• M. Lloyd, Social Light

Are Micro-Influencers Worth It?

You’d think so, right?


A smaller audience may mean a more loyal audience and higher engagement rate. Which may mean more clicks, purchases, streams, etc for you.


This theory is incorrect.


First, let’s break down what determines influence:

  • Reach: Ability to deliver content to a target audience

  • Relevance: Strength of connection to a brand or topic

  • Resonance: Ability to drive a desired behavior from an audience


An influencer needs to have a network of people to reach, an authentic connection to a brand or topic, and most importantly — the ability to drive a desired behavior from that network.


Second, let’s understand the influencer tiers:

  • Micro-influencers: 1k to 10k

  • Macro-influencers: 10k to 1m

  • Celebrity influencer: celebrities with 1m+


Now, it’s time to debunk that myth that micro-influencers are more engaging. Sure, micro-influencers may have a higher engagement rate than macro- or celebrity influencers, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a more efficient cost per engagement if you’re an advertiser. According to data from Influence Weekly, it’s more cost effective to work with larger influencers on a cost per engagement basis.


But why? As influencers grow, their engagement will naturally decline (we’ve especially seen this in 2020, starting back in 2019) but their costs don’t scale at the same rate.


In this chart, efficient money is spent on top creators. There’s more to this, of course, simply because not all advertisers goals are the same. It’s important to understand what types of influencers are best for desired results:

  • Micro-influencers: best for engagements, conversions

  • Macro-influencers: best for awareness, engagements

  • Celebrity influencer: best for impressions, awareness




Here are some examples of each type of influencer:

  1. Micro-influencer

  2. Macro-influencers

  3. Celebrity influencer


Keep in mind that a macro-influencer or celebrity doesn’t automatically mean that person is a relevant influencer for your brand, just as your most powerful influencer could be someone who doesn’t even know they have influence.


Every campaign is different and every key performance indicator (KPI) is unique. With influencer marketing, one size doesn’t fit all. While micro-influencers may not produce effective results, take the time to do the math and find out what type of campaign execution is most beneficial for you. However, if you’re deciding between micro-influencers or paid advertising...stick to the latter.


When in doubt, Social Light is here to help!