Do you know what a Micro influencer is? It’s not a disease, you can be one too (perhaps you already are without knowing it) but once you know (that you are one of them), it can turn into a… funny activity.
Let’s see how.
Micro influencers: what are they? Is it something to eat? Do we want to or can we be one of them?
According to several authoritative definitions (mediabuzz, forbes, etc.), micro influencers are people who are regularly active on blogs and social media with no more than 10.000 followers.
You’ll be like: “so regular people on social networks or bloggers like everybody else?”
Not really, or else not only.
They are like other people of course, but they are able to raise the interest of a group of people (as small as it can be) in products, contents, lifestyles.
This is partly due to their persuasive charm, partly because they are studying to become high-level influencers and starting to get the first positive results, a bit because they know the art of storytelling or it simply comes natural to them (also and above all visual story telling); whatever the reason, these people are able to influence a small but faithful group of individuals in their life or consumer choices.
Their influence ranges from the consumption of clothing or cosmetic products to the choice of eating habits or else ethnic choices of any kind and even lifestyles relating to a profession (think of bloggers who “inspire” other bloggers to be a blogger).
I’ve read some posts that give the definition of “micro influencers” even to people who simply buy a product and share it on their Facebook wall, raising the attention of friends and relatives who love their taste.
Why so much attention and so many definitions for micro influencers?
The reason why these people earned a reputation as micro influencers with more or less accurate definitions provided by companies or marketing researches, is the same that supports all modern definitions: marketing!
Micro influencers are actually taken into consideration by many medium enterprises that can’t (for economic or authoritativeness reasons) or don’t want (for reasons I’m about to mention) to turn to an “influencer (micro aside)” to write articles, set up backlinks to their websites or promote products.
Influencers, that is bloggers or Instagrammers with more than 20.000 active followers, generally charge high rates to promote or simply mention a product.
Yet, this is not the only reason that leads a company to look for a micro influencer. Micro influencers actually provide some advantages compared to a web celebrity. First of all…
- A more direct audience.
Some products are so famous by now that they actually “sell themselves”, so brands need to show their leadership rather than looking for sales strategies. These are generally the brands that choose to turn to top or medium influencers.
Many smaller companies based on e-commerce have recently realized that leaning on active and trustworthy people on the web is also a way to increase website traffic and sales. These companies sell products that don’t sell themselves yet; they actually need continuous boosting and micro influencers are cheaper than top influencers.
The reason is the same why companies like Avon (make-up products) has managed to build not just an empire but a small realm thanks to the young girls who have been selling their beauty products to friends, relatives, friends of their moms or aunts, by retaining a percentage of the sale.
Going back to social networks, if a girl usually posts pictures of her new shoes on Instagram and there are 5-6 friends/acquaintances of her among her followers who regularly comment on these products, there’s a high chance that at least 2 of them will end up buying the shoes.
It is not a miserable figure considering that Instagram has 500 million users, among which 300 million users are active daily and the majority have less than 50.000 followers.
There’s another important aspect when it comes to content creation and storytelling (either visual or written), namely the niche.
Less is more, when it comes to the “niche”.
More or less experienced bloggers and Instagrammers already know what we are talking about: a niche is a topic of one’s storytelling that can raise the interest of a small group of people.
Travel writing/talking about travels is a macro topic for instance.
Solo travelling, travel blogger trips, vegan or vegetarian travels are micro areas targeting a niche of people.
Even in this case, less is more.
Basically, if you have just 5.000 followers who are interested in your macro topic instead of 20.000 followers with various interests, who actually follow you for no precise reason, you might seem more interesting for a small or medium company than a top influencer.
Example 1. Top influencers
The over 7 million followers of Chiara Ferragni (one of the most followed fashion bloggers in the world) follow her for various reasons, including:
– they are interested in fashion
– she’s easy on the eyes
– they are fans of her boyfriend Fedez (apparently, it’s possible and quite common)
– they see her as a role model
– they hate her and don’t miss a chance to insult her.
If brand owners want Chiara Ferragni to wear a garment, they need to give her a lot of money and there’s the risk that 90% of her followers won’t even notice the product.
