Micro-Influencers and beyond: Is small the new big?
Influencer culture is evolving, and the industry is taking notice
By: Ana Santos
I’m sure by now most people who use the internet have been exposed to influencers. There are plenty of hot takes surrounding the existence of this career path, but ‘influencers’ have undoubtedly, err, influenced marketing in the past decade. Social media is the new frontier of advertisement and sales. The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, recently announced that the platform is no longer a photo sharing app, but an ecommerce one.
The social influencer media market was worth over $10 billion dollars in 2020, and it is estimated to grow even larger. As the shape of the industry begins to solidify, marketing professionals have divided these influencers into tiers based on audience reach. The average social media user is probably aware at least in the abstract of a ‘mega-influencer’ like Kylie Jenner, but there are three distinct tiers that reach smaller audiences as well.
What sets aside a macro-influencer from the likes of the Kardashians and other social media starlets is their follower count. A step below ‘mega-influencers’ with millions of followers, this tier of social media celebrities have followers in the hundreds of thousands. A good example would be Instagram user @mama.shocks. Mikayla Shocks is a mommy-blogger who utilizes Instagram to showcase her lifestyle blog and post sponsored content. Her audience is way more niche and precise than a larger celebrity, so companies like Gerber and Pampers are more interested in advertising with her.
Similarly, a micro-influencer would be anyone with a consistent, active social media following in the tens of thousands. Mychal Strait would be considered one, they have a Tik Tok following of 15.3k and post book reviews by several publishers. Strait posts regularly and interacts with his audience reliably. The relationship between the creator and the audience is much more intimate than a larger celebrity. This gives advertisers and corporate partners a laser focus on an audience they would like to reach.
At the absolute smallest level, nano-influencers are composed of influencers on social media with followings in the hundreds to thousands. Sometimes described as ‘niche micro-celebrities’ these influencers are small creators. Nano-influencers are usually social media users beginning to grow a following and succeeding. They are the groundbreakers for new trends, and if a brand or company can use them correctly it’s like striking gold. Being the first to discover or highlight a trendsetter sets a company apart in the minds of consumers. Even at the smallest level, influencers can greatly improve the quality of targeted advertising.
About the Author: Ana Santos is a young public relations professional based in Denton, Texas. Santos is studying journalism at the University of North Texas and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in December 2021.
This material was written for and provided by AGENZ PR, a student-led PR firm specializing in matters of diversity, inclusion, and the Gen Z perspective. AGENZ teams are comprised of PR students from the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism, all of whom are dedicated to providing clients with insightful and digitally innovative work products to enhance business practices. Students learn and excel by getting hands-on, professional experience in the public relations industry.