Have you ever been scrolling Instagram and then stopped to see one of your favourite celebrities–or even someone with just a few thousand followers–pose with a product, shout out the brand, and offer you a discount code to use at checkout?
This is influencer marketing.
Brands worldwide collaborate with people who have built social followings of as little as 1,000 followers and as big as millions.
But before you DM Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, or even the new fitness model with 1,500 followers, you need to know which type of influencer will give you the most bang for your buck–a micro-influencer, macro-influencer, or celebrity.
This blog post will cover the following:
- How influencer marketing can grow your business
- What a macro influencer is
- What a micro-influencer is
- What a celebrity is
- Which type of influencer you should work with
How influencer marketing can grow your business
1. Promote your product to audiences that are bigger than yours
In 2023, one out of four marketers use influencer marketing, and it’s easy to see why.
The most obvious reason to invest in influencer marketing is that you don’t have to wait to grow your social media audience to thousands. Instead, you can instantly promote your brand to other people’s audiences.
People worldwide use social media to follow influencers. Many strongly care about the updates and recommendations from the people they follow, so much so that they receive notifications any time they post, thanks to push notification services.
But 75% of consumers also use social media to research products.
And while Gen Z and Millennials use social media the most – 72% of them follow influencers – every demographic is active on certain platforms. Even 45% of adults 65 and above are using social media.
2. Grow your social media following
While leveraging influencers’ audiences to gain traction in your business, you’ll simultaneously be growing your social accounts.
Influencer marketing is more than promoting products–it’s about collaborating, networking, and increasing brand awareness.
But which platforms should you focus on?
While it varies by industry, some platforms are used more than others. Here are some statistics from 2022:
- 72% of marketers do influencer marketing on Instagram (a 4.1% increase is expected in 2023)
- 45% of marketers do influencer marketing on TikTok (a 4% increase is expected in 2023)
- 52% of marketers do influencer marketing on Facebook (a 6% increase is expected in 2023)
3. Increase brand awareness
People follow influencers because they look up to them, trust them, and enjoy their content. They’re in it for advice, entertainment value, inspirational posts, and product recommendations.
Influencers’ followers choose to shop with the brands they promote because they want to support their favourite content creators. So partnering with an influencer won’t just result in a temporary spike in sales but also a stronger reputation.
The next time one of their followers needs new activewear, better skincare products, or more durable running shoes, your brand will be the first in their mind.
4. Increase sales and revenue
Of course, the increased brand awareness and smart influencer collaborations eventually pay off in dollar signs.
These social media figures are called “influencers” for a reason; their posts can sway public opinion about brands, products, services, and other public figures. A simple QR code or affiliate link that promotes your product as the best option could lead to not only an increase in sales but also a positive change in brand perception.
Research from HubSpot found that in the past three months, 33% of Gen Z-ers have purchased something because of a recommendation from an influencer.
But more importantly, the teturn on investment (ROI) for influencer marketing is extremely high. Marketers investing in influencer campaigns make $6.50 for every $1 invested.
5. Save on advertising costs
According to AMA’s 2022 State of Influencer Marketing report, running influencer campaigns cost 30% less than other marketing and advertising methods.
So not only do you get more for your money with an impressive ROI, but you also save money. Not to mention, influencer marketing often yields results faster than other traditional marketing methods because you’re appealing to an audience that’s (potentially) already massive.
What is a micro-influencer
A micro-influencer has between 10,000 and 50,000 followers on a social media platform.
These influencers are much smaller than celebrities and macro-influencers (which we’ll discuss later), but they’re also more affordable.
InfluencerMarketingHub reports that most micro-influencers charge between $100-$500 per post. As a result, it’s no surprise that 44% of marketers say that the lower price is the biggest benefit of working with micro-influencers.
The only downside: they typically have a significantly smaller audience.
However, micro-influencers usually have a tremendously higher engagement rate – up to 60% higher than macro-influencers.
Engagement trumps quantity though – over 55% of marketers who run influencer marketing campaigns choose to invest in micro-influencers rather than celebrities or macro-influencers.
