Did you know that you don't need 100,000 or more followers to be considered an influencer on Instagram? The so-called micro influencers are not only the little siblings of the big influencers, they actually have real influence and are readily booked for collaborations. This means you can earn products or small amounts of money with just a few followers. Find out all about micro influencers here
The story of influencers on Instagram
Influencers haven't just existed since Instagram came into existence. After all, influence means influence. Thus, influencers are the people who have an effect on a group that can lead to action. So politicians, pop stars, or even the coolest guy in school are, in theory, influencers.
But of course we use the term primarily for a more recent phenomenon: people who first gained their great influence through social media. The fact that we talk about influencers (circa since the early 2000s) is mainly thanks to the marketing industry
Because this defines influencers as people who, through their strong presence in social media, can promote products and services. Thus, they form an alternative to traditional advertising , where a general ad is placed (television, radio, print), where customers must trust the brand. With advertising figures (pop stars, footballers, actors), attempts have long been made to use trust in a person instead. Social media finally made it possible for virtually anyone to develop influence - no prior career needed. The age of the influencer was dawning.
Who is considered a micro influencer?
There is no set definition for who is considered a micro influencer and who is not. This is because the term is not trademarked and there are actually strong industry differences as well. 10,000 followers for a general fitness account are less important for marketing issues than an account with 5,000 followers that acts as a food blog for a specific city. Someone whose account serves a trending topic (2020, for example: make your own COVID masks) needs fewer fans than someone in a competitive industry like cooking or dieting.
In addition, the faster growth of user numbers on Instagram also means that five years ago, someone with 1,000 followers could be considered a micro influencer, but today they tend not to make such big leaps with it. There are simply too many accounts with thousands of followers.
Most literature on the subject talks about micro influencers as having 10,000 to 100,000 followers (1,000 to 10,000 is nano influencers). Ultimately, though, it's also less about how many people are following and more about how many people are interacting - because that's the big advantage of micro influencers!
Why are micro influencers interesting?
You surely know lists with the five, ten or twenty accounts with the most followers ( Cristiano Ronaldo has over 250 million fans on Instagram ) or follow people yourself who have so many followers that you don't feel they are particularly important.
For collaboration requests, this has two drawbacks: First, the prices for a sponsored post are so incredibly high that small or medium-sized businesses could never afford it. Secondly, yes, products or services are offered that have a specific target audience - however, with over 1 million followers, at some point it is already no longer clear who exactly will actually feel addressed. Therefore, the interaction rate of large accounts is usually much lower than that of small profiles.
A niche account on the topic of excursion destinations in Berlin is thus just right for a club or a party service. Instead of blindly hoping that a Berlin influencer will appeal to the party scene while also catering to fashion, recipes, and fitness, many marketers therefore choose to go the specific route.
So the biggest advantage micro influencers have over the big names is that they have a much higher connection with their followers. Not only do they know who follows them, they also have a fairly easy way to stay in communication with said followers. Ariana Grande, Lionel Messi, or Barack Obama don't bother to discuss in the comments or reply to every personal message after all. Micro influencers can do that, though, and thus remain approachable and build a trust relationship.
The credibility of top influencers is just not on the same level as someone who shares the same hobby, lives in the same city or with whom you can still write personally. Companies take advantage of this and target exactly those who are considered experts with high credibility. After all, if that person recommends something, followers assume they haven't just become the target of an advertising campaign. They trust the person and are more likely to spend money.
At the end of the day, of course, micro influencers often don't know that they're already interesting with a few thousand followers. They are then all the more grateful when a (suitable) company approaches them. All in all, influencer marketing has become so overwhelmingly important in the advertising industry , that it's all the nicer when collaborations feel personal after all.
How can you become a micro influencer?
Maybe you want to become a micro influencer yourself, or maybe you're just interested in what happens behind the scenes on Instagram. Either way, you can check out the following five tips that will tell you what someone can do to become an interesting Micro Influencer.
Tip 1 for Micro Influencers: carve out a niche
Micro Influencers need a niche to be really interesting for collaborations and followers. Who sometimes posts a photo of himself at the beach, then at yoga and again at the football game, he may get more followers, but no one knows exactly what the profile stands for. Thus, someone can have the appropriate number of followers and reach without really being an influencer because, well, they're not considered an expert or trusted person.
So you should think carefully about what you want your profile to be about. Of course, this can also be a combination of interests: Are you a fashion enthusiast and do you love football? You could analyse the jerseys of Bundesliga players or evaluate how footballers dress outside the stadium. Or you love plants and gardens and live in a big city - use your account to show where in the city you can find great green spaces and at the same time where people are most likely to find the right products for plant and garden care. You can be as creative as you like, but it will help if you know who you're trying to reach .
Tip 2 for micro influencers: don't use black hat techniques
Black Hat Techniques are always problematic, but for Micro Influencers they are actually pure poison. If you don't already know what's behind them, Black Hat Techniques (or tactics) describe shortcuts on the way to more reach. These involve buying followers or posting comments from bots, for example.
Not only does this risk getting your account banned altogether, but you would also be accomplishing the exact opposite of what you set out to do: build a relationship of trust with the people who follow you.
Tip 3 for Micro Influencers: create a strong bond with your followers
Trustworthiness is incredibly important for you. Now, you won't get this if you don't make the effort to stay in touch with the people who are in your niche. Very few big names answer questions about recipes, fitness exercises or places of interest any more. Do it differently.
Do it differently and show your fans that you always have an open ear . Even better would be to regularly take advantage of the app's full range of features - livestreams (or, more recently, Live Groups ) are a great way to introduce yourself and stay approachable.
Tip 4 for Micro Influencers: post and interact regularly
The standard tip for anyone who wants to gain followers remains regularity . If you only open the app once every few days and post a photo here and there, that's perfectly fine, however, you can't then expect potential followers to find you on their own
The attention span on Instagram is very, very short. If you can't make people remember you, they will find other profiles that are more available. Whether you post seven days a week or only three times a week isn't that incredibly important - what's important is that you're reliable and your fans know what to expect.
Tip 5 for micro influencers: collaborate with other accounts
If you want to establish yourself as an expert and trusted figure in your niche, don't just do your own thing. Influencers with 500,000 or more followers may be able to afford to post only what they want or not communicate with others at all, but that's not the goal of micro influencers.
That's why you should interact not only with your followers, but with other people who run profiles similar to yours. Not only does this expose you to more people who can follow you, you'll most likely learn something else about your hobby or passion. And you'll meet new people with similar interests. So don't be afraid to write to someone who's from your area or loves the same things you do. Maybe you can create some pictures and videos together or livestream to talk about your niche. Either way, you're showing that your account is ready for more!