Many content creators cast a wide net in the hopes of appealing to a broad swath of people. But, a new type of creator has emerged, known as a micro-influencer, and they’re making content for a very select, niche group of people.
Unlike content creators with huge audiences, micro-influencers rely on a small, dedicated following which typically ranges from a few thousand to a hundred thousand followers. They’ve established themselves as authorities in specific niches, such as beauty, fitness, investing or even a somewhat obscure hobby like vintage books or old homes. Along with focusing on a single topic, what sets micro-influencers apart from mega-influencers is the level of authenticity and engagement they maintain with their audience.
It’s commonly believed that all content creators want massive audiences. But, that’s not true for everyone. Anna Jane Wisniewski is a longtime content creator who’s amassed about 110,000 followers on Instagram. It’s an audience that’s dwarfed in comparison to rising stars like Alix Earle, who has 3.7 million. But, Wisniewski is focused on what she calls “quality over quantity” content and is fine with her smaller audience.
“I’ve always had a very engaged community and I can tell that by the messages I receive from people, what they’re buying from me, and how my campaigns perform that I’m on the right track for me. I have pretty high engagement on my social channels so brands can pay me accordingly,” she told Buzzfeed News.
A micro-influencer’s authenticity is one of the most attractive attributes for brands. Micro-influencers tend to genuinely care about the products and services they endorse, so they aren’t just forming partnerships for financial gain. Their smaller, more intimate audiences trust their recommendations because they think of them as real people who are experts in their field.
Despite a small following, micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates because they’re frequently interacting with their audience on a personal level. They respond to comments and messages, which fosters a stronger sense of community.
Micro-influencers often collaborate with each other by sharing tips, strategies, and experiences. They also participate in challenges and tag each other to reach people they know are interested in their niche topic. It’s helpful for learning about algorithm changes and how to use the latest trends to increase engagement and grow their audiences.
One of the biggest advantages of micro-influencers is their ability to tap into niche markets effectively. Whether it’s vegan skincare, vintage fashion, or board games, there’s a micro-influencer for nearly every niche imaginable. This niche appeal is invaluable for brands looking to target specific demographics.
“A few years ago, I might’ve wanted to grow faster but brands seem to be catching on,” Wisniewski told Buzzfeed News. “Anyone can buy followers or bots, but not everyone can tap into real people.”
For example, a company specializing in sustainable, eco-friendly products can collaborate with a micro-influencer who focuses on environmental issues and conscious living. The micro-influencer’s audience is more likely to be genuinely interested in the products that are being promoted, which means a greater chance they actually buy the product and become devoted to the brand.
Kathleen Jennings, a micro-influencer whose passion is beauty products, was so good at promoting face masks that it sparked a big search interest for the brand, Clarin, in Texas, where she lives.
“I speak with conviction about the products I feel strongly about,” Jennings told Glossy. “And I think being very very picky about the products I lend that conviction to carries a lot of weight.”
Jennings’ partnership with Clarin catapulted the mask to their number one seller with Sephora selling 4,000 units in just a few days. Melissa Reidhead, executive director of communications at Clarins, told Glossy that it’s clear Jennings’ is converting her audience to Clarins buyers. Her follower count on Instagram? Only 190,000.