Influencer Marketing Strategy

TikTok Micro-Influencers: Why Smaller Creators are Best for Brands

TikTok micro-influencers generate authentic content and organic engagement for brands. Below we break down the benefits of micro-influencers on TikTok vs. celebrities.

tiktok micro-influencers cover photo

TikTok micro-influencers are in high demand right now.

Because brands across the board are seeing the positive impact of authentic content and reviews over celebrity endorsements.

And sure, most TikTok content is unpolished and rough around the edges. 

But that's exactly what makes it so valuable for brands promoting products on TikTok.

After all, shoppers universally value recommendations from fellow consumers over brands. 

Food for thought: even brands with millions of followers republish content from TikTok micro-influencers. Retail giants like American Eagle or Target could work with any celebrity influencer on the planet. The that smaller TikTok creators are a staple of their social feeds says it all.

aerie tiktok micro-influencer example.    target tiktok micro-influencer example

@aerie / @target

The takeaway? Consumers trust other consumers. Especially on TikTok!

Brands running TikTok creator campaigns should prioritize micro-influencers collaborations over celebrities. This post breaks down why and ways brands can leverage small creators.

4 Reasons Why TikTok Micro-Influencers Are Best for Brands

Fact: most marketers agree they’d rather partner with smaller creators than celebrities.

And we can totally understand why based on TikTok campaigns we’ve run firsthand. 

Getting hundreds of micro-influencers means exposure to your target audience at scale. Compare this to a couple of posts from a celebrity influencer collab.

Not to mention the massive library of authentic content you can build by working with micros.  Authentic posts yield awesome results when repurposed or run as Spark Ads.

We’ll bite: it’s easy for us to say that micro-influencers are best for brands on TikTok.

Don’t take our word for it! Let’s dig into why everyday consumers are your best billboards on TikTok. We’ll also share real-life micro-influencer campaign examples and results to inspire you.

1. TikTok Micro-Influencers Have More Authentic Audiences

If we’re just talking numbers, celebrity influencers outshine micro-influencers. No surprises here.

Celebrities and mega-influencers often boast millions of TikTok followers. 

The problem? Only a small percentage of those followers actively engage with their content.

On the flip side, micro-influencers earn more engagement because of their small audiences. TikTok creators build their audiences with consistently valuable and relatable posts.

Think of a micro-influencer's audience as a tight-knit community. These followers actively want to hear about the products being promoted. On the creator’s side, it’s in their best interest to keep their content super relevant and not promote every product they can get their hands on.

Also, not all micro-influencers' follower counts aren’t necessarily “small.” An audience of anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 is nothing to scoff at. 

Follower count isn’t make-or-break for TikTok creators and brands alike. When it comes to a creator’s audience, it’s a matter of quality over quantity. 

Below is a great example from a TikTok creator that went viral for her glowing review of Byredo’s “life-changing” soap. Despite having ~35,000 followers, the creator earned 3.6 million views and over 600,000 “Likes” on her post. 

viral tiktok review comments example  viral tiktok review example

Source: @thedailyschvitz

Her enthusiasm and authenticity are what make her post so compelling.

The takeaway? Honest reviews from creators who genuinely love a product mean much more than getting in front of a bunch of uninterested “followers.”

2. Micro-Influencers on TikTok Boast Higher Engagement Rates Than "Big" Accounts

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: follower count doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to an influencer’s potential reach. 

Engagement rates are a much better indicator of how a creator’s content performs. Fact: TikTok micro-influencers boast the platform’s highest engagement rates (17.96% for micros versus 4.96% for their celebrity counterparts)

Consider also TikTok micro-influencers typically see higher engagement rates than the same posts on a brand account. This is especially true of product-related posts.

Check out the TikToker below who shared her morning skincare routine using Anthropologie products. Her video earned  ~12,000 views compared to the brand’s repost with <3,000.

Even more notable is that the creator’s post received 72 saves compared to the three earned by the branded post. Consumers rely heavily on the opinions and recommendations of creators when making their buying decisions. Earning “Saves” is a big indicator of purchase intent.

anthropologie tiktok micro-influencer post exampleanthropologie branded post example on tiktok

@madisonamateau / @anthropologie

Also, the ability to rank via TikTok’s algorithm is largely engagement-based. Smaller creators go viral all the time for this very reason.

