Macro Influencers VS Micro Influencers: The Ultimate Review for 2021
If you’re struggling to navigate through the world of influencer marketing, you’re not alone.
Looking at how complicated the strategies around micro influencers vs macro influencers can become, it’s no surprise that brands are starting to feel lost in the mix.
The truth is, if you have a big-ticket brand budget you really don’t have to choose between micro and macro influencers, you can use both.
But what about the rest of us who need to stretch that marketing budget to the max? Well, here’s where the true benefits of micro influencers really matter.
In this article, we’ll explore micro influencers vs macro influencers, the benefits of working with them, and a few great examples of each.
Micro and Macro Influencers: What’s the Difference?
The spectrum is quite broad when it comes to the accepted follower counts for micro influencers. While some respected sources say it’s somebody with up to 10k followers, others say it’s somebody with up to 100k followers.
In this article, we’ll put them in the range of between 10,000 to 100,000 followers.
With micro influencers, those smaller audiences feel much closer to that influencer than they would be to a celebrity.
As a result, their followers can easily relate to them and trust their opinion as they would follow the advice of a friend or their neighbour. In other words, it’s like word-of-mouth but a bit more measurable.
What they lack in huge follower numbers they make up for in authenticity, relatable content, brand loyalty, and higher-quality content production in some cases.
“So micro-influencers have more conversations about buying recommendations than macro-influencers. At the same time, they hold greater power when driving actual conversions. If you think you need millions of followers to grow your brand, think again. Micro-influencers drive more engagement and hold better recommendation power.” ~ Neil Patel on Micro Influencer Marketing
Benefits of Working with Micro Influencers
- Affordable for most brands
- Diverse reach: where macro influencers offer a large audience, using a group of micro influencers can be beneficial to diversifying your reach
- High engagement rate
- Higher quality of authentic content – not overly produced, but relatable to ordinary people
- Niche audiences have a higher conversion rate
- They will usually go the extra mile to create high quality content and impress their brand partners
- They deal with your product information directly and gain a deeper understanding of your brand, making their recommendations more credible
Authenticity and High Engagement Rates
Here’s a great example from micro influencer @lilliambaezmakeup, whose content appeals to a wide audience, even though the products she features are very niche.
She is a real user of these products and is seen as an expert and thought-leader in her field. Her in-depth knowledge, talent, and expertise make her recommendations credible and authentic to her audience.
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Micro-Influencer Engagement Rates
What kind of engagement rates do micro influencers achieve?
According to a recent case study on Mediakix.com: “Cultivating a loyal audience of nearly 14,000 followers, Kristal engages her followers by replying to comments and showing her appreciation. This enables Forever21 to take advantage of a receptive micro-influencer audience and ultimately build brand trust among Kristal’s followers”.
As a result, she racked up a very good engagement rate of 25.1% out of 130 comments and 3,361 likes.
Now this is how brands can truly leverage the naturally high engagement rates that micro influencers have as a way to get their brand name and products in front of engaged users.
So, if engagement rate is what you’re after, then micro influencers are the way to go.
“The concept that an influencer must have millions of followers to be valuable to a brand is misleading. The reality is that the larger the following an influencer has, the lower the engagement rate is. Hiring a combination of micro-influencers and celebrity influencers may raise the ROI of a campaign and lower the overall marketing spend.” – Barrett Wissman in Micro-Influencers: The Marketing Force Of The Future?
3 Examples of Micro Influencers
Oghosa (pronounced Owosa) is a vlogger based in the UK. Her content is all about food, movies, culture, travel, and she regularly posts about life as a young Nigerian woman.
YouTube: 40,000 subscribers
Instagram: 14,200 followers
Liliam is a visual makeup artist and beauty brand ambassador based in the US. She covers unboxings, makeup tutorials, ambassador content and some incredible visual effects.
Instagram: 63,300 followers
Lindsay is a food blogger and recipe developer based in the US. She covers meal prep, snacks and treats, and healthy recipes, as well as a bit of beauty-related content from time to time.
