Micro-Influencers Show The Best ROI for Brand Partnerships

You don’t need expensive celebrity endorsements to leverage influencer marketing. Here’s why micro-influencers are better and how to go about connecting with them. 


Table of Contents

  • What Is a Micro Influencer, Anyway?
  • Micro Influencer Fans Support Partnered Posts
  • Influencers Are Valued for Their Opinions
  • Influencers are Frequently Sought Out for Products and Advice
  • Why Do Micro Influencers Get Better Results?
  • Other Benefits of Working with Micro Influencers
  • Choosing the Right Influencer to Work With find influencers

When it comes to influencers, less is more. For a long time, influencers have leaned on the number of followers to signify their value. But blindly following the followers count no longer works. Instead, it’s time to take a closer look at why micro-influencers are better.

According to new research, micro-influencers show higher ROI than macro-influencers — celebrities and influencers with large audiences. Touted as the new word-of-mouth marketing, micro-influencers can connect you with niche audiences and different types of consumers in ways that traditional advertising does not. 

Here’s why micro-influencers are better and how you can find influencers for marketing bliss.

What Is a Micro Influencer, Anyway?

Micro influencers have larger social media followings than the average user, but they’re nowhere near as popular as celebrities. Most influencers in this tier have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Those with less than 10,000 are sometimes referred to as nano influencers.

By contrast, a macro-influencer or mega-influencer will have anywhere from 100K to 1 million followers.

Micro-Influencer Fans Support Partnered Posts

Klear’s data science team has recently conducted research analyzing more than a million Instagram Influencers. The influencers were separated into two groups:

  • Celebrity-level: influencers with a Klear score of 80 and above
  • Micro-Influencers: personalities with a Klear score of 50-80

Then, the team looked into the influencers' posts and analyzed their performance for the sponsored posts and their organic posts (non-sponsored content).

Here are the key research findings:

  • Micro-influencers are getting up to 47% more engagements for their sponsored posts.
  • Celebrity influencers see a drop of up to 14% in engagements for their sponsored posts.
  • Micro-influencers get 3X more likes per follower for sponsored posts than celebrity influencers.
  • Micro-influencers are generating engagement rates that are more than 2X those of celebrity-level Influencers.
  • While average comment rates for sponsored posts drop drastically for celebrity-level influencers, micro-influencers enjoy a rise in community participation.

Influencers Are Valued for Their Opinions

Other research and observations over the years corroborate our findings. More brands are eager to find influencers who align with their values and run influencer campaigns as part of their social media marketing.

For starters, micro-influencer marketing is highly valued for opinions. They’re not (usually) people who have appeared on TV or run billion-dollar companies. Rather, they’re average consumers who have earned others’ attention by creating great content, providing sound advice and recommendations, and letting their personalities shine through.

A nationwide study has found that consumers are more likely to act on influencer recommendations than they are on traditional advertising or average people. The study found that 82% of consumers are likely to trust and act on recommendations from micro influencers compared to 73% who are highly likely to act on a recommendation from an average person. 

Influencers also tend to get their information first-hand, which lends to their credibility and authenticity. Only 15% of influencers learn about new products and information through family and friends, compared to 26% of the average population. Micro influencers are naturally more knowledgeable and are seen as a trusted resource, which is why their recommendations carry more weight.

Influencers are Frequently Sought Out for Products and Advice

Not only are micro influencers seen as trustworthy sources of information, but consumers proactively seek their perspectives. The nationwide study mentioned above found that influencers have 22.2 times more buying conversations than the average consumer. While consumers might recommend products to family or friends on occasion, micro influencers are having these conversations with their audiences often and consistently.

What’s more, 87% of micro influencers are having these conversations face-to-face, or at least with a face attached to the message. This gives micro influencers a chance to build meaning in their conversations and give direct calls to action. They can encourage action in their content, lending to higher engagement and conversions.

Why Do Micro-Influencers Get Better Results? 

Celebrity influencers reach more people. While less well-known, micro-influencers reach more people on a personal level.

