Although there’s hot competition from the likes of TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat, Instagram is arguably the top choice social media platform for social media influencers. It’s an established platform and offers influencers advanced functionality to create content and engage their audiences.
In this article, we’re going to explore the topic of micro influencers on Instagram and offer you some detailed insights into how to find them for your own business.
Love it or hate it, a large part of an influencer’s value is determined by their follower size. This means the more followers they have, typically the more they can charge a brand to work with them.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub there are five tiers of influencers:
- Nano influencers: 1,000–10,000 followers
- Micro influencers: 10,000–50,000 followers
- Mid-tier influencers: 50,000–500,000 followers
- Macro influencers: 500,000–1,000,000 followers
- Mega influencers: 1,000,000+ followers
As you can see, micro influencers are at the lower end of the scale, with only nano influencers having fewer followers.
In reality, many other factors come into play, such as niche. For example, a gaming influencer that specializes in one specific type of rare, niche game may be considered a mid-tier influencer with just a few thousand followers. Whereas a generic fitness influencer may need to be at the higher end of the scale to move from nano to micro.
At this point you are probably asking:
“If influencer value is based on follower count, why would I want to work with micro influencers on Instagram?”
…This is a great question.
Well, the fact is that the tier-based system for influencer value grading is completely flawed. In fact, all it’s really good for is offering you some insight into how much an influencer might charge for a collaboration.
When you dig a little deeper into what really matters, it’s clear to see why micro influencers on Instagram can be a great choice for your brand. Here are some of the top benefits:
- Lower cost per collaboration (higher ROI)
- Ability to better interact with their audience
- Greater focus on a smaller number of collaborations
- Typically higher levels of authenticity than larger influencers
- Easier to contact and communicate with
- A deeper understanding of their own audience
It is also important to be aware of some of the downsides of working with micro influencers. For example, to get the same reach with micro influencers as mega or celeb influencers you will have to find and collaborate with several, which can increase your workload. As micro influencers typically manage their own collaborations, they can (occasionally) be less professional in their approach.
All businesses can benefit from working with micro influencers, especially when used as part of a mix of tiers as a wider digital marketing or social media strategy. However, small and growing businesses with smaller marketing budgets can benefit the most from the accessibility and affordability of working with micro influencers.
Before we dive into the “how” of finding micro influencers on Instagram for your brand, it is worth discussing exactly what you should be looking for in an influencer.
Like with anything, there are “good” and “bad” influencers – with bad influencers typically building their social media following purely to monetize it, with little real passion for the content they create. Some signs that an influencer might not be good for brand collaborations include:
- The potential purchase of fake followers (you can use tools like HypeAuditor to check this)
- Consistently publishing brand collaborations with little other content
- “Recommending” several competing brands and products
- Not engaging with their audience in the comments section
Of course, avoiding “bad” influencers doesn’t mean all other influencers are perfect for your brand. Once you’ve weeded out the bad ones, it’s time to find your perfect brand match.
Here are a few things to ask yourself when deciding whether an Instagram micro influencer is right for you:
- Am I happy with them representing my brand?
- Is their content of high quality and does it fit well with our brand image?
- Are their followers the types of people we are trying to reach?
- Are they professional in their approach?
- Are they posting about relevant topics frequently?
Okay, so now we know who we’re looking for… let’s talk about how to actually find micro influencers. There are several ways you can find relevant Instagram micro influencers, we list three of the best below:
Not only is the hashtag feature on Instagram useful for finding content on the topics you love, but it’s also a great way to find micro influencers for your brand.
The process is simple:
- Research hashtags which are relevant to your brand
- Type each hashtag into the search bar on Instagram
- Select the “tags” tab at the top of the page
- Scroll through the content and click on some of your favorite pieces of content
This approach is a great, free way to find micro influencers. However, it can also be incredibly time-consuming.
There are a couple of ways you can find local bloggers and Instagrammers for your brand:
- Use location-specific tags (such as #newyorkfitness)
- Join online local communities in your niche
Again this is a great free way to find relevant micro influencers, especially when you need those who are within a specific location. But it is also likely that you will have to sort through a considerable amount of content before you find a good match.
If you want to make your life easy, then an influencer search tool is the best way to find micro influencers for your brand.
These tools specialize in helping you find influencers that match your specific needs. Filters will typically allow you to search by:
- Follower count
Some more advanced tools will let you dive even deeper into the types of influencers you are looking for. Some tools you may consider using include:
Although some of these platforms have a free version, to unlock the most helpful functionality you will need to make a financial investment. This investment should be considered in comparison to the time you will save on using other search methods – think about whether you’re willing to spend more time, or more money.
Caroll Salazar: @makeuphuney
Caroll Salazar is a make-up micro influencer who also branches out into other entertaining content. With 32,000 followers, Caroll would be a great fit for brands that want to engage a beauty and make-up-focused audience.
Megan Armitage: @m3gan_andtheboys
Megan Armitage is a motherhood and family micro influencer with 14,000 followers on Instagram. She could be the perfect match for brands looking to reach an audience of current or aspiring mothers.
Gemaén Jordan Taylor: @gemaentaylor
Gemaén Jordan Taylor is a style micro influencer with an engaged audience of 66,700 followers on Instagram. He has had previous collaborations with brands such as Sunglass Hut and would be a great match for those looking to reach those interested in men’s fashion and style.
It’s clear that collaborating with Instagram micro influencers can be highly beneficial for online businesses. Working with them can help your business reach new audiences in compelling ways. It can also be fairly straightforward finding micro influencers for your brand when you know where to look and which tools to use.
Use the tips and tools we have outlined in this article to help you find the best micro influencers for your brand – and feel free to share your own tips in the comments!