The Rise Of The Micro-Influencer
By guest contributing writer Chelsea Clarke.
Chelsea is a Blog Strategist who helps online entrepreneurs develop their blogs and social followings into profitable businesses via free guides and resources at HerPaperRoute. She is also the beauty & style editor at BeautyIsCrueltyFree.
If you have been anywhere near Instagram or Twitter as of late you have probably been hearing the word
‘Micro-Influencer’ a lot.
And for good reason! It seems to be the big buzzword rolling around in the marketing world this year, as advertisers, brands and marketers are all vying to include Micro-Influencers in their promotions.
So what is a Micro-Influencer?
First, let me explain what a traditional Influencer is. A traditional Influencer is someone who has a large social following, of hundreds of thousands to millions of followers on Instagram. These are big-time bloggers, social media mavens and celebrities.
Traditionally, from a marketing perspective, these have been the ones brands go to for paid product placements, sponsorships and advertising.
Think of all the times you have seen a Kardashian pushing a tea on Instagram that is supposed to give you a big butt (or whatever), that is a traditional Influencer sponsorship at work.
In the last few years, we have seen a push for a more personal type of social media advertising, as consumers are becoming more and more skeptical of big celebrity endorsements and paid product placements in advertising.
Enter the rise of the Micro-Influencer.
A Micro-Influencer is a blogger and/or Instagrammer with a smaller social following than the traditional Influencer, of anywhere from 1000 to 20,000 followers. She earns money by partnering with brands and blogging and posting on social media from paid sponsorships.
Brands pay her to post about their products, either as a flat rate or as affiliate commissions, along with giving her free products.
A Micro-Influencer’s account and her brand can be categorized in one targeted niche, as opposed to a general ‘I do it all’ celebrity.
A targeted niche means that her account and her brand have a specific theme, and she consistently blogs and posts about that one thing, without straying into a different niche.
This ensures that her followers all have the same one interest, and therefore, she knows the one thing to sell to them. For bands that are in that same niche, her targeted audience is a goldmine.
For example, an ‘eco-beauty blogger’ who posts consistently about clean beauty will gain a following of clean beauty enthusiasts. She will partner with eco-friendly beauty brands who will pay her to post, and her followers will buy.
The more niched-down a Micro-Influencer is, the better.
- Has 1000 – 20,000 followers on social media
- Has a stylish/styled social presence that is attractive to consumers and brands
- Earns a living from blogging and social media by partnering with brands to blog about and recommend products, services and other valuable goods
- Knows how to use affiliate marketing to her advantage
Why do brands want to work with Micro-Influencers?
Brands are upping their marketing budgets like mad to include Micro-Influencers because Micro-Influencers have a more engaged, targeted and personal audience that converts into customers well. Plain and simple!
People are tired of being “sold to” by big celebrities, and advertisers are taking note.
Of course, Kardashians will always be able to sell products, but consumers are 80% more likely to buy something that a friend, family member and Blogger / Micro-Influencer recommends or is seen using on social media.
A Micro-Influencer is more like your cool friend or neighbour when you see her wearing something or recommending a product on Instagram, you are more likely to want to try it.
How do you become a Micro-Influencer?
Anyone can develop their online persona into a business, but it does take some work and social marketing savvy.
As mentioned, the more niche your brand is, the better. Having a visually appealing Instagram and a well-written blog that is set up correctly for monetization is the first step. I offer a free course on how to start a blog and monetize it here!
Next, understanding influencer and affiliate marketing as a business is crucial.
Learning how to position yourself as the authority in your niche will set you above the rest. I teach a course on Influencer marketing, called the Micro-Influencer Handbook, which covers every detail on how to develop your online persona into a profitable business.
From influencer and affiliate marketing to website and blog development, Instagram strategies and how to find, pitch to and work with brands, this course covers everything. Enroll in the course here.
Joining an influencer network like helloSPON is a great way to get paid blogging jobs as well. They connect bloggers with brands for sponsorships.
Can you be a Micro-Influencer in Canada?
Absolutely you can. There are many Canadian brands upping their marketing budgets this year to work with Micro-Influencers right here in the true North.
That being said, as a Canadian you can (and should!) still work with American brands as well. You can join affiliate programs for brands that suit your niche, regardless of how small your following is, and start blogging about them and earning commissions right away. Here is a list of high-paying affiliate programs that are accepting bloggers
Micro-Influencers are here to stay
Micro-Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere but up. Whether you are a blogger or a brand, this type of marketing and its potential for revenue is going to become bigger than ever this year, and we will see more and more of it in business and across social media than ever before.