Complex Made Simple

Why advertising with micro-influencers is still an effective marketing strategy

The numbers continue to show that advertising with micro-influencers is still a winning strategy.

While most of us are familiar with the concept of influencers, not many might be privy to a different denomination: the micro-influencer While the definition of the term differs from one agency to another, it is generally understood to refer to influencers with a small number of followers, which can range between 1,000 and 10,000 At first glance, some brands might be quick to scoff at these content creators for their lack of reach, though they'd be sorely mistaken

While most of us are familiar with the concept of influencers, not many might be privy to a different denomination: the micro-influencer. 

While the definition of the term differs from one agency to another, it is generally understood to refer to influencers with a small number of followers, which can range between 1,000 and 10,000 (100,000 by some counts). 

At first glance, some brands might be quick to scoff at these content creators for their lack of reach, though they’d be sorely mistaken. 

In fact, multiple studies have shown that engagement rates tend to follow a downward curve as follower count increases. For example, research by Mediahub shows that influencers with 1,000 followers generated 85% higher engagement than the ones with 100,000 followers. So when it comes to considering an influencer to advertise with, the Kim Kardashians and Lionel Messis (mega influencers) might not always be the best choice. 

It’s not only mega influencers that micro-influencer’s product recommendations outperform in success rate – their pitch is even more likely to result in a purchase than those of the average person. 

A study by Experticity found that 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer, compared to 73% who are highly likely to act on a recommendation from an average person, indicating how impactful a voice they have on consumers.

Read: 10 years later, Instagram’s success proves that less is more

Image: Experticity

The reason is simple, really. Micro-influencers are often seen as experts in their fields and niches, as well as being more approachable and personal. Since they have a small follower count, their online presences often tend to give the feeling of a small business, and with the micro-influencers serving as the friendly café or restaurant owner that you feel comfortable having repeated conversations with week in and week out, so much so that you build a personal rapport. So when this hypothetical owner of a small, specialty restaurant recommends a certain brand of cheese or coffee, you’re certain they know what they’re talking about. This is just an example, but can clearly translate to other fields such as that of mechanic, art, and even card game influencers. 

“Staying within that 1,000 to 100,000 followers proves to be the sweet spot,” writes Myriah Anderson, Community Manager at Impact Beyond. “It just makes sense – a smaller audience means much more hands-on, personal interaction and we all know that’s marketing gold these days.”

We’ve reached a point where customers are smarter and more alert than ever, aware of many of the advertising strategies that marketers employ. This has become such an important factor to keep in mind, as 92% of customers trust a micro-influencer more than a traditional ad or an endorsement from celebs.

In this day and age, authenticity is more desirable than ever, and with an abundance of engaging, relatable online personalities on the web, brands won’t be starved for choice anytime soon. 

In the end, it seems less is truly more. 

Read: They’re back: 73% of brands have increased spend on influencer marketing