TIKTOK MICRO-INFLUENCERS VS. CELEBRITY INFLUENCERS: WHICH IS BETTER FOR YOUR NEXT CAMPAIGN?

With the right marketing campaign, micro-influencers on TikTok can take your brand from background noise to front-page news. But what many marketers forget is that before the fun can begin, you have to make sure you select just the right influencer.

Failure to partner with the right personality severely dulls the magic of influencer marketing, even on the most well-executed influencer marketing campaigns. In the past few years, marketers have taken things by the reigns. They have developed categories for understanding influencers, which also applies to Tik Tok. At the heart are these two questions:

  1. Should you choose micro-influencers with fewer followers but a more engaged social media audience?
  2. Or, is it better to work with a celebrity influencer who can reach millions of people with the push of a button? And who!?

Okay, that’s three questions, but you hear us. Different types of influencers can help you reach various goals. Choosing the right one becomes even more important when you consider your selection. There are over 1360 influencer agencies today representing and millions of social media influencers to choose from. According to Statista, there are 393K TikTok Influencers in the U.S alone! It’s 3.1 million worldwide. Finding the right person to lead your TikTok influencer marketing campaign requires important foundational strategy work.

Ultimately that means lining up your goals, budget, and audience. But TikTok is relatively new, so there are a few new things to consider that we’ll walk you through.

Why Invest in TikTok Influencer Marketing?

TikTok is the fastest growing social media network and is significantly outpacing Facebook and Instagram in its early growth. Even though the early TikTok of 2018–2019 was enjoyed mostly by teens, the pandemic accelerated its reach to their parents and millennials. In 2021, it is the most downloaded free app in the world. A prominent part of its success has been the popularity of influencers, which dominate TikTok more than all other social channels. According to influencer marketing platform Upfluence, TikTok far outperforms other social media platforms concerning influencers’ content engagement rates, a metric that helps you get an idea of how many people the influencer will actually reach with your message.

Engagement Rates on Different Social Channels:

  • TikTok:
  • Micro-influencers: 17.96%
  • Celebrity-influencers: 4.96%
  • Instagram:
  • Micro-influencers: 3.86%
  • Celebrity-influencers: 1.21%
  • YouTube:
  • Micro-influencers: 1.63%
  • Celebrity-influencers: .37%

As you can see, TikTok users are the most receptive to influencers’ content. Thus, TikTok influencers can bring your company tremendous value. The real jaw-dropper comes from a report from the micro-influencer platform SocialPubli, which finds that 67.9% of active TikTok content creators have purchased a product after seeing a post from someone they follow on the platform. No wonder the same report finds that 61.5% of marketers believe TikTok is here to stay as a leading network for social media influencer marketing. To get the most out of your marketing dollar, you’ve got to know how to find the right influencers for your particular niche in the market.

The Difference Between Micro-Influencers and Celebrity Influencers

The difference between TikTok micro-influencers and celebrity influencers is based on their social media follower count. Micro-Influencers have a lower follower count than their celebrity counterparts.

  • Micro-influencers: 5,000–750,000 followers
  • Nano: 5,000–50,000 followers
  • Mid: 150,000–750,000 followers
  • Celebrity influencers: 750,000- 2,500,000 followers
  • Macro influencers: 750,000–2,500,000 followers
  • Celebrity Influencers: 250,00,000+ followers
  • Celebrity: Traditional celebrities who have a following on TikTok, followers vary
  • Publishers: Theme pages, followers vary

Within each category, there are sub-sets of influencers based on follower count which can help you strategize more accurately. But there’s more to it than simple popularity. Behind the numbers, the viewership, engagement rate, and cost all factor into the meaning.

What’s Considered a Micro-Influencer on TikTok ?

It’s challenging to define a group of people as diverse as “micro-influencers,” who cover topics from beauty, fitness, dance, entertainment, pets, fashion, cooking, politics, and more. However, they all tend to share similar traits.

  1. Who are the micro-influencers? Regular people who share their lives, niche expertise, or opinions on TikTok
  2. How many followers do you need to be a micro-influencer? Micro-influencers are classified as content creators with youtube channels with 5,000+ YouTube subscribers with 10,000–100,000 Instagram followers and 50,000–150,000 Instagram readers on TikTok. They are sometimes considered experts in their niche.
  3. Specific Niche: Micro-influencers usually garner fame for one skill or trait they are good at, such as applying makeup or cooking.
  4. Close Community: Micro-influencers have a small but devoted niche audience they are able to nurture with direct contact.
  5. Credibility: Influencers at this level are more easily seen as peers than celebrities, which helps them come off as trustworthy to their audience.
  6. Authenticity: TikTok creators who haven’t reached celebrity status still have the same everyday experiences as everyone else, making them more relatable and approachable.

What is a TikTok Celebrity Influencer?

There are many kinds of celebrity influencers. Some are like micro-influencers, but with more following, but there are also brands, movie stars, and other personalities that come into play as well. Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Who is a celebrity influencer? Professionals, artists, stylists, entrepreneurs, politicians, brands, movie stars, regular people with a lot of followers
  2. Mega-Reach: With a high follower count on TikTok, celebrities and macro-influencers can reach large portions of the target audience.
  3. Identifiable: Influencers with massive followings are easy to find and define. They have a well-understood brand within the TikTok framework and often professional support. Like Instagram, many TikTok celebrities are only famous within the platform.
  4. Luxury: Celebrity-Influencers, even those who never seem to work, create visions of luxurious lifestyles that their followers vicariously live through.

