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May 26 Why Brands Need to Stop Focusing on Influencer Follower Counts

Why Brands Need to Stop Focusing on Influencer Follower Counts

Brands have consistently approached our influencer marketing agency asking for celebrity influencers or macro-influencers with massive followings and putting their focus too much on influencer reach. With this type of mindset, brands are missing out on opportunities by skipping over valuable micro-influencers.

The definition of macro and micro-influencers varies across the industry, but if you’re interested in learning about how we define the different types of influencers, check out our blog post, here.

Now, why do brands need to stop focuses on reach?

Reach Does Not Equal Influence

People new to the concept of influencer marketing tend to assume they need to partner with influencers who have massive followings, thinking that big reach means big exposure and big influence, but that's not necessarily true. There's a consistent amount of data across the industry that shows that as reach goes up, engagement goes down.

How Follower Count Impacts Influencer Engagement Rate

In order to get the maximum ROI, you have to ensure that your influencer has influence. We recommend partnering with micro-influencers because when you start partnering with those who have a following over 500,000, the cost will go up while the engagement of their post goes down causing the value proposition to disappear.

Missed Opportunities with the “Perfect” Influencer

For niche brands, finding an influencer that fits can be quite the challenge. For example, finding that perfect someone that would naturally use the product. Finding the perfect fit is the most important factor, not the number of followers they have. Why is this? The quality of the influencer is really what is going to make users stop and click. Focus the importance on the content and creativity of the posts and less on the number of followers.

In the past, we've found influencers that are perfect for a brand and check all the boxes of criteria we require for an influencer partnership, but solely because of the number of followers this influencer had, clients have passed on the opportunity to partner with micro-influencers.

There are TONS of social influencers at the micro level which means you should be guaranteed to find the right influencers to fit the right storyline that fits with you. There are only so many social celebrities, so trying to wedge them in to make it make sense for them to be talking about your brand is often a square peg, round hole situation. But the true key messaging you want to be associated with your brand, there are already influencers around having these discussions. Whether it's finance, or beauty, or fashion, or home decor, or lifestyle, or whatever it is, there are social influencers on the micro-scale to fit.

Carusele Influencer Marketing Content Example from Hallmark

Benefits of Micro-Influencers

Still not entirely convinced? Perhaps these benefits of working with micro-influencers can persuade you.

Devoted Followers

Micros tend to have niche interests that really add to the storytelling. They tend to have devoted and engaged audiences. They are also less likely to have “hate followers.”


Followers tend to trust micros more than macros. They are seen as peers, micros are relatable, and yet still aspirational. They often have careers and influencer work is more of a side hustle.

Now, as long as a micro-influencer's saturation rate isn't too high (as long as they're not doing too many sponsored posts) their believability is much higher. If you go to,  someone like Kim Kardashian, there are only so many products that a fan base would actually believe that she cares enough to endorse. It's a very small set, so really you can get influencers who are generally passionate about your brand, about your area, about your industry that are going to come across much more authentically and much more believable than a lot of these social celebrities.


Brands get more bang for their buck with micros. Some of the savings consist of including lower CPM costs and avoiding working with a management company. You can also get multiple influencers involved in your campaign that won't take up your whole budget. Those larger, celebrity influencers also may or may not produce the content that really resonates with your audience, but with micro-influencers, you have multiple shots at this content doing really, really well.

goING above and beyond

Micro-influencers frequently go above and beyond what we ask them to do. If you ask a celebrity for a tweet, you're likely going to get a single tweet that'll cost you over $100k. The micro-influencers we work with tend to overdeliver on many of their campaigns. One of our favorite examples was for a travel brand where we required the influencer to produce at least 10 images on their trip and she produced 115! Now, that's an extreme example of going above and beyond, but it is not uncommon at all for the influencers we work with to do more than what is asked for them contractually. It's all about building a great relationship and giving them some creative freedom.


Projects move quicker. And we all know, time is money. When partnering with a micro-influencer, you are likely to work directly with the influencer. This makes the partnership quick and efficient, and likely cuts out the middleman of a manager (which also increases your influencers rates). Micro-influencers are more likely to be there for you when you need a campaign done in a pinch.


As you can see, we love working with micro-influencers! There are so many benefits of partnering with a micro. They offer great content and partnerships, are easy to work with, and are more likely to overdeliver. Long story short, don’t judge a book by its cover, or in this case, don’t judge an influencer by their follower count.

We hope this article encourages you to not pass on an opportunity to work with some really great influencer partners. And if you’re interested in seeing what other types of influencer relationships might benefit your brand, contact us today to talk about a strategy.

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