Micro, Macro, Mega: Next Level Influencing.

Image description: A phone displaying an influencer’s Instagram page rests on a pink backdrop next to a green succulent plant in a white plant pot. Text overlay says “Micro, Macro, Mega: Next Level Influencing.”

Ever watched a YouTube video with a sponsorship message? Feel like you’ve seen an #ad pop up on your Insta feed before? Then you, my dear friend, have been on the receiving end of influencer marketing. But how do brands (and agencies) decide who’s right for their campaign? Natalie, our Influencer Manager, has the low-down… 

Apparently 96% of millennials admit to skipping ads… guilty? I certainly am! 

As technology enables ad blocking online and ad skipping on TV, marketers are increasingly searching for ways to better engage their customers – which is where influencers come in. Some may view them as online friends, a great way to get a new product recommendation, where others may view them as sellouts or fakes. What it all comes down to is the nature of the #ad: if it feels too ‘salesy’ it won’t fool anyone (*swipes left*). 

Let’s start with the big shots. If you have over 1 million followers, then congratulations! You’re a mega influencer. Mega influencers are most likely to be celebrities, the kind who might break out of the URL and into the IRL. Take James Charles, for example, now collaborating with Morphe on palettes and featuring in OOH ad campaigns – or Charli D’Amelio, a TikToker with a Dunkin’ Donuts drink named after her. Alongside her sister Dixie, she is now the face of Hollister’s latest campaign – between them, they currently have over 135 million followers. Not bad for two teenagers.

Due to their committed fan base, mega influencers can be the perfect brand ambassador to work with to reach as many people globally as possible. On the downside, their followers tend to be simply ‘fans,’ meaning the stars rarely read and reply to comments or messages, resulting in a pretty low engagement rate (and in the world of influencer marketing, engagement rate is king). Additionally, unless a brand campaign truly resonates with their beliefs then it may look very obvious that they were simply paid to post. Take Lucy Watson, for example. If she were to work with a vegan food restaurant, it would feel very genuine, however if she worked with a leather shoe brand it would be much less believable (and very unlikely, to boot).  Detective Alfie Deyes, anyone?

At the next level we have macro influencers, who typically ring in anywhere between 50k and 1 million followers. Take Little Lauren, for example, an influencer who creates mouthwatering cakes and cocktails. Her content is extremely high quality, with a consistent visual identity. Influencers have usually worked extremely hard to get where they are through constant content creation – vlogging, blogging, selfies and snaps – if there’s content to be made, they’ll have made it. Instagram will most likely be their primary source of income, and, to a certain extent, their life. They tend to have a better relationship with their followers compared to mega influencers which increases their engagement rate. All pretty great for brands. 

In my experience as an Influencer Manager, micro influencers (those with a following of around 10-50k, give or take) have repeatedly proven to be the sweet spot! Their authenticity is important to them and they generally have a niche market, such as fashion or beauty, as their primary content focus – meaning that brands can choose an influencer that aligns with their products. A company trying to reach families, for example, might partner with a blogger who talks about their children, like Sandra Igwe, or a furniture company with a home and interiors influencer – like Lindy and Co. Micro influencers’ engagement rate is typically the best due to the fact they are trying to constantly build their following; therefore they make close relationships with both their peers and their followers. This means followers trust their opinions more, and as a result will more likely buy into the product or service they’re promoting – or at least leave a positive comment, boosting the post’s chances of reaching more people. Working with multiple micro influencers instead of one mega influencer is likely to be well worth your money – and if you don’t believe us, check out this blog about our award-nominated Sneakerheads campaign for our partner, Klarna.

Nano influencers typically have a smaller following, between 1-10k. These are beneficial to expose small independent businesses, particularly when trying to engage a local community – think a new restaurant, hair salon or a pop-up event. People tend to treat recommendations from nano influencers like advice from a friend, rather than an ad or product promotion, and they’re likely to have a high engagement rate as they try to grow their following. Most posts by nano influencers will be completed in return for a gifted item or experience, therefore they are relatively low spend. Perfect for smaller businesses who are trying to get their products out in front of potential customers, but who may have a much tighter marketing budget. 

Socialblade.com (or our very own, very wonderful SquareStats) is an accurate tool to sniff out any influencers before agreeing to work with them. Look for an engagement rate over 2% and a gradual increase in follower growth, rather than sudden spikes and dips, to make sure your influencer is the real deal.

The average person scrolls through 300 feet of mobile content every day. That’s equivalent to the size of the Statue of Liberty. Humans are social animals, our need to gather and share stories is paramount. In today’s tuned out scrolling culture, old marketing strategies create exasperation, not engagement. Influencer briefs must tap into the core of our human DNA, forcing audiences to stop, take notice, and engage…  but most of all, they need to feel real, human and fun.

You can find me on Instagram – or get in touch on hello@puzzlelondon.com if you’d like to chat about how influencers could work for your campaigns – we’re a friendly bunch with a great network of content creators we think could work for you.

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