Over the past decade, there has been an explosion in the number of influencers worldwide. Platforms like TikTok have put fuel on the fire by making content creation accessible to anyone with a phone. As a result, we now have multiple types of influencers.
TikTok statistics show that 35% of TikTokers find brands with the help of influencers, and this number is only expected to climb. This clearly indicates how powerful influencers can be to a brand’s marketing strategy, but knowing which type of influencer to work with can make or break your campaign.
Since there are hundreds of millions of people around the world that consider themselves to be content creators or influencers, each influencer falls into one of five types depending on their following size:
The 5 Types of Influencers
Nano-Influencers: 1k-10k followers
Nano-influencers have between 1k to 10k followers on any given platform, they are the smallest type of influencer. Nano-influencers are your typical everyday social media users who have garnered a small audience in one niche or another.
Despite being the smallest type of influencer, Nano-influencers are gaining popularity among brands looking to work with influencers. If we look at nano-influencer pricing, they are typically much more affordable than any other tier of influencer which makes them a good choice for brands with a budget.
While their audience may not be as large as the other types of influencers, you’re usually getting a more engaged and loyal audience than an influencer with a massive following when you work with nano-influencers. A study by Shopify showed that nano-influencers had an average engagement of 5%, making them the influencer type with the highest engagement.
Nano-influencers are also much more accessible than larger influencers. Due to the size of their audience, they’re not getting as much inbound interest from other brands, which means if you reach out to a nano-influencer for collaboration you are more likely to get a response.
Micro-Influencers: 10k-50k followers
Micro-influencers have between 10k-50k followers on any given social media platform. Micro-influencers are larger than nano-influencers but both types of influencers are the same as they are usually just everyday people that have attracted an audience because of their content.
While the average engagement rate for micro-influencers is lower than that of nano-influencers, they still average 3.86% engagement which is also considered great. Typically, as an influencer grows their audience, engagement will fall since you’re also attracting more people that may not engage or consume your content as much as your core following.
Micro-influencers still provide many of the benefits that we see with nano-influencers. Just like nano-influencers, they are usually not hard to get a hold of since many of the micro-influencers are managing their own inboxes and not relying on a manager or agent to sift through requests.
Mid-Tier Influencers: 50k-100k Followers
Mid-tier influencers have between 50k-100k followers. On average, they offer a slightly higher engagement rate than larger influencers that fall into the macro-influencer or celebrity categories.
Mid-tier influencers in most cases are former nano and micro-influencers that have consistently posted content for their audience and have grown as a result. It’s at this point that many influencers begin finding agents to manage their content collaborations and inbound deals from brands. That being said, mid-tier influencers are still quite easy to get in touch with, which makes them a great in-between for brands not quite ready to make the leap to larger influencers.
Macro-Influencers: 100k-1M followers
Macro-influencers have between 100k-1M followers on a social media platform. These influencers are larger than micro-influencers and this type of influencer typically includes smaller celebrities, and influencers that are creating content full time.
While not the most popular type of influencer, many brands will work with macro-influencers alongside their micro-influencers and nano-influencers. Macro-influencers on average are more expensive than micro-influencers and nano-influencers. As a result, most brands will spend a portion of their budget on macro-influencers in order to get in front of a large audience, but to hedge themselves, they will also work with a handful of smaller influencers for much less.
One great example of a company that does this is Manscaped, they often pay macro-influencers to post content of their products, but at the same time, they work with micro-influencers and nano-influencers at a much higher frequency.
Macro-influencers also have a much lower engagement rate than micro-influencers or nano-influencers. This happens for the same reason micro-influencers have a lower engagement rate than nano-influencers, because as an audience grows you have people that either become disinterested in your content or don’t care about it as much as your core audience.
Mega Influencers & Celebrities: 1M+ followers
Mega influencers and celebrities have over 1 million followers. These are the largest types of influencers, and they range from content creators like Charli D’Amelio all the way to celebrities like Kyle Jenner.
Mega influencers and celebrities typically come with a much higher price tag compared to the other types of influencers since you’re getting such a large reach when you work with them. They also factor in the fact that you will be using their likeness to sell your product, so that comes at a premium cost as well.
One great example of a business that leveraged celebrity influencers to scale to millions of dollars in sales is FitTea. The company leveraged celebrity influencers like Kylie Jenner and Amber Rose to drive sales and build awareness and it worked amazingly well for them.
Which Type of Influencer Should You Work With?
Once you understand the different types of influencers, it will be easier to put together an influencer marketing plan. When choosing which type of influencer to work with, you should consider a few factors.
Budget will be your number one concern if you’re looking to put together an influencer marketing campaign. If you’re on a tight budget, then it might be better to diversify a bit and work with nano-influencers and micro-influencers rather than risking your whole budget on a macro-influencer or celebrity.
On the other hand, if you’re working with a larger budget, you can spread it across multiple types of influencers to get a feel for which type of influencer provides the best results for you.
Working with influencers can be a time-consuming task, and depending on which type of influencer you’re working with it might take more time than you’re planning.
Micro-influencers and nano-influencers are generally more easily accessible, but as you move up the chain into macro-influencers and celebrities you might notice that it becomes increasingly hard to find contact details for the people you’re looking to connect with.
In order to save time, try to leverage influencer platforms and other tools that will help with getting some of the time-consuming tasks off your hands.
Your campaign goals will play a large impact in which time of influencer you decide to work with. If your goal is to build brand awareness for a restaurant in Los Angeles, you might opt to work with a bunch of smaller influencers who have a LA-based following.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to build awareness for a consumer-focused product that ships worldwide, then working with a celebrity or macro-influencer might work out for you since the geography or interests of the audience are not as important.