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As Instagram continues to grow as a social media platform, over a billion active monthly users provide a very receptive audience for companies to focus their marketing efforts on. As such, influencers on the platform have stepped up their efforts to use their reach to help companies promote their products and services, all while making some money on the side for themselves. While it used to be that most companies were marketing through celebrity influencers, a whole new class of influencer has arisen in this digital sphere: the micro-influencer. With 10,000 followers or less, the micro-influencer is now dominating Instagram marketing efforts, according to a new report on 2019 Instagram trends.

Greater brand engagement

Even though Instagram is growing quickly, it’s still lagging behind Facebook and YouTube in user size. However, there seems to be a lot more brand engagement on Instagram than on these other platforms and that’s in part to the efforts of micro-influencers. Before the Internet, word-of-mouth used to be the most prevalent customer acquisition technique for many businesses because it’s well known that customers trust other customers. Micro-influencers use this to their advantage by promoting products and services to their audience whom they’ve built up trust and recognition with, all for a cut of the profits. With more than 500 million daily Instagram users, micro-influencers are carving out niches and helping on- and off-line businesses share their brand with a significant worldwide audience. They’ve even begun changing the way they promote, increasing the number of videos and carousel images they post, versus the traditional single image advertisement.

What it means for small businesses

As the reach of micro-influencers continues to grow, small businesses that haven’t done so already should look into creating profitable relationships with these individuals. Micro-influencers offer a relatively affordable and effective marketing strategy to help introduce your company to thousands of real people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Unlike other marketing techniques, micro-influencers have developed relationships with their followers and are usually niche-specific. When partnering with a micro-influencer for a marketing campaign, you can be sure that the people who will be seeing their posts are interested in the opinion of the influencer and care about the topic you’re promoting.