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Marketing Tips
September 7, 2023
min read
Noam Yadin

Macro influencers vs Micro influencers: What brands need to know

Platforms like YouTube and Instagram have completely changed the way brand marketing looks - instead of only teaming up with celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, brands are looking to invest in content creators that have a genuine and unique connection with their viewers. Brands and companies have seen the potential these influencers have when it comes to marketing - the value of influencer marketing was at $13.8 million at the end of 2021. 

However, once you enter the wonderful world of influencer marketing, there are a number of things brands need to consider - on what platform should you promote on? What type of content is your target audience consuming? What is your budget? And, a crucial one - should you integrate with micro influencers or macro influencers? 

Although there is no clear cut answer, and this decision can obviously change throughout your influencer marketing journey, it’s important to understand what the difference is between micro and macro influencers in order to better plan out and strategize your influencer marketing strategy. 

Let’s start from the the basics - influencer marketing basics:

Why influencer marketing? 

The idea of celebrity endorsements is nothing new - brands have been using this marketing strategy for years (you have definitely come across billboards of Chris Hemsworth or Johnny Depp promoting a perfume on your way to work). But, what differentiates celebrity endorsements from influencer marketing is the idea that well-known and well-loved content creators built an organic following - people that enjoy, respect, and are ultimately influenced by what they have to say - and promote brands, products and services on their various social channels and intertwined in their content. 

Thanks to the large number and wide variety of content creators (understatement of the year), pretty much everyone has a influencer/s they look up to, respect, and are ultimately influenced by. 

Related article: 5 reasons why your brand needs to be working with influencers 

But how do you begin to filter through the hundreds of thousands of content creators, and decide on which content creators are the right ones to team up with, for your brand and for a specific campaign?

What is a macro influencer? 

Macro influencers are defined as content creators with more than 100,000 followers who gained fame or influence through the internet - regardless of the platform or type of content. 

Macro influencers pros and cons

Examples of macro influencers

  • Alisha Marie: This content creator has over 11M subscribers and creates content about all-things lifestyle. Alisha has succeeded in building long-term relationships with a handful of brands. Casetify, a company that designs and produces phone cases and electronic accessories, has sponsored Alisha over 20 times on her vlog channel, where she has 3.07M followers, racking up over 8 million views. Another example is BetterHelp, an online therapy service, which has sponsored Alisha 8 times, which helped the brand reach over 2M views. 
  • AmandaRachLee: Has a subscriber count of 2.16M and creates content about journaling and stationery. This creator's top partnership is with Skillshare, an online learning platform. Amanda has worked with them over 30 times, and her top collaboration with them, How To: Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners! Tutorial + Tips!, received over 13M views. Amanda has also worked with Squarespace, a website creation brand, 29 times. 

What is a micro influencer? 

Micro influencers are defined as content creators with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. Micro influencers have usually succeeded in cultivating an intimate and personal connection with their followers, which is what a lot of brands are looking for in a content creator to build a partnership with. 

Keep in mind - micro influencers may have fewer followers because the content they focus on is much more niche, such as crocheting, building lego, or even taste testing military MRE’s (meal ready to eat). Brands that hope to reach potential customers that would be interested in this content, could reach major success partnering with micro influencers. Although you might get ‘less exposure’, you may receive much higher engagement and conversion rates. That's why it's a great idea for businesses to find a list of top micro-influencers they could use for their ad campaigns.

Micro influencer pros and cons

Examples of micro influencers

  • Riley Marie: Has a subscriber count of 57.8k, creates content about books and bookish challenges. Riley’s most recurring brand sponsorship is with Book of the Month - they’ve worked together 29 times. Riley has also collaborated with Function of Beauty twice, a haircare brand that matches customers with its perfect product, and managed to rack up 99K views. 
  • Libby Christensen: Has a subscriber count of 84k, creates content surrounding fitness and living a healthy life. Libby often collaborates with Princess Polly, an online clothing brand. Libby is also a Gymhsark athlete, meaning Gymshark provides her with an affiliate link for their products that will allow her to get a portion of the income that Gymshark makes from each sale. 

Who’s more effective for your brand - macro influencers or micro influencers?

Well, the answer is more complex than you may have thought - your brand has to decide its end goal when it comes to the campaign that they are trying to advertise. Is your brand looking to spend less, focus more on reach, or concentrate on overall engagement? Let’s break down which factors you should consider, what they mean for your brand, and how they impact the size of the influencer you may choose to work with. 

What factors should you consider? 

1. Cost

The price of mentioning a brand in one YouTube video can cost anywhere from $20 to $20,000. The price will depend on the size of the following an influencer has, how much views the creator receives on their content, the length of the ad, and where the ad is placed. An influencer with more followers, such as a macro influencer, will most likely charge more for an integration, whereas a micro influencer is more likely to have a more affordable cost. Your brand may also be able to work with a number of micro influencers for the price of one macro influencer, and that may be a smarter investment for your brand. 

Just for reference, MrBeast (a macro influencer) has over 106M subscribers (just on one of his channels) and gets close to 14M average views on his videos. According to our YouTube sponsorship calculator, an ad placement on this channel is worth $0.021 CPV. Which means that a sponsorship on MrBeast’s channel stands between $308,306 - $431,628. 

2. Reach

Another factor to consider is how wide of an audience you are looking to reach. Macro influencers that have a larger subscriber count and higher average views rate will also have a broader reach. A micro influencer won’t be able to give you the same number of views, and so if the goal for your brand is to maximize the number of people who may see your ad, a macro influencer is the better option for you. 

3. Engagement

Brands have realized that views don’t necessarily equate to engagement - a larger view count doesn’t necessarily mean more traffic to your website and more sales for your brand. It’s important for brands to understand this, because micro influencers can actually have better engagement rates than macro influencers. Having a smaller audience can mean that the viewers have a more intimate connection with the content creator, meaning that the viewers may be more receptive to brands that are being promoted. 

4. Audience

The world of influencers is split up into different niches, and most micro influencers fit very neatly into a specific niche. If your brand is looking to target a specific niche, finding a content creator from that niche is a good idea. For example, Book of the Month, a monthly book subscription service often partners up with smaller ‘booktubers’, YouTubers who make content about all things books. The audience of these booktubers is very concentrated to other book lovers, but these are the people who are also most likely to be interested in their brand. A company like NordVPN, which provides a service that encrypts the connection between your device and the internet, partners up with a wide variety of influencers from a wide variety of niches. NordVPN currently has partnerships with some of the biggest names on YouTube, including PewDiePie and Mr. Beast’s gaming channel, MrBeast Gaming. ExpressVPN, another VPN brand, has worked with The Food Ranger, a world traveler with a love for food and sharing that love with his viewers, as well as New Rockstars, a news source for the ‘die-hard fans’ of whatever happens to be the world’s latest obsession (Game of Throne, Marvel, Star Wars… you get the idea).

The future of marketing is definitely with influencers, and that includes influencers of all sizes and niches. There’s a content creator that’s the perfect fit for your brand and campaign, it’s up to your brand to decide what the goal of your campaign is. Don’t know how to start looking for your brand’s ideal influencers? We can help you find creators to book for your next campaign

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