How to become a micro-influencer
You don't have to have 5000 followers to be an influencer. If you're posting about your interests on social media and interacting with your followers, you can probably consider yourself part of a club that's of growing interest (and value) to marketers
If you scroll through your Instagram, Facebook, or blog feed, you'll see a lot of content coming from influencers with large followings. Whether they've accumulated them through years of hard work or some good timing, it can be hard to see how your smaller numbers of followers could ever compete.
For marketers, however, it's not just about numbers. Yes, people with huge followings reach wide audiences – but brands don't want to work with them exclusively. So why would a brand want to work with you, rather than a big name?
Introducing the micro-influencer
Recent research has found that once a social media influencer reaches a certain number of followers, audiences begin to lose interest. This means a decrease in engagement – and a decrease in potential value for brands.
Engagement, not reach
For a while now, brands have begun to divert their interest from reach (follower numbers across social media accounts) to engagement (comments, likes, re-blogs). This is because while reach is easily calculable, it is not always an accurate assessment of how influential a person might be. Followers can be bought by their hundreds for very small sums of money – but it's very difficult to fake genuine interest in a post.
If you've got people responding to your social posts with real interest in your content – perhaps they're asking you where you've bought something from or sharing their own experiences about something you've posted – then you've got an engaged audience. If you're then replying to comments and interacting further, you're likely strengthening your relationship with your audience further – which should drive even more engagement.
What is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is someone who might not have the impressive follower numbers, but is highly influential in their circles. A prolific poster on Mumsnet can even be a micro-influencer – people see their name often, come to respect their opinions, and begin to make decisions based on their recommendations.
While some studies place the micro-influencer within the range of 5,000 – 50,000 followers, you can still have influence with considerably fewer than this. As a result of this, many brands are opting to spend their budgets across a range of micro-influencers, rather than sinking a large sum of money into one huge name.
How does it work?
It's simple, when you think about it – a large-scale Instagram user might have 2 million followers, but it's very hard to assess how many of those followers are actually engaging with the content. People are bombarded with so many advertisements these days that they're becoming far less likely to make purchases based on celebrity recommendations.
By contrast, a micro-influencer's following is likely to be made up of family and friends, all of whom are likely to place value on a recommendation made public on social media. After all, if you know someone or feel like you know someone – you're more likely to trust them. As a result, followers of micro-influencers are more likely to click, or purchase, or like – all of which signals to the brand that their influencer marketing strategy is paying off.
- Micro-influencers have better engagement rates
- Micro-influencers have better-targeted audiences
- Micro-influencers are more affordable
- Micro-influencers are more genuine
How do you become a micro-influencer?
If you already have a blog, or a Twitter or Instagram account with an engaged following, then you're already classified as a micro-influencer. Your relationship to your followers is pivotal here: the more you post and reply to your followers, the more influential you are.
Which platforms can you be a micro-influencer on?
While the term has come from studies focusing on Instagram, it is just as relevant to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Bloggers, too, are considered influencers – so even if your blog has a small readership, the quality of your content, loyalty of your readership and click-through rate can all contribute to your legitimacy as a micro-influencer.
How do you get noticed by brands?
There are an awful lot of micro-influencers out there, but there are also a lot of brands looking for exactly the right voice to work with.
To make your voice stand out from the crowd, it's helpful to have a bit of amplification – and joining a network like the Mumsnet Influencer Network is a great place to start. Simply sign up, and let us know that you're interested in some collaborative work. Once we have your reach and engagement numbers, plus a sense of who you are as an influencer, we can pair you up with some of the great brands we work with.
What does it all mean for the micro-influencer?
Don't undervalue your content simply because your follower numbers are low! You're still likely to be of interest to a brand if you fit within their target demographic and your content is of a high quality. Check out some of our brand campaigns that have used micro-influencers to reach their audiences, and you'll see what we mean.