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by Shelby Baldwin / 03.17.19
Social media influencers, and specifically Instagram influencers, have created a lot of buzz in online marketing over the past few years. 

More times than not, when people hear the word "influencer", the first figures that come to mind are huge celebrities, like Kylie Jenner for example, who brands will pay as much as $1 million to make just one Instagram post promoting their products. For the every day business or online brand, working with influencers of that size can be intimidating, overwhelming, and simply unrealistic. 

That's where micro-influencers come in. 

But before we get into that, let's backtrack, just in case that term is new to some of you. Here are some basic definitions:

What is an Instagram Influencer?
 Influencers are Instagram users who have an established credibility and audience; who can persuade others by virtues like trustworthiness, relatability, or authenticity. Your brand’s influencers are users that promote your brand to their respective followers or networks. 
What is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is someone who has an audience within the follower range of 1,000 to about 100,000 followers on a particular social media channel, usually comprised of a focussed passion, topic or niche market.

What is a macro-influencer?
A macro-influencer is someone who has an audience within the follower range of 100,000 to 500,000 followers on a particular social media channel. These influencers' followings are usually comprised of consumers of various markets, with a bit wider range of interests and niches than a micro influencer. 

What is a mega-influencer?
The mega influencers are the Kylie Jenners of the world- users with followings of 500,000 to 1,000,000+ on a particular social media channel. These influencers are usually well-known by a wide array of people from multiple markets, and their audiences have a diverse range of interests. They're also usually very expensive to attain and work with.

So, back to micro-influencers. On the surface, they are regular social media users – sharing pictures, videos and posts like the rest of us. Really, they're just everyday people with something to say. Although the range goes up to 100,000, the majority of them probably have under 5,000 followers, and they’re unlikely to even call or see themselves as influencers. 

If you are a business-owner reading this, you may be asking yourself, why should I invest in someone with a smaller following?

I'll tell you why. Because when they talk, people listen. They have personal relationships with the majority of their audiences- relationships that macro and mega influencers rarely have. Their followings most likely consist of friends, family, classmates, co-workers, or fellow community members. Their audiences are engaged, trusting, and willing to take advice. They have the power to sell your products.

Still not convinced?
1. More Bang for your Buck
First and foremost, micro-influencers are highly cost-effective. Their rates are significantly lower than users with bigger followings. Macro and mega-influencers tend to charge very high fees for branded collaborations, and while they can deliver value, their fees are so high that it's not cost-effective, or even doable for some businesses. On the other hand, micro-influencers most often don't charge anything at all for a post. Especially since, as mentioned earlier, they don't usually see themselves as influencers. 

Think about it. If you can pay one top-tier influencer $10,000 for one post, or pay $10,000 to reach 200-1,000 micro-influencers' audiences, which one sounds like you're getting more bang for your buck? (hint: it's the second one 😉)
2. The engagement is 🔥
While micro-influencers cannot compete with their larger peers in terms of followers, brands should be more interested in engagement, which is where they shine. Importance is shifting from reach and followers to engagement, so metrics like commenting, liking, and sharing are critical to consider when working with influencers. 

Micro-influencers often have a high average engagement rate because their community is smaller and more interested in and focused/engaged with their content, and also because social media algorithms are typically not working against them. In any industry, an average engagement rate of 1-3% is generally pretty great, and is what you would typically see for a large influencer. However, more often than not, micro-influencers have an average engagement rate that is higher than the industry standard.
3. They're usually the most informed
Micro influencers are often the most informed within their niches. They are experts on the particular topics that they are interested in, and because they typically have a very engaged community of followers who rely on (and trust) their content, this works in the brand's favor. They are believable and credible, because as mentioned above, they are usually everyday people sharing their passion, their personal recommendations, their everyday life and their likes and dislikes.
4. Content is king/queen 👑
If your influencer marketing goal is more focused on content creation, micro-influencers are the way to go! As mentioned above, they are cost-effective, and although they might not have a huge following, they can, and usually do, create great content. Whether it’s written, imagery, video or multimedia content that you’re after, seek smaller influencers to get the job done on budget, without compromising on quality.
5. Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty!
Generally speaking, micro-influencers have a highly engaged, loyal following. Their audience is still growing, and at this point, it is made up of people they have met, people who have followed them from the beginning, people who generally love their content and people in their personal friends and family network. In contrast, macro-influencers often have a lower average engagement rate (as mentioned before).

From another standpoint, micro-influencers will also be loyal to you and your brand. They don't see themselves as influencers, and they are aware that they are often seen by brands as way less valuable than the macro and mega-influencers due to their smaller followings. Because of this, when your brand seeks them out- showing them that they are valuable to you, that you want them on your team, and that you think they are special- it will mean a lot to them, and they will grow a strong loyalty and gratitude to your brand.
6. They're the best type of influencers for ground-up growth
Ground-up growth is when a business aims to reach as many people as possible, from multiple avenues, starting small and building up within each respective area. Micro-influencers are the perfect vessel for this. They are a huge help with brand awareness and exposure as they give you the ability to saturate a market with your brand and product. Additionally, a micro-influencer focus ensures repetition, seeing as the market you are attempting to penetrate will be regularly exposed to your brand or product through multiple outlets- AKA your ambassadors. 
7. Authenticity and being personable is crucial
What makes Instagram users more engaged with one influencer than another? Their personality, content aesthetic, authenticity, topic niche, tone, and most importantly, their tendency and ability to be personal with their audience. Micro-influencers cherish their growing community, and are readily available to attend events, interact with followers, reply to comments, engage with their audience and have a strong presence both offline and online. On the other hand, high-profile influencers have an in-demand, celebrity status, which often prevents them from being as personal with their large audiences. For example, virtually no large influencer takes the time to reply to 300+ Instagram comments and direct messages per day. 