The most significant differences between the two categories are in size, reach, and psychological relationship the audience has with the influencer. Micro-influencers are relatable. Macro influencers are aspirational.

Micro-Influencers Pros and Cons

When weighing the benefits vs. the drawbacks of working with TikTok micro-influencers, always keep your end goal in mind: reaching the target audience.

Pros:

  • More Affordable. Think hundreds of dollars vs. thousands for a campaign.
  • Targeted Reach. They have fewer followers but you can tap into a very particular niche market or subculture that would otherwise be difficult to reach.
  • More Trusted. Because they are more relatable, micro-influencers are more trusted by consumers.
  • Higer Engagement Rate. More interaction means there’s more of a chance for your marketing campaign to send viewers into your sales funnel.

Cons:

  • Less Exposure. These influencers have too little reach for brand awareness or broad-reaching messaging strategy.
  • Juggling Influencers. You may be working with more than one multiple micro-influencers at once to get the results you want, which can take some serious management hours.
  • Less Experienced. Some micro influences have spent less time in social media stardom, so there may be more communication to kick things off than with a more seasoned influencer.

Celebrity Influencers Pros and Cons

Celebrity and macro-influencers are appealing because their brands are easy to understand, have huge followings and names you’ve heard before. It’s hard to argue with a celebrity endorsement. But it would help if you considered the disadvantages along with the advantages before making a selection.

Pros:

  • Vast Exposure. With a celebrity influencer, you can reach millions of people and target a diverse demographic with a high follower count. Some big TikTok influencers also have a presence on other social media platforms, so brands can get more exposure.
  • Creative Control: Thanks to the high price tags, many brands have more leverage to keep ownership of the related creatives with celebrities. This can mean marketers can use the creative for more than just TikTok, expanding the return on investment.
  • Easier to Find: It’s easier to narrow down your choices because there are not as many celebrity influencers.
  • Top Quality TikTok Content: Big stars come with ample support and are often able to produce jaw-dropping creativity.

Cons:

  • High Cost. A celebrity influencer is expensive, so no surprise there. However, their cost per thousand can be lower than some micro-influencers because they have so many followers.
  • Lower Engagement Rate. Influencer marketing with big-name celebrities doesn’t result in a lot of direct sales, which can feel disappointing, especially considering the high expense.
  • Not as Authentic. Celebrity influencers can be in high demand and may decide they don’t want to work with your brand. But what is worse? They could work with you, but your brand ends up appearing as just one of many buying their way onto this particular celebrity’s feed. If the connection between the influencer and your brand isn’t authentic, chances are the campaign will be a miss.

Which Influencer Type Should You Choose

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for any social media influencer marketing program, and the same goes for TikTok influencer marketing. Whether you choose to work with a niche TikTok micro-influencer or a celebrity influencer with a large following depends on your goals and audience. Each level has its own unique benefits.

When Celebrity Influencers Make Sense

Celebrity influencers make sense for reaching large swaths of people. Typically brands partner with influencers at this level when the goal is mass brand exposure, and there’s plenty of budget to invest. It’s an investment that can pay handily, increasing a brand’s sales an average of 4% relative to the competition, according to research by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse and Barclays Captial analysis Jeroen Verleun. They also find that the endorsement of a celebrity influencer increases a company’s stock value by .25%!

But don’t expect the sales to come rushing in. Big names may have a high follower count but they are more effective at earning name recognition and buzz than direct sales. However, keep in mind the love eventually fades and usually returns to normal over time unless the influencer marketing relationship is continually cultivated. So, think long-term when it comes to enlisting a star for your next campaign.

When Micro-Influencers Make Sense

TikTok Micro-influencers can help you reach a small, self-selected, interested audience that would be difficult to define in any other way. It’s just the recipe for driving sales. Partnering with smaller niche influencers lends you their credibility and gives you access to a subculture of potential customers receptive to new ideas. This leads to higher engagement rates, case studies have shown, and subsequently to more direct sales than celebrity-driven campaigns. But above and beyond all, the micro-influencer has to legitimately like your product enough to want to endorse it.

How to Get Started

Once you have an idea of which kind of influencer is right for your brand, you’re ready to start! It’s time to come up with the perfect influencer marketing campaign.

  1. Set your goals and objectives
  2. Calculate a budget (think long term)
  3. Imagine the result
  4. Research Influencers
  5. Partner
  6. Create marketing magic

Once you’ve got a partner, the collaboration begins. Come up with a content strategy that makes sense for both of your brands and that resonates with the key audience. Get your best creative minds involved and press publish.

Ok, so it’s not really that simple. No personality-based marketing campaign is. But it can be with experienced collaborators. Running an influencer marketing campaign on TikTok can take a lot of energy and management, but if done right it can provide the kind of higher ROI you’re looking for in your next campaign.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to do your due diligence when researching influencers. Make sure to partner with someone you can trust with your brand and who can deliver results. Many agencies have developed strong relationships with influencers and influencer talent agencies and can help.

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I'm a social media marketing story, manager, and founder of Social Motto Social Media Marketing Agency in Detroit. https://www.mysocialmotto.com/

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Kim Stricker

Kim Stricker

I'm a social media marketing story, manager, and founder of Social Motto Social Media Marketing Agency in Detroit. https://www.mysocialmotto.com/

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