Micro-influencers: Who they are and how to find them
(This advanced blog summarizes real growth insights Demand Curve has acquired from running marketing for hundreds of companies.)
Who is a micro-influencer
A micro-influencer is a social influencer with a following in the thousands or tens of thousands. This includes bloggers and journalists, but for this post, we're referring to social media influencers.
These are usually non-celebrities who’ve built up a loose following. Sometimes they have high value, niche audiences that engage highly with their content.
In this post, we’ll explore how to find legitimate micro-influencers, and how to profitably promote your products to their audiences.
Why work with micro-influencers
You should familiarize yourself with the unique benefits of working with micro-influencers:
High engagement rates
People interact with micro-influencer posts with nearly the same level of engagement as they do with their friends’ posts.
They can also create personalized content for their fan base with a level of intimacy that large accounts with general appeal can’t reach.
Tip: The higher their number of followers, the lower the engagement rate. Accounts with 1000 followers typically have 3x the engagement rate as accounts with 10,000-100,000 followers. Focus on those first for your micro-influencer marketing campaigns.
Yes, follower count is important, but you should be more interested in how much a micro-influencer’s following engages with their posts. Examine their post engagement.
Influencers with millions of followers typically have set terms and can charge upwards of $50,000 per post. But with micro-influencers, you have more flexibility with how compensation is structured.
You can pay a flat fee per post, which can be less than $500. Or you can create a micro-influencer affiliate campaign where you pay nothing upfront and pay out a commission for each sale they refer.
Tip from Demand Curve community member, Nick Selman: Everything is negotiable. Ask for additional promotions dripped out over a longer period of time to maximize your exposure to their audience. Also, a warning: Be clear how long a post must be left up. The last thing you want is to pay for a one-time post that’s taken down after a few hours.
Macro-influencers like celebrities may have millions of followers, but their audiences are broad. Spending $500,000 on a sponsored post from Kim Kardashian would put your product in front of millions, but you're paying to advertise to everyday people uninterested in your product.
Micro-influencers generally have a focus for their content. Perhaps makeup tutorials or travel tips. This means they'll often have a niche audience with shared interests and behaviors.
Geo rollouts: When several micro-influencers in an area share about your product within a couple of weeks of each other, it gives the impression that everyone in town is talking about you.
Micro-influencers feel relatable and authentic to their audience.
Micro-influencers recommending your product is almost like hearing it word-of-mouth by their followers. Their followers feel like they’re hearing about you from a trusted friend rather than an advertiser marketing to them.
Because micro-influencers receive a manageable quantity of comments on their posts, they can personally respond to each one, creating a personal connection with audiences that goes a long way to promoting your product.
Tip from Demand Curve community member, Barron Caster: Get everything you can out of working with micro-influencers. Ask for permission to use them as testimonials in your emails and social proof on your websites. That’s how you can continue to leverage the trust they’ve built with their audience beyond the time frame of the engagement.
How to find micro-influencers
Start with your own followers
Look at the people who are already fans of what you do. Chances are, you have micro-influencers that follow you. They'll be the most enthusiastic since they already appreciate your product.
Analyze your current fans by age, location, gender, occupation, and interests. You can do this using each platform’s insights tool like Instagram Insights and Twitter Analytics. Use those traits as a guide to finding other micro-influencers. Look at who else they follow.
Browse social media channels
With clarity on your target audience, browse social media platforms like Instagram to find accounts of micro-influencers that connect with similar people.
You can tap into marketplaces like Tribe to find micro-influencers in your niche. These marketplaces simplify the process of discovery, but you’ll likely spend time vetting for the quality micro-influencers.
Search relevant keywords in BuzzSumo to find the most popular blog content about a relevant topic. Dig into who shared that content to discover the people who amplified its reach the most.
You can also use BuzzSumo’s influencer search feature to find the most popular influencers for that topic. Filter further by influencer type and location to hone in on the right influencers. Refer to the follower count column to distinguish the micro-influencers.
To learn advanced techniques for using micro-influencers to profitably produce results for your business, check out Demand Curve's Growth Training.