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What Is an Influencer Engagement Rate – And Why It Matters

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4 minutes

Author: Maibrit Hovedskou

Published: February 16, 2023

Influencer Marketing is quickly becoming a preferred marketing strategy among businesses who wish to increase their online presence to achieve the highest return on investment. Where these businesses may have relied on digital ads or social media posts, they are quickly realizing the benefits of having an influencer to drive traffic and brand recognition. Successful collaboration with the right influencers can offer access to a built-in audience of potential customers.  Also, it will allow you to reach a variety of age and demographic groups that you may otherwise have been limited in reach. But in order to find the right influencer, you need to know the influencer engagement rate. 


The issue of choosing Influencer

The crucial point with every Influencer Marketing campaign is to choose the right influencer. One who can add real value to your brand. But how can you choose the best fit for your brand? Especially among the continuously growing number of influential social media users?

Because of the growth of the influencer-dominated segment, it has become a highly desirable position to be in. Many young people look to the profession as a way to gain respect and of course, make money. Unfortunately, sometimes influencers may resort to unethical ways to gain followers. These fake influencers may have built up a following in the thousands or more. Sadly, the followers are made up of fake accounts or “bots”. It is important for every marketer to distinguish between vanity metrics and insightful data. Being a victim of a fraudulent influencer can be detrimental to your marketing campaign. It will cost you time and money that you will never get back. 

A valuable metric to pay attention to is the engagement rate of the influencer’s profile. It can provide a solid basis for the evaluation of the content creator’s audience activity.

What exactly is Engagement Rate anyway?

This is an important question, especially for businesses that are new to influencer marketing. An influencer’s engagement rate is a ratio representing the degree of commitment between an online audience and the creator’s content. A good engagement rate lets you know that the influencer is actively engaged with their followers. Also, that they have respect and interest in their posts and the represented brands. Often influencers have a large number of followers. However, if those followers are not engaged with the content creator, often the engagement rate suffers. Therefore, it is not just influencers with large followings that should be considered for marketing campaign partnerships.

Engagement rate is most often measured by the number of interactions and responses to a regular post. That includes likes, comments, reposts, shares, etc. When your content is reposted or shared, your potential customer base widens to include a more diverse potential audience. That can be one you may never have been able to reach. This is an effective way to drive traffic to your website, promote brand interest and recognition, and therefore, increase business success.

Therefore, engagement rate is one of the most important social media KPIs. KPIs mean key performance indicators that a brand should consider when choosing to work with an influencer.  

Why does Engagement Rate matter?

Vanity metrics, such as the number of followers, cannot guarantee that all of them will be personally connected to the content. In fact, as the graph below shows, vanity metrics can prove to be quite confusing and misleading.

If a profile has a high number of followers but a low engagement rate, consequently there is a greater chance of the content being ignored. When an influencer has an audience that is based on a specialized niche, the followers are more likely to be swayed or persuaded by what that influencers posts, shares, or comments about. These influencers, with fewer yet highly engaged followers, are known as micro- or nano-influencers.

Moreover, it is proven that people who actively engage with content are more likely to convert into paying customers. And, this is a marketer’s overall goal, right? 


A strong engagement rate, combined with other metrics such as audience fit and reach efficiency, can justify your marketing efforts with increased market performance and profit growth. But above all, only the performance of an influencer can guarantee higher campaign ROI. This is why your partnership with an influencer is a decision that requires careful consideration. 

With engaging campaigns, a brand can create real brand advocates. That can fill a missing marketing piece within your organizational strategy. The influencer is essential to promoting word-of-mouth brand recognition. Also, it will be able to spread a positive message about your brand and products. A successful influencer partnership can continue into the future. It can ultimately provide value and growth for each brand. 


How to calculate Influencer Engagement Rate?

(Total Engagements / # of followers) x 100


Average Engagement Rate of Instagram Influencers

Based on the graph, the more followers link to a profile, the less engaged the audience tends to be. This helps to explain why micro-and nano-influencers can be more profitable to business marketing campaigns than macro-influencers. It is all about the quality of the influencer’s audience. When an influencer is actively engaged in a niche market that aligns with your business strategy, their impact on their audience is what matters. Influencers with smaller numbers of followers tend to have more personal, engaged relationships with their fans. They appear more authentic and credible when promoting brands and products. 

Therefore, when choosing an influencer for your marketing campaign, consider metrics such as audience match, reach efficiency, and value alignment.


In summary, a huge follower base does not make an influencer worthy of a business partnership with your brand. Marketers must dig deeper in order to identify the right influencer to work with. They need to use engagement rate metrics and statistics. 

The engagement rate shows how likely an influencer will be to convert their audience into new potential business leads. This metric can give an in-depth look at the projected success of a campaign. 



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