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What’s the Difference Between a Microinfluencer and an Influencer?

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Nowadays, the marketing world seems to revolve around influencers. A startling 19% of marketers will spend between $1,000 to $10,000 per year on influencer marketing alone in 2020. This is an impressive number, and it leads many to ask a new question: what’s the difference between a microinfluencer and an influencer?

Though they might sound similar, there are a lot of key differences. While most people are familiar with the term influencer on its own, what exactly does a “microinfluencer” mean? More importantly, why is it such an important part of today’s leading marketing strategies?

Types of Influencers Defined

Since influencer marketing is still a relatively new term, it’s only recently gained specific attention into different categories. As the world of influencer marketing boomed, microinfluencers developed to fill a new role.

Though there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to influencer marketing, these are the broad definitions of the different categories:

  • Megainfluencer: A megainfluencer is what most people think of when they think of influencers. These accounts have massive followings, and they include well-known celebrities. These huge influencers work for the big bucks, and they’ve made a name for themselves.
  • Microinfluencer: A microinfluencer, on the other hand, has a significantly smaller following. This is any account with between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. These are more niche-specific, and they’re more attuned with their audience’s needs.
  • Nanoinfluencer: Last but not least, those with under 1,000 followers are seen as nanoinfluencers. They also have small, niche audiences.

Though you might think the more followers you have, the merrier, this isn’t always the case. There’s a lot of power to these smaller accounts, and brands are waking up to this fact.

Why Are Microinfluencers Important?

What’s so special about microinfluencers? Why are they suddenly the next-big-thing in the digital marketing space?

The answer has to do with consumer behavior. As megainfluencers grew their accounts, they achieved a celebrity-like status. They no longer were the everyday folk they started as. Today, these megainfluencers are often seen as out-of-touch in relation to their average user.

While they still have influence, they’re not seen as an “everyday person.”

This is where smaller, microinfluencers thrive. Because their accounts are still small enough that they can respond to and communicate with the average follower, they’re more relatable. This relatability makes them desirable to brands hoping to reach specific audiences.

In simple terms, microinfluencers have huge influence for the following reasons:

  • Down-to-earth: It’s easy to see why larger accounts with millions of followers aren’t very in-tune with their followers. These accounts land huge brand deals, and they reach a celebrity status on platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
  • Niche: These smaller accounts are generally much more niche in their topic than big accounts. Instead of focusing on general lifestyle, fashion, etc, they have a very specific audience. For instance, a small travel blogger might have 20,000 followers from their local city. This is powerful for a local brand!
  • Cost: It’s much cheaper for a brand to work with a microinfluencer compared to a big-name megainfluencer. These campaigns are more accessible to smaller businesses and new brands, as well.
  • Trust: Last but not least, smaller influencers are trusted more. They’re no confusion about brand partnerships. Since they’re closer to the average users’ status, there is a greater level of trust between them and their audience.

A reported 82% of consumers would follow a recommendation by a microinfluencer. This is a significantly higher percentage than a megainfluencer, where the messaging is easy to lose in the crowd.

What About Nanoinfluencers?

Where do nanoinfluencers fit into this discussion? While they don’t quite have the same sway as microinfluencers, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still valuable to brands.

Similar to microinfluencers, nanoinfluencers are tuned into their audineces. They often have a very niche group of followers, and this is a powerful tool for brands willing to align with these individuals.

However, because their accounts are so small, nanoinfluencers generally command a lower rate compared to their micro-counterparts. Still, it’s interesting to see how this develops over the next few years as categories shift to meet market demand. There’s no denying that anyone can be an influencer with the right entrepreneurial mindset.

Microinfluencer vs. Influencer: Which Reigns Supreme?

At the end of the day, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing. It’s clear that influencer marketing fits many different shapes and sizes, and there are no barriers to entry for those hoping to jump into this realme of social media.

Anyone with a social media account and a voice can become an influencer. The days of needing hundreds of thousands of followers to make an income are officially in the past. Microinfluencers wear the crown today, and they’re here to stay.

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