The use of digital influencers is not a new concept. For years we have been seeing famous fitness models or fashion gurus posing with their favorite product, urging their audience to give it a try. That being said, many brands still do not know the benefits and exposure that a digital influencer can bring. In order to select the right influencer, it’s important to understand the difference between macro and micro influencers.
What is an influencer and what can they do for me?
Before we get into the two types of influencers, you need to know what an influencer is and why you should care. Marketers use influencers to build large followings that lead to increased brand awareness and loyalty. Think of it this way: when a consumer sees their favorite celebrity sponsoring a specific brand, they will be more drawn to the product than if a lesser known person uses the item. If a digital influencer shows that they use and support your brand, their loyal followers are likely to do the same, and this means major exposure and success for your brand.
What are macro and micro influencers?
Macro influencers are those individuals that have the largest following on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and in some cases, their individual blogs. This category consists of actual celebrities as well as those with more than 100,000 followers. You may be thinking: macro influencer equals macro exposure – it’s a no brainer! While it’s true that having a macro influencer associated with your brand may be a dream come true because of the outreach they have, you must consider that the bigger the sponsor the bigger chunk out of your budget. That being said, if your budget permits, utilizing macro influencers can be a great marketing tactic.
Support from high profile names can give your brand authenticity and validation, which is exemplified by BoxedWater’s ReTree Campaign. A-list influencers such as Julianne Hough shared the campaign with their social media followers and showed a genuine interest in the cause, which is why it was so successful.
Micro influencers usually have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers on social media, and they usually gain followers by building their content around specific niche communities. Examples of niche categories include fashion, crafts, gardening, travel, freelance writing, hunting, and more. A micro influencer will cost a lot less money and might be more beneficial to you depending on your budget. Micro influencers are usually within reach for up and coming brands, and 10,000 to 90,000 followers is nothing to shake your fist at.
A key difference between micro and macro influencers – audience engagement. Micro influencers usually have more personal content, so their audience will see them more like peers than celebrities. Macro influencers, on the other hand, are often harder to reach and engage with because of their high following. Although a macro influencer can bring a high level of exposure, for most brands the ROI will be higher when using a micro influencer as opposed to a macro influencer.
A great example of the success of using micro influencers is the ‘ASOS Insiders’, used to promote the ASOS clothing brand. The insiders are not celebrities, but rather social media gurus with a large following already established. By utilizing influencers that build an organic and natural connection with their followers, ASOS can build its brand without using expensive, impersonal advertisements.
Digital influencers are a powerful tool for increasing brand exposure and consumer connection. Marketers must take into consideration the budget, target audience, and campaign objective in order to decide which influencer offers the best options for the brand and the company to grow. For the average company, it is usually more beneficial to go with a micro influencer. However, many big-name brands have had success with macro influencers as well. It all depends on your needs and goals. With these careful considerations and in mind, your brand can take a step into the future of digital marketing success.