The word "influencer” for online marketing campaigns is no longer a buzzword. With the rise of social media relevancy for online marketing, there is a growing need for companies, brands, and retailers to harness the power of social media to impact consumers’ buying decisions. Whether you have a large or small number of followings on Instagram or Pinterest and whether you do or don’t have a blog, you still have influence. Brands and affiliate networks understand that and recognize the importance of working with influencers with a wide range of audience sizes.
Who is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer can be a lifestyle blogger who just got started and has between 1,000 and 10,000 followers on her blog and social media or the same size following on only one of the social networks.
A mega-influencer, for marketers working with small- to medium-size companies, can be someone with over 100,000 followers, while marketers working with big companies may target a much higher volume of over half a million followers and a celebrity as many as two or three million.
What is the value of influencers to brands?
The real question when working with influencers is which level of influencer provides the greatest value to a brand?
While mega-influencers do have a larger following and thus a larger exposure which helps to build a brand or product awareness, marketers are actually looking for more proven results such as engagement and conversion, in other words, actual sales!
Based on some of the statistics we share here, you will see that working with micro-influencers has great benefits for marketers.
Why is it relevant for you as a publisher to understand the value of micro-influencers?
- Because these numbers can encourage you not to be drained before you even get started. Comparing yourself to other influencers with a large following can be daunting. You might think there is no point trying to monetize your content until you have similar results, but the numbers we share explain why this is not necessarily the case.
- Because these numbers will encourage you to start Treating Your Blog Like a Business from the very beginning, being focused on which products to promote, to whom, and how.
- Because these numbers explain why some brands prefer working with smaller influencers for several reasons:
- Their engagement is usually higher since they can easily manage the number of comments they receive, respond to each individually, and build up a meaningful relationship with their followers.
- Stronger trust is built between micro-influencers and their followers because their message seems more real and followers don't expect as much sponsored content as on larger accounts. The sense of familiarity helps followers to better relate to the experiences shared by micro-influencers compared to mega-influencers or celebs.
- Followers are more likely to be influenced by someone who is more like them and doesn't have celebrity status. Who will better convince you to buy a dress? A model wearing it in an ad campaign or someone who looks like you wearing it well?
- Because these numbers explain mathematically why it is more worthwhile for marketers to break down their marketing budget, for example, into 50 micro-influencers with 2,000 followers each than to pay the same amount to one influencer with 100,000 followers. While we respect the fact that a mega-influencer charges higher fees, not all marketers can afford this budget, and those who can may end up with better sales results by dividing their budget, as in our example, between 50 smaller influencers.
Why working with micro-influencers is great?
You don’t necessarily need thousands of followers to make an impact. Studies have shown that engagement peaks at just 1,000 followers.
In this article based on case studies of more than 800,000 Instagram users, most of whom have at least 1,000 followers, the key finding is that: "as an influencer’s follower total rises, the rate of engagement (likes and comments) with followers decreases.”
The important findings here are:
1. Those with less than 1,000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time. There is a clear downward correlation between follower size and post likes.
2. The same curve has been found true for comments too: users with fewer than 1,000 followers generate comments about 0.5% of the time, compared to 0.04% for those with 10M+ followers – a difference of nearly 13 times less.
In this article you can find more stats comparing the impact of micro- and mega-influencers. We highlight just one which relates to our niche of affiliate marketing campaigns and social reach:
In this particular case the mega-influencer had about 600,000 followers on Instagram and the micro-influencer only about 10,000 followers. As you can see in both articles, while the number of likes for micro-influencers may be lower in absolute numbers, it is significantly higher percentage wise. In terms of sales, micro-influencers perform way higher even in absolute numbers, which may come as a big surprise.
If you read this second article, you’ll see that as much as mega-influencers can be those who impact awareness, it is the micro-influencers who drive sales. And that could be you!
"People buy from friends. As a smaller influencer, the micro influencer can engage more closely with followers. As such followers not only feel closer to the influencer but are invested in his/her success. The influencer is like a close friend whose advice or recommendation is more actionable than an inspirational celebrity.”
So why should brands work with mega-influencers? Because they bring awareness beyond the reach of the micro-influencer; you can even treat this as "help” given by mega- influencers to drive sales to micro-influencers. Source. This explains why campaign managers and marketers may consider working with both mega- and micro-influencers, especially when considering sponsored posts.
However, the important things to take away from this discussion is that as far as performance-based campaigns go, i.e., affiliate marketing, you shouldn’t be held back by a smaller number of followings. That is not to say that you shouldn’t grow your following but rather that as you get set your mind on your niche and goals, you should also start thinking about monetization, and performance-based monetization might be one of the best options to help you grow your business.
We hope that VENNDY’s tools will encourage you to start from the very beginning and as you grow to:
- Create great content
- Focus on the value you give to your followers
- Choose products to recommend that best fit your content and audience
- Use tools that will present your promoted products in an appealing and easy-to- follow way, helping your followers to love and save for later purchasing.
As a micro-influencer you are better off not waiting to be approved by networks that only accept influencers within a certain niche or of a certain size. Start using shop-the-post widgets, Instagram shop tabs (shoppable galleries), and Pinterest collections of items from the very beginning, no matter what your niche or size. To read more about the advantages of linking your Instagram bio to a shoppable gallery either on your website or on a different designated platforms, you may want to check out this blog post.
If you are new to performance-based monetization and affiliate marketing, don’t miss our otheras well as and . You may also want to have a look at our other blog posts on the subject:
- When is the Right Time to Start Using Affiliate Marketing to Monetize your Content
- Affiliate Marketing – Best Practices: Are You Ready To Join?