Influencers are a recent online phenomenon that has taken the internet by storm, with seemingly ordinary people being catapulted into stardom on social media. Since the birth of popular platforms like YouTube, Instagram and most recently, TikTok, influencers have become an undeniably lucrative source of advertisement for all manner of brands and products.
Becoming an influencer involves a lot of hard work and dedication. Influencers have to build a strong connection with their audience and dedicate a lot of time and resources to maintaining a consistent stream of high-quality and engaging content. This can include setting up the perfect photo shoot, acquiring the music licensing rights for background music, writing regular scripts for video pieces, and responding to their followers’ messages and questions.
However, as influencers have become a more familiar and mainstream source of advertising, with many successful influencers amassing millions of followers, their connection to their audiences have become more and more diluted. This has allowed a new breed of influencers to come to the fore, with audience engagement being their forte.
In this report, we will look at some of the top micro-influencers across multiple topics from fashion to food and will reveal how they can be an excellent advertising stream for targeted campaigns.
All you need to know about micro-influencers
As micro-influencers are relatively new on the scene, we’ve looked at some of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.
What is a micro-influencer?
The term “micro-influencer” refers to an influencer who has a relatively small number of followers but is still highly engaging and, you guessed it, influential. They have much smaller numbers of followers and each serves a distinctive and defined niche. While the exact number is debatable, the general consensus is that micro-influencers should have fewer than 100K followers to be classed as such.
How much do micro-influencers earn?
The amount of money that micro-influencers make can vary dramatically. A single post, story or reel on Instagram can be worth anything from £50 to over £1000, or from $67 to $134, depending on their number of followers, their audience engagement rate and the number of likes they tend to receive.
A micro-influencer’s potential earnings can rival those of larger influencers, thanks to their smaller number of followers and higher overall engagement rate. Micro-influencers are also often gifted items and merchandise from the brands they help publicise, which can be worth hundreds of pounds.
In this article, we will be breaking down how much some of the most popular micro-influencers could earn from Instagram alone.
What are the benefits of using micro-influencers?
Micro-influencers are rising in popularity for several reasons, the first of which is that they tend to have higher engagement rates with their followers and can foster a real sense of community on their channels. This simply isn’t possible for larger influencers who have so many followers that their content becomes overly generic.
By only having to appeal to a small number of followers, micro-influencers can create much more specialised content that resonates strongly with their audience, making them a great advertising opportunity if your brand matches the micro-influencer’s niche and style.
Do big brands work with micro-influencers?
While micro-influencers are the perfect solution for many small businesses looking to run targeted marketing campaigns, big brands are also getting in on the action. Many large brands will hire multiple micro-influencers at once to promote a specific product, ensuring a large number of consumers will see their sponsored content while benefiting from the micro-influencers’ committed following.
Global shaving brand Gillette is one such example, having enlisted the help of numerous female micro-influencers to promote their Venus range of women’s razors. Another example would be the meal kit delivery service Hello Fresh, which is known to use food and lifestyle micro-influencers to promote its products.
How can I find micro-influencers to work with?
As the name implies, micro-influencers with modest followings can be hard to locate on a social media platform with roughly a billion active users. While looking through the follower lists of larger influencers or the following lists of your brand’s followers can be a good place to start, it can be difficult to find micro-influencers with a connection to your niche. In this article, we will be analysing the potential earnings of top micro-influencers from fashion, beauty, travel, food and fitness.
The highest-earning fashion micro-influencers
Emily Jane Johnston – Combined post value: £2,263
Emily Jane Johnstone started her fashion blog ‘Fashion Foie Gras’ in 2009 with the aim of providing daily fashion news to the everyday woman. Johnston now works as a full-time fashion blogger and uses her Instagram page along with the ‘shop’ section of the FFG blog to promote clothing brands from all over the world.
Johnston interacts with her 91.6K followers through Instagram Q&As, sharing fashion news and sharing outfit ideas via her stories. InBeat’s Instagram Money Calculator estimates Johnston could earn £2,263 from uploading a sponsored Instagram post, story and reel.
Sug Sean Engagement Rate: 9.96%
Sug Sean is an Instagram account run by Sean Webster, featuring topics of fashion, film, menswear and lifestyle. Sug Sean’s Instagram feed is filled with mostly outdoor shots displaying everyday life and his minimalistic style.
Past Sug Sean collaborations include anything from gin to watches, with Webster having worked with big name brands like Heineken, Daniel Wellington, and Primark. Sug Sean has the highest engagement rate out of all fashion micro-influencers at 9.96% -way above the top 10 average of 5.02%.
The highest-earning beauty micro-influencers
Eleanor Pendleton – Combined post value: £2,394
Beauty influencer, and founder and editor of magazine Gritty Pretty, Eleanor Pendleton is a micro-influencer who is no stranger to brand collaborations. Pendleton has worked with companies from Mecca Cosmetica to Ella Baché Australia. Born and raised in Australia, Pendelton’s Instagram page captures the essence of sustainable beauty and natural skincare.
