The Complete Guide to Micro Influencer Marketing

GRIN also recommends this free guide: How to Get ROI from Influencer Marketing.

Someone writing on a board with micro influencer text in the foreground

Marketers are becoming more interested in micro influencers as buyer demand for trustworthy word of mouth renders traditional digital advertising less effective. These creators are big enough to increase a brand’s reach and small enough to foster peer-to-peer consumer relationships.

What is a micro influencer?

A micro influencer has a smaller audience, typically between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. Due to their smaller size, they often build online communities around niche audiences.

That said, each brand may have its own set of criteria about what makes an influencer a micro influencer. Whether you define micro influencers as having less than 10,000 or 100,000, you and your team must be on the same page.

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The difference between micro influencer marketing and traditional influencer marketing

Influencers of every size have unique advantages and disadvantages. But the most significant benefit of micro influencers is that you can target particular audiences, such as niche groups, those located in a specific region, or communities with shared, strongly held values.

In more traditional influencer marketing campaigns, your brand can achieve maximum reach with macro and celebrity influencers since these people enjoy massive followings. Larger influencers are suitable for national and international brands, popular product categories, or any company with a large, diverse customer base.

That said, macro influencers tend to be more costly than micro influencers. And though much smaller, micro influencer audiences are usually more engaged and easy to convert into customers. 

With micro influencers, brands with high conversion goals and lower budgets often achieve better results. More prominent brands also use micro influencers, but they may diversify their funding to include macro and celebrity influencers, too.

The benefits of micro influencers

1. Relationships between micro influencers and their followers are stronger than macro and celebrity influencers.

“60% of consumers say that they are more likely to trust influencer endorsements when that influencer regularly engages follower comments.”

– GRIN, 101 Vitally Important Influencer Marketing Statistics

Micro influencers can more easily engage and relate to their audience when smaller. Many micro influencers are also experts in their field and are better at building trust with fellow consumers.

2. Micro influencer followers are more engaged.

Studies show that micro influencers have much more engaged audiences. The strong relationship translates into more meaningful interactions in post comments and shares.

Many followers of celebrity influencers may love the celebrity and seek to live vicariously through them, but they’re less likely to feel connected to that individual on a personal level.

3. Deeper influencer-follower relationships and higher engagement often lead to more conversions.

Because micro influencers nurture more profound connections with their followers, they are in a better position to help your brand drive sales, subscriptions, and more.

However, micro influencers will not endorse products from brands they don’t believe in. When recruiting these creators, make sure that they align with your brand.

4. Most micro influencers are more affordable and may even accept product gifts.

Many micro influencers are just starting or creating on the side. For this reason, some of these influencers are willing to post in exchange for product gifts. 

However, offering your creators fair compensation is critical to building trust and long-term relationships. Consider adding them to your ambassador or affiliate team, giving them free products, and offering them a commission on the sales they drive.

How to work with micro influencers

While most large influencers hire agents to vet brand deals, micro influencers typically represent themselves. They may also be pickier about their brand partnerships or feel less familiar with how collaborations work. 

Since your most lucrative partnerships will be those that last for a long time, keep in mind that many micro influencers become macro influencers over time. So how you start these relationships is key to achieving both short and long-term success.

What should you look for in a micro influencer?

Not every micro influencer is equally effective or connected to their audience. More importantly, not every micro influencer is a good fit for your brand. To identify the right creator partners, keep the following in mind:

  • Relevance – The creator’s interests and content must be relevant to your industry—that way, your audience matches the influencer’s.
  • Authenticity – Unfortunately, some influencers (including micro influencers) try to fake their popularity by buying followers/engagements or joining influencer pods. Creators who make good partners come by their online communities honestly and exert the effort to build relationships with their audience members. Authentic micro influencers create content that is true to who they are and consistently nurtures their online community around shared values and interests.
  • Reach – Even though smaller audiences tend to be more engaged, you still need to “make a splash” in your campaigns. Depending on your audience, product, and where you ship, an influencer’s follower count is still something to consider. As you would expect, larger micro influencers reach more people per post. Your campaign goals should dictate how wide a reach you need to hit. That said, you should still keep relevance and authenticity in mind as you examine an influencer’s reach.

How do you find the right micro-influencers?

Once you identify your campaign objectives and what you are looking for in an influencer, it’s time to go out and find them. There are a few different ways to begin your outreach.

Look among your followers and customers.

If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you likely have influential customers and followers who love your brand. The easiest way to build your influencer team is to reach out to each of them and ask for a shoutout.

Additionally, you may already be getting shoutouts without you asking for them. Using social listening tools or seeing who has tagged your brand on social media, you can locate these brand fans and convert them into sponsored partnerships.

Scroll social media.

Another great way to find micro influencers is to follow your favorite ones on your top channels. First, make sure that you establish your brand presence on that channel before you start scrolling and following.

micro influencer recording a video

Look for active influencers in your industry that serve the same audience. You can initiate relationships with these individuals by following them and then liking or commenting on their best posts. 

Disclaimer: Refrain from offering to collaborate with an influencer on a public post or comment. Reserve your outreach messages for direct messenger or email

Ask Google for suggestions.

Search engines can answer any number of questions, including ones like:

Arts and craft influencers

Simply type your industry, the word “influencer,” and any other descriptors you wish to add. 

Use an influencer search/recruiting tool.

Using the right influencer marketing platform also comes equipped with recruiting tools such as influencer search and lookalike features. Open the filters within your influencer search and sort by follower size, interest, and more. The lookalike feature will help you find multiple influencers similar to another influencer you like.

How to measure the impact of micro influencers

After finding the right influencers, it’s time to plan and execute your campaign. Your initial campaigns will teach you a lot about what micro influencer success looks like. As you become familiar with tracking performance and onboarding new creators, you can refine your strategy over time.

Here are common performance metrics you can use to measure the impact of micro influencers:

  • Engagement rate – Engagements include likes, follows, comments, shares, duets, etc. The best engagements are comments and shares from micro influencer followers. This user-generated content (UGC) increases the potency of your campaigns and is a strong indicator of how well it is performing. You can find your engagement rate by dividing the number of engagements by that creator’s follower count.
  • Website traffic – If you’re using links (affiliate links, UTMs, swipe-ups, etc.) in your campaigns to increase website traffic, then you can watch your Google Analytics to see any changes in the number of new web visitors. 
  • Followers – Many brands see an increase in their follower count during influencer campaigns. This metric is suitable for tracking increased brand awareness.
  • Conversions – If you’re trying to boost subscriptions or sales, you can leverage coupon codes and affiliate links to see which influencers drive conversions.

Brands already succeeding with micro influencers

Micro influencers are increasingly in high demand for ecommerce and DTC brands. Particularly for brands that want to connect with niche audiences and drive conversions, partnering with micro influencers produces some of the best campaigns.

Nutpods recruits many micro influencers as brand ambassadors. In the example above, Gemma (@everydaylatina) promotes a nutpods giveaway event to create UGC and build brand awareness.

Micro influencers drive conversions through discount codes. Some of the most straightforward (but effective) campaigns include product shoutouts with a creator-specific coupon code for followers to use at checkout.

In the example above from Burga phone cases, fashion micro influencer Sky features her case with a matching outfit. Her stylish product integration inspires her followers to shop Burga cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Instagram micro influencers are any creators with 10,000-100,000 followers.

There are no set rates for micro influencers. Some creators give shoutouts to their favorite brands for free or in exchange for product gifts. Others receive a commission on sales, pay per post, retainer fees, or a combination of all three.

Experts believe that there are as many as 3 million micro influencers across the leading social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube).

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