What is the difference between a Macro and Micro influencer?

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The big picture

by Chiara Magri

Influencers often get subjected to only being about their reach. How many followers do they have? 200,000, 500,000? Influencers must face this daily struggle against digital marketers to prove that they are more than just their followers tally.

But what are these digital marketers looking for, and how do they classify an influencer? And what do we mean by a ‘Micro’, a ‘Macro’ and so on?

The definition of micro influencer is not strictly defined, referring mostly to the tier with lower reach in your campaign. On average this category can have a follower base between 10,000 and 100,000. Micro influencers are focused on their channel growth, paying a lot of attention to the images and captions shared, dreaming to hit that five zeros follower count.

Nano influencers on the other hand, usually start counting between 1,000 to 10,000 followers, tend to be focused on more specific niche themes. The benefit of a brand using either micro or nano influencers within their campaign, is that as the content tends to be more specific to a theme (such as photography, painting, DJing), their smaller audience is already tapped in and interested in that theme, resulting in higher engagement.

Trust is the fundamental keyword of influencer marketing, but return on investment is what companies ultimately look at.

If your brand aims to target a very small community or simply has a small budget in which to start testing influencer marketing, then nano influencers are a very good option. However, if brand awareness is the key objective, or increasing traffic to a website, then an influencer with a larger following would be better suited.

It is true that nano influencers have a higher engagement rate, but absolute numbers must be looked at as well. A 20% engagement rate for nano influencers probably reflects 200 likes, while a 7% engagement rate for a macro influencer equals to roughly 4K likes. A similar perspective can be used to judge impressions and click-through rates: influencers with a larger reach gain bigger exposure and will ultimately bring more clicks and purchases in absolute numbers.

Macro influencers, between 100,000 - 500,000 followers (dependant on the country), take brand partnerships very seriously, as it represents for them, their main source of income. This is shown in the high quality of their images and in their professionalism when handling their campaigns + collaborations with both brands and agencies. With the higher following count, however, comes a higher fee. So, depending on the campaign budget, an all Macro approach is not always feasible.

At IMA we believe in a multi-tier strategy, where the campaign is composed of a mixture of influencer tiers.

We use a combination of Macros to reach a larger audience, with a mix of Micros & Nanos to support the overall campaign and reach a highly engaged, targeted audience.

If you would like to know more about how a multi-tier strategy can be applied to your campaign and the benefits it can bring, contact us.

InsightNathalie Van Kenhove