Posted on

The Macro-Influencer Momentum: Elevating Your UK Brand in 2024

Social media platforms are maturing rapidly, and there are now around 98,000 influencers (on Instagram with more than 5K followers) in the UK alone. With so many choices, deciding which creators to work with can be tricky. And the pressure on, as this decision will likely define whether your campaign hits its targets.

Each type of influencer—nano, micro, macro, and mega—offers something different. Macro influencers sit somewhere in the middle, offering high engagement and access to a large following.

We've created this guide to help you decide if macro-influencers are right for you and how to launch an effective campaign. Dive in to discover how leveraging these influencers can elevate your brand’s visibility and drive significant results

Young influencer during a live session
Young influencer during a live session

Key Takeaways

  • The UK influencer marketing scene: Influencer marketing is growing rapidly in the UK, outpacing traditional advertising methods. Brands are increasingly relying on influencers to reach targeted audiences. This shift is driven by younger consumers' preference for authentic, relatable content over conventional ads.
  • The unique power of macro-influencers: Macro influencers, with 100,000 to 1 million followers, offer a balance of high engagement and broad reach. They are typically seen as experts in their fields, and their recommendations are trusted. This makes them ideal for brands seeking both visibility and authenticity in their marketing efforts.
  • How to run a target-smashing campaign: For a successful macro-influencer campaign, you must thoroughly vet influencers to pinpoint those who align with your brand values and audience. Once the campaign is running, continually measure success through clear KPIs, such as engagement rates and conversions, to optimise future campaigns and maximise ROI.

The evolution of influencer marketing in the UK

Influencer marketing is growing significantly while traditional advertising methods stagnate. While older marketing methods have a broad reach, it can be challenging to reach a targeted audience. In addition, TV, print, and billboard ads are often out of reach for brands with limited budgets.

However, there is a new challenge, even for brands that can afford these budgets: many shoppers, especially Gen-Z buyers, are now deeply cynical about advertising. Instead, audiences seek authentic and relatable content, often found through user-generated content (UGC) and influencer posts.

Influencers are now shaping consumer behaviour and trends, serving as trusted voices in their niches. It’s no surprise that 45% of UK companies maintained their influencer marketing budgets in 2023, while 33% increased their spending.

Brands are targeting an increased number of shoppers who are open to social media influencers' recommendations. Approximately 40% of social media users have made a purchase after seeing an influencer recommend a product, with about 44% of Gen Z having made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation. These statistics highlight the effectiveness of influencers in driving sales among all types of demographics.

While the benefits are clear, brands must not be complacent; any old thing will not do. Campaigns must feel creative and authentic to succeed. Part of that is choosing the right type of influencer for the campaign. As the industry matures, many creators have grown their audience, resulting in a range of macro-influencers available.

What is a macro-influencer's follower count?

Definition of macro-influencers

Macro-influencers are usually categorised as having between 100,000 and 1 million followers. However, some place them as having 500,000 to 1 million. Regardless, these social media personalities are highly established and have substantial followings.

Types of influencers: What is the difference between mega, macro, micro, and nano-influencers?

The sole difference between nano, micro, macro, and mega influencers is follower count. Nano-influencers are those with 1,000 to 10,000 followers. Micro-influencers have 10,000 to 100,000 followers, while macro-influencers have 100,000 to 1 million. The last category is mega-influencers, with over 1 million followers.

However, if you, as a brand, think only about follower count, you’re missing the most important details that can impact your campaign.

Smaller creators, such as nano and micro-influencers, tend to have more engaged audiences who frequently interact with posts by liking, commenting, and sharing. These are signs that the content is doing more than reaching the audience; it’s impacting them on a personal level.

On the flip side, mega-influencers and celebrity influencers, many of whom grew famous through other means (such as acting, sports, or music), have vast numbers of followers. While their posts can reach millions, the engagement rate tends to be lower than smaller influencers.

The benefits of leveraging macro-influencers in 2024

Macro influencers provide an excellent middle ground for brands. They combine the advantages of both ends of the influencer spectrum: offering broad reach along with an engaged, targeted audience. These creators are typically key opinion leaders (KOLs) with expertise in their specific areas.

For example, Manchester creator Eve-Lily Charlotte is a macro-influencer with over 500,000 followers on Instagram. Her creative, maximalist style engages viewers worldwide, and her popularity has given her serious weight in the fashion world. Charlotte is invited to key events like London Fashion Week, and huge fashion editorials like Vogue have sung her praises. What does this all mean for the brands that advertise via her Instagram? Her #ad post for Scarlett Gasque received over 62,000 likes. This means that many fashion fans both saw and engaged with the content featuring the brand's product. Many commenters showed intent to buy, sharing "Asking Santa for this set" and "I want every piece."