InBeat’s Instagram Money Calculator estimates Pendleton could earn up to £2,394 for a sponsored Instagram post, story and reel.
The beauty micro-influencers with the highest engagement rates
Aluve Nguza – Engagement Rate: 9.65%
Beauty influencer Aluve Nguza boasts a 9.65% engagement rate, the highest out of all beauty micro-influencers on our list. Nguza has an Instagram profile with 18K followers and a Youtube channel where she shares vlogs with her 1.9K subscribers.
Collaborating with brands from Lee Stafford to Schick, Nguza recommends hair, beauty and grooming products to her followers through Instagram sponsorships.
The highest-earning travel micro-influencers
Prakriti Varshney – Combined post value: £2,449
Vegan travel influencer Prakriti Varshney’s Instagram feed features selfies from around the world, with honest and relatable captions. Varshney’s followers can follow her global travels while learning about food and sustainability.
With 97.5K followers, Varshney could earn up to £2,449 for a sponsored Instagram post, story and reel.
The travel micro-influencers with the highest engagement rates
Emma (Tokidoki Traveller) – Engagement Rate: 11.91%
Emma Felice, known online as Tokidoki Traveller, is an Australian travel influencer who lives in Japan. Her feed records life in Japan as a foreigner from the West, and her post captions provide insight into her everyday thoughts.
Sharing her experiences through her Instagram account, Emma has connected with her followers and has a high engagement rate of 11.91% on Instagram.
The highest-earning food micro-influencers
Michael Tran – Combined post value: £3,296
Based in the Bay Area, Michael Tran is responsible for the @betweenspoonfulls Instagram page and the Between Balloons blog. On his social media platforms, Tran shares stories and advice related to food, home baking and travel with a kawaii twist.
In Beat’s Instagram Money Calculator estimates Tran could earn up to £3,296 for a sponsored Instagram post, story post and reel.
The food micro-influencers with the highest engagement rates
Michael Tran – Engagement rate: 53.39%
Again, Michael Tran is the food micro-influencer with the highest engagement rate.
His fun, adorable and pastel-coloured creations maintain the interest of his followers. Although the popularity of Korean foods and kawaii baking has soared in recent years, Tran’s success can also be attributed to his eye-catching Instagram feed. Tran has an impressive Instagram engagement rate of 53.39%, which beats that of most major influencers by a thousand miles.
The highest-earning fitness micro-influencers
Meghan Callaway – Combined post value: £2,217
Working as a coach/ personal trainer, writer and athlete, Megan Callaway has amassed 90K followers interested in accompanying her on her fitness journey. Her Instagram feed shares workout advice along with workout routines and motivational posts.
Callaway could earn up to £2,217 for a sponsored Instagram post, story and reel combined.
The fitness micro-influencers with the highest engagement rates
Kim Ngo – Engagement Rate: 7.19%
Kim Ngo is a personal trainer, Nike trainer and DJ from London whose goal is to increase diversity in fitness. Ngo has the highest engagement rate of all fitness micro-influencers on the list, at 7.19%.
How micro-influencers can monetise their channels
Many micro-influencers use social media as their primary job, so it is essential to generate an income from posting online. micro-influencers make the majority of their income from brand deals – where a company that shares the same niche interests of the micro-influencer pays the influencer to create and share a promotional video, Instagram post, reel or story using the company’s product. It is also common for companies to compensate micro-influencers with gifts and promotional packages.
Another way of generating income as a micro-influencer is to join the Youtube Partner Program, which lets content creators monetise their Youtube videos and shorts. To be considered eligible to join the programme, the influencer must have at least 1,000 subscribers, 4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months and have a linked AdSense account. Once approved, micro-influencers can share revenue generated from advertisements on their videos.
The recently introduced IGTV ads let content creators earn money from IGTV posts. When a user views an IGTV post on a micro-influencer’s page, an ad, up to 15 seconds long, might appear. Content creators receive 55% of all advertising revenue generated from IGTV.
The power of micro-influencers is undeniable, with many micro-influencers across a wide range of sectors boasting high engagement rates and potential Instagram earnings. Brand collaborations with micro-influencers are common, with small businesses to big-name companies utilising micro-influencers’ effect on niche and dedicated followings in order to promote their products. It is clear that micro-influencers appeal to groups with specific interests, and many maintain a relationship with their followers by hosting Q&A sessions and Instagram Live streams. This personal connection creates trust and can be the key to marketing your business to a wider audience.
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Lickd wanted to discover the top micro-influencers on Instagram and provide advice on utilising the marketing power of these smaller influencers.
Using online lists, Lickd compiled a list of micro-influencers across the following industries: travel, beauty, fashion, food and fitness. With the use of the Instagram Money Calculator by In Beat, we collected information on estimated earnings per sponsored post, estimated earnings per sponsored reel, estimated earnings per sponsored story and estimated engagement rate.
The results revealed the micro-influencers in each sector with the highest potential earnings and engagement rate.