The Six Types of Influencers
Influencer Marketing is currently one of the most prominent trends in content marketing. It is not new and has been popular with B2C companies. Still, B2B organizations have just realized the promising potential of collaborating with social media influencers as a part of their social media marketing strategy.
Social media influencers are individuals who have built a social media fan base and are frequently viewed by their followers as iconic models and experts in their chosen industry.
Anyone can be an influencer, come from different backgrounds, and specialize in various fields, including but not limited to:
- Actors and actresses
- TV and social media stars
- Bloggers and vloggers
- Sports stars and athletes
- Editors and authors
- Many more
To maximize your business benefits of different types of influencers, collaborating with the right influencer is a must.
However, since the number of influencers has continuously been rising, marketers have to decide from a lot of options.
Below we tell you six main types of influencers, through which you can have a clear view of the influencer market, and hopefully, you can find the most suitable influencer types for your company.
Nano Influencers Are The Smallest Types Of Influencers
Characteristics of nano influencers:
- The number of followers: 1K to 10K
- Regular, everyday people
- Nano influencers can be fans of a particular brand or product and usually post and mention brands on their channels.
- Suitable for small business with low budgets
- Has a close connection with their fans, and answers almost every comment and question. It makes their followers more open to perceiving their recommendation as an authentic recommendation rather than a branded endorsement.
- Nano influencers have an engagement rate twice as high as other types’, said State of Influencer Marketing 2019.
When To Use Nano Influencers?
When you are a small business with a limited budget for marketing, partnerships with nano influencers might be the right choice. They are cost-effective, and your brand has access to several potential customers who are loyal fans of the influencer.
After gaining brand awareness from a larger audience, you want to focus your campaign on gaining leads. This strategy is when you realize that targeting a specific audience group might get you a higher conversion rate, which helps your business grow.
Driving leads is easier with micro-influencers; however, with a relatively lower price, nano influencer marketing is much more affordable.
When you want to test your products or services in a new niche, nano influencers might help you out. Requiring a reasonable fee with a low-risk is a safe solution for you to predict potential feedback from the community.
When you want to gather more influencers to form an ambassador force for your brand, nano influencers evolve faster than other groups of creators. Their potential to be your future loyal micro or even macro-influencers in the future is vast. It might take from a few months to a few years, depending on the size of their fan base, their ability to communicate with followers effectively, and their creativity in creating fresh and exciting content.
How And Where To Find Nano Influencers?
Nano influencers are mostly available on social media channels, especially on Instagram – the main playground of the influencer marketing industry. For example, you can easily spot them through monitoring your brand mentions and tags.
Do you know that even your employees can become a nano influencers? By encouraging them to talk more about your brand on their social media profiles, you might be surprised by the results, and your company might gain a considerable number of potential customers in the end.
A typical nano influencer is @choicesbychloe – an English nano influencer who has 3,498 followers on Instagram for her inspirational fashion and lifestyle. She often collaborates with small fashion brands such as @glamifyfashion or @emuaustralia, to promote their products, like slippers.
Sometimes, she combines impressive products coming from @springfieldflorist – a local flower shop, or @barebyvogue – an emerging tanning cosmetics brand into her daily photos to show her lifestyle to followers.
Micro-influencers Are Types of Influencers With Potential To Grow
Characteristics of micro-influencers:
- The number of followers: 10K to 100K
- Specializes in a niche
- Have an extremely high engagement rate with their fans when compared to other influencer types.
- Highly segmented audiences, which will be easy for your brand to tailor advertisements for them.
- Are relevant, reliable and authentic to followers
- Average pricing
- Many of them are also open to other forms of compensation, including giveaways and shoutouts, which leads to more opportunities for companies that don’t have sufficient funds for an influencer marketing campaign.
When To Use Micro-influencers?
A micro-influencer will benefit you the most by shifting your influencer marketing strategy from brand awareness to a more specific approach.
For example, if you have a clothing brand and want to target more potential customers, instead of collaborating with mega and all-star influencers with millions of followers, you should choose micro-influencers.
Many micro-influencers can help you deliver the right messages to the right people on a larger scale.
Micro-influencers will inherit all benefits that nano influencers might bring to your company in a partnership with a more substantial fan base and higher engagement rate. Therefore, in every case that you should use nano influencers, you might adequately use micro-influencers if you have a thicker wallet.
The reason a micro-influencer has more followers than a nano influencer is that they are individuals who specialize in a particular field. The specialization allows your brand to partner with them whenever you find it necessary to prioritize quality rather than the number of followers.
How And Where To Find Micro-Influencers?
You can start looking for micro-influencers who are already fans of your brand by scanning brand hashtags or searching your followers’ list on social media channels.
According to Influencer DB, almost 30% of all Instagram accounts are micro-influencers, with less than 100K followers. As a result, social platforms, such as Instagram, could be a great place to start.
One example of a micro-influencer is Christine @christineabroad – a Spanish travel blogger followed by 90.4 thousand people on her Instagram profile. As she always appears to be a super active and iconic traveler through impressive photos in different popular destinations around the world.
