Author: Sophia
May 18, 2021

What is an influencer engagement rate and why does it matter?

Understanding the influencer engagement rate is crucial for your influencer campaign. 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 posts on their social media pages, in the past, they are quickly realizing the benefits of having a quality influencer to drive increased website traffic and brand recognition.

Successful collaboration with the right influencers can offer access to a built-in audience of potential customers.  It will allow you to reach a variety of age and demographic groups, which could be interesting for your business.

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 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, with many young people looking to the profession as a way to gain respect and of course, make money.

Vanity metrics and insightful data

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. However, these followers aren’t real people. They are made up of fake accounts or “bots”.

It is important for every marketer to distinguish between vanity metrics and insightful data, as being a victim of a fraudulent influencer can be detrimental to your marketing campaign, costing you time and money that you will never get back. By studying the data that truly matters, such as engagement rate metrics, you will be able to select a quality influencer for your campaign in no time.

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

What exactly is Engagement Rate anyway?

If you are new to social media marketing, there are terms you need to know. 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 engages with their followers. Also, it shows that they have respect and interest in their posts and represented brands.

An influencer can have a large number of followers, however, if those followers are not engaged with the content creator, the engagement rate suffers. Therefore, you should not only pay attention to the follower number.

How is it measured?

Engagement rate is most often measured by the number of interactions and responses to a regular post, including likes, comments, reposts, shares, etc.

When your content is reposted or shared, your potential customer base widens. The will include a more diverse potential audience, which you may never have been able to reach. This is an effective way to drive traffic to your website. Also, it can promote your brand interest and recognition. All in all, it will increase your business success.

Therefore, engagement rate is one of the most important social media KPIs. Brands should consider them when choosing to work with an influencer.

Why does Engagement Rate matter?

Since social media platforms aim at developing a connection with customers, the engagement rate can show how actively involved the target audience is.

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

There is a great chance of unseen content if profiles with many followers have a low engagement rate.

If a profile has a high number of followers but a low engagement rate, there is a greater chance of ignored content. Influencers, who have an audience based on a niche, have a greater chance to grab their follower’s attention. Influencers with fewer yet highly engaged followers are called 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?

Strong Engagement Rate

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, which is why your partnership with an influencer is a decision that requires careful consideration.

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

How to calculate Influencer Engagement Rate?

(Total Engagements / # of followers) x 100

Average Engagement Rate on Instagram Creators

As you can see from the graph, the more followers linked to a profile, the less engaged their audience tends to be. This explains why micro-and nano-influencers can be more profitable to marketing campaigns than influencers with massive followers.

It is all about the quality of the influencer’s audience. When an influencer is active in a niche market their impact on their audience is what matters. Regardless, of how many followers they have.

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, businesses must factor in metrics such as audience match, reach efficiency, and value alignment between the creator’s brand and the business’s brand strategy.


In summary, a high number of followers means not what it seems to be.  It does not make a certain influencer profile worthy of a business marketing partnership with your brand. Marketers must dig deeper. Only this way they will identify the right influencer to work with.

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. In other words, already engaged users are more likely to convert to actual buying customers in the future.

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If you struggle with finding the new influencer for your campaign, make sure to download our free E-book. It provides information about ways to evaluate an influencer, as well as much more insights into Influencer Marketing.

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