The Micro vs Macro Influencer Great Debate
If you know about influencers, blogging and this whole digital age you’ll understand the current debate going on between micro and macro influencers. And which adds the most value.
Take the likes of Inthefrow, Zoella, Em Sheldon and Tanya Burr just to name a few. With a collective mass of over a billion followers. These ladies are trailblazing a path in the way brands work with bloggers and influencers. This relatively new and extremely lucrative industry is creating a digital snowstorm and everybody wants in on the action.
For part of our newly launched ELLEfluence platform. We were looking into a definitive definition of what our bloggers and influencers classed as a micro-influencer for a campaign that’s upcoming. To see if they classed themselves as a micro-influencer as there’s not one single definition.
Facebook Group Focus
We asked our lovely ladies in our Facebook Group what they defined a micro-influencer as. And amazingly they championed this newly coined term.
Parent-blogger and UK Blog Award Finalist Nyomi from Nomipalony was the first to stand wup proudly and claim her position as micro-influencer. The mum of two adorable little ones. ho regularly feature on her blog and social media channels stated that she would class herself as a micro-influencer. She told us “I have less than 10,000 followers across social media. I have over 1,000 on Instagram but not by much. Currently at 1,483. My current engagement rate on Instagram is about 6%”.
Similarly, Francesca from Super Mummy Secrets stated that she was unsure whether she was classed as a micro-influencer or whether she was even smaller than a micro. Maybe a nano?
Telling our ELLEfluencers
“I probably am, to be honest. It’s strange because probably on certain social media I am if that makes sense. I have close to 6,000 followers on my Facebook page. One thing I never seem to have a problem with is reach on Facebook especially engagement. Whilst I only have around 6,000 followers anything. I post seems to have a brilliant reach with most weeks getting a reach of 10,000 – 20,000. Fighting Facebook to get my posts seen is not something I seem to have to do. But yet I see lots of bigger bloggers struggling with it at times.”
With these two super glam Mamas proudly classing themselves as micro-influencers. The waves of eager participants added their extremely insightful value to the conversation. You see in a study with a detox tea company who sponsored each of the Kardashian sisters. To promote their detox, weight loss tea each to their 10 million plus followers. Found that while they did generate an influx of sales it was the smaller influencers. Such as those with a following under 10,000. With over a 10% engagement rate had more of an impact than the Kardashians.
94 Mil baby
Picture this, Kim Kardashian alone has 94 million followers. NINETY-FOUR MILLION. I can’t even?! Yet how many of those accounts are interested in the flat tummy tea she is promoting? Even at 1% interest and 1% sales for the amount. She charges this is not a valuable return on the brand’s investment.
Take Geordie Shore reality stars for example. Knowing first hand that one of the male stars was paid £30,000 to promote supplements is mind-blowing. These colossal followings are great but the question is do they equate to value to the brand? Whereas a pocket of 30-50 micro-influencers with less than 10,000 followers and dedicated fitness accounts. With high engagement levels may result in greater marketing and targeting. With a greater conversion meaning it works out as a better return on the brand’s investment. Influencers really are becoming the smaller more targeted versions of celebrity endorsements.
One of the most important factors in this exchange with ELLEfluencers was the sense of belonging, community and getting to know their readership base on a more personal level. This is something that micro-influencers feel they receive from having a smaller more manageable following as opposed to macro-influencers. Who are unable to have the same bond with hundreds of thousands of followers.
Francesca told us “I feel like I know some of my followers and they know me. They message me like we aren’t just strangers on the internet who have never met”. This is similar to Diane from Studio Nailz and Beauty’s experiences. She also says that she always respond across her social media channels to all the comments she receives to build a trust and bond.
Samantha from North East Family Fun agreed with both Francesca and Diane by commenting that nothing is nicer than when a reader tweets or messages. Thanking you for recommending a restaurant or local day out. She doesn’t think readers would necessarily get this all-important trust and connection with a mega-influencer.
Gemma from Gemma’s Little World made a great point saying that micro-influencer are often more authentic. And she personally likes to follow smaller bloggers and influencers because of the genuine aspect of their content.
We quote from our Facebook Group her post “When I look for inspiration from other bloggers and set goals. I’m really uninterested in the majority of bloggers that have hundreds and thousands of followers. It’s just not realistic for me and who I want to be. I want to be authentic and only blog about things that really FIT me. And my personality and I find HUGE bloggers put anything and everything as long as it creates ££££££. I understand everyone’s interests can change and so can the trends. But when you start advertising things that are not authentic. Then, of course, you end up with followers who are also not very authentic or really interested in you as a person.”
Keeping up with the Charltons
Interestingly, without discussing the Kardashian scenario I recently read Mandy from her self-titled blog Mandy Charlton Photography Blog explained that she too thought she was a micro-influencer. However she also knew she was a valuable asset to brands telling us “I am without a doubt a micro influencer. I don’t have tons of followers on anything, possibly around 8k or 9k. But I’ve sold stuff, big stuff, a friend of mine has been on 3 cruises since I wrote about one for Cruise International. I know from my affiliate marketing that I’ve sold expensive mattresses, holidays, shoes, all kinds of things without having a Kardashianesque following.”
It was while thinking about this ‘Kardashian marketing’. Leading us back to SEO, whilst social media is great to some extent for promotional purposes. It is the content that is created within blog posts which really give these brands authenticity with high-quality link building.
Search Engine Ranking
Helen from Honestly Helen told us that there are a few articles she has written that have done well. “If you google Along Came Betty, my post about them is first hit on Google. Higher than even Tesco’s website. So sometimes the influence of small bloggers shouldn’t be overlooked if they hit on something no one else has done. I also think a micro influencer has less to lose. So are more likely to speak passionately and enthusiastically about something without worrying too much about the audience or being on brand.”
Further reading led us to an article in Revolution Digital stating that a micro-influencer had between 10,000 and 90,000 followers, from our collective conversation real-life bloggers and influencers disagreed with this number, although this again was slightly confused with Ciara from Ciara with a C putting her figures at 20,000-40,000 followers, other bloggers placing their guess at around the 10,000 followers and below mark. We certainly all agreed that 90,000 is not what we’d class as micro!
What’re your thoughts on micro vs macro influencers? What would you class yourself as? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.