Therefore, she’s a perfect partner for hospitality brands, such as @billandcoowayoflife – a hotel resort in Mykonos, Greece, or accessories brands like ISM – a minimalist backpack brand.
She also has a long-term partnership with the Swedish sports clothes brand @stronger. The way she promotes brand products is similar to how she updates her traveling photos every day, making sponsored posts as engaging as her regular posts.
Macro-Influencers: The Mid-Tier Influencer Type
Characteristics of Macro-influencers:
- The number of followers: 100K to 500K
- Segmented audiences who are easy to reach and engage
- A low number of multi-brand collaboration
- A relatively high number of loyal followers whom your campaign might have a considerable impact on
- Relatively high pricing
When To Use Macro-influencers?
The perfect time to utilize macro-influencers and their potential to your brand is when you want to increase engagement rates and your brand’s reach.
When you want your brand to be known, be noticed, and be discussed, macro-influencers’ can help you. With hundreds of thousands of followers, they are capable of broadcasting your brand image in the mind of their fans, make them wonder why the influencers use this product, what this brand is, and spark interest in the brand.
When you want to increase brand reputation around your products, macro-influencers allow you to make the content and share what you want to show the customers. By collaborating with them, you will have full control in running your influencer marketing campaign.
How And Where To Find Macro-influencers?
Mid-tier or macro-influencers are mainly known as podcasters, vloggers, bloggers, or content creators on social media channels such as Youtube, Facebook, and Tiktok. Hashtag research and platforms’ tools could be great ways for you to figure out the most suitable influencer for your company.
Nevertheless, as the risk of fake influencers is rising daily via buying and selling channels and accounts, macro-influencers sadly face a growing risk of becoming a part of the influencer scam. You should be extremely careful when researching influencers to find the most authentic and reliable ones that work with your brand.
As an authentic macro influencer, Kathleen Barnes (@kathleen_barnes) is the owner of the website Carrie Bradshaw Lied. She shares it with her fans (approximately 450K on Instagram) about her lifestyle – attainable luxury, her fashion, home, and travel experience.
She partners with LiketoKnowit – a social-based shopping service powered by rewardStyle. rewardStyle allows users to purchase items their favorite influencers are wearing or using in a given post.
She sometimes collaborates with an interior brand such as @ballarddesigns or a cosmetics brand named Clé de Peau Beauté US (@cledepeaubeauteus) to promote their typical products.
Mega Influencers Are The Right Influencer For Scale
Characteristics of mega influencers:
- The number of followers: 500K to 2M
- Vast amounts of social media consumers
- High price tag, depending on their profiles.
- Collaborate with several brands at the same time
- Widely well-known and popular
- Contribute to the rising revenue of marketing campaigns
- Offer a brand the ability to increase its presence to a broad audience quickly.
- An audience might not be as specified when compared to other types of influencers.
When To Use Mega Influencers?
Brand awareness campaigns in which a broad reach is necessary to get your products or services in front of as many people as possible is where mega influencers step in, especially when combined with an unlimited budget.
By collaborating with million-follower mega influencers, if your brand targets different customer segments, you will be able to reach all those sectors at once.
Target audiences might not believe in your offering due to the over-saturation of product placements in the mega influencer market. Thus, with the mega influencer is best to target for maximum reach.
Working with professional mega influencers who are usually managed by talented managers or agencies will satisfy you if you have a high requirement in partnership in your business’ campaigns.
They jump into the campaigns with full knowledge of what they need and what they need from a partnership. It will be especially beneficial when you want to save time and limit the cost incurred of using influencer management software.
With a considerably large number of followers, mega influencers are famous people. Therefore, many people know them and notice what they do. It will lower the risk of fake influencers, which has been a problem mostly in the mid-tier influencers sector.
How And Where To Find Mega Influencers?
Since mega influencers are generally popular with up to 2 million fans, they are almost everywhere on every social platform. Depending on their profile and fan base, you will see in which industry they are highly active and whether or not it is suitable for your company.
Mega influencers are the top-tier in terms of the size of all types of influencers. You can combine the method for both micro and all-star ones to find an appropriate mega influencer.
Since collaborating with them could also be seen as a more affordable option than all-start influencers, you will have more choices in finding a great partner without worrying too much about the budget.
Haley Wight (@cosmobyhaley), who is followed by 874 thousand people on Instagram, is an American makeup artist. In her everyday photos and videos, she always appears with different makeup styles and interacts naturally with her fans. She is currently a partner with Studio Meraki (@studiomerakipdx) – a cosmetic tattoo studio in the US.
As an influential person in the makeup industry, she is a familiar partner with popular cosmetics brands such as ColourPop Cosmetics (@colourpopcosmetics), FARSÁLI (@farsalicare), or Ace Beautè (@acebeaute).
