Business Growth

Micro influencers vs. macro-influencers

Maria Topor

Maria Topor

· 9 min read
Micro influencers vs. macro-influencers

Micro-influencers vs. Macro-influencers

The influencer market increases considerably every year. Platforms like Instagram started to focus on small creators, allowing every person to become an influencer.

The following can help you understand the industry, define your priorities, and help you choose the right influencers. This is what we will talk about:

  1. What are micro-influencers and macro-influencers?
  2. Awareness vs. User-Generated Content vs. Sales
  3. Choosing the right platform
  4. The pricing for micro-influencers vs. macro-influencers and gifted collaboration
  5. Main issues working with micro-influencers vs. macro-influencers
  6. Conclusion

1. What are micro-influencers and macro-influencers?

Each company categorizes the influencers in its way, mainly depending on the number of followers.

For us, micro-influencers have somewhere between 2k-50k followers. On the other hand, the macro-influencers category has over 50k followers.

But is the number of followers the only criterion for choosing a micro-influencer over a macro-influencer?

No, it is not. As we will talk about in the following paragraphs, one of the main reasons you should choose a micro-influencer over a macro-influencer is the more specific engagement of the audience.

Another difference between the two categories is the pricing. There is no doubt that a macro-influencer is more expensive.

But that is not necessarily a bad thing. That means you should consider your budget before choosing a particular influencer.

Would you like to get started with influencer marketing? Start a free trial or book a demo with Social Cat to collaborate with micro-influencers.

2. Awareness vs. User-Generated Content vs. Sales

When you choose your influencers, you should think of your goal.

Awareness should be the goal for launching your product or reaching as many people as possible. This goal will get you the influencers with the most reach (most followers, most views per post/story). But, they are only sometimes the most likely to get their followers to buy.

If you are looking to get sales, you should be looking for the most engaged audiences. Please take a look at the comments. Are they engaging? Are they real? Look at the videos the influencer makes. Is it talking to the camera or conversing with his followers? A micro-influencer with just 3k followers can produce 10x more sales than an influencer with 50k followers.

Are you looking for content you can use in your ads and other marketing channels? UGC is one of the best-performing ad creatives across FB/IG and TikTok. We recommend you give it a try. If you choose this goal, the influencer's number of followers and engagement are no longer relevant. All that matters is the quality of the content. Is the influencer talking to the camera? Is it taking great photos and paying attention to details?

It's also important to note that the engagement you can get from a micro-influencer in a specific niche is much higher than that of a macro-influencer in the same niche.

Below we can see the overall engagement for specific categories.

  • 1,000-5,000 followers: 3.93%-4.85% engagement.
  • 5,000-10,000 followers: 2.1%-2.61% engagement.
  • 10,000-50,000 followers: 1.69%-2.11% engagement.
  • 50,000-250,000 followers: 1.43%-1.72% engagement.
  • 250,000-1 million followers: 1.38%-1.67% engagement.
  • More than 1 million followers: 1.48% engagement.
  • (Source

An interesting fact about micro-influencers and the general population, according to Expert Voice, is that micro-influencers have a 22 times higher engagement than regular consumers. See the details here.

3. Choosing the right platform

This depends on your business profile and also on your customer's profile. Depending on those profiles, the customers you are looking for must be in the audience of the influencers you choose.

We already know the most popular platforms: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, Twitter, etc. Choosing the right platform means knowing where your audience spends most of its time.

Even though some creators try to be cross platforms, it doesn't mean their success on one platform applies to the other. You must pay attention to this factor when choosing your creators.

4. The pricing for micro-influencers vs. macro-influencers and gifted collaboration

It is obvious that macro-influencers are more expensive than micro-influencers.

The influencers' pricing varies between $20 to $1M, depending on the influencer's ability to provide value and have people engage with their content.

Most of the influencers on Social Cat are based on gifted collaborations. But recently, we also introduced a paid option. The prices range between $25 and $150, depending on the influencer's quality, content type, or platform.

Usually, a macro-influencer charges in the thousands range. Of course, this depends on many factors, like industry, location, company size, passions, platform, etc.

Choosing what type of content you want will also influence the price. If you want to know how much a macro-influencer charges, we can tell you that a Youtube influencer with 1M subscribers can charge between $5k and $15k to promote a brand for 30 seconds on his vlog.

5. Main issues working with micro-influencers vs. macro-influencers

The most common problem when working with micro-influencers is “ghosting." This happens when the influencer receives your product and they end up not posting any content for any reason.

This problem is common across the industry, and brands must be aware of it when thinking about micro-influencer marketing. It's critical for the brand to think about working with micro-influencers at scale - make sure to work with at least 50-100 before deciding if it works for your brand. Expect around 10-20% of the influencers you ship products to not reply after getting the product.

At Social Cat, we have a bunch of mechanisms in place to stop this from happening. Brands can report influencers, which will be banned from the platform unless they post content. Unfortunately, it can still occur for new influencers on the platform that haven't yet worked with other brands.

It's also important to remember that you only need 20% of the influencers you work with to produce results. They will overcompensate for everyone else.

The biggest problem when working with macro-influencers is pricing vs. results. We have personally worked with influencers with millions of followers across Instagram and YouTube. Unfortunately, it's very much hit-and-miss. About 50% of them produced no sales, and we paid them anywhere from $1k to $10k per post or video.

For small brands, this is a no-go. Budgets are small, and gambling everything on 2-3 influencers will almost always result in bad results and you giving up on influencer marketing. Big companies with huge budgets can afford it because they don't care about direct ROI as much and put it in the brand marketing category.

We've seen incredible results across a few companies working with micro-influencers at scale. Aim to work with hundreds of micro-influencers, and you'll see great results with a much smaller investment when compared to macro-influencers.

Here you can look at a few study cases we made working with several brands on Social Cat.

  1. Conclusion

First of all, you may still be in doubt if you should use influencer marketing or not. Here are three reasons why you try influencer marketing:

  1. According to the Influencer marketing hub, Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel
  2. SocialPubli says 89.2% of marketers who tried influencer marketing found it to be an effective channel
  3. For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, businesses are making $5.20 in earned media value

Regarding what type of influencer, this resumes your business model, budget, collaboration, etc. We will not say you should choose one over another, but we can just assume if you are a starting business, the best choice will be micro-influencers.

Would you like to get started with influencer marketing? Start a free trial with Social Cat and collaborate with micro-influencers to get sales, brand awareness and user-generated content.

Want to learn more before starting a trial? Book a demo.

Maria Topor

About Maria Topor

Maria is a Growth Marketeer specialising in Social Media and Ads at Social Cat. She's running our Instagram but also jumping on calls with brands to make sure they have a great experience.