Micro-influencers encourage more people to join their conversations and be proactive with the content — to like it, share it, and discuss it.

This finding is even more significant with sponsored posts: Macro-influencers reach eyeballs, but micro-influencers prompt actions. Here’s why: 

Community, Not Crowd

In the early stages of an influencer’s career, you will often see posts where no comment is left unanswered. You'll find tight-knit communities among micro content creators. They're a go-to source for information, which usually results in high engagement rates.

The influencer feels more obliged to communicate with the audience. As they gain more power and followers, it’s hard, if not impossible, to keep up with everybody. Early on, it’s a must.


Think about an influencer with millions of followers. Her audience is wide and her followers’ interests are varied. Meanwhile, a fitness influencer with 50,000 followers will be followed by people who are mainly interested in her fitness updates. The latter has a niche, while the celebrity influencer appeals to a wide audience with no common ground.


Influencers with larger followings tend to be in greater demand, making it harder to access them. Because so many brands want to work with them, you might find that bigger influencers can’t give you enough of their time to drive meaningful engagement or create impactful content for your brand. 

Micro influencers tend to have greater availability. Partnerships are usually less complicated, lead times are shorter, and the influencer may be able to dedicate more time to your campaign.


Authenticity is often called into question when using influencers. Naturally, influencers are getting paid to promote a product, which can create a sense of inauthenticity from the beginning. But micro influencers have to take their images seriously and carefully choose their brand partnerships.

Recommending a product or company they don’t believe in or one that doesn’t fit their values puts their image — and their following — at risk. What’s more, demand for influencers with a smaller target audience is also small, meaning there are fewer opportunities for them to gain partnerships.

They genuinely care about their audience’s interests and are more likely to work only with brands they really love. This penchant for their brand partners translates to their content, which helps you look good by association.

Know Their Followers Personally

Micro-influencers still have among their fans a good portion of friends, family and people who know them from the offline world. When their fan base expands, it’s inevitable to see that the personal relationship rate drops.

Other Benefits of Working with Micro Influencers

Aside from influencer marketing ROI, there are plenty of other reasons for marketers to work with micro influencers.


Because of their smaller target audience, micro influencer partnerships tend to be more affordable. These influencers may be trying to grow their followings, so engaging in brand partnerships is high on their priority list. Many are willing to work with brands for a lower cost simply to secure the partnership and develop long-term symbiosis.

Ability to Reach Multiple Markets

Because micro influencers are more affordable, companies and brands can work with more of them at the same time. Many companies choose multiple micro influencers per campaign to expand their reach. They can tap into multiple niche markets simultaneously, allowing them to get more exposure at a low cost.

Whether your audience is on Instagram, TikTok, or other social media, you can be everywhere your customers are and drive brand awareness for less.

User-Generated Content Marketing Strategy

Social media influencers know their audience best. They know what types of content they respond to and what they like and dislike. That’s why most influencers create their own content for brands rather than letting brands take the lead on content creation. It's more relatable and high-quality, plus it lends to the authenticity factor.

This type of marketing strategy benefits brands in multiple ways. For starters, influencers have more creative freedom to contribute to campaigns and yield better results. Also, brands end up with tons of user-generated content that they may be able to repurpose in the future. 

Consumers trust user-generated content more than traditional forms of marketing. It demonstrates that other people think highly enough of the brand to create their own content, and it creates a more authentic vibe than standard sales and marketing messages.

Choosing the Right Influencers to Work With

As a marketer, you're always seeking the best way to engage your audiences with great content. Following the results above, preferring micro-influencers as brand partners over a celebrity endorsement seems like a worthwhile choice. Taking into account that partnering with celebrities requires a sizable budget, micro-influencers often offer a better value for your money.

Working with the right partners is a critical piece of every influencer marketing strategy. Digging deep beneath the surface to learn about their past conversion rates and niche audiences can help you develop a powerful micro-influencer campaign.

Want to see influencer marketing at its best? Klear can help you find, vet, and connect with micro influencers in your niche who have demonstrated real influence over their audiences. Get in touch today to learn more!

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