Micro vs Macro: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Influencer Marketing

You’re planning to launch an influencer marketing campaign. You already know that influencer marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels. You’ve set aside a budget, and started to plan your campaign.

Now you want to know how to get the most bang for your buck, and maximize the effectiveness, and ROI of your campaign. To ensure that every penny is put to good use, you need to find the right influencers, and carefully plan your strategy.

How much you spend on your campaign depends largely on the type of influencers you choose to work with. You have a couple different options. You could go with macro-influencers, who have a massive reach, and typically charge thousands of dollars per post. Or micro-influencers, who have a smaller reach, but only charge a few hundred bucks for a sponsored post.

Micro vs Macro: Who’s Right for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign?

Not sure which type of influencers will be the most effective for your campaign? Below, we’ll compare the differences, and unique benefits of macro and micro-influencers to help you maximize your influencer marketing ROI.

1. Micro vs Macro — Engagement

One of the most significant differences is the fact that micro-influencers have much better engagement rates than macro-influencers.

Sure, micro-influencers have fewer followers than macro-influencers. But their followers are people who have a genuine interest in their content. Their followers are, therefore, more likely to engage with the content they post, even when it’s sponsored.

A 2016 study by Markerly found that the engagement rate of influencers decreases as the number of followers increases. They researched approximately 5 million Instagram posts from more than 800,000 users.

Based on this study, micro-influencers drive higher engagement than macro-influencers. It found that influencers with 1,000 followers or less get likes on their posts 8% of the time. But posts from influencers with over 10 million followers only get likes 1.6% of the time.

When it comes to comments, micro-influencers get 13 times more than top influencers. Posts from influencers with 1,000 followers or less get comments 0.5% of the time. But those from users with 10 million followers or more only get comments 0.04% of the time.

Let’s test this ourselves by examining three beauty influencers on Instagram. First, let’s take a look at the account of Amadea Dashurie, a beauty and fashion blogger with 581,000+ followers.

If you check out her posts, you see that most of them have somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 likes. One of them, shown in the screenshot below, has 7,205 likes. That may seem like a significant amount of likes, but if we compare it with her total number of followers, the percentage of likes is only 1.35%.

Now let’s look at another beauty and style influencer, Paola Mathé, who has about 102,000 followers. Many of her posts generate somewhere between 1,500 and 4,000 likes.

Let’s check out one of her posts related to beauty. The one below has 1,992 likes, which seems much lower than the 7,000+ likes by the first influencer.

But considering the number of followers Paola has, the post generated 1.95% likes. Many of her other posts have 3,000+ likes, which is more than 3%.

For the last one, let’s look at beauty blogger, Tiffany, who has 16,000 followers. There’s some inconsistency in the number of likes she generates. But many of her makeup-related posts manage to get more than 1,000 likes.

One of her posts, shown in the screenshot below, generated a massive 5,000+ likes. That’s an impressive 32%.

She doesn’t get that many likes on all of her posts, but most get more than 1,500 likes. That means her average engagement rate is about 9.4%. That’s a huge difference from the 1.35% engagement rate of Amadea Dashurie.

This is just one example of how engagement rates are much higher for micro-influencers when compared to macro-influencers. Although the exact rates are not the same for every influencer, you can see how micro-influencers beat macro-influencers in terms of engagement.

2. Micro vs Macro — Reach

One thing that macro-influencers have that micro-influencers don’t is massive reach. Although micro-influencers have a significant following, their reach is nothing like that of macro-influencers.

In fact, their following size is what defines them as “macro” influencers. There are a few differences in what people consider “macro.” According to Mavrck, they are individuals with 10,000 to 1 million followers. And micro-influencers have 500 to 10,000 followers. But as their popularity increases, the number of followers a macro-influencer has may be well over a million.

Some define micro-influencers as people with anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers. And macro-influencers as those with 100,000 or more followers.

Regardless of the exact numbers, macro-influencers have the ability to reach hundreds of thousands of individuals at a time. With so many followers, they can promote a brand’s marketing message to a large audience with a single post.

You may need to partner with several micro-influencers to reach the same number of people as one macro-influencer. If your main focus is to build brand visibility, and raise awareness about your products, macro-influencers may be a better option.

YouTuber Jack Douglass has more than 2.6 million subscribers, which qualifies him as a macro-influencer. He recently created a sponsored video for Ancestry, for which he asked his subscribers, “What Makes You You?” He used their responses in the sponsored video, which was part of his YIAY (Yesterday I Asked You) series. The video amassed more than 1 million views, 51,000+ likes, and 26,000+ comments.

Ancestry would likely have to use at least 20 micro-influential YouTubers, (with 10,000 to 100,000 subscribers), to generate a similar level of reach.

Read the full post on Shane Barker’s Influencer Marketing blog.