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Micro vs MAcro Influencers

Kazzy Khazaal, October 24, 2019

Brands will spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022 – according to an upcoming report by Business Insider Intelligence. More and more companies are realizing the potential of marketing with influencers and are ready to spend more of their budgets doing this. But navigating this landscape is tricky and marketing directors are focused on finding what strategy is best for them. A question I hear often is whether its best to market with micro-influencers (under 25K – 250k followers) or more popular ones (usually 250K plus).


There are 2 main questions brands should be asking themselves to answer this question. Doing so will help in reducing marketing waste and take budgets further.

1. Are you looking for brand awareness or conversion?


Brands need to ask themselves what they want to accomplish with their marketing budget. If they’re focused entirely on converting impressions for cheap, then micro-influencers can be highly effective. With relatively high engagement rates, companies will certainly get lots of bang for their buck.


Micro-influencers are however limited – by definition. Their smaller reach may mean cheaper prices, but they lack the scale that can well deliver mass brand awareness, the opening up of new demographics, the simplicity of dealing with less moving parts, while still converting impressions to sales. If a brand wants to accomplish more with their influencer spending, its definitely best to market with larger influencers. They can still convert effectively while promoting your brand to an audience of hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

2. How niche is your market?


Let’s be real: if you’re selling neon green baby socks, then micro-influencers are probably your best bet. The more niche your market is, the more sense it makes to narrow your marketing strategy and advertise to the relatively lower demographics who can buy. Micro-influencers deliver well here because niche audiences are usually more passionate about their niche and they connect well with influencers operating in it. For companies with narrow markets, micro-influencers present the twofold opportunity to save money and meaningfully connect with the audience most likely to buy.


Just because a company thinks they’re a niche product doesn’t mean that they have to be. There’s countless examples of previously niche brands that changed their marketing approach and opened up entirely new demographics to sell to like Supreme or Perrier who, respectively, opened up their markets beyond skaters and older consumers. Larger influencers can serve as an effective test to see how much mass appeal your products may actually have, while still delivering on your other metrics. If you think that your company can reach out to wide(r) audiences, open up new markets, and bring in new business, then macro influencers are your best bet.


If you’re worried about the higher prices that macro influencers charge, then I recommend shopping around or going through an agency. It’s usually worth extra effort and the rewards can be immense in terms of driving brand awareness, growth, and sales.


Influencers represent a huge opportunity for marketing departments. More effectively connecting with more targeted audiences, often at cheaper rates than traditional mediums, means marketing budgets can go further. But its key to keep your own goals in mind, while considering the potential of new strategies, to ensure you can make the most out of these recent changes in marketing.