- As follower numbers rise on Instagram, engagement decreases, according to a new study from influencer marketing technology company Markerly.
- The study looked at follower size and engagement on Instagram, revealing that influencers with less than 1,000 followers have a "like" rate close to 8% while those with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have a "like" rate of 4%.
- The trend continues as follower count rises: Influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers showed a 2.37% "like" rate, while those with 1 million to 10 million followers had a "like" rate of 1.66%. Comment rates followed a similar pattern, Markerly found.
Influencer marketing has become a popular marketing strategy for brands looking to amplify their reach on social media. Although an influencer's value is connected to their reach, there is still debate about whether size affects engagement.
According to Markerly, influencer size has a negative impact on engagement. Identifying influencers with a smaller following is where brands can find the most value, the study found.
"Brands that are interested in engagement over reach, and conversions over awareness are better suited to work with micro-influencers," Sarah Ware, CEO and co-founder of Markerly, told Marketing Dive.
Ware explained that micro-influencers make sense for brands because they lend themselves better to geo-targeting, content repurposing and connecting with niche audiences.
There is a clear contrast when brand marketers run campaigns that include both celebrities and micro-influencers. "The like to follow ratio is important to note here—as the follower count goes up, engagement and targeting go down," she said. "Obviously, celebrities appeal to a large variety of people at one time; micro-influencers allow for you to target specific consumers much more accurately."
The most important thing for a brand is picking the right influencer to work with. If a brand's main goal is high engagement levels with a specific, niche audience, Markerly's research suggests micro-influencers may be the way to go.
"These micro-influencers will move the needle for your brand and cost a fraction of what you would pay a mega-celebrity," a Markerly blog post explained.