We all know the Kim Kardashians of the world, the YouTube celebrities, Snapchat sensations, and Instagram crowd with a "K" or "M" behind their follower count.
But what about those of us with a following between 1k and 10k. Are we allowed to consider ourselves an "influencer" worthy of collaborating with brands?
I was at an interesting lunch meeting last week with a few media minds who discussed the rise of the "micro-influencer" and their importance in advertising. First, let's look at Kim Kardashian as the antithesis of this term. Kim has a HUGE following; very broad, global, and encompassing fans from many different walks of life. But how often is Kim actually able to respond to her followers? How truly engaged is she with her millions of fans? Take a look at the graph above, courtesy of Markerly, which showcases how a higher follower count often results in a lower rate of engagement.
What is a micro-influencer?
The term "micro-influencer" refers to someone with an organic following somewhere between 1k and 10k followers (give or take), primarily on Instagram. The term has grown in popularity recently because of the value they add to brands looking to promote their product or service.
How do micro-influencers benefit brands?
Let's assume a fashion brand wants to spend $50,000 to advertise a product. They could pay one celebrity $50,000 to promote it once, or they could pay 500 fashion "micro-influencers" to reach a more targeted audience. Let's break down some of the reasons a brand may choose to work with multiple micro-influencers instead:
1. Rate of Engagement:
Interestingly enough, a recent study by Experticity revealed that micro-influencers have nearly 22x more conversations per week than an average consumer. Micro-influencers are talking with their audience more often by responding to comments and messages, and simply engaging more. Brands want to work with people who actually communicate with their followers.
2. Authenticity of Content:
Micro-Influencers typically create content in a more authentic way that doesn't look like one big smack-you-in-the-face advertisement. Brands like this because they know their product will be showcased in a more natural way.
3. Willingness to Collaborate & Cooperate:
Let's face it, some celebrities can be difficult to work with. They can be demanding, not willing to deliver what they're asked, or flat out just not like the product they're being paid to promote. Micro-influencers are often easier to work with.
Micro-Influencers don't charge thousands of dollars for one post. In fact, 97% of micro-influencers on Instagram charge less than $500 per post.
TAKEAWAY TIPS FOR BECOMING A MICRO-INFLUENCER:
1. START LOCAL:
What small businesses can you get to work with you? Network, meet people, ask people you know. Just start somewhere!
2. ENGAGE, ENGAGE, ENGAGE:
If you have a small following, but higher engagement than someone with a much larger following, you can be a valuable asset for advertising.
3. BE ORGANIC AND BE REAL:
Don't use bots to get more followers. Don't use bots to get more likes. Grow a following by posting creative, good quality content that captures the eye. Engage with everyone who engages with you.
4. PUT TOGETHER A PAGE OF DELIVERABLES:
Don't be afraid to reach out to companies you love or admire and show them what you offer. Put together a sheet that showing how you will promote their product, what is your % rate of engagement, examples of what your content looks like, what you'll write about on your blog, and examples of any prior collaborations you've done.