All-Star Influencers Are For Developing Brand Image
Characteristics of all-star influencers:
- The number of followers: over 2 million
- Usually celebrities
- Massive following including highly diverse audiences (challenging to identify a specific segment)
- One post from them can be an instant hit and reach a vast number of people
- Are not necessarily experts in a particular field
- Extremely high cost, this might limit their accessibility to only large brands
When To Use All-star Influencers?
If you have a huge budget and are looking for immediate PR and branding advertisements, all-star influencers with millions of followers are willing to be your partner.
This type of influencer includes extremely famous people and celebrities, who might also be the face for other brands. In case you don’t mind their over-sponsored status, you can still consider collaborating with them to utilize the unlimited potential from their enormous number of followers.
When you are already familiar with influencer marketing and want to add a famous influencer to boost your campaigns, you will most likely need to get in touch with the influencer’s agents.
Working with professional and skillful agents and agencies who manages almost every all-star influencer will save you a lot of time.
You will also find it easy to keep your brand image appearing appropriately and aesthetically at scale through celebrities’ posts.
How And Where To Find All-Star Influencers?
All-star influencers are the same as mega-influencer, but with more than two million followers. They usually are celebrities. According to Influencer DB, less than 1% of all influencers are all-star influencers who have over 5 million fans on their channel.
No matter from which channel they got their start, they are incredibly well-known, and people interact with them every day. It’s why all-star influencers can only be accessed and collaborated through their agencies or intermediary parties to negotiate the price and sign the contract with you.
Thus, start by looking for recommended all-start influencers from agencies and agents. Yet, you are free to do it manually.
When doing research and analysis of those types of influencers, you need to consider the following:
- If they work in the same industry as yours
- If their fan base covers your target audience
- If they have a good profile suitable for your brand
These facts tell you if you have enough information to choose the best influencers for your campaign.
One of the most notable celebrities is Chrissy Teigen – an American model, author, and television personality who made her modeling debut in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2010. She is extremely famous and followed by millions of people on every social platform she joins.
Through daily social media posts, that she shares with fans her daily, includes everyday moments that combine product endorsements of brands she works with, such as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@si_swimsuit), Target (@target), and QUAY AUSTRALIA (@quayaustralia).
What is a Fake influencer?
Fake influencers are accounts who raise their followers and engagement rates artificially to seem more prominent and influential. Some fake influencers might repost photos and videos that are similar to the real ones, but their following is mostly from fake accounts and even bots.
When researching for influencers, keep track of the following metrics to see if they are legit:
- The number of followers in comparison with engagement per post
- The quality of comments on each post (any spam comments)
- How they react
- Who is following them
- Who they are following
As the influencer marketing is becoming familiar and popular nowadays, the trend of fake influencer is sadly growing. It becomes easier for wealthy people who want to have an impressive follower count to buy fake followers from the black market or boost themselves through Facebook Ads.
Likewise, there are many other ways to get fake followers. One of the most common free methods is calling for others to follow a user, and then they would follow back in return.
If you find an influencer who has thousands of followers while following thousands of people, typically, it is not a proper influencer.
Followers are simply accounts created on social platforms. And it can be easily faked. Accounts with no profile picture, no content, or random usernames, are accounts used to boost fake influencers accounts.
Finding An Authentic Influencer
Influencers often interact with each other. If you see interactions between influencers in the field, this might show they are authentic.
You can spot authentic influencers by looking for the blue verification badge on social media platforms. Each social channel has its policies and terms to verify qualified accounts that have a significant influence on people. Verification badges help you save time to track other metrics of those influencers.
Additionally, multiple available tools can help you quickly identify fake influencers, for example, Socialbakers.
Outcomes Of Fake Influencers
So, what if you unluckily collaborate with a fake influencer? This partnership will be more harmful to your brand; the longer the relationship lasts.
In the worst-case scenario, your company will be losing money. Fake influencers regularly take your money without generating results.
According to a study from the Points North Group, a large cosmetics brand spent $600,000 out of a budget of $2 million for impressions that didn’t reach real followers.
The impact of these fake influencers within your campaign depends mostly on your companies size and budgets. Large companies can withstand the losses better than smaller companies.
The real impact of these fake influencers is that they give a bad name for the rest of the influencers who are genuine and offering a compelling method for marketing campaigns.
Besides money, fake influencers waste time and effort of managers and employees who invested in the influencer for a project.
Brand reputation and credibility might also be severely affected by a fake influencer. People may get disappointed and feel doubtful about your brand and products if they find out your influencer partners turn out to be fraudulent. But most commonly, the real reason for not working with fake influencers is the lack of results.
The amount of influencers is rising every day due to the rapid growth of social platforms and networks. Companies have many influencers to choose from, making it challenging to find the right match.
Acknowledging different types of influencers, you can determine which content creator is the perfect match for your brand, budget, and expectations in building an effective influencer marketing strategy for your business.
Last but not least, when choosing influencers, the alignment between the brand’s image and the influencers’ niche is vital. The right types of influencers will help your campaign reach more potential customers, encourage the spread of brand awareness in communities, and achieve marketing goals faster.