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The Rise of the Micro-Influencer

Commentary By

Ethan Holmer, Alexa Cohen and Jacqueline Beaufore



Influencer marketing is not new news. For instance, Nike owes much of their success to their ads featuring influential athletes, such as Serena Williams. Furthermore, many of us are familiar with the likes of the Kardashians or Selena Gomez. And when it comes to the nonprofit industry, many have typically chosen to associate famous faces with their campaigns: Neil Patrick Harris with the Los Angeles Mission, Cameron Diaz with FWD.us and UNICEF with their own personal army of mega influencers from Rhianna to David Beckham. However, in 2020, as Coronavirus rages on, a new group within the realm of influencers are quickly taking over the nonprofit marketing game: micro-influencers.


Micro-influencers are individuals with 1,000 to 100,000 followers. This group of influencers are a great alternative to their macro counterparts and receive higher engagement. According to one study, influencers with 1,000 followers had 85% more engagement than those with 100,000. On top of this, users with 1,000 followers (or less) had 13x more comments (relative to followers) than influencers with 1O+ million followers. The cherry on top? Micro-influencers are way more affordable than macro-influencers. Roughly 97% of micro-influencers charge less than $500 for a post, compared to thousands and thousands for posts from mega influencers (Kylie Jenner was once paid $250,000 for a single post). So, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, micro-influencers are the golden ticket for your nonprofit.


Micro-influencers are especially important as the Coronavirus pandemic spreads through the world. One organization showing the true potential of this trend is SocialPubli, an influencer agency that facilitates collaborations between nonprofits and micro-influencers. They recently launched their own campaign encouraging the influencers to raise awareness of nonprofits associated with health and Coronavirus. So far, 2,700 posts receiving over 5 million impressions have been published by the SocialPubli influencers. As part of this campaign they created a Stop Coronavirus Instagram filter as shown in the image. Large, well-known, nonprofits are also utilizing micro-influencers. Unilever Hindustan recently joined up with UNICEF to launch a Coronavirus campaign. A part of their strategy report emphasized the importance of communication and the use of micro-influencers to help increase the campaign's reach. And as we see cases rise once again, these micro-influencers will become even more relevant to nonprofit marketing.

“The fact that most [micro]- influencers are rarely featured in mass media accentuates the perception that they are our peers. Thus, we are more likely to trust their referrals.”

(Laaksonen et al. 2019)

Utilizing micro-influencers at YOUR nonprofit.



· Invite influencers to your foundation and ask them to post about their experience.

· Invite influencers to events that will inspire them to promote the nonprofit on their social platforms.

· Ask an influencer to participate in a fundraising challenge to spread the word and raise funds for your nonprofit.

· Build a relationship with micro-influencers so they are more willing, and likely, to periodically promote your nonprofit.

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