Micro-influ­encers account for the major­i­ty of influ­encers post­ing on the plat­form.

Once upon a time, influ­encer mar­ket­ing was reserved for brands putting their prod­ucts in the hands of high-pro­file pub­lic fig­ures and celebri­ties, but social media — Insta­gram in par­tic­u­lar — has changed the game. Now, the major­i­ty of Insta­gram influ­encers are “micro-influ­encers” with few­er than 10,000 fol­low­ers accord­ing, to a new report from Social­bak­ers.

The report is based on activ­i­ty by more than 12 mil­lion Insta­gram influ­encers between the first quar­ter of 2018 through the first quar­ter of this year and cat­e­go­rizes influ­encers into three cat­e­gories: micro-influ­encers, macro-influ­encers who have any­where from 10,000 to 50,000 fol­low­ers, and celebri­ties who often have accounts with a mil­lion or more fol­low­ers. Dur­ing the past year, the com­bined amount of spon­sored con­tent on Insta­gram for all three cat­e­gories of influ­encers in North Amer­i­ca has jumped 150%.

Image source: Mar­ket­ing Land

Influencers, fashion and beauty.

The major­i­ty of influ­encers work with fash­ion brands, how­ev­er the beau­ty indus­try is see­ing the high­est num­ber of men­tions.

A total of 308,865 influ­encers con­nect­ed to the fash­ion indus­try account­ed for a com­bined 1.6 mil­lion men­tions. The beau­ty indus­try, which has 257,218 influ­encers, saw three times the activ­i­ty with more than 4.8 mil­lion men­tions by influ­encers in 2018.

Mixing up formats.

In 2017, 91% of influ­encer posts were sin­gle images. Now, they are post­ing more videos and carousel posts, with sin­gle image posts account­ing for 71% of their con­tent. Carousel posts, which can con­tain a mix of up to 10 images and videos, make up 18% of influ­encer posts. Videos still make up just 10% of influ­encer con­tent.

Disclosures increasing. 

Dur­ing the past year, more than a quar­ter of celebri­ty influ­encers with more than a mil­lion fol­low­ers used the #Ad hash­tag in their spon­sored con­tent, an increase of 133% from 2017. The report found that posts with #Ad hash­tag dis­clo­sures saw sim­i­lar engage­ment as posts with­out the hash­tag.

Why we should care.

Insta­gram has quick­ly become the pri­ma­ry social plat­form for influ­encer brand engage­ment — sur­pass­ing Face­book.

When we look at engage­ment on an absolute lev­el, Insta­gram has a lot more engage­ment for brands than Face­book, despite hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant­ly small­er audi­ence size,” said Socialbaker’s CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak believes Ben-Itzhak.

The good news for SMBs and com­pa­nies lack­ing the ad bud­gets of major brands is that influ­encer mar­ket­ing rel­a­tive­ly afford­able, par­tic­u­lar­ly when work­ing with micro or niche influ­encers.

Social­bak­ers reports micro-influ­encers are not col­lab­o­rat­ing with the big brands or cre­at­ing rela­tion­ships across indus­try lines like celebri­ty influ­encers who can eas­i­ly earn six-fig­ures for one spon­sored post. The trick is to know who the influ­encers are in your indus­try and con­nect with the ones whose style and voice — and fol­low­ers — align with your brand and mar­ket­ing objec­tives.