Using celebrities to endorse products is a staple of advertising but as social media platforms have evolved, there’s now a variety of approaches for employing people with large followings to help sell your brand. Influencers (people who’ve cultivated specialized and specific audiences around their expertise) are valued for their ability to advertise to a dedicated user base but are doing so now on a smaller scale—micro-influencers. Brands now routinely partner with people with smaller followings on social media—typically in the thousands or tens of thousands—but with more highly engaged audiences.
Unlike mainstream celebrities and public figures, micro-influencers are social media users who engage in their own specialized vertical and post frequently to a dedicated user base who actively engage with their content. Typically micro-influencers have better engagement rates with their followers, have a more targeted, narrow audience and are more affordable to do business with.
A study by Markerly on Instagram engagement rates found that as influencer’s followers went up, the amount of likes and comments from followers went down. Their findings eventually lead Markerly to recommend that brands pursue Instagram micro-influencers on Instagram followings in the 1,000–10,000 range because micro-influencers can reach higher engagement rates with a targeted audience that’s large enough. When comparing macro influencers like the Kardashians to micro-influencers, Markerly CEO and Sarah Ware told Digiday that partnering with 30-40 micro-influencers achieved a higher conversion rate than when the celebrities were promoting the product.
In addition to higher engagement rates and ROI potential, micro-influencers are naturally more affordable than celebrities with millions of followers. High profile celebs can often charge $75,000 for a single promotional post on Instagram. You can expect micro-influencers to charge less than $500 for a promoted post. We should note that often brands will engage several micro-influencers to maximize reach, but even 100 micro-influencers would cost less than a single celebrity on Instagram at these rates.
Another value for utilizing micro-influencers is that they are often perceived as more authentic—they’re real people which makes their content real, too. These power users with several thousand followers are far more likely to post their own content, engage with commenters and promote products they honestly believe in than brands or celebrities with social media managers might—they know that if they’re engaging with a product or a promotional posts, their followers are more inclined to look further into that promoted content. If a micro-influencer engages with a promotional post on Instagram, their followers might be more inclined to click to learn more about the brand they’re posting about. We should also mention that Instagram’s algorithm displays posts from users people follow and interact with the most, so quality, authentic content is usually shown ahead of promoted content from big brands. This can help elevate the content of micro-influencers over that of celebrities if the algorithm knows your engage with their content more.
Mansfield has experience working with influencers on digital, traditional and experential campaigns. For more reading on how to manage relationships with influencers of different magnitudes read our eight tips for negotiating with them here and email as at firstname.lastname@example.org when you’re ready to talk influencer strategies.