10 May 2017

The Rise Of The Micro Influencer

What is a micro influencer, micro influencers, Hampshire bloggers, UK lifestyle blog

When I first started blogging properly (and by properly I mean focussing on content, being consistent and taking my blog seriously) in 2012, it was very much a numbers game. Although I was very fortunate in building relationships with PR's from the beginning, I was denied many campaigns based on my following not being in the tens of thousands. Brands would look at how many followers a blogger had and make an instant decision on whether they would be a good match for the brand.

This constant battle to get more followers turned into a rat race with guerrilla tactics like buying followers, creating follower circles and groups, spamming with F4F (follow for follow) which in my eyes turned the genuine world of blogging into something fake, and unpleasant. Those buying followers and turning blogging into a popularity contest to win over brands can be spotted a mile away - because their engagement doesn't correlate to their number of followers. And isn't engagement the most important thing when looking for influencers? Wouldn't you rather work with someone who has 1,000 followers and 600 of those are engaged, VS someone who has 10,000 followers but only 60 of those are genuinely engaged? I know who I'd spend my budget with.

It's a shame because I know a copious amount of bloggers who produce excellent content, beautiful imagery, and give back to the community but they are overshadowed by influencers who are at the top of the food chain thanks to a huge amount of followers. But I have noticed a big change in the last couple of years of how brands works with bloggers and what they look for now. It seems that more bloggers and brands caught on to the follower bots and game playing within the industry, and now brands and PR's are really looking into the blogs they want to work with, and what they will be getting in return. There is a big need for bloggers who have their own communities, and who are influencers within these digital or local communities - and these individuals have been named 'micro influencers'.

So who is a micro influencer? There is much debate about the numbers, but I happen to agree with Gorkana who state that a micro influencer has 10,000 followers or less. Micro influencers are bloggers, Instagrammers, and vloggers who have a strong sense of community on their accounts and have high rates of engagement with their readers - people come back to them, engage with them, and follow their recommendations.

Micro influencers may have less reach than the 'Magic Middle' or A-List Influencers, but they have higher rates of engagement - which takes me back to my previous point of less followers, but more of them will actually listen to you and follow your call to action when working with brands. These influencers are more likely to build long term partnerships with brands and come back to products - which in the long run is beneficial for the brand. They also offer their readers more than just product endorsement, but recommendations, tips, two way conversation which ends up in genuine friendships and support. COMMUNITY VIBE. 

I'm really excited to see more and more brands working with micro influencers who have great content and a strong community behind them - after all, this really isn't a popularity contest or a numbers game. But instead like-minded people coming together to create something beautiful.
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