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Macro vs. Micro Influencers

It’s no secret that digital influencers are a powerful tool to marketers.

Courtney Wolfson  |  January 30, 2017
Macro vs. Micro Influencers

These influencers can help marketers increase marketing metrics like brand awareness, loyalty, engagement and, in some cases, even help impact consumers’ purchasing behaviors.  Much of this success comes from the fact that these digital influencers have a loyal following and can create authentic content that elicits positive brand sentiment.

While the success of utilizing influencers is no secret, there are some key factors to consider when weighing what kind of an influencer your brand should utilize. At its most basic, there are two types of influencers to consider –  macro and micro influencers. Within the macro sphere of digital influencers, the top influencers have millions of followers across multiple social media platforms and may be considered celebrities in other entertainment industries. By leveraging the macro influencers’ large following, brands are able to achieve an enormous amount of reach for their sponsored content, but it typically comes at a hefty price. And while macro influencers offer brands immediate reach, micro influencers offer significant benefits to brands that won’t break the bank. Because micro influencers are often real people, with much smaller followings (10,000 – 90,000 rather than hundreds of thousands), they may be limited by their initial amount of reach, however, in the long run they offer brands more specific benefits.

A key benefit to micro-influencers is the personal nature of these accounts. By utilizing micro-influencers, they often have more focused content on their page rather than macro influencers. This allows them to offer more relatable and attainable content than macro influencers, thus allowing brands to identify and engage more distinct audiences. The use of micro influencers also results in a significantly higher engagement rate than when using macro-influencers, particularly with the millennial target that see micro-influencers more as peers than celebrities. According to a recent Ad Age study, Instagram accounts with less than 1,000 followers have a “like” rate of approximately 8%, while accounts with 1,000 to 10,000 followers have a rate of 4%. Since the engagement rate is much higher when using micro-influencers and the cost is much lower than engaging a macro-influencer, it is a safe assumption to claim that the ROI of the partnership will likely be higher with the micro approach.

While both micro and macro influencer campaigns offer benefits to marketers, the best option for markets may vary from campaign to campaign. Marketers and advertisers must take into consideration the objective of the campaign, the audience they are speaking to and frankly, the budget, when deciding the best option for a particular brand.

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