Before the advent of social media platforms, brands used to rope in celebrities to promote their products and services. The same trend continued even after social media platforms became popular, but the only difference was they went online instead of offline.

The good news is that influencer marketing used to work back then and influencer marketing continues to work even to this day. Just like every other marketing technique, influencer marketing has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages of influencer marketing are:

  • Increases brand awareness
  • Builds trust
  • Allows you to reach a larger fanbase
  • Doesn’t look pushy
  • Cost-effective
  • Provides value to your target audience

Even if you track your influencer marketing ROI, you will notice that it delivers 11X higher ROI as compared to other marketing mediums. Let’s say, you spend one dollar on influencer marketing, you can expect to earn $6.5 in return. In fact, 81% of marketers who have used influencer marketing consider it an effective marketing technique.

Unlike in the past where there is only one type of influencer, which are celebrities, influencers have evolved into four different categories

  • Mega Influencers
  • Macro Influencers
  • Micro-Influencers
  • Nano Influencers

One of the major differences between all these types of influencers is their fanbase and the size of their following. How many followers an influencer has will determine which category they will actually fall in. If you are confused about which category of influencer you should choose for your brand then, you are t the right place.

Things to consider when choosing an influencer

Here are some of the things you should take into account when selecting an influencer for your next influencer marketing campaign.

  • Followers
  • Engagement
  • Reach
  • Cost
  • Content
  • Target Audience

The number of followers is an important metric which indicates the power of influencer but it is not the only indicator. You need to look at other factors such as engagement, reach and brand lift in order to evaluate the effectiveness of an influencer. Both quality of content and cost also play an important role in deciding which influencer you should choose.

In this article, you will learn about which type of influencer you should choose to promote your brand and why.

Celebrities vs micro-influencers

Most people are familiar with celebrities but very few of them know about micro-influencers. Before we pit them against one another and see who comes out on top, it is better to know who micro-influencers really are.

Who is a micro-influencer?

Micro-influencers are influencers who have 1000-100,000 followers. They are community-oriented and are experts in their specific industry. Their followers might be smaller in numbers when you compare them with other types of influencers, but their authenticity and engagement are higher. Since they have a deeper connection and bond with their audience, brands can leverage that to build long-term relationships. 

Let’s look at the pros and cons of both hiring celebrities and micro-influencers.

Celebrities

Pros

  • Working with celebrities and mega influencers will give your brand exposure to millions of customers
  • Easier to track return on investment of your celebrity influencer campaings
  • Brands can control what influencers talk about or write about
  • Share the same audience especially if you find the right niche influencer

Cons

  • Brands will have to pay a higher cost when they hire a celebrity or collarbone with them. These influencers will charge tens of thousands of dollars for a single post
  • Connecting with famous celebrities is not easy as they already have busy schedules. They receive thousands of marketing offers which means that your pitch has slim chances of getting selected
  • Since most people know that these celebrities are paid heavily by brands to say what the brand wants them to say, this makes your celebrity campaigns inauthentic.

Micro-Influencers

Pros

  • Micro-influencers are cheaper and will cost you only hundreds of dollars for a single post or even less
  • Micro-influencers have a small targeted fan following but most of their fans are highly engaged and actively participate and communicate with the community
  • Micro-influencer has a narrow appeal as they focus on a specific niche. This makes micro-influencers a great choice for targeting a specific type of target audience

Cons

  • Micro-influencer has a small following, which reduces the reach of your posts. This means that only a handful of people will view your posts
  • Managing multiple mico influencers can be a daunting challenge as it requires management skills 
  • Unlike celebrities, micro-influencers do not have an authoritative voice or the same level of influence that you can expect from celebrities
  • Less control over social media posts published by mico influencers
  • Tracking return on investment is not as easy as it was with celebrity influencers

Which one should you choose?

The type of influencer you choose for your next influencer marketing campaign depends on a variety of different factors. Here are some of the factors which will influence your decision.

  • Short term goals
  • Long term goals
  • Marketing and advertising budget

Let’s say, you want more exposure for your brand and its products and services and you are ready to pay the higher cost, then hiring a celebrity would be a much better bet. On the flip side, if you want to target a specific niche of customers and want higher engagement without putting a huge dent in your wallet then, micro-influencers would be an ideal choice. You need to know what your goals are and choose an option that fullfils your needs in the best possible way.

If your brand wants slower and steady growth and brand exposure instead of a sudden spike, then micro-influencers should be your choice. On the other hand, if you have an innovative product and you are about to launch that product, you want more and more people to know about it and create the hype before launch, a celebrity can do wonders.

Which one would you choose –a micro-influencer or celebrity for brand promotion and why? Share your choices and reasons in the comments section below.

**About the Author: Muneeb Qadar Siddiqui is a seasoned digital marketing professional with more than seven years of experience. He is currently working for Branex, a professional mobile app development company in Dubai. Muneeb specializes in different facets of digital marketing such as SEO, social media and pay-per-click advertising.