Type to search

Genuine influence beyond numbers: The power of micro-influencers

Change Makers Featured

Genuine influence beyond numbers: The power of micro-influencers


Article written by Sharyn Smith

There’s a common misconception that still exists in today’s fertile creator economy. It is that success is solely measured by an influencer’s – or creator’s – follower count and reach. While once it rang true, it just isn’t the case anymore, and it is not the way a smart brand or marketer should be planning out their social campaigns. 

More often than not, true influence lies in strategically leveraging authentic micro and nano influencers who are proven to have genuine engagement and real-world impact.

The problem is that the allure of macro-influencers with colossal follower counts still has a significant hold on brands, who too often hold the belief that a broader reach equates to a more significant impact. This often neglects the crucial elements of relatability and authenticity.

Macro versus micro-influencers

Micro-influencers with smaller but highly engaged audiences possess a unique ability to connect on a personal level with their followers. This was true before the rise of TikTok and Reels and continues to become even more true as Gen Z makes their impact on culture, technology and society in general. A recent study by Secret Sounds Connect and Pollinate found that young people on social media want genuine connections; they want to be talked with and not sold to.

This is where micro-influencers really come to life. They are fostering genuine connections. Unlike macro-influencers who may cover a broad spectrum of topics and products, micro-influencers often focus on specific niches or industries. You’ve likely been exposed to it yourself, where the specificity of an influencer is what makes them credible authorities within their niche, something that comes with a high level of audience trust. When a brand collaborates with a micro-influencer within its target audience, it taps into a reservoir of genuine expertise and passion, amplifying the authenticity of the brand or product message.

We’ve seen it work too. We recently ran an integrated influencer campaign for Ovaltine that focused on a large number of micro-influencers across Instagram. Yes, we had some macro-influencers in the mix that garnered solid reach, but the campaign relied on highly targeted micros to drive conversion of the Ovaltine product and, more importantly, their engaged audiences to fill in Instagram surveys. This gave us insights into perceptions and purchase intent both before and after the campaign.

While macro-influencers have strength in numbers, the sheer volume often dilutes the level of engagement with their individual followers. On the other hand, micro-influencers have a more manageable audience size, facilitating meaningful interactions that make their audience feel closer to their activity. It’s a sense of community and it’s powerful.

The power of authenticity

With the right paid strategy in place, it’s possible to keep the relatability and authenticity of the content and hit audiences far and wide. The ability to boost influencer posts to targeted audiences – from their own profile – means we can now get the reach we want and hit the audiences we really want.

Then there’s the cost-effectiveness of partnering with micro-influencers as a compelling argument for their inclusion in influencer marketing strategies. While macro-influencers command hefty fees for their services, micro-influencers typically offer more budget-friendly collaboration opportunities. Brands can allocate their resources more efficiently by working with a network of micro-influencers, reaching diverse segments of their target audience without breaking the bank. This approach not only maximises the reach but also ensures that the marketing message resonates with various subcultures and demographics within a broader target audience.

The impact of micro-influencers extends beyond the digital realm into real-world behaviour. The genuine connections they foster with their audience result in a higher likelihood of followers translating online engagement into offline actions. Pieces like this Forbes article and Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2024 Guide show that micro-influencers can drive tangible outcomes, such as increased foot traffic to physical stores, higher conversion rates, and enhanced brand loyalty. This real-world impact is a testament to the authentic influence that micro-influencers wield over their engaged and trusting audience.

Brands that recognise the value of relatability, niche expertise, high engagement rates, and cost-effectiveness associated with micro-influencers are better positioned to forge meaningful connections with their target audience. As the influencer marketing landscape continues to evolve and become more and more saturated, embracing the authenticity and genuine influence of micro-influencers is not just a trend but a strategic imperative for brands seeking to make a lasting impact.

Sharyn Smith is the CEO of Social Soup.


We send love letters weekly

Get your inbox filled with best content.

Sign up now
January Jones

January Jones is a freelance writer.

  • 1

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment