The Pros and Cons of Using Instagram Micro-Influencers for Brand Managers

Not only does Instagram give access to a huge number of prospects but also delivers an engagement rate that is distinctly superior when compared to the rest of the s4 min


Not only does Instagram give access to a huge number of prospects but also delivers an engagement rate that is distinctly superior when compared to the rest of the social networking channels. As in every social media channel, brand managers get the entire gamut of options on Instagram ranging from advertisements to hashtags, giveaways, contests, and more to expose their brand to their target audiences. As useful and effective these tactics are, influencer marketing has emerged as the new kid on the block for raising brand awareness and increasing conversions for Instagram marketers. However, as is natural, with celebrity influencers grabbing the headlines, it is natural for many small business owners to assume that it is a game that only the big brands can play due to the huge expenses that are involved. However, that may not always be the case, as businesses with lighter wallets can experiment with Instagram micro-influencers that have a smaller but highly-engaged engaged follower base.

Does Influencer Marketing Pay Off for Brand Managers? 

Considering that identifying influencers with the right fit to the brand and establishing that their number of followers and rate of engagement are genuine takes a big effort, not to speak of the expense and time required to manage the marketing campaigns, the question whether influencer marketing is at all worth it begs to be asked. The answer is short and simple; absolutely! A whopping 94% of those using influencer marketing, according to The State of Influencer Marketing survey, posted in, and conducted by Linquia, believe influencer marketing to be extremely effective.

The reason why influencer marketing is so effective is that increasingly people are tuning out the more obvious advertisements emanating from brands; the very high usage of ad blockers in browsers testifies to this fact. Even innocuous questions like does Instagram tell when you screenshot can bring to the in-the-face advertisements that tend to spoil the user experience. Even when, the sales message has an opportunity to be seen, it is deliberately ignored by customers as they know it is exhorting them to buy something. Influencer recommendations are more credible and trusted and have a high rate of acceptance because influencers are admired for their abilities and achievements. Due to the ready acceptance of influencer recommendations by their followers, their propensity to actually purchase the product or service gets significantly boosted. According to a study conducted in 2016 published in, the ROI of influencer marketing was discovered to be an amazing 11 times that of conventional digital marketing.

What Is an Instagram Micro-Influencer? 

According to recent surveys, the going rate charged by Instagram influencers is around $1,000 for every 100,000 followers, which means if you are intending to work with an influencer with one million followers, you could be looking at a bill of around $10,000 for every post endorsed. It is understandable that most businesses would not be able to afford these budgets and this is exactly where micro-influencers come into the picture. While there are no clear rules for defining micro-influencers, generally, they tend to have followers in thousands rather than hundreds of thousands, however, the rate of engagement that they offer are typically higher, which means that can be a valuable asset for marketing managers for brand promotion. Brand managers love Instagram micro-influencers because not only do they charge far less per post but also are easier to approach, engage and amenable to customizing their posts to the requirements of the brand.

The Benefits of Using Micro-Influencers  

Better impact: The fact that micro-influencers do not have very large numbers of followers may seem to go against them, however, the advantage of the smaller following is that the interaction tends to be more genuine and the engagement rate higher than that of influencers with massive followings. Due to better engagement, their followers tend to find the micro-influencers more credible and trustworthy. For brand managers, a high level of interaction between the influencer and the followers is more desirable than just the number of likes and nothing else on a post published by a large influencer. In fact, a HelloSociety study established that content published by micro-influencers are 6.7 times more efficient in audience engagement than content posted by the larger influencers. While brands can achieve more reach with macro-influencers, they will get more engagement with micro-influencers.

Cheaper: Micro-influencers are generally far cheaper to work with than their larger cousins because of two fundamental reasons. First, the number of followers being smaller, the expense per post also gets reduced and second, the rates per 10000 followers is usually far less than that charged by celebrity macro-influencers. Studies reveal that 97% of micro-influencers charge brands less than $500 per post. In fact, out of them, 84% averagely charge $250 or less. The charges are also less due to less competition from the larger brands; you can be sure that if you are chasing a large influencer, you will end up competing with several larger brands that may completely overshadow your brand. Around 70% of micro-influencers are involved with less than five campaigns per year, which means that their followers have not been flooded with brand endorsements and their credibility remains high.

The Drawbacks of Micro-Influencers

Smaller following: Getting your brand across to a really large audience can be difficult using micro-influencers as they have smaller followings. So, if you are a brand intent on getting heavy exposure, your strategy may be unworkable with micro-influencers. The choice of the influencer will depend on your marketing strategy and objectives.

Less experience: Micro-influencers are approached far less by brands for endorsements so it follows that these influencers are not very well experienced in putting together content that will actually help the brand to achieve its objectives. This can be a problem if the brand is also new to influencer marketing, though some marketers are of the opinion that unpolished posts by newbie influencers are actually more authentic and perform better with followers.


Influencer marketing on social media, especially on Instagram, has come of age with an increasing number of businesses devoting a substantial portion of their advertising budgets to the activity. For brands that do not have the deep pockets or even the necessary footprint that large influencers offer, using micro-influencers can be very effective in achieving the marketing objectives.


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Kristen Smith has been working on the importance of social media in marketing with thousands of real Instagram followers for her postings.


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