Although micro influencers score far fewer interactions than celebrities, they often boast a more engaged following. Bryce LaDuc (@laducb; 25,700 followers) registers one-fourteenth the interactions of Julia Engel (@juliahengel; 1.1 million followers). However, LaDuc’s engagement rate is 70% higher than Engel’s, according to L2’s latest influencers report.
While smaller influencers lack the pure reach of celebrity and mega influencers, the report makes clear that there’s still value in working with them. Smaller influencers tend to have fewer sponsorships, minimizing the risk that the endorsement value will be diluted by excessive or competing promotional messaging. Micro, small, and medium influencers mentioned fewer than eight brands from January to August 2017, compared to more than 20 for celebrities.
Smaller influencers typically engage more with their followers, replying to comments and directly mentioning brands in those comments. They also post about brands more than twice as often as their larger counterparts, without seeing negative repercussions for sharing overly promotional content.
In fact, many small influencers score their highest engagement rates with promotional posts. LaDuc, who works primarily with five brands selling pet and outdoor gear, mentions at least one of them in almost 90% of her posts. Her branded posts boast an average engagement rate of 5.9%, compared to just 5.6% for non-branded posts.
In comparison, Engel worked with 32 brands during the study period, but only 11.6% of her posts featured one of them. Her branded posts also recorded a lower engagement rate — just 1.7%, compared to 2% for her posts without a brand — making clear that working with major influencers doesn’t always result in major ROI.