Did you know that more than half of marketers spend at least 10% of their budgets on influencer marketing? And, for 30% of marketers, it is a round-the-year strategy and not just something they do during the holidays or other occasions.
This clearly indicates the growing importance of influencer marketing and its increasing adoption rates. What’s more is that Instagram is one of the most popular influencer marketing platforms. Two-thirds of marketers prefer Instagram over other social media platforms for influencer marketing.
Given that there are so many marketers leveraging Instagram for influencer marketing, it becomes tough to stand out. Moreover, constantly evolving influencer marketing trends make it even more difficult.
That is why you need a solid influencer marketing strategy to compete on this platform. And, using a network of Instagram micro-influencers is one effective tactic that you can use.
In this post, we will detail everything that you need to know to work with Instagram micro-influencers.
An Instagram micro-influencer is a person with a decent enough follower base and the ability to influence their followers’ purchase decisions.
Usually, micro-influencers are categorized as those with 1,000 to 50,000 followers. Anyone with more followers can be safely categorized as a mega influencer.
Micro-influencers are considered better for marketing collaborations because they have more loyal and engaged followers than bigger influencers.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider working with micro-influencers.
- They are considered more authentic than bigger influencers, as they usually only promote brands that they genuinely like.
- Micro-influencers are more influential in affecting people’s purchase decisions related to a specific niche. They are experts in their fields and usually limit their Instagram content to their chosen niche.
- For example, a fashion influencer promoting a clothing brand might seem much more believable than a celebrity doing the same. People won’t really believe that the celebrity actually uses that brand unless it’s a luxury brand.
- Similarly, a beauty influencer recommending a product that solves a specific purpose will have a much higher impact than a celebrity endorsing it.
- Another benefit of collaborating with micro-influencers is that they cost less. Why pay tens of thousands of dollars to a celebrity when you can get multiple micro-influencers for much less?
- Micro-influencers also get much higher engagement rates than bigger influencers. In fact, engagement rates decrease with an increase in the number of followers, as shown below.
How to Find the Right Instagram Micro-Influencers
Before we get into the details of how to work with micro-influencers, it is important to understand how to find them. Finding the right influencers is not an easy task and can’t be left solely to an automated tool.
Yes, you can leverage influencer platforms and tools to search for influencers in your niche, but you need to look at qualitative aspects as well. Apart from looking at follower and engagement metrics, you also need to find the right fit for your brand.
Working with influencers whose personal brand values don’t align with those of your brand can actually do more harm than good.
Imagine a low-budget travel influencer promoting a high-end hotel chain for money. Wouldn’t that go against everything they stand for?
Things like these can lead to damaging trust and brand reputation, rather than building it. That is why it is important to carefully handpick Instagram micro-influencers for your brand.
Here are some qualitative parameters for selecting influencers:
- Authenticity – look for influencers that post non-spammy content and promote only a few brands that they have actually tried.
- Relevance – find influencers not just from your industry, but your specific niche.
- Expertise – analyze the quality of the content posted by an influencer and see whether it is useful and relevant or simply promotional.
- Fit – check the influencer’s feed to get an idea about their personal brand. You can also look at past collaborations to see what kind of products or brands they have been associated with.
As for the quantitative metrics, you can use our Instagram influence calculator to assess any Instagram micro-influencer.
Ways to Collaborate
There are numerous ways in which brands can leverage Instagram micro-influencers to their benefit. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common ways and how to best leverage them.
Ask Them to Create Sponsored Posts
One of the most basic ways in which you can leverage Instagram micro-influencers is to ask them to create a sponsored post for you. This usually means that they mention your brand or product in their post and share it on their feed.
However, that is very generic and there are tons of ways in which this can be done. There are different types of sponsored posts that you can find on Instagram on a daily basis.
Here are a few examples that you can take inspiration from.
If you want to increase the sales of a particular product or range, then you can try this type of post.
In a product promotion post, an Instagram micro-influencer will showcase your product in use and make it look like native content. The idea is to show how that influencer uses that product and benefits from it.
These types of posts usually go with a long caption describing the product features or ways in which the influencer finds it beneficial. The caption is very important here because without it, the audience won’t know what to think of it or do about it.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that there should be a mention of your brand that links back to your Instagram profile. Also, make sure that you provide a website link in your bio so that you can direct these users to your website.
Some influencers also have the ability to put shoppable posts on their Instagram feeds. In these cases, they can directly send their followers to your website to buy the products shown in their posts.
Another great way to leverage Instagram micro-influencers is to ask them to review your brand or products. These posts are different from the product promotions in that they provide an honest review of the product.
Even if you’re paying the influencer, you need to give them enough liberty to also include 1-2 cons to make the review seem authentic.
Also, the focus should be entirely on the benefits of the product and whether or not it meets expectations. At the end of the review, the influencers should recommend the product and tell their followers where to buy it by mentioning your brand.
Here’s an example of a product review post on Instagram that details the product’s features and benefits and mentions the brand.
This one is directly aimed at increasing conversions by providing influencers with discount codes that they can give to their followers. This is like a brand promotion post that aims to direct traffic to a website and generate sales.
With these posts, influencers have the liberty to get creative and promote the brand and share the discount code in a creative manner. The most basic way, of course, is to simply create an image with details of the offer like discount rate and duration.
One added benefit of these posts is that you can give a separate code to each influencer and then track their individual performances.
This is similar to the previous type of posts, but instead of discounting product purchases, this aims to increase your social media reach. This might not directly increase conversions in the short term, but helps you reach more prospective customers.
