They are not the Kardashians, not even close to their mini version.
Their social following numbers are in the low thousands, sometimes not even that.
They matter not because of the number of followers, but their engagement and impact on the purchase decisions of potential buyers.
“Less is more” is the creed for which micro influencers thrive.
Theirs is a niche audience, not a fan base. Their fame came not with their name but their relationship and engagement with a specific group of users.
Micro influencers are people and businesses (or technologies and channels) that are closest to the prospective customers and who impact their decision-making process.
Sam Fiorella and Danny Brown, the authors of Influence Marketing, look at these micro influencers as “the business’s opportunity to exert true influence over potential buyers as opposed to macro influencers who simply broadcast to a wider, more general audience.”
“It’s the difference between a branding exercise among a loosely defined audience and a formal lead capture and conversion strategy.” – Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage, and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing.
So who’s who, and what do micro influencers do?
The Real Face of Influencer Marketing
A micro influencer can be a local barber who posts about practical grooming tips or simple how-to’s on hair styling.
She can be a makeup guru who shares simple hacks to achieve a celebrity look. Or he can be a work colleague sharing his experience with a new mobile phone.
There is a collective something about them that earned them those clicks on the “follow” and “like” tabs in social media.
A post, a feeling, a thought or two that connected or can be related to.
Their social media following and influence grew from their engagement, style, and their integrity – they are original and believable because they are real. In fact, most often they’re not even trying to be influencers.
And that’s the power of micro influencers being everyday consumers with stories to tell.
Below are some examples whose influence is established by their authenticity more than their desire to be influencers.
Note: Some of these don’t really fit the “micro influencer” mold we work to, as they’ve become more like macro influencers when it comes to reach.
The Reviews that Echo
Looking at one of our campaigns for a true micro influencer is Brian Fullerton, a professional lawn care professional who runs Brian’s Lawn Maintenance. He does not sell himself for product mentions or freebies, choosing instead to share testimonials on products he tries.
Brian’s authenticity is seen in the fact that he shares both positive and negative experiences with brands, not just what he’s paid to share or promote. In fact, he doesn’t charge anything at all.
His willingness to share personal experiences in such an open and honest way, has earned him a solid industry following. Further, brands are beating down his door asking for reviews because they understand the value of authenticity when it comes to swaying purchase decisions or brand perceptions.
When Cats Pose…
They become watch models. Shadow and Scuba are feline siblings with over 37K followers on Instagram, and will never know the influencers they have become. Their photos have earned them a niche following that are more likely to engage and respond to campaigns for brands they partner with.
The authentic followers in niche audiences – pets in this case – made watch designer Daniel Wellington reach out to this non-traditional Instagrammer and offer their followers unique discount codes for his product.
Mom Posts Best
Allison Goines posts everything and anything about positive parenting. So when she posted a natural deodorant for kids, Tom’s of Maine, a personal care product manufacturer, connected with her and her 3.7K Instagram followers to increase a warmer and more connected purchase group for their products.
Instead of simply broadcasting a message through a product ad, the goal for Allison’s post was not to earn hundreds of thousands of “views” or “likes,” which often don’t translate to bottom-line results, but to gain real customer insights. You can read more here on How Tom’s of Maine Drove 600% More Engagement Than Organic Social)
Beards of the Same Cutter, Flock Together
Waseem Youan of Windsor, Ontario, is a barber/Instagrammer who grew his followers from videos of how he trimmed his beard.
He has since made Instagram his digital portfolio. He has been approached as brand ambassador for an American hair styling product and now runs his own barbershop. You can read Waseem’s success story here.
Beauty and the Vlog
Named YouTube rising star by SHAPE, Leina Novicio is a beauty vlogger. Like most influencers, the hobby and love for something can transform into a profession – in Novicio’s case, it also made her a YouTube sensation.
She is by no means at the same fame level as Kim Kardashian, but her video tutorial on how to get that celebrity look easily earned her the title “makeup guru”.
Leaks or Likes, Tweet the Plumber
Where in the world can you engage a plumber? Twitter.
With over 11K followers and a Twitter community of plumbers, @pbplumber comments that social media has been great for him.
Little plumbing pleasures ☺️
No greater sight or sound after working on a blocked waste pipe 👌🏽#plumber #plumbing pic.twitter.com/bGF2yViBnh
— P B Plumber (@pbplumber) July 2, 2018
His funny videos, tips, and demos caught the attention of not just his followers, but business as well – he is now the endorser of City Plumbing UK and Wilo UK Ltd.
“I’ve learnt from other plumbers and it’s opened doors. But it’s a time sink! I work harder and longer to fit it all and put pressure on myself to create new content,” he says.
If the Shoe Fits
When shoes and desserts match, they travel far in the thousands of shares in social media.
That’s the creativity at work for Tal Spiegel, a Paris-based pastry chef. His unique posts on his Instagram page Desserted in Paris also found its way into a book based on his account.
My Big Fat Geek Wedding
The love affair with everything techie begins with an “I Do” with Geek Insiders. It’s the techno hub for news, reviews, tips, tutorials on gadgets, gaming, movies, comics, software, and apps.
The power of its community of 12k geeks on Facebook and 14K on Twitter is not in the numbers, but in how they engage with their followers.
Macro or micro influencer? The authors of Influence Marketing say, “focus on the customer, not the influencer.”
Only then you will know who and what you need to work with them, and what your approach should be.