The rise of micro-influencer marketing

When it comes to social media followers, sometimes less is more.

It might seem inefficient to target people with 10,000 followers rather
than those with a million, but micro-influencer campaigns can reap huge PR
and marketing benefits. Some call it “the new frontier of marketing.”

Micro-influencers have more followers than most people—typically in the
1,000 to 100,000 range—but fewer than celebrities and established
luminaries in fashion, entertainment or sports. They tend to have a very
engaged, loyal fanbase in niche B2B or consumer categories, and they are
affordable even for small organizations. Superstars might have more reach,
but they have less time to engage with fans.

[EVENT: Join us for the Social Media #Mashup at Disneyland.]

For a flavor of what’s possible with micro-influencer marketing, here are
four examples of successful campaigns:

Banana Republic

Banana Republic worked with Instagram micro-influencers who modeled its clothing in a
variety of settings. Their posts included the #itsbanana hashtag.

Influencers also included seasonal and campaign-specific hashtags such as
#brmovesyou, #brmakeitmatter and #brholiday, notes
Mediakix. By seeking fashion and lifestyle influencers known for their sense of
style, Banana Republic reached a large yet targeted audience.

Daniel Wellington

Swedish watchmaker
Daniel Wellington emphasizes influencer marketing over other strategies. The company does no
traditional advertising.

In a recent Instagram micro-influencer campaign, it stepped beyond fashion
and lifestyle Instagrammers to reach a larger audience. For instance, it
partnered with Scuba and Shadow, a pet-focused account.

Daniel Wellington’s micro-influencers included account-specific discount
codes in posts to attract new customers with incentives. By partnering with
an array of influencers featuring different styles, Daniel Wellington
reached a larger, broader group of consumers, including people outside the
fashion niche.


Glossier, a skincare retailer founded in 2014, owes its success largely to
influencer marketing. When selecting influencers, it prioritizes engagement
rates over follower numbers, which
Mediabistro says is a savvy move.

Glossier worked with an under-the-radar powerbroker named Cecilia Gorgon, a
University of Michigan student with about 8,500 Instagram followers. She
posted a photo of the brand’s Priming Moisturizer Rich, noting she’d “been
testing it out the past few days and it’s so moisturizing.” She also
positively reviewed Glossier products in an
Into the Gloss article under her byline.

In another campaign, Glossier flew 13 of its micro-influencers to New York
City for 48 hours. One was vlogger Amy Serrano, who has nearly 50,000
YouTube subscribers. The beauty vlogger documented the excursion on YouTube
and dedicated four Instagram posts to the trip, garnering substantial views
and engagement.

Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine, which manufactures personal care products with only natural
ingredients, decided to tap social media users with 500 to 5,000
followers—people more like ordinary customers than influencers. Tom’s was
careful to select people who could engage their audience on relevant
topics, explains
digital marketing consultant Shane Barker.

In addition to a slew of social media interactions, Tom’s obtained customer
insights through feedback, reviews and surveys.

“This example clearly shows how you don’t always have to go big with
influencer marketing. A strong network of micro- and mid-level influencers,
relevant to your niche, should have the desired effect on engaging your
target audience,” Barker said.

Bottom line

Partnering with micro-influencers can be an effective, affordable marketing
strategy for businesses of all stripes. The examples listed above offer a
taste of what’s possible.

A version of this article first appeared on

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