These awareness bumps can boost sales significantly. Macro-influencer endorsements often lead to direct purchases, especially in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle sectors. This is due to their strong personal brand and the trust they have built with their followers.

While the majority of these creators don't quite have celebrity status, collaborations with these professional creators boost credibility. As these creators are often well-known within their niche, their endorsements establish the brand as trustworthy and aspirational in the eyes of the audience. While these creators have broader appeal than influencers with smaller followings, you can still target a specific demographic.

Another significant advantage of using influencers over traditional marketing methods is cost efficiency. Traditional advertising channels like TV, print, and billboards often require substantial budgets, which can be prohibitive for smaller brands. In contrast, influencer marketing offers a more affordable alternative.

Brands can achieve high visibility and targeted engagement without the hefty price tags associated with conventional advertising. This lower cost, combined with the ability to reach and resonate with a specific audience, helps you get the best bang for your buck. With their large followings, there is even a chance of the content going viral.

Understanding the Macro-Influencer Landscape

Macro-influencers pair the engagement of smaller creators with the reach of famous creators. But what does that mean for your brand?

Demographic and psychographic profile of macro-influencers

Customers are more likely to buy from brands they feel align with their values, allowing them to match their own image with the brand’s image.

Macro-influencers at this level are borderline celebrities. Some are actors, musicians, or other public figures with some level of fame. Even those without traditional fame can be indistinguishable from celebrities within their niche, inspiring, influencing, and exciting their audiences.

As their audience aligns with their style and values, brands can tap into that connection. Building these connections takes time, dedication, and understanding. These established creators have put significant effort into gaining their position, as it typically takes months or years of regular posting to achieve macro-influencer status.

This wealth of experience should give brands confidence when collaborating with them. After all, if your target audience matches their followers, they are bona fide experts in creating content that appeals to them.

The reach and impact of macro-influencers in the UK market

Macro-influencers have large numbers of followers, which allows brands to reach a wide audience with a single post. This broad reach is particularly valuable for growing brand awareness. Some macro-influencers are even celebrities, such as Dawn French and Gorka Marquez.

What about their engagement rates?

The engagement rate for macro-influencers varies by platform but is generally high enough to ensure significant interaction with each post. The engagement rate is calculated by adding the number of likes, comments, and shares a post has received and dividing the total by the number of followers. It is then multiplied by 100 to make a percentage. On Instagram, macro-influencers have an average engagement rate of 0.86%.

That means collaborating with an influencer with 300,000 Instagram followers results in 2580 engagements, providing substantial exposure and high potential for conversions.

Case studies and examples of successful macro-influencer campaigns on Instagram and TikTok

Many brands have seen substantial success using macro influencers. Here, we explore examples of two macro-influencer collaborations:

LuluLemon x The Food Medic

The Food Medic, also known as Dr Hazel Wallace, is a creator who is making a positive difference by sharing healthy recipes and fitness inspiration. She has 795,000 followers on Instagram, primarily women aged 25-34.

LuluLemon, a sportswear brand, collaborated with Wallace to create a series of posts promoting their products. Her posts reached around 5,000 likes each, effectively engaging her audience. LuluLemon has long used influencer marketing tactics to sustain and grow its brand. The collaboration with Dr Wallace increased the brand's credibility and relevance in a key demographic.

Disney+ UK x Shell Rowe

To boost its streaming service's visibility and subscriber base, Disney+ UK partnered with popular influencer Shell Rowe, a British content creator with 844,000 followers on TikTok. Rowe has a younger audience, primarily women aged 18-25.

The campaign promoted new shows, including "Camden" and "Renegade Nell." Rowe created humorous and relatable videos around Disney+ content, asking her audience questions, such as “Who do you think did it?” and sharing personal stories, such as how music helped her through chemotherapy. Additionally, she was invited on a VIP tour of Disneyland California, which she shared with her followers.

This long-term collaboration built trust with Rowe's audience. By featuring clips from "Camden," sharing her enthusiasm, and encouraging her followers to watch the movie on Disney+, Rowe created a compelling call to action. The campaign successfully boosted Disney+ UK’s visibility, resulting in a noticeable increase in subscriptions and streaming of "Camden."

@shellrowe AD Who do you think did it? Catch Shardlake on Disney+ #DisneyPlusUK ♬ original sound - ShellRowe

How to gain strategic alignment with macro-influencers

If the benefits of a macro-influencer campaign fit your objectives, you can start thinking about which influencer will fit your campaign.  

