Influencer marketing is a great way to grow your brand. It’s dynamic and effective, and provides a breath of fresh air from more traditional forms of media. With 44% of marketers making room in their budget for influencer content in 2018, it’s clearly a marketing trend that isn’t going away.
But it’s important to know that you’re getting the most bang for your buck when you’re planning your marketing budget. So when it comes to choosing between a micro or a macro influencer, which should you go for to maximise your ROI?
What’s the difference between micro and macro?
While you might already be familiar with the concept of influencer marketing — the use of social media personalities to help boost brand awareness and drive sales — you might not be aware of micro and macro influencers.
One of the key differences between the two is their to follower count. Macro influencers, such as fashion guru Jiawa Liu or fitness blogger Kayla Itsines, enjoy a follower count of more than 100K. In fact, their audiences frequently number in the millions.
At the other end of the scale, micro influencers possess just a fraction of the followers that macros do. Any social media personality with a follower count between 10-100K counts as a micro influencer. But where macro influencers occupy very broad interest niches such as fitness or beauty, micro influencers are much more specific with their content.
Finding your influencer ROI
Macro and micro influencers both offer different benefits for brands wishing to boost sales and increase awareness and engagement. But when it comes to the crunch, which type of social influencer gives you a better ROI? Let’s break it down.
Choosing between a macro or micro influencer, it’s clear that one is going to cost you a lot more than the other. As a general rule, most digital marketers work on the basis of being charged $100 for every 10,000 followers.
However, a range of factors come into play when calculating the final cost for an influencer campaign such as content type, engagement rates, and so on. As a result, this figure can vary. Macro influencers such as Kim Kardashian, for example, can naturally command far higher amounts due to their huge follower count.
Micro influencers, on the other hand, often come at a much lower cost. Micro influencers typically have a follower count of below 100K, and as such can’t ask for the higher fees that macro influencers do. Their smaller follower base means they are much more affordable.
This is particularly true for smaller brands who lack the budget of bigger companies for huge influencer campaigns. A typical post for a micro influencer averages around $75-$250, and at the lower end of the scale, an individual might even do it in return for a freebie or similar.
Consequently, choosing a micro influencer means that your initial financial investment is likely to much lower.
One important factor that brands should think about when calculating their influencer ROI is awareness. That is: the number of people you want to reach and expose your message to. In this case, your ROI is the number of new individuals who become aware of your brand and/or product through your influencer campaign.
Of course, it’s a no-brainer that macro influencers are best placed to provide you with this. With follower counts that can reach the hundred-thousands at just the mid-range level, the visibility offered by macro influencers is virtually limitless.
Having said that, to achieve true ROI it’s crucial that brands choose influencers with targeted audiences. Increasing awareness through influencer campaigns means going after followers who are more likely to register your brand or product. For example, success isn’t guaranteed if you’re using a fitness influencer to promote baby food — aim for an audience who are likely to take note of your product or service.
Another key factor that you’ll need to consider when you’re determining your influencer campaign ROI is engagement. Is your target audience actually responding to and connecting with your influencer message, or is it falling on stony ground?
The best influencer is one who consistently generates genuine engagement with their content. But as an influencer’s follower count increases, the average engagement level for their content decreases.
In fact, when an influencer has around 1K followers, engagement levels start to peak. And when an account has more than 100K followers (as macro influencers do), engagement begins to plateau.
This is because the occupy a specific interest niche, one that their followers will naturally have a stronger interest in than the more broad niches that macro influencers occupy. As a result, the cost-per-engagement rate for micro influencers is much lower. That said, the number of consumers potentially reached is much smaller due to their smaller follower count.
So which form of influencer marketing gives you a better ROI?
Ultimately, the type of influencer you go for will depend on the individual needs of your business. Where are you right now as a brand? What do you need from your customers? You should calculate your ROI on what results you want from your campaign.
Take, for example, one of the many small businesses currently for sale in Australia. These are mostly small businesses that have been built from someone’s bedroom. To grow their initial customer base, they might not necessarily need wide reach. Instead, they’d require deep engagement with their audience in order to create a solid consumer base. What’s the point of having higher visibility if those customers aren’t engaged?
On the other hand, huge and successful global brands like Pepsi can already expect good engagement levels because of the strength of their brand. But if they’re launching a new product, they’ll really want to make their customers aware of it. They might want a multichannel influencer approach where they use influencers across the spectrum in order to engage different customer segments.
Think about what your business wants from your investment in your influencer campaign: whether it’s engagement, awareness, or something else. This will help inform the type of influencer you choose, and will ultimately yield the best results for you.