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What is a Micro-Influencer and How Can You Use Them to Grow Your Business?

If you need a plumber, what’s the first thing you do?  You probably ask a family member, friend, or trusted colleague for a recommendation.  These people presumably have your best interest at heart and will not steer you toward a business that is unreliable or overpriced.

What you don’t start with, in most cases, is a search for the nearest vendor.  Even if you have no other choice but to cold search, you probably read online consumer reviews to at least get some idea of what other customers think, rather than taking the self-serving advice of the vendors themselves.

The truth is, businesses have a vested interest in attracting customers, and some will go to questionable lengths to do it, possibly even using confusing or misleading language to get a sale, even at the expense of long-term patronage.  In short, customers don’t trust businesses.  They trust people, and especially people they know.

This is why many businesses rely on the assistance of social influencers, who use their status as a trusted source of information to help promote brands to their followers.  You might think that influencers are beyond your reach, and when you consider that someone like Kim Kardashian pulls in up to $500,000 for a single, promotional Instagram post, you’re probably right.

However, you might want to consider what you can gain by partnering with micro-influencers.  What are micro-influencers and how can they help to boost your brand and grow your company?

What is a Micro-Influencer?

Every company would like a Kardashian-level influencer with over 150 million followers to promote them, but this isn’t realistic for the average small or even midsize company.  This macro level of influencer can afford to be very selective and demand exorbitant fees for promotional posts because of the sheer volume of consumers they reach and the influence they have with their followers.  All Oprah has to do is add an item to her famous Favorite Things list to put a company on the map.

You can still get proactive, though, by looking for micro-influencers, who have somewhere in the range of a few thousand up to about 50,000 followers.  Typically, these people start out as relative unknowns and they build up their following from a few close family and friends to several thousand strong simply by appealing to others.  This is where the power of their influence comes from.

Benefits of Using Micro-Influencers

You might wonder why you should lean toward micro-influencers to promote your brand and grow your business.  You’ll gain several benefits in the process.  For one thing, it costs significantly less to secure posts.  What you’ll get for your money is access to a local audience, but more importantly, the posts will enjoy a level of authenticity that macro-influencers don’t have.

Everyone knows Kim Kardashian posts promotional materials for one reason alone: money.  She probably doesn’t use the products or know anything about the brand.  With micro-influencers, there’s a greater level of trust and authenticity.

The trick, of course, is choosing candidates that are suitable for your brand and that have an audience likely to be interested in your products.  From there, you have to build a relationship so that your micro-influencers can become knowledgeable and passionate brand ambassadors.  This is the best way to ensure authentic posts, audience engagement, and desired business growth.

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