25 Instagram Micro-Influencers to Watch Out for in 2018

12/20/2017 04:32 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2017

2017 saw the explosion of influencer marketing with brands collaborating with celebrities and A-listers. That growth will continue in 2018. Only this time, businesses will now be focusing more on working with micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers are social media users that focus on a specific niche. Compared to celebrities and key industry leaders, micro-influencers have fewer followers than celebrities and key industry leaders, averaging anywhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. However, what they lack in follower base, they sure make up for it in terms of engagement rate.

In a recent study done by Markerly, they found that the level of engagement (getting likes, shares, and comments on a post) micro-influencers generate is significantly higher than celebrities.

This is particularly the case with Instagram micro-influencers. In their study, they found Instagram micro-influencers generate an average of 8% engagement rate on their posts compared to the measly 1.6% engagement rate observed with those influencers with millions of followers.

Source: Markerly

Source: Markerly

Authenticity rules

What makes micro-influencers so appealing to brands is that they’re more candid and authentic. According to TapInfluence, 71.2% of micro-influencers point to their honesty and authenticity as the main reason why their followers are more willing to engage.

This finding is echoed by Expercity who found in their study that 74% of micro-influencers are not afraid to be direct in encouraging (or discouraging) their followers about a product or service.

Can totally relate

According to Mona Akhavi, Founder and CEO of the influencer marketing platform Sidebuy, the reason micro-influencers are so appealing both to brands is the fact that they’re no different from their follower base. Because of this, they’re more able to produce high-quality content that resonates with their followers.

“Brands are literally dying looking for content that’s a bit more authentic,” Akhavi explains. “The content the micro-influencers produce resonates with the audience that follows them. They’re limited…but they’re attractive to brands because they produce great quality material, in a genuine way.”

If the shoe fits…

As with any marketing strategy, the most critical part of creating a micro-influencer marketing campaign is to team up with the right micro-influencer for your niche.

To help you out further in your quest to find the right micro-influencer to work with, I’ve put together a list for you of the top 25 micro-influencers on Instagram worth checking out and add to your watch list in 2018.

These micro-influencers are listed in no particular order and have been selected based on the following:

  • Research conducted on previous round-up posts on the top micro-influencers on Instagram,
  • Engagement rate based on their follower base,
  • Quality of content produced, and
  • Have previously worked or currently working with prominent brands.

Fashion

1. Steven Onoja (@stevenonoja)

Born and raised in Nigeria, Steven Onoja shares on his Instagram account photos that reflect his ideas and perspective on fashion and design as well as culture and everyday life. He has collaborated with premium brands like Nike Sportswear and Levis and has even been featured in popular fashion magazines such as GQ and Ebony. His ultimate goal is to become an inspiration to other people that it is possible to not only to transform their passions into careers but also become a positive contributor to culture and society.

2. Christine Kong (@dailykongfidence)

The name of Christine's Instagram account and blog Daily Kongfidence are more than a smart play on words. It serves as her personal reminder to be confident in the choices that she makes, particularly in the clothes she wears. As a California native, Christine describes her style as a representation of the "relaxed, West Coast vibe" where she uses a blend of premium quality statement pieces and edgy accessories to create her looks.

3. Em Roberts (@thelipstickfever)

Em Roberts publishes posts on her Instagram account and blog The Lipstick Fever that focuses on current fashion trends and what she describes as "bold beauty." Em regularly runs sponsored posts and has collaborated with brands like Pantene and Shopbop. Her vision is to use her status as a fashion micro-influencer to empower and inspire women to become confident in taking risks, and not be afraid to create a unique fashion sense they can call their own.

4. Chandler Nehrt (@candidlychan)

Despite having a considerable following, Chandler doesn't consider herself as a fashion micro-influencer (even though she is). Instead, she describes herself as an average self-proclaimed life enthusiast. Her Instagram and her equally-interesting blog, Candidly Chan, serve as her creative outlet where she shares her fashion sense, which is heavily influenced by her humble beginnings growing up in a small farming community.

5. Jacques H. Bastien (@jacqueshbastien)

Jacques is an entrepreneur, writer, and college professor living in New York. He started out as a freelance graphic designer 8 years ago, while he was still in college. That design business has grown to a full service marketing agency called boogie. He’s also the founder of SHADE, Snappy Booth, and nappy.co.

Jacques’ Instagram account features a variety of content focused on fashion, entrepreneurship, motivation, and his active lifestyle. He’s on a mission to use his influence, experiences, and connections to bring more opportunities to people of color.

