Influencer Marketing

November 8, 2017

Micro vs. Macro Influencer Business Strategy

With chatter about influencers at an all-time high (if you’ve been around these parts at all, you’ll know I never effing shut up about influencer strategy in general) the age old question always circles back to which influencer type is the best fit for your company.

To be honest, a lot factors into this question… and most of it has to do with where your company stands in it’s growth cycle. If you’re looking at influencer marketing and you’ve just launched…you are in a way different stage of the game than someone who’s had an established company with steady revenue for years. You also probably are looking at two very different budgets depending on if you want to go the paid influencer integration route or not.

I know that I talk a lot about earned influencer strategy (for good reason) but I want to break down the benefits of working with each type of influencer that are in the space today. Let’s start with some basics, shall we?

Defined:

  • Micro-influencer: A person/ personality that has garnered anywhere between 5,000 to 100,000 subscribers or followers on any given social media platform.
  • Macro-influencer: A person/ personality that has garnered upwards of 100,000 subscribers or followers on any given social media platform.

Take the above noted ranges slightly with a grain of salt because as I’ve mentioned before, subscriber/follower count is a fairly arbitrary number to base the quality of an influencer on. I use these parameters simply because they’re easy statistics to identify when looking at an influencers’ profile at-a-glance. The second layer to identifying a “REAL” influencer is taking engagement into consideration.

What is engagement when used in reference to influencer quality? It’s the number of likes and comments an influencer gets on their shit. Who cares if a picture on Instagram is posted to an account with 200K followers? That doesn’t mean that all 200K actually saw the picture!! I want people to be TALKING about the picture, and the content that’s within the picture. That’s what converts to sales. Not a numbers person? Try running the influencer’s Instagram account through Fame Audit. I’m a huge fan of the program and it’s free!

And let’s be real, the whole reason you’re looking to work with influencers is to a) help drive brand awareness and to b) help drive sales.

But obviously, taking into consideration all of the above, what are the pro’s and con’s of working with each type of influencer? It’s more nuanced than you might anticipate right off the bat.

Let’s break it down….

  • Micro- Influencer: A person/ personality that has garnered anywhere between 5,000 to 100,000 subscribers or followers on any given social media platform.
    • PRO:
      • Ability to grow your brand with the influencer, building a long-term relationship that really resonates with followers and potential customers
      • Low initial cost investment; typically an opportunity to explore alternative/ more creative forms of payment via affiliate marketing codes, commission structure, and product gifting
      • Typically higher engagement rate translating to higher sales potential
      • Lower initial cost investment allows to spread budget across a few influencers versus just one, to build a brand ambassador program if desired
    • CON:
      • Segmented niche reach that may/may not be wildly diverse (something to keep in mind if you’re selling a product like a beauty/ fashion item)
      • Larger time investment based on building relationships versus simply cutting paychecks for return
  • Macro-Influencer: A person/ personality that has garnered upwards of 100,000 subscribers or followers on any given social media platform.
    •  PRO:
      • Instantaneously large blanket reach
      • [Required] paycheck will guarantee a return of at least content that could be repurposed on owned social channels
    • CON:
      • Larger up-front cost and exclusivity considerations depending on market/ vertical. Larger influencers balance multiple contracts, sometimes with competitor brands.
      • Engagement could be/most likely would be questionable.
      • Depending on budget, might be able to afford only one leading you to the risk of putting all of your proverbial eggs into one basket

Like I always say, it’s better to start any influencer relationship with gifted product. Give them a chance to test the brand and see if they integrate it organically into their content. This’ll give you a true opportunity to see how their audience responds to your brand and if it’s worth building a partnership.

Which influencer category is right for YOUR company?

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