Influencers — love them or hate them, they can be a valuable tool in your marketing efforts, and one you should absolutely be leveraging. While that in itself is an easy declaration for us to make, the tricky part is picking the right influencer to partner with- And no, it’s not as simple as choosing whoever has the most followers.
In this post, we’re going to cover what an influencer is and go over the differences between micro and macro influencers. We want to help you understand that when it comes to your influencer marketing campaign and choosing the right influencers, quality is often better than quantity.
What is an Influencer?
When you scroll through social media, you’re likely to find profiles with the owner claiming to be an “influencer.” While for some this might be a bit optimistic, for others it can be a legitimate claim and one that is both lucrative and rewarding for them, as well as valuable for you and your business. But what exactly is an influencer and what do they do?
It’s likely that an “influencer” is someone who could garner a major eye roll from a baby boomer. “That’s not a real job,” they’d say. But it’s 2019, and guess what? Influencers are everywhere and many do quite well for themselves.
Simply put, an influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions because of his or her knowledge, authority, and/or relationship with their audience. These people often have large followings in a particular niche with whom they will actively engage on social media. The size of this following may largely depend on the size of the niche.
Not only are these influencers valuable marketing tools, but they are also great assets with whom to build relationships and collaborate to reach your goals. And since nearly half of the world’s population is using social media, it’s easy to see how building a relationship with an influencer in your niche could be a wise move for you and your business.
The Rise of the Social Media Influencer
Social media influencers have likely built a reputation as an expert in their particular niche. They regularly post about that topic on their preferred social media channel and build a large following of people who are highly engaged with their content.
These influencers don’t just spam post ads for the companies and brands they partner with either — they carefully curate their content and actually interact with their followers — responding to comments and answering questions. They may even host live chats and discussions where they give real-time advice on a particular topic.
Social media influencers have such power that they are capable of creating trends and inspiring their followers to purchase certain products. An influencer might be a celebrity, and industry expert or thought leader on a given topic, bloggers and content creators, or micro influencers.
Micro influencers and microbloggers have taken off in recent years as the celebrity influencer has lost some of their luster. This is because bloggers and micro influencers are able to have these authentic and active relationships with their followers. They are present, they engage, and now brands are becoming aware and creating more micro influencer relationships.
What’s the Difference Between a Micro-influencer & a Macro-influencer?
While micro and macro influencers essentially do the same thing, the main difference is that one does so on a smaller scale.
A micro-influencer is typically an influencer on Instagram with a reach of 10,000 to 75,000 followers. Their content is specifically curated and focused on a certain passion, topic, or niche market. As they have grown a following, they have become go-to sources for information, opinions, and product recommendations within their niche.
As for price, a micro-influencer can cost anywhere from $50 to $1,000 per post.
A macro-influencer, on the other hand, is an Instagram influencer with more than 75,000 followers. They have become the go-to source on a certain niche or topic They have gained dominance over their specific topic and post high-quality content specifically targeted toward followers in their niche.
A macro-influencer will generally cost you between $1,000 and $5,000 per post.
So Why Should You Work With Micro-influencers If You Can Afford A Macro-influencer?
Now to the matter at hand. If a macro-influencer fits within your budget, why should your brand work with micro-influencers?
The arguments are pretty clear:
- Since they have more followers, they have a bigger reach, which means your products would be placed in front of a larger audience.
- Because they have positioned themselves at the pinnacle of their niche, they have a massively influential voice.
- They deliver incredibly high-quality content — likely better than what a micro-influencer can produce.
And while each of these points is true, there are actually plenty of benefits to working with a micro-influencer as well.
The Benefits of a Micro-influencer
Micro-influencers Have a Lower Price Point
Naturally, a big reason you might choose to use a micro-influencer is for budget reasons. Because they have less of a reach, micro-influencers are cheaper and sometimes a micro-influencer might be all your company can afford.
However, when you can afford a macro-influencer or even two, consider that for the same price you might be able to work with 10 to 15 micro-influencers. If you do the math, you might find that this helps you reach close to the same amount of overall users. It also likely means you’re putting your products in front of a better audience.
Micro-influencers Have a More Engaged Audience
As we mentioned previously, micro-influencers tend to be more actively engaged with their followers. They respond to individual comments and questions and seem more approachable. They come across as real people who are passionate about a certain area rather than a big-time influencer pushing their personal agenda. This makes them relatable, which will help your target audience better engage with them.
Micro-influencers Are More Willing To Establish Ongoing Partnerships
While you can likely pay a macro-influencer for a single post, a micro-influencer will be more likely to create an ongoing relationship with you and your brand. If an influencer posts something once — much of their followers might miss it, however, if you are able to get an influencer to post about your product and brand with some kind of frequency, you will gain more visibility and their followers will begin to associate your brand with this looked-to influencer and earn you credibility.
Micro-influencers Might Be Willing To Do A Gifted Campaign
Because micro-influencers operate on a smaller scale, they might be willing to do a gifted campaign for you. This means that you will exchange your product in exchange for posts from the influencer. You simply send them samples of your product and the influencer will create posts highlighting their thoughts. Of course, it will be in the contract to show your products in a positive light.
Micro-influencers Also Post High-quality Content
The majority of micro-influencers have aspirations of becoming a macro-influencer, so you likely aren’t losing much in the way of quality by going micro instead of a macro. In order to compete, they need to produce amazing content to gain more followers and be a reliable source in their niche. They often hire professional photographers to take and edit their photos because they want their page to grow to a macro level.
You Don’t Have to Choose
Perhaps the best news is that you can, and should, work with both micro- and macro-influencers, as both are great to work with and can help grow your brand and move products.
Regardless of which you choose, you should vet each influencer thoroughly to make sure that your vision and mission align. You want to work with someone who stands for the same things and who will be eager to post about your product because it helps them achieve their goals too. That’s the ideal brand-influencer relationship.
Our advice is to take a hard look at the current presence of your brand online, see what macro- and micro-influencers exist within your niche, and decide if you want to spread your reach among a variety of micro-influencers, with one or two macro-influencers, or with some mix of the two. Again, it’s up to you to choose who will be the best person to partner with to help grow your brand, so make sure you do your due diligence rather than simply hiring the person with the most followers because they have the most followers.