Influencer marketing is one of the most popular strategies in the advertising world today. It harnesses the power of social media to get your brand in front of thousands if not millions of people. However, executing an influencer campaign isn’t as simple as choosing anyone with a few thousand followers to promote your product.
More and more, we’re seeing that different brands benefit from working with either micro or macro influencers. Wondering what on earth the difference is? You’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know…
What is a ‘macro influencer’?
Put simply, a macro influencer is someone who has a very large number of followers on social media. A good rule of thumb is to put anyone with more than 100,000 followers into the ‘macro’ category. These people often include actors, models and musicians as well as those who found their audience on social networking sites such as Instagram and YouTube, to begin with.
What are the benefits of working with a macro influencer?
We won’t sugar-coat it; working with a macro influencer usually isn’t cheap. Many people in this category consider social media their job and it’s not uncommon for brands to pay tens of thousands of dollars to have their product promoted. Of course, there’s a reason why this strategy is used so often; when done correctly, it can be incredibly effective.
Here are a few of the benefits of working with a macro influencer:
- They are usually well-versed in doing business with brands, so they will likely have a professional attitude.
- Their audience (‘followers’) is much higher than others, so you will get more marketing reach.
- Working with one macro influencer can be enough to reach your marketing goals, so you won’t need to manage or seek out new people to work with.
- You are less likely to find macro influencers buying followers or ‘likes’, therefore their engagement rates can usually be trusted at face value.
Are macro influencers right for your business?
If you’re aiming for maximum reach, macro influencers are the way to go. A user with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers can drive a lot of traffic to your website or boost your own social media engagement. This is particularly great for brand awareness, as it gets your name out there to as many people as possible.
However, it is important to understand the potential pitfalls of working with macro influencers. These people are often considered ‘online celebrities’, and therefore everyday users are less likely to trust or follow their recommendations. Research has suggested that while many people follow macro influencers and are interested in their lives, they perceive paid promotions as inauthentic. This can be bad for your brand not only because you won’t get the results your looking for, but because it can set the scene for audiences to distrust you in the future.
What are micro influencers?
As the word ‘micro’ suggests, these types of influencers have smaller audiences ranging from 1000 to 100,000 followers. While this may seem to pale in comparison to the following of their ‘macro’ counterparts, there’s a reason why so many brands benefit from working with them.
The benefits of working with micro influencers
Typically, these influencers have impressive engagement rates due to their ability to develop a more personal connection with followers. Because they don’t have millions of people commenting, liking and sharing their content, they are better able to keep up with their audience and build a sense of trust in a way that bigger influencers cannot.
The pros of working with a micro influencer include:
- Higher conversion rates as the audience usually has a high level of trust in the influencer’s recommendations.
- Lower cost per post, making it more affordable to work with multiple influencers or commission additional content.
- The ability to reach new audiences in niche areas.
Should you work with a micro influencer?
Unlike macro influencers, micro influencers are usually considered very trustworthy and authentic by their audience. For brands, this is ideal as it means the consumers who see the ad are more likely to respond positively, increasing your conversions. This is especially important for brands within a niche market or community, as gaining the trust of your target demographic is key to establishing a great reputation.
On top of this, micro influencers are a great option for brands who don’t have a huge budget to splash on marketing. If you choose your influencer wisely, you might only spend a few hundred dollars but receive a huge ROI.
However, it’s important to understand that there can be some pitfalls when working with micro influencers. Firstly, these people are usually less experienced with ‘sponsored’ posts, and therefore may take longer to execute campaigns or require more direction. More importantly, it’s not uncommon for people to ‘buy’ Instagram followers or likes to appear more popular or engaging. It goes without saying that fake followers won’t get you results, so you should always run a thorough engagement test before collaborating with an influencer.
At the end of the day, working with the right influencer can be a huge marketing success if done correctly. The key is to do your research on which avenue is best for your brand and take your time choosing the right influencer before working with them to ensure you get the best value for your money.
— by Sharon Dargaville
About the author: Sharon delivers exceptional results as Head of Strategy for Digital Eagles, a Melbourne marketing agency. With a Bachelor of Marketing & Masters in International Business, Sharon is a strategic specialist in the industry, with a passion for being creative and helping businesses grow and scale effectively.