Micro-Influencers Pack a Macro Punch

Having your brand pimped out on social media by a famous Kim sounds like the ultimate get, and we won’t knock it, but for the swiftest one-two-punch start rooting for the little guys.

Micro-influencers aren’t quite household names, but they are known within a niche community. If you want to reach your audience who is way into anime or lives to snatch the perfect Cardi B nails on a DIY budget, a big name could get you some reach, sure. But to lock in brand trust, the “Average Joes and Janes” who know one topic really well are often considered more trustworthy than a celeb pulling in endorsements left and right.

Think of your micro-influencer as that single-page menu. Sniper-focused selection done to perfection.

It’s like going to a restaurant. If the menu is six-pages long and has everything from stir fry to burgers to meatball parm, you could be taking a gamble. Go to a restaurant with a single-page menu listing three appetisers, five entrees and four desserts which all pay homage to Asian fusion… Chances are if the chef specializes in just a few items, those items are going to be done well. Think of your micro-influencer as that single-page menu. Maybe you can’t get their “customers” into Caribbean travel, but they’d flip for the hot new color polish and a some outrageous nail bling.


What really matters?

Seeing your influencer’s post rack up a few thousand likes sounds like success, right? But your marketing has to be ready to take the next step, if you want the highest engagement rate.

Selena Gomez is the highest-paid celebrity on Instagram. She commands an estimated $550,000 per post, according to Hopper HQ, an Instagram data and information site. Gomez has 144 million followers, follows a mere 49 accounts and has to-date 1,468 posts. She models Coach and posts videos of recording sessions, but many of the comments appear to be spam and replies to her fans from the “Love Song” singer are rare.

On the other side of things, the average cost of a sponsored post is around $300, according to AdWeek.

Facebook is the big platform, but Instagram is a close second with a burgeoning influencer population. With social media influencer numbers and importance exploding, so are the costs of a sponsored post.
— Influence.co.

If the influencer has extra expertise in that niche subject, like a model giving fashion tips, that account will most likely have more followers and prove to be the most profitable. Photographers can haul in a decent sum followed by popular fitness accounts on Instagram.

Accounts with more than 100,000 followers can ask $800 per sponsored post. Those with 1,000 followers or less might earn a less impressive $100. But here is where you want to dig deeper; popular accounts with tons of followers usually engage less with their audience than those influencers with fewer followers. The more followers, the bigger plummet engagement rates take.

So, let’s consider the graphic above that lists engagement rates. What makes the most sense: $800 an engagement rate of 2.4 percent or shelling out $100 for 15 percent engagement? If your company is more of a startup, $100 is a tad more budget-friendly. Maybe you like seeing those likes pile up. OK. For $800 to one influencer with 100,000 or more followers, the post sponsored by your brand can get around 2,400 likes. Not as much conversation, maybe, but those scrolling through will double tap and “heart” the post. For $800 given to eight smaller accounts, perhaps you’ll get 1,200 likes and more conversation because the influencer can keep up with the comments and is knowledgable about a super niche topic. No, super specific posts aren’t going to blanket appeal to goth teens, housewives, retirees and Millennials, but how many goth teens or retirees are going to sport talons like these:

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VMAs nails by @nailson7th @jennys_spa_bx

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on

Interesting note: Men generally charge more per sponsored post than women.

And a higher engagement rate doesn’t mean a higher cost to shell out for micro-influencer marketing. What drives market price per sponsored post is subject matter, quality of the content and the size of the audience.

Barrett Wissman, a contributor for Forbes, wrote: “Although the range of the number of followers an influencer must have to qualify as a micro-influencer is subjective, I believe that it is someone who has anywhere between 10,000 and 500,000 followers on social media channels. It's not necessarily the number of followers as much as how engaged that audience is. Micro-influencers have specific niche audiences and are deeply connected to them.”


Basically, your micro-influencer is going to “nerd out” about a topic they’re passionate about and engage their audience which will create conversation and buzz. And that’s more buzz for your buck.