The other day one of my biggest collaborations to date went live all over the Internet. I was so so proud of this collab. Not only am I passionate about the product and the brand I was partnering with but they dealt with me in such a respectful and pleasant way (unlike a few brands that still treat my work and time like a throwaway hobby), making me feel so valued and respected throughout. It was a blogger x brand collaboration of dreams, you could say. Not only was I as paid for my hard work and expertise, but it came along just when I needed affirmation that I’d made the right choice in becoming a blogger full time. WHAT IS A MICRO INFLUENCER & WHY I’M OKAY WITH BEING ONE
Naturally when you collaborate with a brand with a following in the millions your social media starts popping off. There was a real buzz and I finally broke that oh so important Instagram barrier of 10k. (I got my k peeps!) I was scrolling through my Instagram the day after and followed a tagged notification to a post that showed a photo of me with the caption – @newlookfashion tap micro influencer @stylelobster to launch their beauty line. I stared at the caption for almost ten seconds before asking myself, what the hell is a Micro Influencer? I’m not going to lie I was little bit offended. Micro? Sure, I may not have 100k followers on Instagram hell, I just broke 10k but jeez, “micro” influencer, really? I felt kind of deflated. Like I had worked so hard for the last 2 years to still be pegged as micro – something small and sort of insignificant…
I took to my girls chat What’s App group, as you do in times of need or indignation and told them what I’d seen. I’m lucky to be good friends with a beauty PR who popped up and said just that day they had had a company wide meeting about micro influencers and their value to the industry. And that is was in fact a good thing.
So what is a Micro Influencer and why is it a good thing?
Micro Influencers are said to be influencers with a following of 10-100k. I really wouldn’t pin any influencer with 100K followers as micro, per say, but the term micro is used mainly to differentiate those with macro followings (100K +) whose audiences are said to no longer be as engaged with that person. A true and engaged following is highly valued and as micro influencer our opinions are heavyweight despite our featherweight followings. Our audience follows us not just because we are “popular” or “inspirational” but because they value what we have to say, we are trusted. For the brands this is valuable because we sell products when we talk about them, yet our voice still remains authentic.
Micros vs. Macros
A brand I worked with recently spoke about how they had spent months trying to offer a blogger (tens of) thousands of pounds for collaboration with absolutely no response from the blogger’s agent. This shows that macro’s are still very much in demand (although I’m seeing the tide change with more digitally savvy brands) and it begs the question how many deals are you working on that you can’t even take the time to turn down an offer? And if you are plugging so many brands how does this make the audience feel? Don’t get me wrong these peeps sure work hard and can make a product sell out by just whispering its name sometimes! However as a follower and admirer of many macro influencers I sometimes feel a little distrustful by sponsored posts. Why this is I’m not sure. Is it because I know they are making life-changing sums of money for each deal? Or because last week they were plugging a similar but different brand? If they aren’t careful eventually the message and trust is likely to become diluted. The audience continues to follow but ceases to engage.
My friend and fellow blogger Josie of Fashion Mumblr explains more about the differences between the micros & macros in her recent blog post here. Make sure you check it out if you want to know more.
Not so small after all
Although at first being tagged as a Micro Influencer seemed like a bit of a backhanded compliment I am now embracing the term. Since this initial conversation the term micro influencer is now on everybody’s lips, it’s discussed at every press breakfast and event I attend. Brands seem to be re-evaluating blogger strategy for the year ahead by putting more focus on smaller influencers with more engaged and trusted audiences. HOOOORRAYYY. HOWEVER, this opens a new can of worms; does targeting micros now endanger their authenticity too?
100k followers on Instagram would be pretty damn nice but it’s made me wonder at what cost would this be to my integrity as a blogger and influencer. The bond and trust I’ve worked hard to build up between my audience and myself is priceless. Oh god, IS NOTHING SACRED?! It’s times like this I step back and hang my head in exasperation. I guess business is business at the end of the day.
Anyway, this buzzy little micro-wave I seem to be riding right now feels good so we should all embrace the micro love!
Are you a micro influencer? How does being dubbed micro make you feel?
Do you agree that our voices are of equal or maybe even more value to a brand? Also are you more influenced by macro of micro brand messaging?
I’d be keen to know your thoughts below!