We believe you should consider the following essentials to ensure you collaborate with an influencer who can help you smash targets.

Identifying the right macro-influencer

To start, search using hashtags or look through your comments to find influencers who are passionate about your niche or brand. Once you shortlist an influencer, investigate their content. Does their style match your brands? If it's not an exact match, would their style complement yours or bring your brand to a new audience? Are their audience aware of your brand? If so, what is their understanding?

In addition, look for social media influencers with strong and authentic connections with their followers. Ensure that their audience is engaging with their content genuinely and that their endorsements have an impact.

Influencer marketing platforms are beneficial here. You can gain the insights you need in seconds rather than going it alone and ploughing hours into research. Simply search through an extensive database featuring any UK influencer with over 5,000 followers. It's as easy as a Google search. You can set filters to ensure the creator matches your target audience, content, and even audience location.

If you want to launch an effective campaign quickly and effectively, try Kolsquare. There's no need to pay anything. Just book in for a demo today.

Aligning the KOL's audience with your target market

Macro-influencers are trusted voices within their niches. To leverage their influence effectively, ensure their audience aligns with your target market. This alignment means your marketing messages will reach consumers who are already interested in your product category, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

For example, if your brand targets young, fashion-conscious individuals, collaborating with a macro-influencer known for their style and fashion content will ensure your products are showcased to a receptive audience.

Use detailed audience insights to confirm that the influencer’s followers match your desired customer profile in terms of age, gender, location, and interests.

Crafting a shared vision and message

Creating a successful collaboration requires more than choosing the right influencer; it involves developing a shared vision and cohesive message.

Begin by discussing your brand’s goals, values, and key messages with the influencer. Develop content that resonates deeply with your target market while complimenting both your and the influencer’s styles. This shared vision ensures that the content feels authentic and seamless, enhancing trust and relatability.

Although brands often struggle to resign creative control, macro-influencers are experts. Giving creators the space to create inspired, authentic content is more likely to resonate with their audience. This authenticity is crucial, as it leads to higher engagement rates and a more positive perception of your brand.

Crafting a winning macro-influencer collaboration

Picking the right influencer is the first step, but now you need to ensure your campaign is effective.

These are our tips for a great campaign:

Negotiating terms

Efficient and effective negotiations are crucial when collaborating with macro influencers. Start by clearly defining your campaign objectives and KPIs, such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and sales conversions.

Transparent communication ensures mutual understanding of expectations, deliverables, timelines, and compensation.

Use your negotiation skills to agree on fair compensation, whether it's flat fees, performance-based payments, or product exchanges. Once you've agreed, draft a detailed contract outlining all your agreed terms.

Check out our full guide to writing a contract.

Creative strategies

While you know your brand best, the influencer knows their audience. Be open to their ideas and work together cooperatively.  

Consider offering exclusive content or experiences, such as behind-the-scenes looks, early product access, or unique discount codes.

Another way to gain interest is to encourage influencers to generate and share user-generated content (UGC), as this increases engagement and extends the campaign’s reach organically.

Cross-platform promotion

Maximise your campaign's reach by leveraging multiple social media platforms. Instagram and TikTok are effective for visual and short-form content, while YouTube and Twitch can handle longer, detailed content. Keep your campaign’s messaging consistent across all platforms to reinforce your brand’s message.

You can use collaborative features, such as Instagram’s “Collab” feature, to share posts with both the brand’s and the influencer’s followers simultaneously, amplifying reach and engagement.

Measuring success and ROI

Without setting objectives and measuring your results, there’s no way to know how your content has performed.

Clear, measurable objectives are essential for gauging the success of your marketing campaigns.

Consider the following KPIs:

  • Engagement: Key engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and shares indicate how well the content resonates with the audience. These metrics help you understand the level of interaction and interest generated by the influencer's posts.
  • Reach and impressions: Monitoring reach and impressions is essential for understanding the breadth of your campaign's exposure. Total reach represents the number of unique users who see the content, providing insight into the campaign's potential audience size. Impressions, on the other hand, measure the total number of times the content is displayed, regardless of whether it is clicked.
  • Conversion metrics: To directly measure the impact on your bottom line, track conversion metrics such as click-through rates (CTR) and sales. CTR is the ratio of users who click on a link compared to the total number of users who view the content, which directly measures how compelling the call-to-action is. Sales and revenue metrics are often tracked through unique discount codes or affiliate links provided to influencers.
  • Audience growth: Audience growth is another important KPI, reflecting the increase in followers on your brand’s social media accounts during and after the campaign. This metric indicates the campaign's effectiveness in attracting new potential customers and expanding your reach.
  • Brand awareness: Tracking brand mentions and the use of campaign-specific hashtags can help measure the campaign's impact on brand visibility. These metrics provide insight into how well the campaign has increased brand awareness and engaged the broader social media community. You can use Kolsquare's social listening tool to track trends and gain easy insights into conversations in your niche.
  • Measuring ROI: Measure the financial return on your marketing investment. This tracks the campaign's overall benefit to your brand. However, keep in mind that awareness and visibility will continue to drive ROI long into the future.

