Macro Versus Micro: What’s An Influencer Worth?

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By Courtney Moser

Jane Fonda or Jane Doe?

The question of macro versus micro-influencers has never been more relevant. As influencer marketing continues to gain power in business, best practices and tactics are under intense examination: What is most effective? Especially now that it’s shown to deliver an average of a 6.5:1 ROI, influencer marketing is in demand – and marketers are vying for the top strategies.

The value of influencers is at the forefront of marketers’ strategic assessments. There are many ways in which to measure the worth of an influencer, from words to numbers. Forbes calculates the value of brand influencers in the following equation:

Audience reach (# of followers)

x Brand affinity (expertise and credibility)

x Strength of follower relationships (engagemrnt)

= Influence

Although the above equation may seem complex, the most important point it makes is this: “Influence isn’t just having a lot of followers.” That is a common misconception about influencer marketing: not everyone recognizes that it’s about so much more than publicity or impressions. More followers or readers doesn’t always mean more engagement or a higher ROI.

The rise of micro-influencers demonstrates that brands are realizing this and placing more value on expertise, relationships and quality content. Even macro-influencers are starting to be held to this standard – it’s no longer enough to just flash an impressive follower count and hit copy/paste. Brands want substance and quality in a creative partnership.

Ultimately, however, the influencers you choose depend on your brand goals and campaign strategy. If audience reach isn’t everything to you, what is? What do you value? To determine what an influencer is worth to you, let’s play a little game called “would you rather?”

Would you rather…     increase blog views or comments?

raise awareness with the general public or a targeted audience?

partner with a “celebrity” public figure or niche expert?

increase social reach or social engagement?

Questions such as these are critical in determining the desired value of influencers for your brand. Many companies are moving toward the micro-influencer trend, but that doesn’t mean it’s best for everyone: larger brands like Zappos have found great success with celebrity influencer marketing as well.

Regardless of the type of influencer you choose to work with, you need to illustrate your worth to them as well: this is a two-sided relationship! Make sure that along with feeling valued, they also feel as if you’re offering value to them as a partner – whether that’s resources, creative freedom, products or services, feedback and more.

Learn more about choosing an influencer marketing campaign here.

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