Written by Hannah Sears

Influencers are individuals who have a loyal and engaged following on social media and who partner with brands and businesses to market products to their audience. Influencers focus on different topics and demographics and can have a range of followers from less than a thousand to over one million. 

You may have heard the terms nano, micro, and macro tossed around in discussions about influencers, but which one is which? And which category is best for your business? We’ll break down nano vs. micro vs. macro influencers, what’s special about each type of influencer, and why it matters. 

Who are nano influencers?

Everyone has a slightly different follower ranges and definitions for these three categories of influencers, but typically a nano influencer is someone with between 1,000 and 5,000 followers. 

Nano influencers have a smaller audience, but their followers are often close-knit and very loyal. One of the biggest benefits to working with a nano influencer is that they have a higher level of authenticity and share less sponsored content. This means their audience probably hasn’t been saturated with too many ads. 

The reason people trust influencers (no matter their size) is that they see them as genuine people and trust in their opinions and recommendations. Word-of-mouth marketing is increasing in popularity and effectiveness since 83% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. Nano influencers with a strong follower base can provide those trusted recommendations to their followers. 

Nano influencers’ followers are typically more highly engaged since it’s a smaller group. Influencers may respond personally to more comments and questions than influencers with a bigger following. They can also be a perfect solution for brands with smaller budgets that want to work with influencers but can’t afford to work with celebrities or macro influencers. 

How can you work with nano influencers?

For brands that want to work with nano influencers there are several ways to collaborate with them. 

  • In-house gifting or gifting through a platform like Octoly can help generate promotion and reviews for specific products in a partnership with a nano influencer. 
  • Brands can invite nano influencers to partner with them as brand ambassadors. 
  • Using affiliate links and unique promo codes is an effective tool to not only drive sales but to also track how well the influencer campaigns are performing. 
  • Giveaways for the nano influencer’s followers help drive brand awareness and introduce brands and products to new customers.

Nano influencers are a great resource for smaller companies or brands who don’t have a large marketing budget. While nano influencers don’t have a huge following, their followers are highly engaged and very loyal. 

Who are micro influencers?

Micro influencers usually have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers, depending on who you ask. These influencers are the next step above nano influencers, with a larger base of followers, but aren’t big enough to be considered macro influencers.  

Micro influencers are more cost-effective than macro influencers and their followers tend to be more highly engaged and have higher conversion rates.  82% of customers said they would be more likely to purchase a product recommended by a micro influencer rather than a larger influencer.

With micro influencers, brands can target different niches depending on their desired audiences, from food and fitness to fashion and travel. Influencers at this level are often seen as being a experts and opinion-leaders in their industry or niche. 

While micro influencers have a larger audience, their followers are still loyal, and the influencer is authentic with their audience. Since these influencers have more followers, their customers are likely to be savvier and traditional marketing often isn’t as effective.  

How can you work with micro influencers?

If your brand is looking to collaborate with micro influencers on a campaign, there are a few key ways to work with these creators.

  • Brands can partner with micro influencers through an influencer marketing platform like Octoly, which can help facilitate gifting without brands having to cold email or direct message potential partners.
  • Develop relationships with micro influencers to create ambassadors that will share and recommend products. 
  • Work with micro influencers to create masterclasses focused on their area of expertise.

Micro influencers are highly trusted and respected by their followers. For brands with unique or niche products and services, partnering with micro influencers is a good way to start building an influencer marketing program.

Who are macro influencers?

The last level of the influencer tier is macro influencers. Macro influencers tend to have over 100,000 followers, depending on your definition. They have the largest follower base and have a lot of reach, which can benefit brands who really want to push for more conversions. Typically, macro influencers have gained their followers on their own (i.e. they’re not celebrities) by producing useful or entertaining content that has won them a large following. 

Macro influencers are useful for targeting a broad demographic (i.e. young women) since they have a large following that tends to be more homogeneous. Since macro influencers have built up their audience over time, they usually have a very clear and well-established brand. They also put out content that is more consistent and higher quality than less established influencers. 

While macro influencers have the biggest audience of the three levels, they’re not considered “celebrities” in the traditional sense. What does this mean for marketers? It means macro influencers have a highly engaged follower base that is usually not as impacted by algorithms and limits that famous accounts face. Partnering with macro influencers means getting more reach and engagement for your brand and your products.

How can you work with macro influencers?

Macro influencers can be used in the same ways that you partner with micro and nano influencers–although you need to be prepared for higher fees when working with this level of influencer. 

  • Macro influencers can become highly effective brand ambassadors if you build relationships with them and if your product is a good fit for the brand they’ve developed.
  • Running contests and giveaways with a larger audience means more reach and brand awareness since they have a bigger audience that will share and engage with posts.
  • Using an influencer marketing platform like Octoly can help streamline outreach and automate gifting for macro influencer campaigns, too. 

Macro influencers have massive potential reach and an audience that is still highly engaged with their content. Usually their audience has been following them for years, so they’re more likely to make purchases based on the influencers’ recommendations. For bigger budgets and large campaigns, macro influencers are a powerful tool for marketers. 

When it comes to the different tiers of influencer marketing, it’s important to know the distinction between nano, micro, and macro. All of the levels have their own unique benefits and the type you want to work with may vary from product to product or campaign to campaign. 

Nano influencers are highly trusted by their small, loyal audience. Macro influencers have a ton of reach and can really help spread the word about a brand or product. Micro influencers are right in the middle, with a sizable audience that still feels tight-knit. 

Whichever type of influencer is a fit for your brand and budget, Octoly can help! Sign up for a demo today to see how you can find, vet, and partner with nano, micro, and macro influencers.

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