Influencer Marketing in PR: Micro vs. Macro | MODERNSPEAK

Kristyn Snell (She/Her)

October 30, 2023

As the media landscape shifts, consumers have so many ways of consuming content and digital public relations firms are emerging to support brands to get their messages out and shape public opinion. It is not uncommon for people to get their news and information solely from social media platforms versus watching the news or picking up a magazine. The scope of storytellers is broad and consumers are engaging with media in more ways than ever.

 

You can’t talk about modern public relations without including influencer marketing. Brands recognize the power influencers hold in impacting public opinion and shaping consumer behaviour. But the question remains, when should you engage Micro Vs. Macro Influencers? Each path has unique benefits, and the choice often depends on the target audience and specific goals of the campaign.

 

Understanding Micro and Macro Influencers

 

The breakdown of influencer types is more than just numbers. Still, the definition suggests a micro-influencer’s audience size ranges between 10,000 to 100,000 followers, while a macro-influencer is in excess of 100,000 followers. Beyond the vanity metric, micro-influencers are often niche-specific and have cultivated a genuine and trusted relationship with their audience. While a macro-influencer appeals to a more diverse set of followers that are more aspirational in their motivations. For example, in comparison to other digital marketing, an influencer is an outlet with a dedicated audience and brands must decide whether to take out an ad with Vegan Beauty Review (Micro and niche) or Marie Claire Magazine (Macro and broad).  

 

Advantages of Micro-Influencers for PR Campaigns

 

High Engagement: With an audience built on trust, authenticity and genuine connection, micro-influencers have the advantage of speaking directly to their community and being heard. This means when they promote a product or service, their following is more likely to engage with the content and take action. The engagement rates of micro-influencers can often be higher as they can build stronger relationships with their followers.

 

Niche-Specific: Micro-influencers often have a devoted following based on a shared interest in a specific activity or lifestyle. Whether it’s a mutual love of rock climbing, veganism, or antique cars, folks find pockets of the internet to build communities and become experts and authorities in their niche. If your service or product offering has a niche buyer, this is a great place to start and a great way to target a specific subset of a larger audience.

 

Conversion: When you bring together community, interest and a loyal following, you are more likely to successfully convert your ad into a sale. If your goal is transactional, an aligned micro-influencer puts your brand in front of your target market and offers that third-party endorsement in a way that traditional advertising cannot.

 

Cost Effective: For brands with smaller advertising budgets or more nuanced marketing goals, this group of influencers will give you more reach for your ad spend, increasing your ROI. Partnerships with these influencers can also lead to long-term relationships, additional content and coverage if they have an affinity to your brand and can often lead to longer-term ambassador relationships.

 

Advantages of Macro-Influencers for PR Campaigns

 

Broad Reach: A larger following helps brands increase awareness and visibility to a broader audience. Brands with a goal of broader awareness and a less specific consumer archetype can reach hundreds of thousands of followers with a wide-net strategy.

 

Credibility: This influencer category often includes well-known personalities, subject-matter experts and celebrities. When they attach their likeness to a brand or product, it can help increase brand credibility.

 

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Micro and Macro Influencers for a PR Campaign:

 

When choosing influencers, think about your customers and build personas for the people you are targeting. Think about their demographic, geographic location, personality traits, interests, and brand differentiators that would set your product or service apart from the competitors. Look for influencers that align with your customer personas and back it up with data by searching the influencer's analytics to confirm your audience is a match.

 

Other considerations are your campaign budget and goals; awareness campaigns typically seek macro influencers and require more funds, while conversion campaigns integrate well with micro-influencers and are more cost-effective. In any case, it’s important to choose creators who fit your brand values. Their voice, content and other partnerships will be a reflection of your brand. Be sure their tone and other content are the right fit before partnering.

 

Real-World Examples of Brands That Have Effectively Used Micro and Macro Influencers

 

Nike leverages macro influencers, such as famous athletes, to inspire and connect with a broad audience. Their collaborations often result in viral campaigns, showcasing the power of renowned personalities in the PR and Influencer space.

 

Glossier, an American beauty brand, has strategically collaborated with micro-influencers to drive user-generated content. Their strategy has enabled them to build a loyal community, highlighting the power of micro-influencers in fostering genuine brand relationships.

 

Many brands simultaneously run both types of campaigns, too. Airbnb uses micro-influencers and travel bloggers who can provide authentic coverage to their communities while also working with celebrities like Billie Eilish on their “Night At” series, where they offer unique stays in iconic locations.

 

Influencers are the modern-day storytellers, bridging the gap between brands and consumers. By understanding the benefits of both, brands are empowered to reach their marketing and PR goals based on budget, target audience and campaign goals. The future of PR is here, and it's influencer-driven.

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