Back to home | Ir a home

Macro influencers are dying: Rethink your influencer strategy

NYC Fashion Week September 2023 saw many influencers walk the runway - the most we’ve ever seen to date. While brands thought this would garner a positive response, many people were outraged by this, even going as far as to say they ruined Fashion Week this year. Why? Because audiences agreed that it didn’t feel as if the influencers deserved to be there, and it didn’t feel authentic. This is probably because these influencers aren’t known for their sense of fashion, but rather, for their high follower count.

So, it begs the question then, are influencers dying? The answer is yes, in some cases they are. Influencers are dying in places where they don’t feel authentic to the audience. This is the problem with a lot of Macro influencers specifically. Just because they have a high following, doesn’t mean they are the right fit for every brand. 

This is where micro-influencers come in. Macro influencers might be on their way out, but micro-influencers are certainly on the rise. X shared a report that 49% of consumers still rely on influencer product recommendations before making a purchase, but it’s specifically micro-influencers leading the charge. In fact, micro-influencers (so influencers with 100K followers or less) are 10 times more likely to encourage purchases, over big-named celebrities. 

This is all to say that before planning out your next influencer strategy, you should consider the facts -  micro-influencers are now receiving higher engagement rates from audiences and people tend to trust their content more. Yes, big-budget influencers might have a higher reach in general, but smaller-budget micro-influencers have a higher reach amongst your target audience.

Is this true for CPG brands?

To demonstrate if this is the case for CPG brands, let’s look at the case of LaCroix Water: 

Audiense blog - LaCroix Water audience interests

When looking at their audience’s top influencers, Chrissy Teigen comes up as a big-named celebrity with a broad following among the different segments that make up LaCriox’s audience. She certainly would reach a large audience, but the price to work with her would certainly reflect that. 

Audiense blog - top influencers specific to the Millennial Moms segment

In this second platform screenshot, we can see the top influencers specific to the Millennial Moms segment. If LaCroix were to work with a smaller influencer “Nicole Feliciano”, with 66,384 followers, there is more of a chance that she will directly reach and relate to this hyper-targeted segment of “Millennial Moms”. In fact, these millennial moms are 3,258 times more likely to follow Nicole Feliciano, as compared to the rest of X. This influencer is also twice as relevant to this audience as Chrissy Teigan is, and no doubt 1/100th of the price to work with. 

So why are micro-influencers like this one having a greater impact? Trust. Micro-influencers are usually experts in their space, whether that be makeup, travel, food, or fitness. This means that they’ve gained a following from speaking to their audience's core interest. So when a beauty influencer, who is an expert at makeup, recommends a foundation, people trust that it’s their true opinion of the product. Versus when a big celebrity endorses the same foundation, and the audience knows they were paid big bucks to do so. 

Another reason is audience engagement. The engagement rates for micro-influencers speak for themselves. On average the engagement rate on Instagram for a micro-influencer post is 3.8%, compared to 1.2% on posts made by big-name influencers. This rate is even higher on TikTok, with micro-influencers gaining an average engagement rate of 18%, versus macro-influencers who receive about 5%. 

Most importantly, micro-influencer posts convert. In fact, posts made by smaller brand ambassadors lead to a 20% higher conversion rate. And because the cost to hire influencers is related to follower count, influencers with 10K followers or less are significantly cheaper to work with. So the low cost of micro-influencers, mixed with their hyper-targeted reach, makes for a better ROI than bigger-scale influencers. 

CPG Brands doing micro-influencer marketing right 


The makeup brand Glossier believes anyone and everyone can be an influencer, and from the beginning, they’ve used regular-day people with smaller followings, to push their product. Their strategy involves giving influencers their own promo code, so they can make a percentage of the sale. In turn, 70% of online sales come from these micro-influencer referrals. 


Mejuri, the affordable jewelry brand based out of Canada is known for working with many micro-influencers and they even have an influencer application right on their website, making the partnership super accessible. In most cases, they offer payment in the form of free products. By doing this, they really align themselves with people who love the brand - who are willing to work for free jewelry. Mejuri still works with bigger named influencers, but if you look up the #mejuripartner you’ll discover thousands of people with 100K followers or less, who are posting wearing Mejuri pieces. 


Canon, the camera brand, is another company that allows influencers to apply through their website. To attract younger audiences, they actually work with college students on campus. They pay students to create content with their cameras and post it to TikTok.

Coca Cola 

Coca-Cola obviously has the budget for big-name influencers, and they continue to work with them. But they have also placed a big emphasis on micro-influencers as well. The variety of smaller-scale influencers they work with are picked from the food, travel, fashion and sports spaces - really broadening their reach. Take micro-influencer Elien Migalski, with her 27.5K followers: 

 Audiense blog - Elien Migalski Instagram profile

How to find the best micro-influencers for your brand

The best place to start, before engaging any influencer for your brand, is to decide on a niche target audience. This is especially true for micro-influencers since smaller niche audiences are their forte. Once you’ve zeroed in on your target audience, you need a tool like Audiense or Affinio to help surface the top influencers for that audience. 

Using a data-backed approach when determining which influencers to work with, takes the guesswork out of the process. It also allows you to pitch said influencers using data to prove that they are the right fit, and do indeed reach and resonate with the intended audience. 

With Burt’s Bees as the CPG brand example, and “Beauty Bloggers” selected as our target audience, we’ve surfaced the top influencers for that segment: 

Audiense blog - influencers for “Beauty Bloggers” segment

By choosing to work with influencers such as Jane Larkworthy, or Temptalia, you’re guaranteed that the majority of this “Beauty Bloggers” audience follows them and resonates with them. Because they have less than 50K followers they will likely be affordable to work with, and a Burt’s Bees collaboration with them will feel authentic as they are beauty experts themselves and are trusted advisors in this space. 

This type of influencer identification is fast and easy, and more importantly, it ensures that you are matching your brand and your target audience with the right micro-influencer, who will bring you the highest ROI. 

Sign up for Audiense and Affinio to find the best micro-influencers for your brand. 

Audiense blog - Start a trial - Audiense Insights