Macro-influencer campaign aids: Platforms, tools, and agency

Launching a truly effective influencer marketing campaign can be tricky for brands with small, busy, or non-existent marketing teams.

While some platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, offer tools with built-in analytics to monitor engagement, reach, and demographic data, they are often limited.

Brands can also choose to work with an agency. These companies can take over most of the campaign and match you with influencers. However, this hands-on service often costs more than other options.

The alternative is influencer marketing platforms. These tools allow you to complete the campaign in-house but remove the complexity, freeing up your time to work on the creative elements of the campaign.

Kolsquare is an influencer marketing platform that helps you streamline your campaign from start to finish. It provides robust analytics to identify the best macro-influencers for your campaigns, helping you connect precisely with your target audience. Once the campaign is launched, you can manage relationships and gain immediate insights into the campaign's progress.

Book in for a free demo today.

Ethical considerations and best practices

The influencer marketing industry is maturing. Now, there are clear regulations brands and influencers should follow for effective and ethical campaigns:

Rules & guidelines

Adhering to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines is crucial for transparency and consumer trust in influencer marketing. The ASA requires all sponsored content to be clearly identified using tags like #ad or #sponsored. Ensuring influencers comply with these guidelines protects your brand from legal issues and reputational harm. Non-compliance can result in sanctions, public censure, and a loss of consumer trust. It's essential to brief influencers thoroughly and include disclosure obligations in contracts.

Maintain authenticity

Authenticity drives successful influencer marketing campaigns. Consumers, especially Gen Z, value genuine and relatable content. Collaborate with influencers whose personal brand and values align with yours to ensure the content feels natural and credible.

Authenticity fosters trust and deeper connections between the influencer, the brand, and their audience.

Long-term vs one-off campaigns

Depending on your marketing goals, you can choose between long-term partnerships and one-off campaigns. Long-term collaborations build deeper relationships and sustained brand loyalty, turning influencers into true brand advocates. This continuity helps establish trust and credibility.

On the other hand, one-off campaigns are ideal for specific promotions or product launches, creating immediate buzz and short-term results.

However, we believe that long-term campaigns offer the most mutual benefit. Macro-influencers have worked hard to grow their channels. It's best if you respect their efforts and reimburse them for their work. These investments encourage creators to work harder for your brand, and they are less likely to jump ship when a better offer arises.

Check out some creative influencer marketing campaigns here!

Who is the top Macro Influencer in the UK?

It’s hard to define a “top” macro-influencer. However, some popular names include Dr Hazel Wallace (@thefoodmedic), who has 795,000 Instagram followers. In addition, Stephanie Davis (@stephaniedavis88), an actress and singer.

Earnings: How much do macro-influencers make?

Macro influencers can earn substantial incomes from their online activities. Earnings vary based on platform, engagement rates, and the nature of the collaboration. While brands can negotiate fees, on average, macro-influencers earn:

  • Instagram: Between £2,000 to £10,000 per post, depending on the influencer's reach and engagement.
  • YouTube: Earnings can be higher, ranging from £5,000 to £20,000 per video, especially for those with high engagement and niche audiences.
  • TikTok: Generally, they earn around £500 to £5,000 per sponsored post.

How to Become a Macro-Influencer

Becoming a macro-influencer involves a combination of strategy, consistency, and authentic engagement with your audience. Here are the key steps:

  • Identify Your Niche: Focus on a specific area of interest that you are passionate about that also has an active audience.
  • Create Quality Content: Consistently produce high-quality content that provides value to your followers. Use a mix of posts, stories, videos, and live sessions.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Build a community by interacting with your followers through comments, direct messages, and social media stories.
  • Collaborate with Other Influencers: Partner with other influencers to expand your reach and attract new followers.
  • Use analytics: Monitor your content’s performance using social media analytics tools to understand what resonates with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Work with Brands: Start with smaller collaborations and gradually work your way up to more extensive partnerships. To maintain authenticity, ensure that the brands you collaborate with align with your values and interests.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

Influencer Marketing Newsletter

Don't miss a thing!