Whether it was Fyre Festival’s influencer-centric scandal or Scott Disick’s Instagram mishap – we have all grown skeptical of the term “influencer marketing.” People are now turning more to micro-influencers rather than the big names and celebrities. Micro-influencers are social media enthusiasts with a smaller following between 1,000-10,000. They typically populate more niche markets with engaged and loyal audiences. In comparison to a traditional, large-scale influencer who might have a following in the millions or hundreds of thousands, a micro-influencer has a more genuine connection to the brands they champion and partner with.

“The authenticity of common interests between a micro-influencer and their followers evokes a credibility that a large influencer can’t replicate.” And the data supports this point of view. Micro-influencer content is 6.7x more efficient at engaging audiences than bigger influencers. Plus, influencers with 1,000 followers generated 85 percent higher engagement than those having 100,000 followers.

So, are micro-influencers the future of influencer marketing?

Glossier thinks so and built a best-in-class example of a micro-influencer marketing program. They have quickly become one of the most transformative direct-to-consumer brands on the market. When Glossier launched their representative (influencer) program, they had 11 reps – now the program has over 500 dedicated ambassadors. Each rep had a generally small following, and would be classified as a micro-influencer. “In a small way I am a part of the company and I get to hear about exclusive things that people outside don’t get to hear about, so that’s a pretty good goal,” says one rep.

But what makes someone a quality micro-influencer?

  • They are both, consumers and creators.
  • They have a genuine interest in the products and services they are talking about.
  • They genuinely want to give feedback and provide innovative insight.
  • They have an established online presence with highly-engaged network.
  • They have a passion for building and growing relationships.

Lastly, and a bit surprisingly I’d assume….

  • They know how to market a product and how to drive leads.

There are so many factors that need to be considered before choosing an influencer. If you are going to take away anything from this: First, think small and think of someone not with a large following but with a passion for your industry. Second, consider the future of influencer marketing fatigue and how you can creatively adapt and rise above it by being genuine. And last, choose a quality brand ambassador who appreciates the importance of authenticity PLUS knows how to apply marketing principles.