Health and Fitness

6. Alex Aldeborgh (@daisybeet)

Alex Aldeborgh’s Instagram account contains an array of mouthwatering delicious-looking food, all of which are extremely good for you. Not surprising, since this top micro-influencer on Instagram is a registered dietitian. But, as Alex explains in detail on her blog, she uses DaisyBeet more than just a creative outlet to share healthy and delicious food. With so much misinformation about nutrition on the internet today (including in Instagram), Alex uses these platforms to correct the misinformation by providing science and evidenced-based recipes complete with nutritional breakdowns. Additionally, she also includes some workout suggestions, grocery shopping list, and meal prep tutorials.

7. Kat Geronimo-Garcia (@bodybymamakat)

Kat Geronimo-Garcia is a celebrity fitness coach and a certified trainer with the International Fitness Professional Association (IFPA) best known for her "No Excuses" approach to fitness and healthy living and being authentic. Her Instagram account is a collage of workout videos, foods and health products that she recommends, many of which she purchases out from her own pocket.

Aside from collaborating with well-known brands like Calvin Klein, Under Armour, and Vitamix, Kat has also been featured in Good Housekeeping magazine and ABS-CBN—one of the top-rated television networks in her hometown, the Philippines.

8. Chantal Umali (@chantalumali)

Before becoming a certified yoga instructor and fitness micro-influencer, Chantal was a chubby kid that starred in commercials and TV shows in the Philippines. After suffering postpartum depression in 2011 and weighing at 186 pounds, Chantal started practicing yoga and credits it as the main reason why she's been able to drop down to 108 pounds.

Her Instagram account chronicles her weight loss journey to serve as an inspiration for women who, like her, had struggled with being overweight all their lives. She also shares photos of different yoga poses as well as short video demonstrations. She has recently collaborated with Marie France as one of their ambassadors.

9. Elise Young (@elisesbodyshop)

Elise Young is a personal trainer that’s made herself a name as a top fitness micro-influencer through the workout videos, tutorials, and demonstrations on her Instagram account that are designed for both hardcore fitness enthusiasts and beginners alike.

10. Nicole Loher (@nicoleloher)

Nicole Loher lives a double life. By day, she works as Global Digital Editor at Christian Louboutin. Once she clocks out, she spends her time helping and inspiring women to become the best version of themselves every single day through her Instagram account.

When it comes to choosing which brands to collaborate with as a fitness influencer, Nicole says that she only accepts those that share the same values as she does, which is to inspire and propel women—particularly young women—to greater things.

Beauty and Makeup

11. Grace Abbott (@agraceabbott)

Grace Abbott describes herself as a multidisciplinary problem solver and micro-influencer that approaches every collaboration from both the brand's and consumer's perspective. Her background in Graphic Design and Visual Communication gives her the ability to create high-quality and eye-catching photos for her Instagram account, whether she is promoting a beauty product that's both natural and organic or merely sharing some of her personal beauty tips and advice to her followers.

12. Eden Mogese (@makeupbyedu)

Eden Mogese may have just started her career as a make-up artist and consultant, yet she has already gained a considerable following, both in her Instagram account and her blog Makeup by Eden. Her stellar rise to become one of the most promising beauty and makeup micro-influencers on Instagram has already given her to the opportunity to work with different makeup and beauty brands. Her most recent collaboration has been working with the brand Black Opal. What’s most impressive is her ability to stand out from other influencers because she’s not only active on Instagram but blogs for large online publications such as Blavity.

13. Adri (@sortofobsessed)

Adri is the micro-influencer behind the Instagram account Sort of Obsessed, which resembles an online catalog of different beauty and skincare products that she uses as part of her morning and evening routines. Her followers not only enjoy the detailed breakdown and description Adri provides in each of her posts but her honesty as well.

14. Ryan Norville (@cinnamonryan)

Ryan's interests in graphic design, art direction, photography and social media serve her very well not only in her day job as a graphics designer but as a beauty micro-influencer on Instagram. In fact, she admits that she still finds it puzzling to be considered an influencer. For her, her magazine-like Instagram account is merely her way of sharing her love and passion for photography and encouraging others to see the beauty life has to offer.

15. Shari Macainag (@themistymom)

Shari Macainag can still vividly recall when she was bitten by the makeup bug. It was when she found herself at the MAC counter one Saturday buying four different shades of lipstick. She loved them so much that she decided to take photos of them as well as all of the different makeup and skincare products she bought after that.

Not long after, she started her Instagram account and blog The Misty Mom as a way for her to share the latest makeup and skincare products, and her beauty and makeup tips.

The stunning photos and helpful tips she shares paved the way for her to be featured in magazines like Cosmopolitan, and websites such as Bloglovin' and LxedIt.

Lifestyle

16. Danielle Leslie (@danielleleslie)

Danielle is a growth marketer who previously worked at Udemy before founding Course Alchemy Agency and #CourseFromScratch to help lifestyle entrepreneurs. She’s helped influencers including Guy Kawasaki earn collectively millions of dollars by monetizing their content & expertise through online courses. If your looking for a lifestyle influencer on instagram that can help you secure the bag (she loves saying this) then she’s your girl.

