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How Micro-Influencers are Impacting Traditional Marketing

Date published: September 15, 2016
Last updated: September 15, 2016

It’s not about the quality of your product but more about your ability to market your product’s excellent features in a way that will resonate with your audience. Emotion often plays a role in this, as illustrated in a previous Relevance post discussing how emotional connections fuel virality. So, how can you make use of this fact in your marketing campaign? You may have heard of influencer marketing and how effective it can be for earning the trust and loyalty of your audience. Leverage this channel further by making the most of micro-influencers and their ability to form emotional connections with their audience.

Who are Micro-Influencers?

If you’re not familiar with the term “micro-influencers,” you might have some trouble understanding which influencers can be classified as “micro”. Simply put, a micro-influencer isn’t a traditional celebrity but an individual who is considered knowledgeable in a certain niche. Whether it’s in the fitness industry, beauty, fashion, tech, or even gaming, these individuals are truly passionate about their field. Consumers normally view them as an authentic and trusted source for purchase recommendations pertaining to their related industry.

Micro-influencers may not even have millions of followers. Some may even have as few as 1,000 followers. However, their recommendations are considered to be more authentic. They have a strong relationship with their follower base. That means they also have the ability to generate higher engagement rates compared to mainstream celebrities. These micro-influencers may be anyone from bloggers and vloggers to comedians and sportspersons. The main idea is to work with someone relevant to your brand and products.

Why Micro-Influencers are Important

You may be wondering what makes micro-influencers so special, and you may be questioning the claims made in the previous point. The truth is that these aren’t just bold claims made by an enthusiastic marketer. These claims arose as a result of extensive studies conducted by a number of experts. Expertcity, for instance, conducted a study which found that micro-influencers have a much more significant impact as compared to an average customer. Here are some interesting findings from the study:

  • Micro-influencers engage in buying conversations 22.2 times more often than the average consumer. These conversations include product recommendations.
  • 74% of micro-influencers tend to be direct in their recommendations and encourage people to “buy or try” a certain product.
  • 82% of consumers say that they are highly likely to act on a micro-influencer’s recommendation.




  • 94% of consumers believe micro-influencers to be a credible and believable source of information, meaning consumers trust their opinion.
  • Micro-influencers are also perceived as having extensive knowledge in their respective categories by 94% of consumers. 92% of consumers also say that micro-influencers have the ability to properly explain how the product works or how it could be used.

These stats point to the fact that micro-influencers are considered to have a much more significant impact on other people’s opinions as compared to the average consumer. So, working with a micro-influencer allows you to take word-of-mouth marketing to a whole new level. Instead of just focusing on your average customers, you’ll be leveraging your efforts with the help of a more trusted and influential medium.

Micro-Influencers vs. Top Influencers

You know by now that influencers have a huge impact on the purchase decisions of the general public. But there’s a debate about which influencers have a bigger impact – micro-influencers or top influencers. Top influencers have massive reach with millions of followers, thereby guaranteeing better visibility and brand awareness. But does that necessarily translate to higher conversions and brand loyalty?

A  Takumi Study seems to point towards micro-influencers having a much higher engagement rate than top influencers. The team analyzed 500,000 Instagram profiles and took note of the average engagement rate determined by ratio of followers liking or commenting on posts. The results showed that there was a drastic decrease in engagement rate as the number of followers rises.



As you can see in the image above, those who had 1,000 followers or fewer were able to garner around 9.7% of engagement from their followers. Users with somewhere between 1,000 and 4,000 followers were able to engage about 4.5% of their followers. For users who have 4,000 to 100,000 followers, the engagement rate dropped to 2.4%. As for users with more than 100,000 followers, the engagement rate was only 1.7%.

Markerly also conducted a similar study that involved more than 800,000 Instagram profiles. They streamlined their study by ensuring that a majority of the users analyzed had at least 1,000 followers. The team discovered that users who had less than 1,000 followers were able to get likes on their posts about 8% of the time. Those with more than 10 million followers were only able to get likes about 1.6% of the time. This Markerly study also noted the same downward correlation between number of followers and engagement rate as the Takumi study did.


Micro-Influencers Changing the World of Traditional Advertising

Now that you understand how exactly micro-influencers impact the purchase decisions of the general population, imagine what this means for traditional advertising. The facts and figures pointed out earlier give marketers a reason to switch from traditional advertising to marketing through micro-influencers. Some may even go so far as to combine the two channels seamlessly. To help you understand this impact better, here are some excellent examples of brands that are opting for micro-influencers as opposed to traditional advertising:

Dixie QuickTakes Campaign

Popular household brand, Dixie,  worked with micro-influencers to promote their QuickTakes container products. With the help of Markerly, Dixie managed to connect with influencers in the food and parenting niches because they wanted to focus on an audience who could really value the product – parents. The QuickTakes products were promoted through blogs like Smart Savvy Living and A Thrifty Mom.

These niche bloggers reviewed the product and provided their audience with valuable information about Dixie QuickTakes. They talked about what they loved about the product and which features could use improvement. That proves to their audience that they’re providing an authentic opinion despite the post being sponsored.



The results of the campaign were impressive with Dixie QuickTakes making $1million in media value and a combined reach of about 77 million. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of blog post reads jumped to 447,900 from 64,223. And there is also an increased number of pins, from 37,404 to 234,101.

Normally, these household products would have been advertised on TV or on billboards. Some brands may even advertise these products through a newspaper spread. But Dixie decided to switch from those traditional methods to something a bit less conventional in the form of micro-influencers.

MVMT Watches 

Another excellent example of brands working with micro-influencers is how MVMT Watches collaborates with a mix of top and micro-influencers to promote their watches. Instead of putting all their eggs in one basket, the watch brand decided to optimize their visibility through top influencers while engaging with an audience through micro-influencers.

Several Instagram influencers are provided with a unique discount code that will give their followers a 10-15% discount on any watch from the brand. MVMT Watches also created a unique hashtag #jointhemvmt, which the influencers promote through their sponsored posts. Their choice of influencers included model and fashion blogger, Hannah Akinyemi, who has more than 50,000 followers on Instagram. Her post promoting an MVMT watch managed to get more than 2,500 likes.




Fitness coach Shawley Coker, who has more than 44,000 followers on Instagram, was also part of the #jointhemvmt campaign. This influencer managed to get more than 3,500 likes for the post in which he’s promoting a watch from MVMT.




The #jointhemvmt has been able to generate more than 34,000 posts on Instagram alone. So you see that even micro-influencers can generate significant brand exposure in addition to engaging potential customers.




Instead of promoting themselves through fashion and luxury magazines like most watch brands used to do, MVMT decided to break the status quo. They understood how most consumers are looking for the trust factor before making a purchase and how glossy magazine pages don’t really enable that trust factor. Instead, they worked with real people who have a significant impact on other consumers.

The Bottom Line

Micro-influencers offer startups and smaller brands a cost-effective alternative to influencer marketing. For bigger brands, working with micro-influencers can be an excellent way to form a stronger relationship with their customers. This group of influencers proves to be advantageous in a number of aspects for different types of brands and has changed the way brands are connecting with their audience. Do you have any questions about influencer marketing or working with micro-influencers? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.


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