Everyone from boutique fashion designers to globally recognized brands are turning to influencer marketing to create genuine connections with their target audience and to further their marketing initiatives.
As the popularity of influencer marketing continues to skyrocket and brands are clamoring for the same popular influencers, there is, rightly, some concern regarding “advertising fatigue,” which is a phenomenon in which consumers are becoming blind to advertising, especially when it’s all coming from the same influencer.
That doesn’t mean, however, that influencer marketing has lost its power.
Smart brands are recognizing the criticality of being strategic with their influencer marketing efforts, enlisting a combination of influencer categories, from mega-influencers all the way down to micro-influencers.
And, unsurprisingly, the investment in micro-influencers are showing significant returns due to the highly niched, highly engaged nature of micro-influencers.
So, what, exactly, is a micro-influencer? Why is their influence so powerful? Who are the top micro-influencers in 2022 that you should keep an eye out for? Can just anyone be a micro-influencer? How does one actually become a micro-influencer?
And, how can you leverage the incredibly attuned audience of micro-influencers for your next campaign?
What is a Micro Influencer?
A micro-influencer is a content creator with a smaller follower count, typically ranging from a few thousand to 50,000 on one platform. The cutoff is typically no higher than 100,000 followers to be considered a “micro” influencer. These mini mouthpieces are usually highly niched and focused on one particular market, making them highly effective collaborators for an influencer marketing agency.
The Rise of Micro-Influencers: Explained
Micro-influencers are some of the most successful, especially in the fashion and beauty industries. They’re far more relatable than the celebrity influencers slinging the latest tummy-tucking tea. Because of this deep personal impact, their audiences tend to be more engaged.
Benefits of Working With Micro-Influencers
If you’re trying to decide which type of influencer to invest your marketing dollars in, here’s why working with micro-influencers means your marketing spends go further:
Small Audience, Big Impact
Working with micro-influencers means that the eyes on your brand are those of a highly targeted audience. Because micro-influencers are typically more niched than their larger-account counterparts, their followers are more likely to be interested in the content that they post.
Better Engagement for Highly Niched Brands
Micro-influencer engagement tends to be more high-quality in terms of brand investment. Because niche accounts are just that, niche, followers or fans of that niche have minimal outlet for their interests.
This makes micro-influencers very heavy hitters when it comes to very niche brands.
Top Micro-Influencers in 2022
The rise of these micro-influencers is quickly changing the game of influencer marketing, for content creators and brands alike.
Here are our votes for the top micro-influencers of 2022.
1. Christian Caro AKA @christiancaro_
Photo source: @christiancaro_ on Instagram
Christian Caro is a true influencer. He doesn’t appear to be selling anything, he just creates beautiful content! Based in Southern California, Christian features a mix of fitness, travel, and men’s fashion throughout his content for his nearly 6,000 Instagram followers.
2. Ali AKA @littleredfashionhood
Photo source: @littleredfashionhood on Instagram
Ali is an Arizona-based affordable fashion influencer for the everyday woman. Her content features curated looks from Amazon, Walmart, Target, and H&M with an emphasis on online order unboxing and comparison. This adorable mom and style influencer has a combined follower base of 46,000 across Instagram and Pinterest in addition to her own blog and Amazon storefront.
3. The Smith Brothers AKA @smithbroshawaii
Photo source: @smithbroshawaii on Instagram
Alex, Travis, and Koa Smith are three brothers based out of Hawaii. Surfers, smoothie makers, and environmental enthusiasts, their content range offers water action sports, nature hikes, and smoothie tutorials. Together they own Sunrise Shack, a smoothie joint with multiple locations in Hawaii and one in Japan.
They also run a YouTube channel featuring that beachy surfer life that is so carefree and enjoyable to watch. Their joint Instagram account is the smallest of the bunch at 21,000 while their individual profiles are at 72,000 and 98,000 for Travis and Alex respectively.
Koa is in a league of his own, surpassing the micro-influencer designation with over 264,000 followers after his recent appearance on ABC’s Ultimate Surfer competition.
4. Chelsea Martin AKA @passporttofriday
@passporttofriday on Instagram
Chelsea Martin is an NYC-based luxury travel planner who delights the eyes of her 26,000 Instagram followers with glorious destinations, luxurious accommodations, and an enviable “always traveling” lifestyle. From cruise ships and stadiums to quiet forests and Grecian coastlines, you’ll want to be where Chelsea is.
5. Allison Graham AKA @shedoeshim
Photo source: @shedoeshim on Instagram
Jamaican-born Allison is a fashion designer specializing in barrier-breaking masculine-presenting garments for women. Her content advances a message of LGBTQ+ style inclusion and androgynous fashion for her 59,000 Instagram followers. A favored phrase generously speckled through her content and on her merch is “Masculinity Is Not A Gender.”
6. Tia Kirby AKA @tiakirby
Photo source: @tiakirby on Instagram
Tia Kirby is a Dallas lifestyle influencer and blogger. Her 14,000 Instagram followers enjoy pep talks, puppy content, and fierce fashion. Tia is also the host of Heart Of The Matter YouTube talk show, hosted on her personal YouTube channel with over 29,000 subscribers.
Her personal website, TiaKirby.com, purports to be an inspiration for fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and the “transformative evolution of self-love.”
7. Mary Sargent AKA @themarysarge
Photo source: @themarysarge on Instagram
The epitome of a successful mom-fluencer, Mary is a family fun and home goods micro-influencer. Her content showcases kid projects and style, easy family recipes, kitchen gadgets, and inspiration for home and holiday decor. Her 21,000 Instagram followers get to enjoy sweet kid faces and relatable curated content.
