In the world of social media stars, it may seem logical to assume that bigger is better. The more followers, the more people an influencer can potentially reach, right?
But a recent study from Launchmetrics suggests that follower count is actually one of the least significant factors for brands deciding which influencers to work with. Not only that, but bigger follower counts can actually hurt an influencer's opportunities if they fall in the wrong bracket.
The data claims that micro-influencers, defined as those with followings that fall between the 10,000 and 100,000 mark, are actually considered the most effective partners by 46 percent of brands. Macro-influencers, whose followings range from 101,000- to 500,000-strong, rank as the second most effective demographic, with 34 percent of brands preferring to work with them.
Interestingly, mega-influencers with followings between the 501,000 and 1.5 million mark are considered less-effective brand partners than influencers with smaller followings — only 9 percent of brands prefer to work with them. They're also considered slightly less effective than those with even bigger followings, as 11 percent of brands most prefer to work with "celebrity" influencers, a designation reserved for anyone with upward of 1.5 million followers.
So are mega-influencers going to get pushed out of business? Probably not. Another set of data from the report notes that the quality of an influencer's content is considered the most important factor for companies who use influencer marketing, with rate of engagement following closely behind. So if a mega-influencer can manage to create great content and keep their followers liking, commenting on and sharing their posts, they're probably still strong contenders for partnership.
Other standout figures from the study point to the fact that millennials are by far the biggest target audience for influencer marketing: 76 percent of professionals who carry out campaigns aim them at millennials. Generation X (those aged between 39 and 53) and Gen Z follow next as the targets of 20 percent and 3 percent of influencer campaigns, respectively. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Instagram is the most-preferred social platform on which to launch influencer campaigns.
For more information, read the full report here.