Micro vs. Macro Influencers: Know the Differences

Itzel Fonseca

7 mins read

The diverse and colorful world of social media has opened doors for individuals who want to share their craft, creativity, and stories with the world. Nowadays, anyone with a smartphone and a stable Wi-Fi connection can be popular with just a few clicks and become an influencer.

And because thousands of influencers are now dominating almost every social media platform, marketers are naturally drawn to them as a partner for promoting their brand. After all, what’s not to love about influencers? They have a pre-existing relationship with their audience, they’re trusted, and they can reach a large number of people with minimal effort.

However, if you’re a business owner looking to team up with one, there’s one important question you need to ask yourself first: “Should I partner with a micro-influencer or a macro-influencer?”. And in this article, we’ll not only help you answer that question but also provide some tips on how you can successfully work with an influencer for your brand.

The Difference Between Macro and Micro Influencers

To get started, let’s identify the key differences between macro and micro influencers. Shall we?

Their Number of Followers

The easiest way to differentiate between a macro and micro influencer is by looking at the number of followers they have. According to Mavrck, macro influencers are those who have at least 10,000 to one million followers. The majority of this group are bloggers, corporate executives, and people who have been in the public eye for some time.

On the other hand, micro influencers are those who have around 500 to 10,000 followers. Most of them are just regular people who have been able to build a small but engaged following around a specific niche. For example, a trainer at your local gym who gives out workout and diet tips on Instagram could be considered a micro influencer. Another would be a fashion-savvy college student who posts shopping haul vlogs and makeup tutorials on YouTube.

The Results They Drive

According to the same source, both macro and micro influencers typically drive higher engagements than celebrities and public figures with over a million followers. In fact, they can generate anywhere from 5% to 25% engagement per content posted. Mega-influencers or very popular public figures, on the other hand, only get 2% to 5% engagement.

Their Niches

There’s really no definitive answer when it comes to the niches of macro and micro influencers. However, we can say that most macro influencers have a more general focus while micro influencers tend to be more specific.

You’ll usually find macro influencers who cover a wide range of topics such as lifestyle, travel, fitness, and fashion. Micro influencers, on the other hand, are usually known for their expertise in a particular niche or unique interest. For example, @ChristianCaro_ is known amongst his 5,000+ followers for his aesthetic and stylish posts featuring the SoCal lifestyle.

Getting To Know Macro Influencers

Now, let’s move on and get to know macro influencers a little better.

As mentioned, these influencers typically cover more general topics like food, travel, and fitness. A great example of a macro influencer would be @jeaniuseats who has 113,000 followers and shares mostly about her food adventures in Europe and NYC.

Meanwhile, when it comes to beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, content creators like @kristywho and @clairerose who have 105,000 and 984,000 followers respectively, are definitely considered macro influencers. They’re known for showcasing their chic fits and personal style as well as giving their followers a glimpse into their luxurious lifestyles.

Why Work With Them?

Scrolling through the IG feeds of these macro influencers alone can already give you an idea of why working with them could be beneficial for your brand.

First, because they have a large following, partnering with them can help you reach a wider audience and get more people interested in your products or services.

Second, they have the ability to drive high engagements. So, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness and create a buzz around your launch, teaming up with a macro influencer could definitely help you do that.

Third, since they typically have a more general focus, they can be a great way to introduce your brand to a wider, but still relevant, audience. For example, if you’re launching a collection of cropped tees for your POD store, collaborating with a macro influencer who’s into fashion, fitness, and streetwear could help you get the word out there.

The Cons

Working with a macro influencer seems quite enticing, doesn’t it? However, the costs of partnering with one can be pretty high.

Remember, these influencers have a large following which means they can charge more for sponsorships and shout-outs. In fact, those with 100,00 to 500,000 followers, which are also called mid-influencers, typically ask for around $500 to $5,000 per IG post. And those with over 500,000 to one million followers can charge up to $10,000 for every post.

Who Are Micro Influencers?

Feeling like macro influencers are out of your budget? Well, micro influencers aren’t just a great alternative, but they can also be a more effective partner to promote your brand.

These influencers talk and post about topics that they’re passionate about to a smaller, but more engaged audience. And although their followings are smaller, it’s possible for them to drive just as much, if not more, engagement as macro influencers. To get a glimpse of what we’re talking about, you can check out this list of 150 micro influencers in different niches by Influencer Club.

Why Work With Them?

The phrase “quality over quantity” ultimately applies when it comes to influencer marketing. And that’s exactly what micro influencers can offer you and your brand.

