Know the Difference Between Micro and Macro Influencer Marketing

Understanding How to Make Influencer Marketing Work for Your BusinessAs our audiences turn more toward trusted brands it’s more important than ever to be established as an influencer who can not only meet their needs, but provide high-quality value.

Who exactly fits into this category? Basically, anyone who can create a loyal following and customer base that is highly engaged in conversations on a micro level before moving into macro status.

Since the ‘net’ has become more and more oriented toward personal connections, a natural outgrowth has evolved resulting in micro influencers and macro influencers. It’s far easier to connect with the first group where more interactions can take place with a lower cost of reaching them.

According to Sprout Social, Instagram is at the top of the list when it comes to finding and connecting with influencers. But they point out that other social networks like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest are also big factors.

In order to create an effective brand persona your business needs to understand the difference between the smaller scale influencers and those who have a large, and established following of over 10,000.

The micro influencer has the ability to be connected with people one-on-one while macro influencers tend to receive more views and shares of their content. Both types are essential if you are looking to reach more people on their level while creating more visibility online through recommendations by large brands.

When you are at the beginning stages of your branding and marketing it’s more affordable to make connections with leaders in your industry who have a smaller following. Down the road, the investment in reaching larger companies may be more significant, but the results for online reach is more immediate.

As your business begins to forge these types of relationships your status will become that of a micro influencer that people will want to turn to. If you are looking to create more speaking engagements, publish a book, or gain more publicity your goal should be to move toward macro influencer status.

Here are a few key differences between each type of influencer in order to better understand how to leverage each one:

  • Micro influencers are regular, everyday individuals or small businesses with a following of anywhere between 500 and 10,000 while Macro influencers can have millions of followers, and have established a name for themselves or have celebrity status.
  • Word of mouth marketing paves the way to the beginning stages of influence in the micro stage. This could include building an audience through videos, storytelling, etc.
  • As your business grows into the well-known category your audience will have more of an expectation of what you represent and the type of content that is produced. Reputation becomes more important at this point and a large brand can be negatively impacted by going beyond these expectations without preparing their audience ahead of time.

One example of how a macro influencer’s reputation can become marred is shown in an article on Adweek, which explains the public backlash after Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, used a VR app to provide an animated tour of the flooded region of Puerto Rico in October 2017:

In order to maintain your integrity, it is important to become mindful of your main message and how to best stay on track and build toward that. As your business moves from micro to macro influencer status it may be tempting to try a new campaign that goes outside of your brand’s persona, but more often than not this could become a huge loss in both trust and authority.

Now that you understand the difference between each time of leadership roles you can begin the process of connecting with micro influencers in order to build a memorable brand in the future:

Check the engagement level

While conducting brand research with niche leaders pay attention to whom they are having conversations with and how often. The more engagement that is going on the better your chances are of connecting with them. Audiences also find these influencers more credible as they are more accessible to answer their questions and feedback online. The number of followers is far less valuable — instead its the quality of the content and communication.

Take a look at your current network

Your first point of entry will be within your current social platforms — how many authentic connections does your business have? Make sure these people or brands are relevant to your target market and are sharing similar content to yours. For example, a travel blogger who is promoting special gear that consumers are showing an interest in may be a good fit if your business is involved in that industry.

Find people or brands with a shared interest

If the products or services your business offers is already being recognized by an influencer then chances are they might be willing to share what you have to offer. This is all about cultivating and establishing relationships first, and the best way to approach them is to offer helpful and valuable comments on their posts and tweets. As you take a look at the followers in their networks you will be able to find even more people who have an active and engaged community that you can connect with.

Casual introduction

Sometimes businesses will connect with you if you approach them in places like LinkedIn in a very candid, personal way. Let them know how their social profiles have been a benefit to your brand, and specifically why your connection would be mutually beneficial. If there is something your brand could do to promote what they are offering, by all means, put this on the table. Creating a mutually beneficial value offer will greatly increase your chances of making a great connection.

In order to grow your business, you need influence and the best way to achieve this is by connecting with like-minded smaller names who are where you would like to be and have the audience you are seeking to connect with. It may be a longer process to become a macro influencer, but the benefits of making personal one-on-one connections becomes invaluable for the future as your brand evolves.