5 Reasons Why Macro and Mega Influencers May Not Be Good for Your Brand
Influencer Marketing5 MIN READ
While a celebrity partnership may make good headlines, it might not be so effective for your brand.
Your brand needs to be visible and relevant to its target audience, particularly when partnering with creators you feel are a good match for your brand. A large influencer with millions of followers looks appealing (especially when visibility is what you want). But there are other factors to consider. And if you invest thousands of dollars in a creator with more than 500,000 followers, you could be setting your brand up for failure.
Source: Mediakix and Social Pilot
Followers don't equal impact, success, or influence anymore on social media.
Vanity metrics include numbers that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, and many celebrity and mega influencers thrive on vanity metrics. For example, followers can be bought, as can likes and comments that lack substance.
That's not to say that all big influencers are guilty of manufacturing their popularity online. But many of them do. And even for those who don't, authentic, deep engagement from their fans is low.
When you partner with influencers with more than 500,000 followers, you should know that it becomes significantly more difficult to find creators with a strong connection to their audience. And that connection is critical for getting the most from your community influencer campaigns.
And that's why an increasing number of brands are preferring to work with nano and micro influencers. The smaller influencers generally are more affordable and deliver tangible results that outperform their macro/mega influencer peers. In fact, many brands are only seeking partnerships with creators who have less than 10,000 engaged followers.
5 Reasons Brands are Losing Excitement Over Bigger Influencers
1. Big influencers charge a lot more money but are less likely to generate sales.
70.7% of influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers charge up to $100 each Instagram post, and 76.9% of influencers with more than one million followers charge $1,000 or more. - eMarketer
Source: Get Hyped
However, the bigger influencers are less likely to deliver sales than smaller ones.
Source: Crunchy Links
Disclaimer: Brands, Pay Your Influencers!!
This concept of large influencers being more expensive than smaller influencers can create a disconnect for brands and marketers. If you work with a community influencer, paying them is just common sense.
Many nano influencers are happy to work for free products and services because they create content for fun on the side and depend on their day jobs for financial support. But being a creator is hard work, and if they agree to partner with your brand, it's critical that you invest in them financially.
You can negotiate for low rates and product seeding initially, but once they prove themselves, it's time to increase compensation. There are many ways to do this, from monthly retainer fees to sales commissions. But whatever you do, don't assume that creators are happy to work for free. That's a sure-fire way to damage a great relationship.
The main point of saying that macro and mega influencers are expensive is to expose the fact that you're less likely to get a large ROI from celebrities with lots of fans but no real connection with that audience.
2. Mega and Celebrity influencers aren't community leaders.
Image Source: Business2Community.com
They're celebrities. Big influencers can't be the community leaders that small influencers can because they don't have the same level of trust with their audience. Once a creator reaches a certain follower threshold, they often worth with teams of creators, managers, and assistants to maintain their personal brand.
Sometimes this happens because the bigger influencers become obsessed with brand deals and monetizing their brand. Other times, it's simply a matter of practicality - they have too many fans to nurture the kind of connectedness that makes influencer campaigns successful.
3. Large influencers have significantly lower engagement rates.
Influencers that nurture smaller audiences enjoy 60% more meaningful engagement and 20% more conversions for the brands they partner with. - Forbes
The reason is simple: as an influencer’s audience grows, they have less time to engage with everyone. They also have more people that they need to please. This means that they must spend more time on their content and less on personal engagement - which directly affects campaign results.
4. Macro, Mega, and Celebrity influencer endorsements come across as less authentic.
When an influencer serves massive audiences, any brand collaborations essentially become celebrity endorsements. And while these campaigns have their place, it's important to understand that a celebrity endorsement is little more than a paid ad to the average consumer.
5. Consumers nearly always prefer to follow smaller community influencers.
"With their humble background and relatable stories, micro-influencers are perceived as 'people like us.' The familiarity factor makes them less of a celebrity and more of a friend. Also, they engage on a deeper level with their tight-knit followers in the comment section and offer credible advice compared to a big celebrity’s profile, probably managed by a social media manager." - Social Pilot
For all the reasons outlined above, consumers feel a connection to their micro influencers. They can follow creators that serve their niche interests and develop virtual relationships with that creator and their other followers.
Relatability and trust play a critical role when launching high-performing influencer campaigns. Macro and mega influencers have a very difficult time replicating that trust and relatability demonstrated by micro influencers.
Is It Ever a Good Idea to Partner with Celebrities, Mega and Macro Influencers?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “celebrities don’t buy products, people do.” This is true for many marketers who believe that if they can get a celebrity to use their product, then consumers will follow suit. The problem is that this strategy doesn’t always work (as we've just discussed).
Nevertheless, partnering with a social media celebrity isn't always a bad idea. If you're considering a macro or mega influencer, here are times when it makes sense for your brand.
When You Have a Large Budget
Partnering with influencers can be expensive, so you need to make sure that it’s worth the investment. If your budget is high enough, partnering with a macro or mega influencer could be a good idea because they have such large followings that their content will reach many people who are likely to buy your product.
Remember that most celebrities are going to appeal more to mainstream (rather than niche) audiences. If this fits your marketing strategy and you have the budget, then go for it.
When You Already Have a Team of Successful Micro Influencers and Want to Mix It Up
When you already have a team of successful micro influencers, it can be a good idea to partner with one or two macro or mega influencers. This allows you to reach more people with your content and gives your existing influencers something new and exciting to talk about. You can also use this strategy as an opportunity to diversify your marketing efforts by including other types of influencer partnerships.
It's also possible that you’ve already exhausted all of your current micro influencer marketing efforts and want to reach a new audience. In this case, it might be worth partnering with one or two macro or mega influencers. These influencers have more followers than most micro influencers do, which means that their content has more opportunities to go viral.
When Your Chief Goal is Brand Awareness and Reach
If you want your influencers to generate sales, the larger influencers are likely to disappoint. But if all you need is reach and brand awareness, then macro and mega influencers can help you.
These influencers have the ability to reach a wide audience and get your brand in front of more people. They have the power to make your product or service gain more exposure and empower your smaller influencers to generate more in sales.
Influencer marketing has benefits, but it also comes with some disadvantages when 'bigger' influencers are used as part of a branding campaign.
Smaller influencers have a more authentic connection with their followers and can be used to help your brand connect better with them. That connection is what drives community, sales, and long-term organic growth for your brand.