Over the years, Influencer Marketing has proven to be a valuable method for marketing a brand or product, with some key outcomes being:
- Improving brand advocacy
- Increasing brand awareness
- Reaching new audiences
- Improving sales conversion
Influencer Marketing is the fastest growing online customer acquisition method. Digital Marketing Institute
However, the question still remains, do influencers with larger audiences always deliver better results? Although influencer marketing is so widely used, many marketers still struggle with identifying the right influencer for them.
This is where the debate starts… Micro VS Macro.
Micro Influencers are social media users unlike typical celebrities or public figures. They’re individuals who frequently share social media content about their interests. Unlike traditional “influencers”, Micro Influencers have a more modest number of followers – typically in the thousands or tens of thousands – but they most definitely have, and boast, hyper-engaged audiences.
You may be thinking, why would you seek out someone with a smaller following to promote your brand? There are several reasons to believe Micro Influencers might get better results for your brand…
Authenticity is so important, and people are becoming more aware of fake brands and messaging on social media. Millennials in particular absolutely crave authentic brands and are very sceptical of influencers, hence why micro influencers can work so well. The way in which Micro Influencers work is very similar to word of mouth. For instance, they may talk about a pair of shoes they love to their followers, in the same way that you would tell your friends about that great new film you’ve seen, and this works.
It’s easier to believe they have actually bought, used and liked the featured product as they are more authentic in the way that they describe it, photograph it and chat about it within their comments. This kind of authenticity attracts engagement, awareness and brand recall.
They have a very targeted audience
Micro Influencers tend to have much more targeted audiences than Macro Influencers. Take @passporttofriday for example, a travel planning specialist who takes shots of herself travelling around the world. Her followers are going to be people who are interested in luxury hotels and destinations or looking for holiday inspiration, and that’s pretty much it.
They’re also cheap (cheaper than macro influencers that is)
If you’ve got a tight budget but still want to use influencer marketing, Micro Influencers are going to be for you. They aren’t celebrities and so don’t require a huge sum of money in return for posting about your products or service. They will often be pretty happy to get asked to promote your products. Some are even willing to do it in return for a free product or service however, these are more likely to be 'micro' micro influencers.
Obviously, there are some down sides to Micro Influencers, as there is to everything. Micro Influencers will have capped visibility and reach due to their number of followers, which means only their number of followers will have the opportunity to see your promoted product. Using Micro Influencers also often means you have less control over their output, for example, the way the product is photographed or the content that they write about it.
Onto the real deal… Macro Influencers
Macro Influencers, or just Influencers as we know them, are known people with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of followers. When brands partner with influencers, companies are able to leverage the established trust amongst the influencer’s audience as consumers are very likely to buy a product that has been promoted by someone they know and ‘trust’. So why might Macro Influencers get better results for you brand?
Macro Influencers have a huge following that consists of a vast amount of varying people. This means the available reach of a campaign is huge, especially compared to a micro influencer. So, if your main goal from using an influencer is reach, then a Macro Influencer is definitely an option for you.
Complete control over the campaign
Often, using a Macro Influencer enables you to have complete control around how your product is described, what the photo looks like, and even what time of day the post is put out. Often a brief will be sent to your chosen influencer, which will then be planned out meticulously, maybe even including help from their PR team. This strict control enables brands to build a reputation around their brand or product.
Brands often give Macro Influencers a discount code to promote alongside their post. This code will entitle users to a discount off the product the influencer is speaking about, usually personalised to that particular influencer. This enables brands to track the ROI from the campaign by tracking the orders that used the code. For example, @brittenelle took part in a paid partnership with watch brand, Daniel Wellington. She included her personal code ‘BRITTENELLE’ which gave her followers 15% off everything on the Daniel Wellington website.
89% say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. Bigcommerce
Although, Macro Influencers aren’t all good. It has become apparent, especially in the recent years where brand authenticity and transparency have become increasingly important, that people don’t always believe or trust Macro Influencers. They don’t want to be told to go and buy a product by a celebrity that they know has been paid to say that. Macro Influencer campaigns can be hard to execute because of the great deal of effort that needs to go into making the campaign right. You need to make sure you pick the correct influencer and give them the right brief, meanwhile the celebrity needs to want to work with you. Many celebrities can be picky about the brands they endorse and so you have to prove to them how your product will raise their profile and personal brand. And lastly, they are expensive, very expensive.
Our favourite example of Influencer Marketing… with a twist.
ASOS have a very unique strategy when it comes to Influencer Marketing. Instead of simply partnering with influencers to create sponsored posts, ASOS go a step further and create sponsored accounts for its influencers, like @asos_kat. These accounts are run by the influencers (who have their own well-known account) but differ slightly in that they primarily feature ASOS clothing. This strategic way of doing Influencer Marketing means that the influencer’s existing following are pulled across to the new (ASOS) account, with content more relevant to the brand.
We hope this has helped to settle the debate for you, but if you have any questions or want to continue the debate further, get in touch here.