8. Ashlee AKA @intheglamroom
Based in Chicago, Ashlee is a skincare product developer and beauty advisor. From skincare tips and beauty routines to talking about Botox and makeup drawer tours, Ashlee offers valuable product and skincare education with a side of comedic relief and glimpses of her home life for her 13,000 Instagram followers.
Can Just Anyone Be a Micro-Influencer?
Just because someone has a follower count––of any number––doesn’t automatically qualify them as an influencer.
There’s a big difference between a high follower count and the actual influence a creator has on their audience.
A micro-influencer is a creator that makes content in a specific niche, such as fashion, food, fitness, or travel. Their content remains centered around their niche, and their followers turn to these creators for purchasing decisions and even lifestyle choices.
Think of a micro-influencer as a small business; they are an entity of their own, serving specific content to a very specific group of people.
How to Become a Micro-Influencer
So, what do you do if you want to become a micro-influencer? It’s not as easy as just posting content and pitching yourself to brands. You need both strategy and consistency if you want to make it as a micro-influencer.
The first step, before you even think about creating and posting content, is to determine exactly the niche you’d like to influence.
Think: What are you passionate about? What could you spend all day doing? What’s something you’re knowledgeable about that people often ask you for advice or recommendations about?
Once you’ve determined your niche, stay with it. Make sure it’s something you’re really into, because your niche will determine the rest of your influencer strategy.
Research Your Competition
Seek out other micro-influencers and figure out what they’re doing that makes them successful. Draw inspiration from others in your niche, but don’t duplicate their content, personality, or strategy. Why would someone want to follow a copy of someone else when they could just follow the original?
Take inspiration from content creators you enjoy, but put your own personality and spin on things.
Create a Content Strategy
Your content strategy is the core of your success, especially when you’re just building your audience as a micro-influencer.
Choose your content pillars and create content that falls within these pillars. Create a posting schedule so that your content, while all covering the same niche, doesn’t bore your audience and keeps them engaged.
A creative, engaging, and alluring strategy is what will win you followers, especially when your account is new.
Create Relevant Content
Now that you’ve determined your niche and your content strategy, it’s time to create the content!
Take photos and videos, tell a story, share your favorite brands related to your niche. Keep it creative, and keep it consistent with your personal brand.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Engagement is top priority for a micro-influencer. As your accounts grow and you begin looking for brand deals, your engagement will be a key factor in their decision to hire you.
Put Together Your Press Kit
A press kit shows brands that you handle your influencer status as a professional and treat brand deals as a business engagement––because that’s what they are.
At a minimum, you need a polished, professional, easily navigable press kit that showcases your best content, demographic information on your audience, and your engagement rates.
Seek Out Brands in Your Niche
Now it’s time to find brand deals. You can either search for brands that you’re familiar with and want to work with, or newer startups that would love to get their product in front of an audience like yours.
You can also partner with an influencer marketing agency to help find you gigs.
As with anything, consistency is key. You’re not going to hit influencer status overnight. Follow your strategy and refine if necessary, but don’t give up just because you aren’t seeing instant results.
FAQs About Using Micro-Influencers For Influencer Marketing Campaigns
If you’re a brand looking for information on the efficacy of micro-influencers in your marketing campaigns, you probably have a lot of questions.
As one of the top influencer marketing service providers in the world, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions about working with micro-influencers.
What Qualifies Someone as a Micro-Influencer?
Typically, a micro-influencer has less than 100,000 followers and creates content for a highly engaged, specialized audience.
The content that micro-influencers create is intentional; a higher-than-average follower count does not automatically qualify someone as a micro-influencer.
How Can You Tell If A Micro-Influencer Has a Good Engagement Rate?
To calculate the engagement rate of micro-influencers, do the math to find out what percentage of their audience regularly engages with them
There are influencer marketing tools that can do this for you, but if you want to do this manually, divide the number of likes on a post by the number of followers the account has.
Do this on several posts for a better determination.
Keep in mind, however, that this method doesn’t work for someone’s Instagram story analytics, which can have an even higher engagement rate.
Are Micro-Influencers Better for Roi?
Depending on your brand and niche, hiring micro-influencers for your campaign can turn a higher ROI than even mega-influencers.
If your brand is highly niched, finding a micro-influencer in your niche will typically give you far better results than a mega-influencer with a more diverse audience.
How Can I Work With a Micro-Influencer?
Often, you can work with a micro-influencer just by reaching out to them. Because their accounts are smaller, there’s a better chance your messages will be seen.
Keep in mind, however, that the most sought after and successful micro-influencers may prefer to work through an influencer marketing agency to ensure that campaigns are managed most efficiently and effectively.
How Much Do Micro-Influencers Charge?
There is not a standard price for the cost of an influencer for your influencer marketing campaign.
What micro-influencers charge will depend largely on the the scope of the product and the individual influencer.
Are Micro-Influencers Better Than Mega-Influencers?
No one influencer category is “better” than another. The effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign depends on your brand objectives, your current audience, your niche, and what you’re hoping to achieve through your campaigns.
Can I Work With a Micro-Influencer Through an Influencer Marketing Agency?
Yes! Many of the most successful micro-influencers are contracted through an influencer marketing agency.
Hiring a micro-influencer through an influencer marketing agency is savvy choice for a number of reasons:
- Both the influencer and the brand are protected through legally binding contracts.
- Campaign objectives are set by a team who understands the nuances of putting together an influencer campaign.
- The project is managed from ideation to execution, meaning that your influencer marketing campaign is as effective as possible.
- Influencer marketing agencies often have relationships with influencers already and know how to negotiate brand deals in a way that is beneficial to all parties involved.
See the Impact of Micro-Influencers on Your Next Influencer Marketing Campaign
If your brand is looking to launch an influencer marketing campaign to a laser-targeted, engaged audience, micro-influencers may be your best option.