Macro vs Micro Influencer: Which do You Need For your Next Marketing Campaign?

David Morneau

By David Morneau
11 min READ | Sep 25 2022

Table of contents

Even though it’s a fairly new marketing strategy, influencer marketing got a lot of attention in recent years.

The reason is simple - it’s incredibly effective when you do it the right way.

However, choosing that “right” way is the hardest part.

When it comes to influencer marketing, there are two main types of influencers: macro and micro.

Macro influencers have a large following (usually 500,000 to a million followers), while micro-influencers have smaller follower bases (usually between 10,000 and 50,000 followers).

So which type of influencer should you use for your next marketing campaign?

Let’s take a closer look at both types of influencers and see what each has to offer.

TL;DR: Macro vs Micro Influencers


  • Large following, fewer than celebrities.
  • Good for entering new markets, building brand recognition, and quick product popularization.


  • Smaller, niche-focused following.
  • More personal relationships with followers, offering more trust and relatability.
  • Better engagement, higher conversion rates, and typically more time to engage with followers.

Engagement and Numbers:

  • Micro-influencers aim for higher engagement to grow their following.
  • Micro-influencers generally have 60% higher engagement rates and 20% higher conversion rates than macro-influencers.

Examples of Engagement Rates:


  • Micro-influencers: better for building brand reputation and deeper audience relationships.
  • Macro-influencers: better for wider visibility.


  • Macro-influencers have broader reach; exact numbers vary by platform.

Followers - Real vs. Fake:

  • Some influencers inflate follower counts with fake accounts/bots, affecting their perceived popularity and brand partnerships.
  • Macro influencers, due to their larger following, might have a higher number of fake followers, but micro-influencers can also be affected.


  • Macro-influencers typically charge more than micro-influencers.
  • Costs vary based on several factors: campaign type, engagement, content rights, deadlines, etc.
  • Micro-influencers can often reach the same size audience as a single macro-influencer but at a lower total cost and with potential for better engagement.

Benefits of Cost Structures:

  • Macro campaigns: higher reach with one contract but potentially higher costs.
  • Micro campaigns: potential for higher engagement, diversification of investments, but need to manage multiple contracts.


  • The choice between macro and micro-influencers depends on brand goals: engagement/authenticity vs. broad reach.
  • Always do thorough research and measure results.
  • Inbeat offers tools to help brands find the right influencer for their campaigns.

Macro Vs. Micro - Influencers: At a Glance

Let’s see what defines micro- and macro-influencers and what you should expect from each.

What Is a Macro Influencer?

Macro-influencers have large followings, usually up to a million people. Although they have fewer fans than celebrities, they still have a considerable reach.

And they use this reach to grow their social media accounts fast.

That’s a considerable advantage for brands with the following campaign goals:

  • Getting onto a new market
  • Enlarging their audience fast
  • Popularizing a new product quickly
  • Creating awareness, social proof, and building brand recognition

What Is a Micro Influencer?

Micro - influencers are types of influencers with a smaller but more dedicated following. They typically specialize in a specific niche, such as fashion, beauty, or travel.

Unlike celebrity influencers, who often have millions of followers, micro-influencers have a more personal relationship with their fans. This allows them to create content that feels more relatable and trustworthy to everyday people.

As a result, micro-influencer marketing can be very effective. As people become increasingly inundated with marketing messages, they are more likely to pay attention to recommendations from people they know and trust.

Companies often work with micro-influencers because they:

  • Offer a more targeted way to reach potential customers.
  • Guarantee more engagement.
  • Can elicit certain emotions, like FOMO and desire.
  • Have more time to engage with their followers.


Micro-influencers have the ambition to grow faster than macro-influencers, so they strive to improve their reach and engagement.

Think of it this way:

A person with little recognition in traditional media will not have this preset number of people willing to follow them on social media just because their name rings a bell.

They will have to work to get to that point, meaning that they will:

  • Post relevant, original, and quality content, and:
  • Try to interact with their followers as often and as thoroughly as possible.

The Numbers

Official statistics prove this idea:

  • Micro-influencers’ engagement rates are 60% higher than macro-influencers’.
  • Micro-influencers’ conversion rates are 20% higher than macro-influencers’.