Example 2. Medium influencers
Travel In her Shoes is the name of Aggie Lal’s social channels, a travel-Instagrammer with about 60.000 followers. People who follow her do it because
– they love travelling
– they like and get inspired by beautiful pictures (her pictures are actually awesome)
– they are interested in luxury hotels
– she’s very good-looking
– they want to learn from her and become like her.
If brand-owners ask her to promote a hotel, they need compensate her accordingly; it’s definitely going to be less than what they would pay Chiara Ferragni, but still a supposedly interesting and slightly negotiable sum. Anyway, the customer needs to be aware that only a small portion of her 60.000 followers might be interested in luxury hotels and the conversion rate (that is people actually purchasing goods they have seen on your website) will be medium-low.
Moreover, if someone sends her a message asking for additional info, she will hardly be able to reply.
Therefore, high-level brands like Armani and Hilton had better turn to this kind of influencers, because they are more in need of constantly establishing their “supremacy” and “style” on the market rather than selling by means of a blogger/Instagrammer.
Example 3. Micro influencers
Let’s take a travel blogger with a number of followers ranging from 5.000 and 7.000 as an example.
At the moment, it’s very likely that these people follow her because
– they are interested in what she writes
– they are interested in her advices
– they are friends, acquaintances and close relatives of hers (at least 40% of her followers)
If this blogger/Instagrammer says she has bought the best kind of travel bag or backpack, this product will be seen by
– people who are interested in travelling (60-70% of them)
– at least 1500 people who know the blogger and know they “can trust her”
– people who will actually visit the bags site and buy one (2% of them).
Such percentage can make the difference in terms of annual income for a start-up company or a small manufacturing company.
Let’s meddle in the affairs of a bag company a bit:
Let’s assume the company above decides to turn to 10 micro influencers over the year in order to promote its flagship product.
Giving their product for free will be enough for some companies, whereas in other cases a money compensation will be necessary (between 50 and 200 euros more or less).
Let’s suppose the product to be promoted is a 50-euro bag.
And let’s assume that a highly reasonable 1% out of the 7.000 followers of the 10 micro influencers actually make the purchase.
In that case, the bag company will make a profit ranging from 25.000 and 34.000 euros over a year (earnings from sales to 1% of each micro influencer’s followers, excluding the rough compensation for the micro influencer).
[you have no idea how exhausted I get by the mental strain of making calculations, so if you don’t trust me please go ahead and make them all over again by yourselves].
How to become a micro influencer with your blog?
If you’ve come this far, you’re either a company or a future (current perhaps, but you don’t know yet) micro influencer.
How to become a micro influencer?
First: you might already be one, since you’ve unconsciously helped some companies to sell a lipstick, a pair of shoes or because you were able to convince quite a number of people to go to Sofia on vacation.
All in all, it’s good news, except that being unaware of one’s potential makes the situation a bit gloomier.
If you really want to help someone to sell more, which by itself is a nice thing, why not take a little profit for your commitment, work, persuasive charm?
In order to start being contacted by companies, it is generally necessary to get a regular traffic to your website ranging from 15.000 and 20.000 visits per week.
Yet, fortunately in our operations figures are not the only important thing.
It’s important, for instance, to have a regular number of even 30-40 users who constantly visit and actively interact on your channels.
Do you get regular comments from other bloggers, Instagrammers or influencers? This is worth more (way more) than 50.000 followers who don’t interact much and you don’t have time to reply to.
Once you realize your own potential, you should regularly create contents able to raise the interest of the niche you feel more inclined to write for.
If you manage to understand that some of your followers are mostly interested in your work and trips, spare some food and wine pictures on Instagram (unless it’s an exotic dish that you’re eating in the southern hemisphere or a glass of wine that is your companion when you have to work after 8 pm).
Do we really want to become an influencer though, be it micro or macro?
Let’s put it this way: sooner or later, if things go well and you do a good job, some companies will start looking for you. It will be up to you then to decide whether and to what extent you will accept their offers or make your own proposal.
End of the day, the market isn’t such an ugly place at all if you’re able to stick to your ethics and identity (the two things that have brought you this far, don’t ever forget that).
Before making a decision about one’s destiny and work, it’s always better to clearly understand the situation, in order to decode facts and make a conscious choice.
I hope this post has somehow been helpful to understand the situation, why companies start to contact you or, if this is not the case yet, I wish you could find some useful info to be ready for when it happens.
If you work hard, with a consistent and positive attitude, be sure it will.