Over the last several years, Influencers and Influencer Marketing has become increasingly more vital to a brand’s social strategy – and that’s a trend we predict will continue in 2023.
A successful influencer partnership means more reach and engagement for your content, on top of the loyalty and trust their seal of approval grants your brand.
But with the variety of influencers out there and brands’ budgets becoming tighter due to the economy, how can a brand know what level of influencer they should tap to make the highest and most efficient social impact for their campaign with the strongest ROI?
We interviewed two members of our Influencer team here at Movement Strategy: Kimmy Shoval (Senior Vice President and Head of Influencer Marketing) and Jill Perera (Senior Influencer Marketing Manager) to answer our burning questions about the topic.
The Basics: Macro vs. Micro Influencers
The distinction between a macro and micro influencer is follower count.
In general, our influencer experts define a micro influencer as those that have 10,000 to 75,000 followers and define a macro influencer as those that have 500,000 to 1 million followers. But it’s important to note that follower counts can vary per platform – for instance, we’ve noticed that TikTok follower counts skew higher than other platforms so the tiers may differ.
Macro Influencers: Is Bigger Always Better?
One might believe that utilizing macro influencers will always be a no-brainer because a higher number of followers equals more eyes on your brand.
And though our influencer experts agree that the largest benefit to working with a macro influencer is the broad awareness, more followers don’t always guarantee higher view counts. With today’s social algorithms, you can’t always rely on follower count to indicate how a post will perform.
Instead, our experts recommend looking at how many views an influencer garnered on their last several posts, which can be a far more accurate representation of what you can expect for your partnership, keeping in mind that there are many contributing factors from whether or not the post was boosted with paid media or if a single post went viral.
@kaelimaee Replying to @taylornicoled_ Current fav Amazon Home Prime Day deals! July 12th & 13th only! @amazonhome #amazonhomepartner #PrimeDayDreamDeals #amazonfinds #amazonprimeday ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy
Movement Strategy partnered with nine macro influencers to help amplify awareness of Amazon Prime Day to get their followers excited about the exclusive deals.
But one thing higher follower counts can typically guarantee is a higher price tag for partnerships. Macro influencers are typically more expensive to work with and because they hold a lot of power when brands come to them, they can be more selective with their partnership terms. Our influencer experts point out that they might only do multi-post deals, may require more narrow exclusivity and might charge more or not even allow for paid or organic usage.
Micro Influencers: Less Reach, Less Effective?
If the goal is to have the most eyes on your campaign, micro influencers may be a less efficient choice, especially taking into account that the brand and agency need to contract and manage more individuals. And often times, fewer followers means less reach and impressions. However, our influencer experts mention that this can be resolved with a targeted paid media buy supporting that influencer’s content and maximizing content with social algorithms by capitalizing on key trends, hashtags or platform features.
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In order to build follower growth for Klarna, we worked with up-and-coming influencers to give their fans exclusive access to them, allowing them to foster relationships with their tight knit community of followers, an opportunity that may not be possible with a macro level influencer.
And when it comes to the benefits, they have a lot to say about working with micro influencers:
“The pros of working with a micro influencer is that they are more cost effective to partner with from a compensation standpoint and they have a strong community of followers that are very engaged and drive conversation. The close-knit community is great for engagement rate and overall advocacy for partnerships, which also helps drive conversion for campaigns that involve sign ups. Another pro is that it’s easier to activate influencers ingrained in a certain niche if any specific categories or expertise are needed for a certain campaign.”
On the surface, it might seem like smaller followings might be less attractive to a brand, but our influencer experts shared yet another benefit to working with micro influencers: content testing. Brands can try out different talent and creative executions with micro influencers to see what performs best, before making a larger investment to a macro influencer.
So How Do We Choose?
When your brand is potentially deciding between fewer partnerships with macro influencers or multiple partnerships with micro influencers, the largest factors to consider are your brand goals and authentic pairings. On brand goals, our experts say:
- If a brand’s goal is awareness, then they certainly want as many eyes as possible on the campaign, in which we’d recommend working with a macro influencer – but keeping in mind that you can’t always guarantee more impressions with a larger influencer.
- If a brand’s goal is conversion (i.e. they want people to sign up for their subscription using a link), then we’d recommend a micro influencer activation as their audience truly trusts their recommendations and are more likely to convert.
Our influencer team are ultimately matchmakers and pair our client’s brands with the right talent. So keeping in mind the campaign’s brand goals, our influencer team searches for the most authentic pairing by evaluating potential partners’ audience demographics and if your brand fits authentically into the types of content they create and the topics they cover.
If a specific micro influencer is the perfect fit your your campaign, then it could be more strategic to partner with that person and amplify their content with paid to get the same number of eyeballs/impressions that a macro-tier influencer may have resulted in. That would be more effective than partnering with a macro influencer who isn’t the perfect fit and having a mediocre or inauthentic piece of content.
Final Thoughts From The Experts
While we’re primarily talking about macro and micro influencers in this piece, our influencer experts implore your brand to consider every tier of influencer – nano, micro, mid and macro. Utilizing influencers of multiple tiers in one campaign can help achieve goals while being budget-friendly.
For instance, mid-tier influencers allow you to get the reach and awareness most clients are hoping for, while still driving engagement:
“These types of partnerships also allow us to have a little more creativity and flexibility in how we activate. Whether it’s across platforms, different content types, or brand channel takeovers, we can work more creatively with mid tier partners while still staying budget conscious.”
If you’re having trouble targeting which influencer types are best for your campaign, reach out to us at Movement Strategy.
Our influencer team – like Shoval and Perera – will help you find the best fits for your campaign.