What is a micro-influencer – and how can I become one?

Accounts with as little as 1,000 followers are now being considered for brand campaigns – but what’s the difference between a micro-influencer, and an everyday Instagrammer?

Heard of micro-influencers yet? They’re the online personalities whose following falls in that sweet spot between 1000 and 100,000 — small-scale enough to maintain a connection with their audience, but far-reaching enough to effect action. So, what separates an everyday Instagram user from a powerful micro-influencer? Here are three key attributes to consider.

1. They produce relatable content

One of the major people-pulling powers of an effective micro-influencer? Relatability. “A micro-influencer doesn’t have the intimidating inaccessibility of a mega celebrity,” explains Lauren Bath, our Instagram expert. “Big accounts are often managed on a professional basis and so tend to be flawless in appearance, voice and tone; micro-influence accounts are generally a little more ‘human’, the results of which engender a different relationship with an audience.” Think you’ve got what it takes to be a micro-influencer? “When I hire micro-influencers for jobs; one thing I look for is captions that read like a real person chatting with you,” Lauren says. As a follower, that offers a sense that the person behind that account is an old friend.”

The take-home: There are a billion Instagram accounts – but only one you. Don’t be afraid to embrace your unique voice in your caption – this will help you stand out.

 

2. They engender real connections

Micro-influencers build their fan bases at a scale that allows for one-on-one interactions. “A good micro-influencer will speak directly with their followers, which means responding to comments and developing a personal connection with individual audience members,” explains our travel media expert, Georgia Rickard. “This flips the idea of a faceless digital social media account into something else: a real person, speaking to other real people, within a genuine community.”

Why is that important? “Because of the holy grail of marketing: ‘word of mouth’,” Georgia says. “When you’ve established genuine connection with your followers, you’re much more likely to elicit a sense of trust from them, which is precisely why micro-influencers are so attractive to brands.”

The take-home: Unless you’re going for aloofness – a useful strategy for certain brands (for example, some fashion brands) – it’s not cool to ignore your followers, just rude.

 

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“When you’ve established genuine connection with your followers, you’re much more likely to elicit a sense of trust”

3. Their content is consistent, on-brand, and good quality.

Having a strong relationship with your following means you tend to know what kind of content they like – “and when you upload content that your following appreciates, you’ll be rewarded with high engagement levels,” explains our blogging expert, Liz Carlson. Engagement is one of the cornerstone measurements of digital marketing, she adds: “someone who likes, or even goes as far to comment on your post, video or blog is someone who has been moved to take that action, which is a pretty powerful indicator that they’re engaged in some way,” she says. “And, of course, for a company looking to speak to interested consumers, that’s an ideal audience to tap into.”

The take-home: It’s important to share content that makes you happy, but keep your audience in mind. Otherwise, you risk alienating people and losing followers – not desirable when you begin monetising your account.

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