The words “smaller is better” are rarely if ever uttered in business marketing meetings. New research on influencer marketing, however, suggests that maybe these words should be considered by entrepreneurs looking to grow their small businesses. It may be time for businesses to take a closer look at the benefits of micro-influencers. While no agreed-upon definition exists of what exactly constitutes a micro-influencer, according to Shane Barker, a digital strategist and co-instructor of a course on Influencer Marketing for UCLA, the sweet spot is between 25,000 and 250,000 followers. “With a micro-influencer, it’s going to be a smaller following, but they're definitely going to be more engaged,” Barker says. According to recent research, micro-influencers see 60% higher engagement, are 6.7x more cost-efficient per engagement, and drive 22.2x more weekly conversations than the average consumer. This increased engagement is largely due to the fact that followers identify and communicate closely with influencers who have fewer people to please. Influencers are only effective when followers view them as a peers, says Kyla Brennan, the founder and CEO of HelloSociety, a group that brings brands with influencers together for specific campaigns. “When it comes to celebrity accounts, who have maybe millions of followers, nobody actually believes that a celebrity is a real fan of a product they’re trying to sell.” This thought leads to another important point about micro-influencers—the best ones already use the products that small businesses want them to champion. This makes micro-influencers more believable and credible to consumers. 60% of consumers consider recommendations by a blogger or social media post before making a purchase, according to a survey by influencer marketing research company Collective Bias. Not to mention micro-influencers are cheaper. That means businesses who work with these smaller influencers can expect to see better results for less money. The only drawback is the time and energy it takes to find and juggle multiple micro-influencers. Yes, it’s easier to have a working relationship with one big influencer with a sea of followers, but it’s a lot less cost-effective. Micro-influencers are becoming a staple of small business marketing. Experts say the best way for entrepreneurs to get into the influencer marketing game is for them to look through the people who already follow their social media accounts and reach out to anybody with a decent following.