The 5 Types of Influencers You Need to Know

Influencer marketing has become wildly successful. 

Brands are making more than 5x what they spend on working with influencers – when they find the right ones to work with, that is.

And that’s the first challenge: identifying the best types of influencers to deliver real results for the brand. Especially when there are five different types of influencers to choose from:

  • Mega-influencers with more than a million followers (think celebrities)
  • Macro-influencers with 500K to 1 million followers
  • Mid-tier influencers with 50K to 500K followers
  • Micro-influencers with 10K to 50K followers
  • Nano-influencers with 1K to 10K followers

influencer

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So how do you know which types of influencers is the best fit for your brand? You spend a little time getting to know each one, considering their differences, and weighing the benefits against your business goals.

Here’s some background information to get you started.

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Mega-Influencers 

With more than a million followers, mega-influencers are highly visible on social media due to their celebrity status. They’re very active on social platforms where their audience spends time, and they generate a ton of engagement. This is what makes them attractive to brands that want to leverage influencer marketing—and what makes them incredibly expensive.

Points to consider: While mega-influencers offer incredible reach, studies have found that the rate of engagement decreases as the influencer’s total follower count rises. For Instagram influencers with more than 10 million followers, the engagement rate is only 1.6 percent.

instagram-like.

 Source

Macro-Influencers

With a slightly smaller audience size between 500,000 and 1 million followers, macro-influencers may be celebrities, TV personalities, athletes, or thought leaders. Since they can leverage their reputation to gain followers on social media, brands can expect a high price tag—though not as hefty as mega-influencers. Brands still get a large reach with this type of influencer but may not get the engagement rate they want. This is due to the follower to engagement ratio mentioned earlier.

Points to consider: Macro-influencer content is typically more professional-looking than what brands find with micro- or nano-influencers. Some brands may find this to be a better fit for their audience and goals.

Mid-Tier Influencers

Mid-tier influencers may not be celebrity status, yet they remain a powerful group of content creators trusted by their followers. With audiences between 50K and 500K, this type of influencer offers brands a wide reach and slightly more engagement than macro- or mega-influencers. Content is polished but not out-of-touch, lending authenticity and familiarity to each post. 

Points to consider: Rather than leveraging fame for a quick rise to the top, mid-tier influencers likely spent years climbing the ranks from nano-influencer to mid-tier influencer. They are very experienced in terms of creating content and are more connected to their audience. 

Micro-Influencers 

While micro-influencers have a much smaller following in comparison with mega-influencers, brands generally consider this group to be much more effective in terms of engagement and trust. That’s because micro-influencers have an intimate connection with their followers and tend to be more niche-focused. Eighty-two percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a micro-influencer. 

Points to consider: Content from micro-influencers is less polished but may feel more authentic than content from macro- or mega-influencers. This may influence the amount of success a brand experiences with influencer marketing, depending on business goals.

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Nano-Influencers

With the smallest follower count, nano-influencers offer brands a modest reach and probably a narrower one, too. However, what brands lose in reach they gain in engagement rates. Nano-influencers have the highest engagement rate of any influencer type, at 8.8 percent. Content is hyper-authentic and personalized for the audience, so brands working with this type of influencer can expect a different experience in this way. 

Points to consider: Nano-influencers are much more cost-effective than their higher-ups, so brands with limited resources may want to start at this level of influencer marketing. Some nano-influencers don’t even charge brands, as they are building their following and partnerships with brands.

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Learn More About Influencer Marketing

If you really want to get into the details about choosing which types of influencers will fit with your digital marketing strategy, check out the science behind influencer marketing. Or, check out the Advanced Social Media Marketing Training Course, where you’ll learn advanced strategies for influencer marketing, content marketing, analytics, and much more.  

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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