Micro-influencers Dominate in the New Creator Economy
It’s hard to ignore the value of the micro-influencer in today’s marketing landscape.
As the fastest growing online customer acquisition method, influencer marketing – including brand ambassador programs, field marketing activations, and affiliate referral programs – has surpassed even organic search. With an average of $7.65 return on each dollar spent, according to an infographic by Influencer Marketing Hub, it’s easy to see why brands dip their toes into the influencer marketing pool one quarter, only to be hanging out in the deep end the next.
Connecting people based on mutually shared interests (i.e. affinity categories) and word-of-mouth have always been effective marketing tactics. Layer in some digital know-how and the latent power of social capital and you’ve got the triad of content, community, and commerce.
At the intersection of content, community and conversion sit one of the new darlings of the creator economy: the micro-influencer.
What is a Micro-Influencer, Anyway?
Take a moment to pull out your smartphone and open up your favorite social media app, the one you go to whenever you need that important mental reset between projects. (We’ll wait.)
Got it open? Cool.
Scroll to your profile and answer this important question: how many followers do you have?
If you’re like the majority of users, your follower count falls somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. Congrats, you’re a micro-influencer! You might not know this yet, but brands are salivating for the opportunity to work with micro-influencers. Why? Because they are the “sweet spot” of authentic, knowledgeable, and engaged.
Why They Matter for Your Brand
Studies have shown there is an inverse correlation between follower counts and engagement rates – and you’ve probably noticed it with your own social media accounts. As follower counts approach 10,000, engagement activity takes a dip. Comments, likes, and shares – the soft metrics of social media engagement – trail off.
The real power of the micro-influencer is fueled by authentic engagement, passion, and respect for their communities.
Excited about working with micro-influencers yet? Great!
Your Customers Have Influence!
Many brands think they need to reach far and wide to identify those valuable content creators and micro-influencers, ignoring the goldmine opportunity that lives in their customer databases.
Think about why your customers are your customers: they found value in your product or service, trusted your expertise and reputation, and rewarded you with their loyalty. And when customers are excited about the brands they love, they tend to talk about them. A lot – to their friends, colleagues, and family.
What’s the last product you bought that had you over the moon with excitement? Did you share a photo or write a review?
Your customers are probably doing the same thing right now, engaging with their communities authentically and influencing a future purchase.
Employee Advocacy: A Case for Micro-Influencers
Most content creator-based initiatives focus on customer acquisition and EVM, but employee advocacy is another transformative tool to build brand awareness and reach into potentially untapped markets.
A word of caution: not *all* employees are well suited for an advocacy program.
Look for those with social media fluency (remember those ideal follower counts!), a strong presence on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and – most importantly – a genuine excitement for your company’s brand, culture, and growth.