Macro vs. Micro: Which influencers are right for your brand?

Chiara Ferragni working on the costumes for “Intimissimi on Ice 2017” via WWD. Chiara is blogger known for “The Blonde Salad” and has collaborated with many leading fashion designers.

An influencer is someone who who has the power to influence many people, through social media or traditional media channels. “Influencer” is a broad concept, and it can be difficult to discern the benefits between the different groups in terms of their personal sphere of influence.


Let’s talk about the different types of influencers…

Selena Gomez for Coke. Selena is the most followed person on Instagram, and this is one of many of her #ads for large-scale brands. Photo via Google (and via @selenagomez)

Who are Macro-Influencers? Macro-influencers can be a traditional or social media celebrity, with a high reach of over 1 million followers but a lower engagement rate (think Kylie Jenner, Gordon Ramsey, Lebron James or Shane Dawson, Desi Perkins, Mari Takahashi).


Why Go Macro?

Brands who want to collaborate with macro influencers should consider their own personal marketing goals: Typically these partnerships work best when the brand wants to be put in front of as many consumers eyes as possible, or when the brand has a large marketing budget and wants to leverage an influencers creativity, style, personality, etc. for their marketing endeavors.


Large quantity of reach – The top rated influencers have millions of followers across multiple social media platforms and may be considered celebrities in other entertainment industries. By leveraging their large followings, brands can achieve a very large amount of reach in order to get noticed by a large number of potential consumers.


More affordable than the traditional route – In comparison to running an advertisement through traditional media avenues, working with a macro influencer(s) can be much more affordable to reach a comparable number of people.


Fine quality content – Since macro influencers are considered celebrities, they can utilize their personal experience and style (production, equipment, styling/makeup, art direction, etc.) in order to produce fine quality branded content brands can use in their marketing campaigns. This also cuts a cost to the brand who would conventionally have to pay out of pocket for all components of a photo shoot as well as paying for the talent in order to produce their advertisement.


Who are Micro-Influencers? Micro-influencers are not traditional celebrities, but rather individuals who work in their category or are truly knowledgeable, passionate and authentic and are seen as a trusted source when it comes to recommendations for what to buy. This group of influencers have strong engagement rates per post and their reach can range anywhere up to 1 million followers. These creators work hard to create a strong connection with a certain demographic or style of content: fashion, travel, food and drink, parenting, lifestyle, photography, etc.


Micro-Influencers have such engaged followers because they are small enough to be able to connect with their audience one on one. This is one of the reasons why micro-influencers have a higher engagement rate: their followers are interested in their personal opinions, and believe in them as word of mouth product advocates. The conversations these influencers drive are vital important for brand engagements. Their target audience will be influenced by someone they already follow and trust, natively and directly to their mobile devices.

@thenewgirldar has 64k+ Instagram fans. In this collaboration with L’Oreal, there was over 7k likes and a high volume of comments. This post lead into an Instagram story for additional post views, reach and engagement.

Why Go Micro?

Higher engagement – Influencer Marketing solution Makerly recently published a study that showed influencers with smaller followings tend to have higher engagement on their posts in comparison to their larger counterparts. In fact, micro-influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers are 4x more likely to get a comment engagement on a post than are macro-influencers with 10 million followers. (Source) A comment is typically seen as a higher quality engagement than a like because it takes more effort and sentiment to create, making micro influencers a useful avenue to obtain meaningful engagements.  


Demographic specific – With 47% of customers using Adblock technology, traditional digital advertising channels often have limited effectiveness. As previously mentioned, there are influencers for just about every demographic – their content is specific to users interests which helps brands reach their exact target through an influencers following.


Trusted advocates and personal relationships- Micro-influencers have worked hard to build their following and their followers actually listen to and engage with their content. Their size allows them to have more time to interact with their fanbase and insert themselves into the conversations that matter the most in order to create thoughtful engagements.


Less competitive – While larger macro influencers are still more affordable than a traditional media advertisement, they are incredibly sought after and well known. Micro influencers are even more affordable than their macro counterparts, and usually easier to contact and collaborate with on projects.


Perceived as more authentic – Micro-influencers usually represent themselves and engage directly with the brand through the content creation process. They know their audience well as they have worked hard to grow it, so they are able to smoothly integrate their brand collaborations into their feed in order to give the consumer a more engaging and authentic experience.


In order to run a successful influencer marketing campaign, choosing the right creators is crucial and hopefully the aforementioned gives you the guidance in order to decide: Is micro or macro influence right for your brand?


Author Lauren

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