Instagram: 37,000 followers
Facebook: 1,331 followers
Macro influencers are basically famous people, either celebrities or social media personalities, with more than 100k followers.
As a result, brands usually approach these macro influencers to feature a product on their social media accounts, and this way the awareness and visibility of the brand increases.
While micro influencers have a closer and more engaged network, macro influencers reach a much larger (and often very aspirational) audience.
However, access to these large audiences comes with a hefty price tag. For instance, in 2018 Kylie Jenner reportedly earned up to $1 million per post on Instagram!
Benefits of Working with Macro Influencers
- High value in brand association with celebrities
- An opportunity to reach an incredibly large audience in short space of time
- Macro influencers generate millions in media value
- Easier to find on different influencer marketplaces & platforms
- Time saving: working with 1 macro influencer vs many micro influencers
- Easier to manage: campaigns with macro influencers are usually handled by influencer management or PR agencies
High Media Value, High Reach
A single Instagram post from Kendall Jenner could set you back about $500,000 but could reach millions of people. But with incidents like Fyre Festival coming to mind, the credibility of certain macro-influencers comes into question.
3 Examples of Macro Influencers
Isabella is a Danish travel, lifestyle, and fashion blogger who is based in the UK with large international reach. She’s one of the few macro influencers who started as a blogger and not as a celebrity.
Instagram: 226,000 followers
YouTube: 4,400 subscribers
Casper is a South African/British entertainment vlogger who started his online career on YouTube. He continues to vlog and regularly features UK celebrities and other macro influencers on his channel.
Instagram: 3 Million followers
YouTube: 7,3 Million subscribers
Cara is one of the world’s most popular models and is a great example of a celebrity-grade macro influencer or “Mega Influencer”. As a result, her reach spans millions across both traditional and digital media.
Instagram: 42 Million followers
Twitter: 10.1 Million followers
Is it Really About Micro Influencers vs Macro Influencers?
No. It’s about what you want to achieve through your influencer marketing strategy whether it’s reach, engagement or just the hype of having a celebrity endorsement – and your marketing budget of course!
Do keep in mind that influencer marketing has its roots in word-of-mouth and ambassador marketing.
The purpose of using influencers in general is to create awareness and drive sales through their followers using a trusted, authentic source of recommendations.
However, we are definitely seeing a shift towards using more micro influencers due to their affordability, authentic content, and credible recommendations.
“A growing number of marketers are taking a back-to-basics approach, scaling back their use of celebrities and mega-creators for so-called “micro-” and “nano-” influencers who have smaller audiences but may actually use a product and can speak authentically about it.” – Global Influencer Marketing 2019 via emarketer.com
Consequently, the rise of micro influencers has boosted an industry of new Influencer Relationship Management tools and software to help manage and track the large number of individuals involved in campaigns. Therefore, if a micro influencer strategy meets your objectives, then why not get started?
The Influencer Marketing Revolution [infographic]
Micro-Influencers: The Marketing Force Of The Future? – https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrettwissman/2018/03/02/micro-influencers-the-marketing-force-of-the-future/
Global Influencer Marketing 2019 – https://www.emarketer.com/content/global-influencer-marketing-2019
4 Ways to Use Micro-Influencers to Gain More Customers – https://neilpatel.com/blog/micro-influencer-marketing/
Top UK influencers – https://izea.com/2018/04/27/top-uk-influencers/
What is a Macro-Influencer – http://mediakix.com/2017/08/what-is-a-macro-influencer-definition
The 4 Advantages of Micro-Influencers – https://martech.zone/the-4-advantages-of-micro-influencers/
9 Mindblowing influencer marketing statistics – https://influencermarketinghub.com/9-mind-blowing-influencer-marketing-statistics/
Micro or Macro Influencer: The Influencer Marketing Revolution [Infographic] – https://www.rightmixmarketing.com/influencer-marketing/micro-or-macro-influencer-the-marketing-revolution-infographic/