In case you’ve missed it, social media influencers are the next big marketing craze. The process is simple enough, but what we can learn about how to market our business from Instagram influencers goes beyond followers and post likes.

When it comes to influencers, does audience size matter? There are various studies citing mid-sized influencers are the best use of a company’s marketing budget. There are other studies, however, saying micro-influencers, typically those with less than 30,000 followers, are the way to go. Whichever side of the coin you fall on, most everyone agrees the highest-profile celebrities will not give the best return on investment.

A study done by Whosay shows that while you get more exposure with the highest tier of followers, the cost per one thousand impressions (CPM) is on average $168.82, whereas those in the 2nd and 3rd tier cost on average $77.87. In addition, the 2nd and 3rd tier boast the highest conversion rate per branded post, a whopping 28%.

So how does this tie into your marketing efforts? While using social media influencers to market your brand only makes sense for a small portion of businesses, the main point is that marketing to a niche, highly engaged audience, rather than trying to appeal to the masses, is the best bang for your buck.

Whether your business has 100 followers or 100,000, marketing works best when your audience is loyal and engaged. If you have thousands of social media followers, but low engagement, then your followers aren’t helping your brand. In a world of content overload, truly engaging your followers to build loyalty will benefit your business immensely.

Conducting a social media audit is the best place to start when determining which content to post for your followers. Evaluating the needs and wants of your current audience will help you target content appropriately and in turn, build more trust with your consumers.

Instagram influencers are a unique way to market products to a relevant, engaged audience for some businesses. But whether it fits your business or not, you can take the lessons they provide and market your own business to most effectively reach your specific audience. If you’ve got a loyal following on social media, acknowledge them and tailor your content to fit their needs. Your business doesn’t need a celebrity endorser to stand out to the right group of people!

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