Another aspect of authenticity that micro-influencers have going for them is that their audience trusts them. This is more uncommon when it comes to macro and mega-influencers, seeing as they regularly work with a wide variety of brands and are known to take on paid advertising collaborations.
8. They will go above and beyond for your brand
In my personal experience, this is my absolute favorite thing about working with micro-influencers. They are usually amazing to work with. They will go above and beyond to satisfy and impress the brand that is giving them the opportunity to shine. They want to feel a part of the team and be able to tell all their friends that they work with a real brand, so they often take it upon themselves to act like an actual employee. This is amplified when combined with the special feeling they get when the brand values their work and shows it off by re-posting their picture or shouting them out on social media.
9. Easy to attain and approachable
I also find that micro-influencers are often more available (via email, direct message, etc.), they are more open to exploring out-of-the-box propositions, and you get to communicate better and build a better relationship with them because you're talking directly to the influencer instead of a talent manager. Additionally, because micro-influencers are just normal people, they are more approachable. There is less drama, it’s an easier process overall, and they are more likely to really promote your brand because sharing on social media is part of their life – they are not just in it for the money.
10. Traditional marketing and advertising isn't on top anymore
I'm sure you know that traditional marketing and advertising, especially print marketing, is no longer the go-to approach when it comes to increasing brand awareness, driving product sales, generating positive PR and launching a new brand/product/service. Consumers increasingly consult social media and blogs when making purchase decisions. Whether it is a quick Google search, browsing the brand's hashtag, or looking at online recommendations and reviews, the digital space is the first point of call for consumers searching for product and brand information. 
So why is that important? Year after year, budgets and resources allocated to influencer marketing are increasing, because influencer marketing is a form of digital advertising that actually works. There is clear ROI potential. What does that have to do with micro-influencers? They are up-and-comers in the influencer space, and as a collective, they’re on their way to disrupting the accepted influencer space. That's why you see so many brand ambassador programs with thousands of micro-influencers taking part all across social media, sharing the brands' products under a specified hashtag, in hopes of being reposted and gaining popularity. 
11. Social media users and digital consumers are increasingly savvy
As digital consumers become more savvy with Adblock software and technology, marketers are having to be more creative when it comes to reaching their target market. The solution is influencer marketing, because it is presented to consumers as editorial and advertorial, and is viewed authentically, rather than being forced upon consumers.  Micro-influencers are the perfect vehicle to distribute marketing messages in a digital capacity, because 1) there are so many of them, 2) they are authentic, genuine and natural in their content and recommendations, and 3) they are not impacted by Adblock software, so there is nothing standing between the influencer content and consumers. There is true value in understanding the power and value of engagement in the influencer marketing space, and for the marketers that do, their influencer marketing campaigns (most often, brand ambassador programs) are better for it. By leveraging these 'smaller' influencers in an influencer strategy, any brand can create a winning formula for success.
12. You have more control of the process
When you work with larger influencers, they have more of a need to fit your message around their audience and their brand. Because of that, you lose some of the control. Smaller influencers are typically happy to spread your message in a positive way without too many changes. They like your brand, and want to show it off to their friends and audiences.
13. You'll save a lot of time ⌚
When you work with bigger names, there is often more paperwork. Agreeing on terms can be a long process, and in the end you may not even be able to get your message out the way you originally wanted. It also usually takes a lot more time to get in touch with them in the first place. They have thousands of messages to sift through each day, and there are sometimes multiple managers that work for them, so you have to track down the correct one to contact for social media collaborations. With micro-influencers, all these problems are avoided, and you can get straight to the important stuff: promoting your brand. This is made especially easier when there is an automated software that can handle all the tedious tasks of setting up and maintaining an influencer/ambassador program... Like the one we offer. 😉
With all the pros, you might be wondering if there's a catch to using micro-influencers through brand ambassador programs for an effective marketing strategy. The answer is, it depends.

Some businesses have the time and experience to conquer a massive and lucrative ambassador program. But for most small and medium-sized brands, it's not nearly as easy as it sounds. Traditional brand ambassador programs are difficult to set up, extremely time-consuming to maintain, and can even be hard to grow if you haven't put in the trial-and-error effort to find the perfect marketing strategy. We know this from experience- we've done it all ourselves!

Our company, Rocketing Media, has built and scaled 4 different online retail stores to $350,000 in revenue in just a matter of months. Our success has come mainly from the hard work we have put into building strong brand ambassador programs with thousands of micro-influencers in our niche(s). Despite the success of these programs, we often found ourselves wondering, is this even worth all the time and effort it takes on the backend? Our small team would spend countless hours creating promo codes on Shopify, communicating back and forth with each individual ambassador over email or Instagram direct messages, searching through thousands of codes to check how each one was performing, and then tracking down each ambassador to follow-up. By the time we'd make enough progress to move on to another business task, we would all be burnt out.

We scoured the internet to find some type of solution, but we couldn't find anything to fit our needs. We wanted a magical software that would automate the entire process for us...

...So we just made it ourselves. 🤷
Buzzbassador is everything you need in an influencer marketing software. Want to scale your store to doing 6 or 7 figures through capitalizing on micro-influencers with strong, efficient, and revolutionized brand ambassador programs? We can help you do it. 

Hassle-free. Affordable. Time-efficient. 

Are you ready to see what all the buzz is about?

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