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Before you embark on creating an influencer marketing campaign, you need to know how to find the right ones.
That’s why we created a helpful guide explaining the different types of influencers and what to expect from partnering with them.
- Agencies categorize influencers based on follower count into:
- Each influencer category has unique advantages and considerations for brand partnerships.
- Different industries require distinct influencer strategies to connect authentically with audiences.
- Authenticity and engagement are key factors when choosing influencers, regardless of follower count or industry.
- Monitoring engagement levels is crucial, as a large following doesn't always guarantee an engaged audience.
Working with influencers can help you reach outstanding results. But to do so, you need to agree to specific terms and conditions. That’s why we recommend you ask for an influencer proposal detailing how the chosen influencers will produce and publish content to help you reach your target audience.
With that said, you must choose the right content creator for your needs.
And that’s where ranking social media influencers come in. The primary way to divide influencers is by the number of their followers. Although it may sound counterintuitive to focus on quantity instead of quality, for influencers, these two terms are intertwined:
If you’re worried about working with influencers who have fake followers, you can use this tool to check out how many real followers they have.
The software also shows you their audience demographics, which can be really helpful if you have a good understanding of your audience.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
Mega-influencers have millions of followers. They are people with high visibility on social media who have a considerable audience size. Because of that, they are very attractive to brands looking for influencers.
On the other hand, these influencers usually only post promoted content, meaning your brand can get drowned in the sea of similar posts. Since mega-influencers work with a lot of brands, they tend to create similar content for all their promotional posts.
This means that while your brand will be more visible once mega-influencer posts about your products and services, the content won’t be as heartfelt as one from smaller influencers may be.
We’re not saying this is the case for all big social media influencers, but once people get into the habit of creating sponsored content, they create a template and reuse it repeatedly.
Serena Williams provides an excellent example. The tennis star has over 15 million followers on Instagram at the time of this writing and she frequently endorses products.
In the video below, Serena tells fans that she prepares for Wimbledon by doing Legos and watching Marvel movies.
Although this tennis star is a huge celebrity, the video presents her in a very homey environment, dressed simply, and using a phone cam. The lack of any bling or extra props makes this video more authentic, giving credibility to Serena’s recommendations.
Besides, legos and Marvel have become staples in today’s society. Because their use has become so prevalent, recommending these products is like recommending orange juice or popcorn.
Macro-influencers have 500,000 to a million followers. They also have a large audience and can help you increase brand awareness and sell more products. Macro-influencers are a great option for brands that have a larger budget and want a professional approach to creating content.
That is because this type of influencer has access to the right equipment, tools and more. Macro-influencers have the experience and knowledge of mega-influencers while still providing you with results.
If you reach out to mega and macro-influencer and ask for a press kit, they will know exactly what you mean and will be able to provide you with specific numbers and predict the results of your partnership. That’s one of the things that justify their price.
Sidney Raz offers a good example, too. The quirky, fun Sid is famous for his “things I wish I knew before I was in my 30s” Instagram account.
This account details interesting and very useful things most people didn’t know. Besides, Sid is a true showman, captivating his audience’s attention from the get-go.
The true challenge is giving his paid partnerships the same tone of voice, and an interesting and laid-back appearance. But Sid can do that:
In the video above, Sid deals with one of the people’s most poignant fears: speaking in public. He also offers the solution: Microsoft’s Speaker Coach, a software that helps people practise their speeches efficiently.
As you can see, this video resembles his unpaid ones very closely, from his humorous voice to the slew of benefits offered by the solution.
Mid-tier influencers have anywhere from around 50,000 to 500,000 followers. Having fewer followers means that they create less sponsored content. That means that their followers have more trust in them, which could be great for you.
Since mid-tier influencers mostly have jobs and don’t have much time to produce content, their posts are less polished and more authentic.
Partnering up with a mid-tier influencer won’t break your bank, but make sure your expectations are realistic.
In a paid partnership with KiwiCo, Alena shows the PandaCrate in action. This box has age-specific baby products and toys, helping new parents to save money and time. And that fits precisely in the “budgeting” part of her profile.
Besides, the video doesn’t look salesy at all; in fact, it fits perfectly well in Alena’s repertoire from music to colour.
Micro-influencers have 10,000 to 50,000 followers. They have a lower number of followers, yet on average have a better engagement rate than bigger influencers. The reason behind this is that followers prefer to have an intimate connection with content creators.
Micro-influencers may not be creating as high-quality content as others, but their content comes across as more authentic.
Jorge Gutierrez is a flight crew interested in skin and beauty products. With over 36,000 followers at the time of this writing, he qualifies as a micro-influencer.
And this particular post below has gotten him over 113,065 likes - over three times his follower count.
What did Jorge get right? His authenticity. He admits that flight crew have to put a lot of effort into staying fresh and hydrated for their trips. He also makes several confessions about himself - the products he obsesses over, his insights, and his thinking process.
As a result, his post comes off as highly credible and engaging, which leads to more sales.
Nano-influencers have on average between 1,000 to 10,000 followers. They have a very personalized approach to their audience since they have a better chance of connecting with them.