You can host a giveaway and ask influencers to promote it to their audiences. Instagram giveaways usually require participants to follow the brand and tag their friends or ask them to also follow the brand and influencer.
This is mutually beneficial for both the brand and influencers as it results in an increase in followers.
Run a Hashtag Campaign with Multiple Micro-Influencers
This is a strategy where you work with a network of influencers to run an Instagram hashtag campaign for your brand. It is not something as simple as a one-time paid post but lasts for a longer period.
Instagram hashtag campaigns usually involve several influencers posting multiple posts over a period of time. The common factor in all such posts is that they all use a campaign-specific hashtag.
A lot of times, such campaigns become really popular and other Instagram users join the bandwagon. You will often see a hashtag page and find posts not just from influencers but also from other users. So, hashtag campaigns also help you get user-generated content for free.
One brilliant example of a brand that often uses this strategy is LaCroix Sparkling Water. They started a hashtag campaign with influencers and also got posts by random users using the same hashtag.
Here’s an example of one such post using the #livelacroix hashtag.
Make Them Your Brand Ambassadors
This is another long-term way of collaborating with Instagram micro-influencers. You can select some influencers that you’ve had a long association with and make them your brand ambassadors.
Their role will be to post photos using your products or mentioning your brand from time to time. You can repost their content on your page with a specific hashtag mentioning them as your brand ambassadors.
This is again a mutually-beneficial, long-term collaboration that you can benefit from in the long run.
American Express has long used this strategy and has several influencers as their ambassadors. It also has a specific hashtag #AmexAmbassadors that the brand, as well as the influencers, use.
Here’s one such post by an Instagram micro-influencer who is an ambassador for American Express.
Invite Instagram Micro-Influencers to Your Brand Events
A lost of brands take their influencer marketing to the next level by blurring the boundaries between digital and offline. You can also do the same by hosting brand events and inviting influencers from your niche to attend them.
The benefit of using this tactic is that you bring several influencers under one roof and give them a chance to connect with your brand in a more real way.
It is a much better experience connecting with a brand in real life than just on social media. This helps form strong brand-influencer relationships that last longer.
Moreover, you also have tangible benefits of this as these influencers post about the event on their respective profiles.
Here’s an example of an Instagram micro-influencer posting about a brand event that she attended.
Working with Instagram Micro-Influencers: Best Practices
Working with Instagram micro-influencers is not as simple as paying them to create content for your brand. You need to understand that they are not a business selling their products, but people who value connections.
So, even if you are willing to pay, you need to first form a connection and reach out to them properly. Not every influencer will say yes to working with you, just for money. You need to give them more reasons than that.
That is why following certain best practices for working with Instagram micro-influencers works.
Here are some best practices that you should follow to effectively collaborate with Instagram micro-influencers.
Do Your Outreach the Right Way
The first step in working with an Instagram micro-influencer is to reach out to them with a pitch. Most marketers prefer to directly reach out to influencers via private message on Instagram. However, you should check their bio for contact information and reach out via their preferred channel.
Also, before you reach out to an Instagram micro-influencer, make sure that they at least know you. You can like or comment on some of their posts, engage in an online conversation, etc. The idea is to build some sort of rapport with the influencer before you ask them to work for your brand.
Now, coming to the actual outreach part, you need to write a compelling pitch that encourages them to collaborate with you.
Here are some tips for writing a good outreach message for Instagram micro-influencers.
- Start by complimenting them on their recent work and showing that you follow them and genuinely like their feed.
- Introduce yourself and your brand before making a pitch.
- Ask them if they are open to collaboration and clearly mention how it will benefit them.
- Always offer to pay and say that you’re open to negotiation.
When working with Instagram micro-influencers, it is important that you provide fair compensation for their efforts. There are several tools that you can use to get an idea about how much a particular influencer might charge, based on their followers and engagement rates.
You also need to be open to negotiation, even if you think you are offering fair compensation. Each influencer is different and some are more selective than others. So, ask them what they expect and negotiate to find a balance between that and what you are willing to offer.
Nurture Long-Term Relationships
One best practice that you should always follow is to build long-term relationships with the influencers that you work with. It should never be just a one-off partnership and should continue, even after your paid partnership has ended.
There are several benefits of following this strategy. First, it is always good to have a network of Instagram micro-influencers that you can leverage for future collaborations.
And if they had a negative experience of working with you, they will not want to work with you again. Therefore, it is important that you ensure that things go smoothly when collaborating with Instagram micro-influencers.
Second, it is always good to have people from your niche like your brand. If these Instagram micro-influencers have a good relationship with your brand. they might like or comment on your posts just because they like your content.
This will be good for your brand image if popular industry influencers like and follow your brand.
Marketers have become smarter about the ways they are leveraging influencer marketing these days. Instead of wasting tons of money on mega influencers, people are now realizing the benefits of working with Instagram micro-influencers.
Instagram micro-influencers are very influential in their respective niches and are considered more trustworthy and authentic. They also have much higher engagement rates on their posts and Stories than those of bigger influencers.
You can leverage the power of Instagram micro-influencers by finding the right ones and then working with them using the tips above.
Experiment with different types of collaborations, instead of simply asking them for a sponsored post. And, don’t forget to follow the best practices above for reaching out to and collaborating with Instagram micro-influencers.
Have any questions about working with Instagram micro-influencers? Or success stories about your experiences working with them? Please share them in the comments section.