First, because they have a more targeted audience, you can be sure that the people who see your ads and promotions are actually interested in what you’re selling. This is especially beneficial to those who are marketing towards a very specific segment or niche.

Second, consumers nowadays tend to trust the product recommendations of smaller accounts more. In fact, a PR survey by Uproar revealed that 72% of respondents prefer micro influencers over macro ones and popular celebrities.

Lastly, partnering with a micro influencer can be more cost-effective than working with a macro one. While the latter can charge hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, per post, you can ask a micro influencer to post about your brand for as low as $10 to $500. There are some who even agree to do it for free products.

The Cons

The main disadvantage of working with a micro influencer is that they have a smaller reach. So, if you’re looking to target a wide audience, then this type of influencer might not be the best option for you.

Additionally, since they have a more engaged following, they can easily get booked up. Hence, if you plan to work with one, you might want to start your search early and lock them in for a collaboration well ahead of time.

Tips on Reaching Out and Working With Influencers

Ready to start reaching out to influencers?

Great! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Create a List of Your Prospects

To make your search more organized and efficient, start by creating a list of influencers you’re interested in working with. Aside from browsing through lists provided by sites like HubSpot, you can do your own manual search by using relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. You can also check out the accounts followed by your potential customers as well as your competitors.

Look for an Influencer Who’s a Good Fit for Your Brand

Now, before you even start sending out emails or DMs, take a step back and evaluate your prospects. Not all of them will be a good fit for your brand so it’s important to be picky and only go for those who will be able to effectively promote your products or services.

Some of the factors you might want to consider include their niche, content, target audience, and of course, engagement rate. You may also want to take a look at the brands they’ve worked with in the past and the values or advocacies they support.

Reach Out to Them Through Their Preferred Method of Contact

When reaching out to an influencer, it’s best to do it through their preferred method of contact. This is to avoid getting ignored or, worse, coming across as a spammer.

For example, if an influencer has their email address listed on their IG bio, send your formal pitch to them via email. On the other hand, if they only have a DMs open, then shoot them a DM instead!

Be Ready To Negotiate Payment Terms

The payment terms will, of course, vary depending on the influencer you’re working with. But in general, it’s best to be prepared to negotiate.

Keep in mind that influencers, especially those with a large and engaged following, usually have the upper hand when it comes to rates. So, if you want to score a good deal, be open to giving them what they want. This could be in the form of free products, exclusive discounts, or cold hard cash.

This does not mean, however, that you should just cave in and agree to their every demand. If you think their rates are too high or their requests are unreasonable, don’t be afraid to counteroffer or walk away from the deal altogether.

Remember, the goal is to find an arrangement that’s beneficial for both parties involved.

Work on a Mutual Understanding

Speaking of mutual benefits, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you and the influencer are hoping to get out of the partnership before you start working together. This way, there are no misunderstandings down the road.

For example, if you want them to simply mention your brand in their posts, be sure to let them know. On the other hand, if you’re expecting a more in-depth promotion, such as a product review or an Instagram story takeover, then make sure they’re aware of that as well.

Let Them Be Creative

Influencers are popular in their niches because they know how to produce content that resonates with their audience. So, unless you have a very specific idea of what you want them to do, it’s best to let them be creative and come up with content that they know will perform well.

Giving them the freedom to be creative will not only result in better content but also help foster a more enjoyable and productive working relationship. Nonetheless, it’s still a good idea to provide them with a general overview of your brand as well as your expectations for content strategy, frequency, and tone.

Be Sure To Measure Your Results

Surprisingly, not all businesses measure their ROIs when it comes to influencer marketing—only 67% of them do, to be exact. And if you’re one of the 33% who don’t, then you’re missing out on a lot of valuable insights.

To get the most out of your influencer partnerships, be sure to track your results and analyze the performance of your campaigns. This will not only help you determine whether or not the strategy is right for your business, but also give you a better idea of which influencers are worth working with again in the future.

You can do this by having a set of KPIs in place before you start working with an influencer. This could be anything from trackable links to engagement rate and reach. Once you have your KPIs, all that’s left to do is sit back and let the data do the talking. If you see a positive ROI, then you know you’re on the right track.

Here’s to a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign!

Working with someone out of your immediate network can be a bit daunting, but if you go into it with a plan and the right mindset, you’ll certainly set yourself up for success. All that’s left to do now is put these tips into practice and see where it takes you.

And once you’ve found a few good influencers to work with, be sure to keep the lines of communication open and let them know what’s working and what’s not. After all, a successful influencer marketing campaign is a two-way street. Your wins are their wins, and vice versa!

Affiliate Disclosure:

This blog contains some affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you use these links to buy something (at no added cost to you).

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