Obviously, nano-influencers are the most affordable option for brands. They also tend to put more effort into their branded posts, since they appreciate the opportunity.
Besides, nano-influencers spend a lot of time listening to and talking to their audience, so they can convince people to purchase things more effectively.
Hannah is an excellent example of how nano-influencers use their keen insights into their target audiences and the relationship they have developed to promote certain products. Hannah’s viewers are well acquainted with her weight-related journey, which influenced her entire life.
The post below taps into that and also Hannah’s strength as a plus-size runner.
Besides, her honest review gives viewers more reasons to consider that particular sports bra that Hannah so eloquently advertises.
Now that we covered the types of influencers based on their follower count, let's jump into a guide on different industry-type influencers.
One of the most popular niches for influencers is gaming. It’s the type of influencers that are most followed by men, with 54% of men following some type of gaming influencer. Their most popular platforms are Twitch, YouTube and Instagram.
These types of influencers film themselves playing video games, which can be really engaging, especially if the followers can help the influencer out.
Gamer influencers mostly promote new games, gaming equipment, energy drinks and more.
Kripp is one of the most eloquent examples in the gaming world, especially since his recommendations are directly linked to Path of Exile becoming such a famous game. Even now, in 2022, Kripp is still publishing content about this video game, which attracts a particular type of old-school audience.
If you’re looking for a gaming influencer, make sure to look for people who are creating content for their loyal followers, just like Kripp.
These types of influencers film YouTube, Instagram and TikTok videos in which they test out new make-up, and skin care products and show how to use them.
Beauty brands love influencers and regularly repost their content. This is because user-generated content helps people build bonds with brands. When it comes to beauty, there are no one-size-fits-all products, because people have different complexions, skin types, hair types and more.
That’s why it’s important to use real people to showcase how different products can help them.
Megha Singh’s post below shows her using two different make-up techniques: one used by make-up artists and another used by Instagram influencers. That way, Megha helps her viewers have realistic expectations when they try another social media trend.
Moral of the story? People like authentic influencers who can connect with them at a deeper level. Long gone are the days of air-brushed celebrities with absolutely no pores or lines.
Instead, people today want relevant content that educates them and helps them become their best versions. That’s how high engagement rates are being built.
Fitness influencers are usually highly motivated and energetic individuals. They help their followers improve their health and fitness.
That said, these influencers usually promote:
Fitness influencers also regularly post product reviews and explain which gym mats, weights and other products are the best for beginners or advanced athletes.
Just like The Lean Machines who share advice on how to pick the right running shoes. With content like this, they increase their authority in the industry and prove themselves as great influencers to follow.
Who doesn’t love a foodie? They know the best places to eat, help us understand new culinary trends and know how to make a quick meal without breaking the bank.
Food influencers have an envious job, however, creating a content strategy can be tricky for them. Since people are picky eaters and food tends to have a very strong bond with culture, which can cause followers to negatively respond to an unfamiliar recipe. That’s why food influencers tend to focus on a specific type of food, like the Mediterranean.
Michelle Tam is a good example since she focuses on paleo and gluten-free recipes. Her recipes are easy to replicate and she even creates cleaning video hacks and other helpful types of content.
These types of influencers write restaurant reviews and recommend new places for people visiting a specific location. Some also disclose their personal lives to become more relatable or partner with the health and fitness industry to create unique content.
Travel influencers tend to make high-quality content that is engaging and interesting to consume. They share travel tips and tricks and review hotels, retreats, spas and more.
They help people discover new places and fall in love with different cultures and languages. Travel influencers can help brands with product launches, they can jumpstart undiscovered tourist locations and help developing countries win over more visitors.
Olivia Loren is a great travel influencer that shows the beauty of Croatia and gives tips on which places to visit, what to eat and more. Since she is focused on one country, she has the time and space to create in-depth content and give advice on activities she tried herself.
Lifestyle influencers can be anything from photographers, architects, fashionable people or more. They sell more than products and services, they sell a specific lifestyle.
A lot of fashion brands partner up with lifestyle influencers to show their product being used in real life. After all, dresses look better on people than on hangers.
Isabella Rakonic is an influencer with more than 400K followers. She travels the world and enjoys high fashion, luxury goods and amazing food. She stands out by showing unique places and hobbies that aren’t often seen on Instagram.
Having a good understanding of influencers will help you pick the best ones for your brand and enjoy the entire experience without worrying about the quality of their content.
Influencer marketing helps people build audience relationships since real people tend to be more reliable than big corporations. A loyal community of followers can transform your social media strategy and sell more.
Make sure to look for influencers that are unique, still love to create content for their loyal followers and have a niche that isn’t just a passing trend.
Whether you’re in the gaming industry, the beauty industry or something else, you should always look for the best influencer for your niche. With our guide, you’ll easily do so.
Our last tip is to keep an eye on the engagement levels of every influencer since a large following doesn’t always translate to an engaged audience.
About the author: Vanja Maganjić is an experienced writer with a unique passion for creating content that helps brands connect with their customers. She believes in brands that stand up to the man and thinks that storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. Her long term goal is to become the cool auntie that gives out family-sized Kit Kats on Halloween.