3. TikTok Micro-Influencers are More Trustworthy Than Celebrities

Authenticity is the top factor driving consumer buying decisions on social media right now.

Micro-influencers are among the most trusted types of influencers because their followers view them as peers. Considering that 88% of shoppers trust recommendations from people they know over any other marketing channel, this is pretty powerful.

In our experience, the best TikTok influencers feel like they’re talking to a friend versus playing a commercial actor. 

You can’t fake real enthusiasm for a product. Unfiltered content captures the authentic voices and reactions of influencers. This creates a much-needed sense of trust. That and high engagement rates (see below).

creator content engagement example

Source: @tiny_tobasco

TikTok micro-influencers are unmatched when it comes to creating relatable, engaging content. Their smaller audiences likewise afford them more time to build relationships and engage with their followers. This is yet another example of how creators establish trust long-term.

tiktok masterclass for brands webinar

4. Micro-Influencers on TikTok are Seriously Cost Effective

Pop quiz: would you rather have ten pieces of branded UGC for 100 pieces of branded UGC?

Probably the latter, right?

Celebrities and macro-influencers can charge upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per post

Also, consider that micro-influencers are thrilled to post about free products if and when there’s a strong value exchange on the table. We've seen this happen with our own brands.

However, it’s up to brands to come up with product bundles that tick the boxes of being...

  • Enticing (in terms of value)
  • Easy to post about
  • Highly relevant to an influencer’s audience

This highlights how brands can earn hundreds (or thousands!) of micro-influencer posts for the same price you might pay for a handful of celebrity shout-outs. More content means more reach, brand awareness and social proof as a bonus.

The takeaway? Small creators allow you to stretch your budget and see longer-term results. This is especially true if you plan on repurposing TikTok content as social ads. 

For example, whitelisting creator content allows you to take your creators’ best posts and seamlessly turn them into Spark Ads. Weaving creator content into your brand’s advertising via whitelisting is a prime way to promote products on TikTok while reaching new audiences.

tiktok whitelisting ad example

Oh, and creator-based ads on TikTok vastly outperform traditional brand advertising. TikTok has said as much time and time again.

What Else Should Brands Know About Working with Micro-Influencers on TikTok?

The value of TikTok micro-influencers for brands can’t be overstated. 

To wrap things up, here are some points to consider for your next influencer marketing campaign on the platform:

  • TikTok micro-influencers are not the same as IG influencers. While influencers on Instagram are typically known for their polished posts. TikTok influencer content is typically much more raw and unfiltered.
  • Don’t mistake unpolished content for low-effort content. The unpolished vibe of TikTok creator content is what makes it so relatable. It’s important for brands to give influencers creative freedom and trust their judgment. Creators know their audiences and the types of TikTok posts they want to see.

  • There’s power in numbers! When it comes to TikTok and influencer marketing campaigns at large, brands need all the content and reach they can get. With TikTok, brands can comfortably aim to earn hundreds of posts versus a handful. Generating a high volume of content means more visibility within your industry. Not to mention UGC to weave into ads and more opportunities to rank in social search.

This last point is super important. With 40% of Gen Z turning to social media over Google for everyday seraches boosting visibility through social search should be top-of-mind for brands. Improving your TikTok SEO goes hand in hand with discovery via product-related keywords.

tiktok seo results example

Regularly posting relevant content that targets product keywords will boost your brand's social SEO over time. This really drives home the value of having a high volume of influencer posts coming in on a consistent basis.



How Brands Can Partner with TikTok Micro-Influencers at Scale

For consumer brands, the importance of TikTok influencers can’t be overstated.

And so many brands are building their presence and driving purchases explicitly because they have hundreds of satisfied customers hyping them up.

Small creators go hand in hand with greater awareness, authenticity and much-needed trust.

But getting such a high volume of creators on the same page promoting your brand is an uphill battle in-house or without a dedicated TikTok influencer platform. 

That’s exactly where Statusphere can help.

Our micro-influencer platform matches brands with creators from our vetted influencer network using 250+ unique, first-party data points. Unlike other platforms, Statusphere provides brands with guaranteed posts from relevant influencers to support scalability.

We’ve already generated 75,000+ pieces of authentic content on behalf of 400+ brands.

Want to learn more about how our software works? Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can grow your influencer presence on TikTok with guaranteed content at scale.

This article was first published in June 2021. It was last updated July 1, 2023.

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