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How To Partner With Larger Influencers

There are so many articles on how to work with micro-influencers and the positive effect it can have when scaling a micro-influencer program with a small investment. They are kind of like the “in-group” of creators to work with. And to be frank, this group can often deliver better results. So, they are definitely an important piece of the influencer marketing pie.  However, in order to create a well-rounded influencer marketing program, you need to find larger influencers to anchor your brand message. I find that working with larger influencers can seem daunting to brands. They see it as a big investment, and can’t figure out how it will provide an ROI. It’s almost aspirational to some. You scroll through your Instagram feed and pause at a larger Instagrammer and say to yourself, “She really embodies my brand! I’d love to work with her!” But there is a bit of intimidation there.

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I am here to tell you that yes, they do have a place in your strategy. It is a lot easier than you think, and it’s attainable. First, I will dive into who and what a “larger” influencer is. Secondly, I will clarify what type of campaigns will have the biggest impact, and lastly, how many you should work with and related costs.

Defining larger influencers

There are two types of larger influencer tiers. These are defined as macro-influencers and mega-influencers. Macros have a following that ranges from 500k to 1M, and megas have a following that ranges from 1M - 5M on a major platform like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

Macros are generally considered tastemakers and KOLs (key opinion leaders), delivering high reach and tend to be experts in one or a few categories. Engagement tends to be a little lower than what you get from micros, but their CPM tends to be lower as well.

In a 2017 study, Mediakix examined 288 macro-influencers and 367 micro-influencers, and they found that the macro-influencers reached 22 times more people.

Here are a few examples of Macro-influencers:

Megas are just a step above macros. As mentioned with macros, they deliver an even higher reach and can provide a brand with a significant amount of exposure.  Their audiences tend to skew wide across geographic, demographic and psychographic points. They really appeal and connect with a larger population of people.

Here are a few examples of Mega-influencers

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What do Macros and Megas offer

These two tiers of influencers can provide brand awareness and engagement very quickly when executed correctly, and you don’t need to scale the program by working with hundreds of influencers as you do with micros.  

If you have a niche product or service, it is best to focus on macros. If you have a product that appeals to the masses, you can activate both macros and megas.

When it comes to the types of campaigns you should launch with macros and megas, it’s important to think big picture because these influencers will bring a ton of eyeballs to your brand. Is there a core brand message you want to get across? Perhaps you offer an inclusive size range? Or do you give back to LGBTQ organizations?  Let this be the beacon of your campaign, and proceed from there. This is especially effective for seasonal campaigns or product launches.

How To Work With Macros and Megas

To figure out how many to work with for a particular campaign, first, think long-term partnerships. It’s really not worth it for you or the influencer if it’s a one-off post. So, if you want to work with mega-influencers, select one or two and for macro-influencers, select three to five that really embody your brand. And sign off on a deal that is a win-win for both parties, providing creative freedom, along with firm parameters to work within. This should be well thought out and with a few pieces of content posted over a course of several months.

This is where the storytelling/content piece comes in. It is important to really build that relationship with the manager/talent so that you can easily come to an agreement on how you want the content executed using his/her personal story as it relates to your campaign messaging. Set up multiple phone calls or meetings to make sure both parties are on the right page and everything is mapped out.

I know the high cost is a big factor, here. But this is why it is important to have a fully fleshed out strategy and campaign idea to make the partnership successful and to give you the engagement lift you desire.

Remember, whether you are working with management or directly with the influencer, it is all about relationships. People buy from other people, not a human-less brand.