When you hear the word influencer, who pops into your head? Likely, it's some celebrity or movie star with millions of Twitter followers and a huge fan base. Yes, these are influencers, but they aren't the only ones.
Consider this: There are really two kinds of influencers: macro-influencers, who are the fore-mentioned celebrities we were just talking about, and micro-influencers. These are the people who aren't as big celebrities in their own right, but who have a super engaged following despite it not being in the millions.
While we all want a macro-influencer to get in on our brands and to support our businesses, we can't overlook the micro-influencers. These are YouTubers, Instagrammers, and even bloggers who have become famous with their own campaigns and media savvy. It can be difficult or expensive to land a larger scale influencer, and it's often more common for brands to approach these micro-influencers for support.
In 2014, when my company Bikini Luxe was just getting started, I reached out to a fashion blog by the name of Carrie Bradshaw Lied (a play on the Sex in the City character's name) asking her to collaborate. She was trying to grow her brand as well, so she offered to feature our products on her website and social media in exchange for products.
She shot beautiful photos, and her posts actually equated to sales for us. We were thrilled!
As her fan base grew, she quickly began getting paid for her hard work, and I always remembered thinking she was such a great influencer, and had a very loyal following. I often use her as an example of fashion blogger who turned her hobby blog into a serious revenue stream, but also as someone who is actually worth the investment.
Here are four great reasons why you should approach a micro-influencer instead of a macro-influencer if you are running a small- to medium-sized business:
1. They have smaller but often more engaged audiences.
If you have followed a YouTuber, you know firsthand that you likely go back to their websites on a regular basis, follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and sign up for notifications for their newest videos.
You keep up with news on these people as if they are personal friends (and sometimes even more so). That speaks for itself.
Others are likely following just as closely, which means that they are a good way for you to spend your advertising dollars. They will likely have lower fees than macro-influencers, which means more bang for your advertising buck.
2. Targeted audiences means they attract a certain audience.
If you're a brand in a specific niche (say, swimwear or high-end jewelry catering to single women), you're trying to attract a certain audience. That means that it's better to think narrow.
Macro-influencers attract all kinds of followers, while micro-influencers have a more specific audience. It may be more worthwhile for you to go straight to this audience, where you find most of your customer base comes from.
3. You'll likely find that micro-influencers are more approachable.
While macro-influencers have public relations staff and people who cater to the media and to companies, they are often harder to pin down or connect with than micro-influencers who may be happier to get publicity or an advertising partner.
4. Micro influencers will fit nicely into your budget.
You might have to blow the bank to get macro-influencer on side with you, where micro influencers many very well be more affordable. If you're just getting off the ground yourself, try trading products in exchange for social media posts so that it's a win-win situation.
Personally speaking, I have found that my business has seen great results even from using customers with healthy social media followings as influencers. Their followers trust their opinion and already feel an emotional attachment to them, thus making them the perfect spokesperson for your brand.
As always, I recommend not putting all of your eggs into one basket, so remember to try a little bit of everything and see what works best for you.