Other numbers show that:

  • The average micro-influencer engagement rate is 1.7%.
  • The average macro-influencer engagement rate is 1.3%.

The Examples

Dr. Chris Lee is a digital creator interested in neuroscience and stress management, with 44.7K followers on Instagram.

Some of his posts have over 700 likes, such as this one below:

Dr Chris Lee on Instagram

That’s a 1.7 engagement rate, the average industry standard. But if you use an engagement rate calculator, you’ll notice his average engagement rate is 1.07%.

That’s not bad for a content creator.

But it could get better.

Using the inBeat app, you could source a more engaged content creator in the same niche. Notice the array of filters and keywords that help you narrow down your search.

That's how you can streamline your influencer marketing campaigns.

But just using one keyword, “mental health,” brings us to this profile:

Andreita Levin on Instagram

So, although Andreita Levin has fewer followers, her engagement rate is obviously better.

By comparison, Jason van Ruler is a licensed therapist with a following of 128,000 people.

Jason Vanruler on instagram

Notice the increased number of followers and the higher average number of likes and comments. This means that this mental health specialist has a wider reach, although a lower engagement rate compared to Andreita Levin.

Does that mean you can’t get more engaged macro-influencers?

No. Actor and model Damian Pastrana offers a good example with his 18.38% engagement rate:

Damian Pastrana profile

The Benefits

Where does that leave your company?

The benefits of working with an engaged micro-influencer may outweigh the advantages of reaching a larger audience if you want to:

  • Build your reputation
  • Create strong relationships with your audience
  • Tip the scales over towards a product that people are apprehensive about
  • Create an edge compared to your competitors

A macro-influencer may have a lower engagement rate, but they can still reach a wider audience. Therefore, working with a macro-influencer is best for visibility and notoriety.

If you want the best of both worlds, like Damian Pastrana, you have to:

  • Do your research
  • Prepare a higher marketing budget
  • Be ready for some creative compromises

That brings us to the following point:


Macro-influencers have a more amplified reach compared to micro-influencers. But how much exactly depends on the platform where they create content.

The Numbers

Macro influencers have:

  • 250,000-1,000,000 YouTube subscribers
  • 100,000-2,500,000 Instagram followers
  • 750,000-2,500,000 TikTok followers

Micro-influencers have:

  • 5,000-25,000 YouTube subscribers
  • 10,000-50,000 Instagram followers
  • Up to 500,000 TikTok followers

The Examples

We noticed that Dr. Van Ruler has a larger following and an average of 2,600 likes per post. That’s three times as many likes as a micro-influencer in the same niche.

Reach should also be gauged depending on the social media platform.

For example, Conquer Driving (UK-based driving instructor Richard Fanders) amasses 454,000 subscribers on YouTube. Some videos get around 40,000 views, but most jump over 100,000.

That would mean macro-influencer Richard Fanders has an engagement rate of 10-25%.

Conquer Driving profile

The same person has just 2,358 followers on Instagram, which would put him in the nano-influencer zone.

Besides, his posts receive an average of 48 likes. Although his engagement rate is good enough at 2%, his reach on Instagram is much lower than his YouTube reach. Richard Fanders also has a more engaged audience on YouTube.

Conquer driving profile

The Benefits

Micro-influencers have fewer followers, but these people are usually more engaged if they have chosen the right channel.

In this case, their reach will grow naturally, especially if they continue to offer relevant content.

What does that mean for you?

  • You can spread your message to a larger pool of customers now, partnering with a macro-influencer. If that content creator is also highly engaged, your message has more chances of being remembered and acted upon.
  • You can create a contract with a micro-influencer to spread your message to a wide enough audience who are already well-engaged. And since that micro-influencer aims to grow in the future, your brand will grow with it (if you keep the partnership long-term).

Followers: Real vs. Fake

It’s no secret that some social media users inflate their follower counts by buying fake accounts or using bots to follow other accounts. And while this might not seem like a big deal at first glance, it can actually have a major impact on an influencer’s career.

First of all, fake followers are just that – fake.

They’re not real people who are engaged with an influencer’s content. Therefore, they’re not going to like, comment, or share anything, which can make an influencer look less popular than they are.

Second, fake followers can negatively impact an influencer’s relationship with brands.

