As influencer marketing continues to be implemented by companies all over the world, an important distinction needs to be made between three different kinds of influencers on social media. According to a recent report by Insightpool and Jay Bear, there are three categories that influencers can fall into. These categories are mega-, macro-, and micro-influencers. There are pretty big distinctions between all three categories and different strategies may not work as well with some as they would with others, so it’s important for marketers to know the differences and similarities between each group.
Mega-Influencers: The A-Listers
Mega-influencers are, simply put, the celebrities of social media. These influencers have more than a million followers. The huge amount of followers means these influencers have a huge amount of reach and engagement. Examples of mega-influencers include famous athletes, actors, musicians, television personalities and any other kind of massive celebrity.
Brands work with mega-influencers for one main reason – their massive list of followers. The more eyes on a post promoting a brand’s product, the better.
With a Twitter audience of 18 million and an Instagram audience of 2 million, Ashton Kutcher is an example of a mega-influencer.
However, there are a couple of downsides to mega-influencers. First of all, because they are so highly coveted, they are not going to be cheap. Throw earned influencer marketing out the window when it comes to mega-influencers because they will only accept top dollar for their endorsement.
Another problem is that even though they can have millions of followers, mega-influencers are actually not all the influential. These are just a few things marketers need to keep in mind with mega-influencers.
Macro-Influencers: Working with the Professionals
The next step down from mega-influencers are macro-influencers. These users have anywhere from 10,000 to a million followers. Macro-influencers tend to be focused on a specific topic, meaning they are highly relevant to distinct categories. Examples of macro-influencers include prominent business professionals, professional bloggers, food critics, and other influencers that are famous to a distinct group of people.
Macro-influencers are perfect for marketers looking to advertise to a specific group of people. Because they have large followings in very specific interests, they are an incredible resource for marketers looking to broadcast to a niche group of people.
For example, say a knife company wants to use an influencer to endorse a new cooking knife to the influencer’s followers. The best bet for this company is to seek out a macro-influencer chef to endorse the knife. Although the chef may not have the huge number of followers as a mega-influencer does, marketers can be assured that their product is seen by a segment of people who would definitely be interested in cooking materials.
Of course butter, plus the secret how to know the “perfect size” ? https://t.co/SuDwLuI0EN
— Ludo Lefebvre (@chefludo) April 6, 2017
Ludo Lefebvre is a chef who consistently tweets cooking tips and recipes. While he doesn’t have the same number of followers as massive celebrities, his followers are way more likely to care about cooking knives since they already follow a cooking account.
Just like mega-influencers, macro-influencers are not as influential to their followers as micro influencers. However, their large number of followers and influence to specific groups makes them lucrative for marketers.
Micro-Influencers: The True Influencers
The final group of influencers are called micro-influencers. These influencers have between 500-10,000 followers. Many micro-influencers have some type of relationship with their followers, meaning their followers will care a lot more about what they post and have to say. This means that while they don’t have the massive reach as mega- or macro-influencers, they are much more likely sway the opinions of their followers.
Micro-influencers are great for marketers because they are the most likely to convince followers to try out a product or create awareness for a brand amongst their followers. However, because they have fewer followers, working with micro-influencers can show the best results when used as a long-tail strategy.
Know What’s Best For Your Brand
Each type of influencer comes with pros and cons. The benefits to mega-influencers are their unbelievably large amounts of followers. The downside is that they don’t actually have that much influence over their followers. On the opposite end of the spectrum, micro-influencers do not have anywhere near the reach, but they have an incredible amount of influence over their followers. Finally, stuck right in the middle are macro-influencers, with medium reach and medium influence.
What category of influencer companies decide to go after boils down to their needs and desires with the campaign. Knowing the differences between these three groups is a good first step in creating the perfect influencer marketing campaign.