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Maximizing Influencer Marketing: Engagement Rate vs. Follower Count

The business arena in the social media era has evolved big time especially in the way businesses are normally run. You may have seen the change your self with how you started your business, getting it online, how you grow and scale it and trying to go global.

Another major change that we have seen is how businesses do their marketing.

Social media opened many doors for businesses to reach a larger audience and gain potential customers. If you are a brand owner for many years selling various products, you may have channeled a chunk of your investment in promotions.

But, how exactly is marketing done in this time of social media frenzy? Let’s take a look at what they call Influencer Marketing and what drives it to help your business scale and grow.

Celebrity Endorsers vs. Influencers

Promotions before revolved around TV ads, radio ads and media print. To make these ads more effective, celebrity endorsers were often tapped in the hope of drawing more customers in.

The deciding factor on who among the celebrities to tap is often the fan base. The more popular the celebrity is, well, the price tag goes up along with it – not a practical direction for small businesses. The smaller ones will have to depend on word-of-mouth and feet-on-the-street marketing.

With the emergence of influencers, however, brands found another avenue to bring their products out. Using the voices of these influencers through their content, brands are now able to target the right audience for their products.

So, what should you look for in an influencer to tap to help you promote your brand?

For a more effective Influence Marketing, you have to look at an influencer’s follower count and engagement rate. But before diving deep into that, let’s get to know the tiers of influencers that will help you decide who to get.

The Tiers of Influencers

This lays the groundwork for your influencer marketing. You see, what you are targeting is the sphere of influence of an individual. That is usually anchored on how many followers they have.

In the influencer marketing industry, the influencers are divided into 5 tiers:

  • Nano – 1,000 – 10,000 followers
  • Micro – 10,000 – 50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier – 50,000 – 500,000 followers
  • Macro – 500,000 – 1,000,000 followers
  • Mega – 1,000,000 and up followers

With this information, you might think that the higher the follower count, the more effective the influencer is in marketing brands. And, much like celebrities, if they are in the higher tiers then the price climbs up too. It wouldn’t be too much of a concern for some brands that have deep pockets, who want the clout for public awareness.

You should note though that while follower count is an important factor to consider in choosing the influencer to work with, it’s not the sole consideration. It’s just the baseline from where your decision may stem.

There’s the follower count to know then there’s the engagement rate to look at.

Follower Count vs. Engagement Rate

As already provided for above, it doesn’t take a genius to know what a follower count is. Just review the 5 tiers of influencers and you will understand what that is.

Engagement rate, on the other hand, is one that will put added value to an influencer’s follower count. Factoring in the quote, “quality over quantity” then the engagement rate will put significance and meaning to the kind of influence that one has.

So what does an engagement rate measure?

Here’s the formula to help you understand further what this is:

By the word engagement alone, this would mean the interaction of one’s followers to a certain post or content. Interaction here can be likes, comments, reactions, shares. One should also consider a period, say a week, or a month within which these engagements happened.

Engagement Means Interest

The normal assumption for a high engagement rate is that more people are interested in the posts and content of an influencer. But that’s not all that an engagement rate will tell you. It also tells you about the quality of their content.

Industry reports have shown that the higher an influencer goes up the tiers, the lower the engagement rate is. Does this mean that the nano-influencers should be your go-to for your influencer marketing?

Not necessarily.

Let’s put the engagement rate against the follower count per tier to see why going solely for a high engagement rate is not all the time right.

Influencer TierFollower CountEngagement Rate (ER)No. of Engagements based on ER
Nano0 – 10,0004%0 – 400
Micro10,000 – 100,0002%200 – 2,000
Mid-Tier100,000 – 500,0001.6%1,600 – 8000
Macro500,000 – 1,000,0001.3%6,500 – 13,000
Mega1,000,000 up0.8%8,000 up

Above will show that while Nano-influencers have the highest engagement rate, that will still only be up to 400 engagements. This also cannot tell you firmly that you should always choose the Mega influencers as the possible engagements can go from 8,000 up.

Always remember, interest is not the same as sales. But, you can use that as a benchmark to target or estimate your conversion.

Choosing The Right Influencer

The follower count and engagement rate are just two of the factors to look at in choosing the right influencer to tap for your brand’s influencer marketing.

Here are other key things that you need to do when choosing the right influencer for your brand:

  • Establish your targets and goals

What results do you want for your campaign? Which customers or audience are you targeting? These are just some of the questions that you need to answer before you jump on to choosing just any influencer of huge following.

Do you want a more public reach? Or, do you want to gain brand awareness to thousands upon thousands of individuals in social media? If that’s your goal then, go for the Mega influencers.

However, if you want your brand to reach a targeted audience or a niche, then you can look at the many nano-influencers. They may have just a smaller follower count than those influencers up in the higher tiers but they could be the most loyal.

  • Look into the influencer’s relevance to your products

What do we mean by this? If you are selling fitness products, for example, it would be more effective to get an influencer who is into fitness. An influencer whose content is all about cooking would be a good fit for cook ware products or ingredients. These are just some examples of looking at the relevance of an influencer to your product.

You can also check out the pages and accounts that your current followers or subscribers are following. You can get leads on the right influencer to tap.

  • Check the marketing and technical skills and resources of the influencer

The follower count and engagement rate are important but so is the influencer, the individual. Does he or she have the conversational skills to engage the followers?

How about the gadgets or equipment used for the content? Are the photos edited well? Because, followers tend to be drawn more to a nicely curated feed.

The writing skill too is very important. How an influencer crafts a caption that will lead people to your products is key to getting potential conversions.

You also have to check how an influencer handles crisis or bashers for this can be a probable challenge for any brand.

  • Set your budget and other resources

Everything comes with a price. If you want to get more awareness, you must be ready to pay a hefty amount to a mega-influencer. If you are cash-strapped and working on a tight budget, then a nano-influencer may help. Just remember, the reach that you have to target should be commensurate to the resources that you can part for influencer marketing.

You also have to think of logistics and management. If you want to manage and talk to just one or a few influencers for your brand, then go for the macro or mega. Getting nano-influencers can be affordable but you would need to talk to more if a wide reach is your target.

Get Help for your Influencer Marketing

We hope that the above can help you grow and scale your business through this marketing approach. But, you may be used to the traditional marketing methods that getting into this can take away more valuable time from you.

You don’t need to worry though about how to approach this type of marketing. There are those who offer Influencer Marketing services that can take your brand through all the steps without getting too much time off from you.

Ready to take the influencer marketing direction? Get started today!

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