decisions, invest time in a particular area, or hire a certain person. With the help of micro-influencers, their content is more organic which in turn makes a more impressionable impact on the target audience. By White’s estimates, micro-influencers get an average of 50 to 100 percent more organic exposure, compared to those with hundreds of thousands of followers.
Pinpoint the Right Influencers
With so many niche markets falling under larger categories, finding the right micro-influencer can be a huge challenge. The best way to approach this task is to segment the target market into small, subject-focused groups. Finding specific interest points amongst these groups will help brands to leave a more individualized impression to create a stronger connection within community.
Leverage the Loyalty
Micro-influencers have a tight-knit, like-minded network. Their followers trust their opinions and will often seek them out when they need help finding what they are looking for.
“From trendy restaurants to yoga studios, or where to take the perfect selfie, the most critical quality in these influencers is that they have a passion for what makes their cities rich and unique. They are experts in local food, music, art, culture, nightlife, style, and travel,” says White.
Scratch the A-List
For decades, brands have looked to A-list celebrities for endorsements. Now, brands are realizing they can capitalize on cultural insiders spanning across different countries with less monetary commitment, but potentially much stronger results. “Micro-influencers may already be one of your company’s consumers, making it a mutually beneficial partnership because chances are they already like your brand,” says White.
Additionally, there is a sense that celebrity endorsements are not authentic, which could be why we see celebrity endorsement fails on almost a weekly basis. “Accessibility is another reason micro-influencers are so useful for brands to gain leverage,” explains White. “They genuinely care about the businesses they’re representing, or in our case, writing for. Therefore, they want to be involved in the brand and the process.”
Instagram is the epitome of social media’s move toward image-based content. This platform demonstrates the magnificently broad reach micro-influencers have. To give some perspective, Instagram currently has more than 400 million monthly active users, 75 million photos posted each day, and 2.5 billion "likes" and is almost exclusively a mobile app.
The Instagram user base is growing much faster than social network usage in general. It will grow 15.1 percent in 2016, compared to just 3.1 percent growth for the social network sector as a whole. Brands need to keep this top-of-mind and realize one of the best ways to tap into this robust and growing resource is through micro-influencers.
Brands can use feedback from micro-influencers to get a better feel for their sentiment. It is important to critically examine information from influencers to gain insight into consumer interest and perception. By using influencers to gain feedback, brands are able to make the proper changes to their approach to attract consumers on a more personal level.
Related Article: Reaching Your Target: 6 Secret Tactics for Influencer Marketing
Build Positive Brand Reputation for the Long Term
In an increasingly digital business landscape, a brand’s reputation can be made or broken almost overnight. With this in mind, it is important to build positive, long-term relationships with relevant micro-influencers. It is crucial to target the interests of influencers and make a positive impact within their community. The focus of building quality relationships is the ability to spark meaningful conversations amongst certain networks. Maintaining good relationships with micro-influencers is very important to keeping a reputation strong for the long term.
Consumers are becoming more particular, not less. That requires companies to be more specific, more relevant, and less corporate. Micro-influencers are the grassroots that brands need to succeed in the modern marketplace.