Brands often partner with influencers based on their engagement levels, so if an influencer has a high percentage of fake followers, it could damage their reputation with brands and make it harder to get partnerships in the future.

The Numbers

Since macro influencers have more followers, they are also bound to have more fake followers. There aren’t any statistics to prove this point, though; these are just the macro rules of probability.

That doesn’t mean you won’t find micro-influencers with bot accounts.

The Examples

Let’s start with a celebrity: Will Smith.

Will Smith profile

Using the fake follower checker above, you can notice how 30 million out of his 33.7 million followers are inactive. That gives him a “good” score.

Victoria is a macro-influencer on Instagram. Her score is “excellent,” but notice that 88,000 out of her 282,000 followers are inactive.

Victoria profile

That could be a sign of bot accounts following her. However, she does get a high number of comments and likes, which could assuage suspicions:

comments and likes on a profile

Here’s what an amazing-rate profile looks like (also for a macro-influencer):

Sidneyraz profile in Inbeat

Micro-influencer Nicole has just an “ok”-rated profile, with 7,050 real followers and 12,700 inactive ones.

outfitsbynicole profile

So there are plenty of times when micro-influencers can have fake followers. That’s why you should always use a trustworthy calculator before onboarding any content creator. In other words, don’t take any number for granted, no matter who it’s coming from.


In general, macro-influencers are more expensive than micro-influencers. However, the precise numbers depend on variables like:

  • Campaign type
  • Number of posts
  • Content types
  • Engagement
  • Audience
  • Campaign goals and business goals
  • Agency fees
  • Exclusivity
  • Content rights
  • Short deadline
  • Including a link in their bio

So a 30-minute YouTube video produced by a macro-influencer can cost less than a 10-second TikTok challenge on a highly engaged macro-influencers’ account.

The Numbers

Here’s what you can expect:

  • An average micro-influencer earns $2,061 per month.
  • Macro-influencers earn from $3,517 to $5,847 per month.

Assuming the average influencer works 24 hours per week (e.g., 96 hours per month), you get a ballpark price of:

  • $21.46/hour: micro-influencers
  • $36.63-$60.90/hour: macro-influencers

Data at inBeat suggests that micro-influencers receive an average of $150 per post. If they promote a high-tech product, that fee can rise to $500.

By comparison, macro-influencers fees can be four times that amount.

According to NY Times, macro-influencers charge:

  • $2,500: YouTube video
  • $1,000: Sponsored posts on Instagram and Snapchat
  • $400: Twitter

And according to Shopify, micro-influencers charge $100-$500 per post, whereas macro-influencers ask for $5,000 to $10,000 per post on Instagram.

The TikTok costs outlined in this Shopify article are:

  • $1,500/post: Micro-influencers
  • $5,000/post: Macro-influencers

The Examples

Let’s assume you want to work with an Instagram macro-influencer. Their following is 500,000 people, and they ask for $5,000 for one of your sponsored influencer posts.

A micro-influencer with a 50,000 following will likely ask $150 for that same single post.

To reach 500,000 people, you would need ten micro-influencers, which would require a total of $1,500.

That means you can reach the same audience size and with:

  • Lower costs
  • Higher potential engagement rates across micro-influencers
  • Lower risk of fake/inactive social media followers

The Benefits

Macro-influencer campaigns are more expensive, but they can give you access to a larger pool of people. And you’re only signing one contract.

If you’ve done your research correctly, this one macro-influencer can have an enviable engagement rate, even up to 20%.

And you can reach millions of people.

By comparison, working with multiple smaller social media influencers may be cheaper and allows you to diversify your investment. If one micro-influencer doesn’t produce the desired results, the others may.

The downside is finding, negotiating, and signing ten people instead of one.

inBeat can help you with both sourcing the top content creators and managing your relationship.

That entails signing the contract, sending the creative brief, offering incentives, and monitoring the campaign’s progress.

Weighing Your Options

So, which type of influencer should you try for your next campaign? The answer to that question will depend on what you’re looking for.

If you want high engagement and authenticity at a lower cost, go with micro-influencers. However, if you don’t mind paying more for reach, macro-influencers are the way to go.

Whichever route you choose, do your research and measure results to learn what works best for your brand.

At Inbeat, we have the tools you need to find an influencer for your next marketing campaign. Sign up today to get started!

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