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Micro and Macro Influencers: What's the Difference and Why Should You Care?

An influencer is an individual who, due to their relationship with their audience and their perceived authenticity, is able to affect purchasing decisions. They are often seen as authoritative experts on their subject matter, but sometimes an endorsement of a product is effective simply because the audience wishes to emulate their lifestyle.

The influencer market is an estimated $21.1bn industry, so it’s very little surprise that it’s progressed from simply ‘a person on Instagram’ to a complex strand of a marketing strategy

The influencer market is segmented, by their overall reach, into four categories,


These are often celebrity influencers, like footballers and film stars. They have over a million followers, and by far cost the most to engage. However, despite their reach they are less likely to have an engaged community, and their endorsement might be seen as inauthentic. 


With a follower count of between 100,000 and a million, these influencers have wide reach, but their audience may be less engaged.


A micro-influencer has a reach of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, but despite its relatively small size, the audience is typically both engaged and loyal. 


The smallest category of influencer, but inversely likely the most influential on their community. Nano-influencers typically have under 1,000 followers, but they are highly loyal and very engaged. 

To get the best bang for your buck, you’re likely going to be choosing between the micro or macro influencer, but what are the benefits?

Micro-influencer Macro-influencer
• Micro-influencers are more affordable • Associating with celebrities can be very valuable to a brand
• Their audience is highly engaged, and have a higher conversion rate due to their niche interest • They have significant reach, which you can tap into very quickly
• Their content is more authentic, and is relatable • Easier to find across platforms and influencer marketplaces, meaning you need to spend less time researching
• They generally spend more time understanding your product and brand, lending more credibility to their recommendations • Working with one macro-influencer is more time-efficient than working with multiple micro-influencers
• They are usually eager to please their brand partners

Finding the right fit for your brand

So now you know what an influencer is, the types of influencers available, and more specifically the difference between micro influencers and macro-influencers, how do you go about choosing who to work with?

Define your goals

The first thing you should do when thinking about an influencer marketing campaign is to decide what your goals are. Is this a general awareness campaign, or are you wanting more traffic to the website, or increasing sales of a particular product? 

The category of influencer you approach will largely be dictated by your budget. With their larger audience base, the macro-influencer is better suited for awareness campaigns, while micro-influencers, with their more engaged followers and more authentic approach to product recommendations are likely to lead to more conversions. 

Identify the target audience and find influencers in your niche

Once you’ve decided what you’re trying to achieve, you need to think about the audience you’re trying to attract. This is almost always the same audience your company more broadly is trying to reach, but if you’re branching out into a new market segment, then this might differ. When that audience is identified, it’s time to start researching who the influencers are that cater to that particular target audience.

Research their engagement metrics

Regardless of whether it’s a micro or macro influencer, you are going to want to know that their audience actually engages with their content. Look back through their previous content to see how many views, likes, shares, and comments they receive to get an idea of what the audience interaction is like. We typically recommend looking back over the past 90 days, but you could go back as far as the last six months – or further still if you were inclined!

Do a reputation check

The last thing you want is to have your brand associated with a scandal-laden influencer. Equally, you don’t want to enter a partnership with someone who is unreliable, slow to deliver, or has poor standing. Similarly, you don’t really want to work with someone who takes on a lot of sponsored work in a short period of time, as it could undermine your messaging. Spend the time to research the influencers, see what the conversation is around

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