17. Nicholas Pakradooni (@cholpak)

Nicholas Pakradooni points to his upbringing as one of the influences for his creative way of capturing his daily life and travels on his Instagram account, whether it’s a photo of a homecooked breakfast made by his mom, capturing waves crashing on the shore in Malibu, California or lounging outside a bistro in Paris. In each photo, Nicholas strives that both his posts and captions are a reflection of his personality.

18. Kevin Payne (@kevintpayne)

Kevin also is a HubSpot Partner running a inbound marketing agency and the creator of #InboundMarketingForStartups, a 12-week online intensive course for tech startup founders and ecommerce companies executives, that helps them plan and implement inbound marketing campaign sprints. When not helping clients he writes for several online publications including Blavity, SmartInsights, and Mention. Best of all he travels as a digital nomad with his life in a suitcase, thanks to Tim Ferriss of 4 Hour Work Week.

19. Paul Capili (@pcap_)

After getting over the culture shock of moving into a cosmopolitan city, Paul Capili began sharing his story of moving and settling into his new life through the photos he shares in his Instagram account. For him, it serves as a perfect creative outlet to build his brand. His unapologetic tone and minimal aesthetic serve as his benchmarks when choosing brands that he collaborates with.

20. Lorell Lane (@lorelllane).

Six years of working as an advertising sales executive & marketing consultant in New York City and Florida, is what inspired Lorell to become an online sales coach. She has spent her career selling & strategizing Television ad campaigns for brands like MTV, NBC, the CW & Univision that resulted in multi-million dollar sales increases.

Lorell's Instagram account and blog focuses on current marketing trends, sales techniques & balancing business & motherhood. Her lifelong vision is to inspire and be inspired by other women successfully handling being a bad-ass business woman & momma also known as, a #MOMBOSS.

Phedra Arthur Iruke (@pheegie00)

Phedra Arthur Iruke recently launched a newsletter called “Learn to Soar” dedicated to helping people build assets with no capital. It’s quickly grown to a few thousand subscribers based on it’s quick, no nonsense approach to building wealth without having a lot of extra money. She works as a Director at a start-up civic tech company in DC.

Travel

21. Patrick & Steve Bennett (@uncommoncarib)

You won’t find any of those cookie-cutter images of the Caribbean in this Instagram account. These two brothers from St. Croix put up their Instagram account and blog Uncommon Caribbean as their way to change the way tourists and travelers think when it comes to traveling in this part of the world by capturing the unknown, unexpected, and even bizarre jewels of the Caribbean.

22. Jyotsna Ramani (@wanderwithjo)

After taking the bold step of quitting her job to travel and write freelance, Jyotsna has never looked back. Her Instagram account and blog Wander with Jo captures the travel adventures and misadventures of this globetrotting, wildlife enthusiasts throughout different parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

23. Mahmoud Kamal (@mm.kamal)

Mahmoud Kamal's rise to become a travel micro-influencer on Instagram began when he decided to become a freelance writer in the motoring industry. As he started covering different car shows and events in various parts of the world, he began to chronicle these along with the different sights and sounds of his travels on his Instagram account. His goal is to inspire others to break away from the stereotypical definition of ‘working’ and chase after their dreams.

24. Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap (@eazytraveler)

After seven years of working as a creative developer and advertising strategic planner in Manila, and a brand communications consultant in New York, Edgar Alan Zeta-Yap left his job to pursue his lifelong passion for writing and photography. His Instagram account and blog Eazy Traveler, Edgar captures the people, places, and perspectives on destinations not usually covered in travel guides.

Along with these platforms, Edgar has also written for several travel publications like SilverKris of Singapore Airlines, Lonely Planet Traveller, and Gaya Travel Malaysia. He has also collaborated with Tourism Malaysia and the Department of Tourism – Philippines and has been featured in QTV and Living Asia Channel.

25. Lorell Lane (@lorelllane).

Six years of working as an advertising sales executive & marketing consultant in New York City and Florida, is what inspired Lorell to become an online sales coach. She has spent her career selling & strategizing Television ad campaigns for brands like MTV, NBC, the CW & Univision that resulted in multi-million dollar sales increases.

Lorell's Instagram account and blog focuses on current marketing trends, sales techniques & balancing business & motherhood. Her lifelong vision is to inspire and be inspired by other women successfully handling being a bad-ass business woman & momma also known as, a #MOMBOSS.

Running Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Of course, these are but a few of the many micro-influencers out there that you can work with to tap into the power of influencer marketing to reach your goals. The important thing is that you choose the right micro-influencer for you based on what your goals are, what image you’d like your target audience to associate your brand with, and your budget.

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