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Marketers who understand the value of engagement in influencer marketing also understand the power of micro-influencers.

These micro-influencers make up the majority of the influencer marketing community. Unlike celebrities or high-profile influencers, these "average" social media users have a down-to-earth demeanor that makes them relatable. They are regular people with regular social media accounts who are authentically driven to share their passions; in doing so, they have an incredible endorsement power that speeds up the process of building brand trust among consumers.

To get to know them a little bit better and to shed light on their beliefs and preferences surrounding content creation, social media use, and sponsored brand collaborations, we at SocialPubli conducted a global survey with 1,000 vetted micro-influencers registered on our platform. Here's what we found.

1. They are in it for the long haul

Although, at the moment, 62% of respondents receive less than 10% of their annual income from their work as influencers, more than half (52%) of micro-influencers said their professional goal is to become full-time content creators, signaling that there's a clear movement toward professionalization.

Considering that 77% of them publish content on social media daily, it is fair to say micro-influencers are committed and personally invested in their work. For many of them, especially those who have full-time jobs, being influencers is a passion project that allows them to express themselves and connect to a wider community of people with similar interests—to create what some call their online tribe.

That they see influencer marketing as a viable career option means brands should seriously consider long-term partnerships with those who are the best fit for them: An ongoing relationship with multiple micro-influencers will yield higher returns than a one-time endorsement from a celebrity or macro-influencer.

For your influencer marketing program to be successful you should employ a three-tiered pyramid approach: Micro-influencers should make up the majority of your influencers, followed by mid-tier and macro-influencers. Such a strategic mix allows you to tap micro-influencers to generate word-of-mouth at scale among hyper-targeted audiences, but also harness those influencers with larger followings to drive reach and exposure.

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image of Ismael El-Qudsi

Ismael El-Qudsi is CEO and co-founder of influencer marketplace SocialPubli.com and employee advocacy tool SocialReacher. His digital marketing experience includes roles as head of SEO and social media at Havas and project manager for Microsoft Bing in his native Spain.

Twitter: @elqudsi

LinkedIn: Ismael El-Qudsi