Let’s look at two examples of micro-influencers on Instagram.
First, we have @iyeloveslife, a vegan content creator who shares vegan recipes, skincare tips, animal rights activism, and more. She has a little over 48,000 followers, putting her at the higher end of the micro-influencer spectrum.
In her bio, she includes an email address that she uses specifically for brand partnerships.
Next, @_theaspiringboss is a micro-influencer and lawyer who posts about all things law school and the legal world. She has over 15,000 followers, placing her on the lower end of the micro-influencer spectrum.
When people think of influencers, they often think of makeup, skincare, and fitness models. But as you can see from the last example, social media is beneficial for any industry.
Just be sure that you’re familiar with any regulations regarding social media in your industry. For example, there are various social media rules for lawyers or for industries like medicine that require a lot of cross-checking statistics and facts before posting anything online.
What is a macro-influencer
A macro-influencer has over 50,000 followers on a social media platform.
For example, this is a fitness influencer and former competitive female bodybuilder on Instagram with 142,000 followers, which puts her in the macro-influencer category:
In her bio, she promotes two brands she works with, a supplement company called 1st Phorm and Darcsport, an activewear brand that’s well-known in the fitness community.
She also regularly posts pictures holding her favourite supplements from 1st Phorm or clothes from Darcsport, like in this post:
Another example of a macro-influencer is travel influencer @thewayfaress on Instagram, with 102,000 followers.
Even macro-influencers on the lower end of the follower spectrum have their fair share of brand collaborations, ambassadorships, and influencer campaign requests. But they’re far from the same.
“Over 10,000 followers” is a big range, especially since the next level up is “celebrity.”
As such, macro-influencers can charge vastly different prices for promotional posts and campaigns, largely depending on their number of followers.
Just for reference, InfluencerMarketingHub reports that the standard rates macro-influencers charge is anywhere from:
- $100-500 per post (in the 10,000-50,000 follower range)
- $500-5,000 per post (in the 50,000-500,000 follower range)
- $5,000-10,000 per post (500,000 - 1,000,000 followers)
Working with a macro-influencer (of any size) can lead to increased sales and skyrocketed brand awareness. But one of the definite cons is the price.
Small businesses or startups likely can’t afford macro-influencers with more than 10,000-50,000 followers and the highest engagement rates.
What is a celebrity
A celebrity is sometimes called a “mega-influencer” in influencer marketing. They have over one million followers on social media and are usually verified because they appear in other parts of the entertainment industry, such as movies, reality TV programs, music, etc.
Examples of celebrities are big names like Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and others.
As you’d imagine, getting a celebrity to promote and endorse your product is much more challenging than micro or macro-influencers. Not to mention expensive.
But large followings aren’t always better.
The most recent data shows us that 50% of millennials trust influencers’ product endorsements and recommendations, but when it comes to celebrities, that trust drops to 38%.
This is because although celebrities have a huge number of followers, they have the lowest engagement rates. When it comes to social media, the larger the following, the lower the engagement. Think about it: how often do you get a response from your favourite celebrity?
So while having a celebrity advertise your business could be excellent for skyrocketing brand awareness, it’s probably not worth the money if your only goal is to increase sales.
Speaking of money, one promotional Instagram post from a celebrity (or mega-influencer) is $1,200 on average.
It’s not much different on TikTok, either. One TikTok post from a celebrity costs about $1,034 on average.
Which type of influencer should you work with
In summary, influencer marketing can help you increase revenue and sales, build brand awareness, grow a social media following, save money on advertising campaigns, and promote your product to thousands of people who have never heard of you.
However, not every influencer of every size will be effective for every business.
If you have a lower budget, are a startup, want an influencer with a tight-knit community of followers, or are just getting into influencer marketing, a micro-influencer would be the best option.
If your budget is higher and you want to reach hundreds of thousands of people, macro-influencers can help you.
And finally, celebrities will bring you massive exposure, but collaborations are usually one-time partnerships because of the high price. However, a celebrity endorsement is an almost instant way to get your name in people’s mouths and give you a step above your competitors.