Macro influencer or micro influencer: that is the question. Except, as it ends up, the answer isn’t one over the other: it is to use both. Macro and micro influencers both play key roles in the marketing strategy of small- to medium-sized brands. The struggle for most companies, however, is figuring out how to properly balance the two.
First off, what are macro influencers and micro influencers?
There are three generally accepted “sizes” of influencers: mega, macro, and micro. These sizes describe their online following. Mega influencers are those with massive followings and are often so well-known that they are household names. These influencers may even be traditional celebrities. While they have a massive reach, they also command a massive payday, making them out of reach for smaller brands.
And that is okay because the truth is that they do not get the results that smaller brands need—but macro and micro influencers do.
Micro influencers have followings of 10,000 people or less while macro influencers will have more than that, but should not crack six digits. These influencers have smaller followings than their mega influencer counterparts, but they have better levels of interaction. Which brings us to how they benefit you.
Who gets the most interaction: mega, macro, or micro influencers? That all depends on how you measure interaction. Mega influencers will see the most comments on the content they post, but when you compare interactions to the number of views, the percentage you get is incredibly low. Considering mega influencers base their rate on their following, you aren’t really getting what you pay for.
Looking at interaction as a percentage of viewers taking an action, micro influencers actually have the best track record. However, they have less of a reach than their macro counterparts. This is why it is suggested that brands balance their influencers between micro influencers and macro influencers.
So now that you know you should use both, the question is how to strike a balance between them. Which should you work with first? Which should you work with more? What is the better investment?
If you are just getting started, we suggest you begin with micro influencers. This will allow you to get a feel for things and work out the kinks in the process without investing a lot of money. And should things go well, you will see a solid return on investment due to their high engagement levels.
Once you are feeling comfortable with influencer marketing, keep working with micro influencers and add in a macro influencer. The ratio of micro to macro is not an exact science. You may have three micro influencers you are working with and one macro, or maybe just one and one, or perhaps a handful of both. However, it is generally recommended that the number of macro influencers used in a campaign not exceed the number of micro-influencers being used.