Did you know that influencer marketing is one of the top forms of digital marketing in terms of ROI? For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, brands earn up to $5.78 in return. That’s why 91% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020). One of the biggest challenges brands face with influencer marketing is how to choose the right influencers for their marketing campaigns. Since there are so many different types of influencers, it can be daunting to figure out which type of influencer you need to improve your marketing.
In this article, we’re going to share 12 types of influencers, how to identify them, and share with you how and when to use them to improve your marketing campaign ROI.
12 Types of Influencers You Can Use to Improve Your Marketing:
4 Types of Influencers by Follower Count
Influencers are popping up all over the place. It makes sense considering influencer marketing ROI is one of the highest among traditional digital marketing channels. But what’s the difference between types of influencers? Which influencer is best for your marketing campaign? How do you find the right influencers?
Keep reading to get all of your questions answered. We’re going to cover 12 types of influencers:
- Nano influencers (1K–10K followers)
- Micro influencers (10K–100K followers)
- Macro influencers (100K–1M followers)
- Mega or celebrity influencers (1M+ followers)
Let’s get started!
1. Nano Influencers (1K–10K followers)
Alexis Baker, paid partnership with Winc.
Nano influencers have from 1K–10K followers on their social media channels. They typically have a very engaged social media following and great engagement rates. Nano influencers are typically very vocal advocates of the brands and products they love and their followers appreciate their authentic recommendations and commentary. They have a very close relationship with their followers and take the time to engage with their followers to cultivate those relationships.
When to Use Nano Influencers
If you’re a small- to mid-size business with a limited marketing budget, nano influencers are a cost-effective option for getting started with influencer marketing. Nano influencers are also a great option if you want to test a product launch or test your products and services with a new niche.
Where to Find Nano Influencers
Instagram is a great place to find nano influencers. You can easily find them using social media listening tools that will let you know about brand tags and mentions.
2. Micro Influencers (10K–100K followers)
Shelby Ditch, paid partnership with Walmart.
Micro influencers have between 10K–100K followers. Even though they have a pretty large following, micro influencers are still viewed as relatable to their followers and tend to have an engaged audience. At this level, influencers tend to specialize in a particular niche. They also typically have high engagement rates and a targeted audience. This makes it easier for brands to create specialized sponsorships with these influencers.
When to Use Micro Influencers
When you’re ready to start generating more focused leads, micro influencers can help you with that. While they tend to have the same close relationship with their followers as that enjoyed by nano influencers, micro influencers are more specialized so their audience is primed to hear marketing messages within that niche.
Where to Find Micro Influencers
Once again, social listening is a big help in finding micro influencers to work with your brand. It’s easiest to look at micro influencers who are already fans of your brand or by searching for hashtags that relate to your brand, specialty, or niche.
3. Macro Influencers (100K–1M followers)
Lily Pebbles, paid partnership with Wild.
Macro influencers have between 100K–1M followers and tend toward a broader appeal than micro influencers. Macro influencers are typically internet-made celebrities and might be social media stars, bloggers, vloggers, or podcasters. Macro influencers not only have a large audience but it’s likely that they’ve developed that audience over months or years of nurturing relationships while growing followers. Because of their larger follower numbers, they will probably have a relatively low engagement rate.
When to Use Macro Influencers
Macro influencers are great for bringing awareness to your brand, products, and services. You can use this relationship to increase your own engagement rates and boost your brand’s reach. Since macro influencers have a healthy number of followers, they can help you reach a larger audience and increase your brand’s reputation.
Where to Find Macro Influencers
Macro influencers are typically popular for being content creators like bloggers or podcasters or could be social media influencers on YouTube, Facebook, or TikTok. Look for hashtags that relate to your brand, industry, and niche to find macro influencers for your brand.
4. Mega Influencers (1M+ followers)
Shraddha Kapoor and Hershey India.
Mega influencers and celebrities have more than 1 million followers. Since they themselves are typically celebrities, you’ll have to have a healthy marketing budget to afford them. It’s important to understand that the audiences attracted by mega influencers are going to be very broad.
When to Use Mega Influencers
If you’re working on a brand awareness campaign and have a large budget, mega influencers can get your products in front of as many eyes as possible which is great if your brand has appeal across segments.
Where to Find Mega Influencers
Mega influencers are usually famous or very well known so it’s not hard to find them. Instead of looking for brand mentions and hashtags for your brand, product, or niche, you’ll be better off finding accounts that qualify as mega influencers and see if any of them work for your brand.
8 Types of Influencers Based on Content or Niche
Sometimes you need an influencer in a specific niche. Here, we’re going to share 8 types of influencers based on their niches that you can use for your next marketing campaign.
Gaming influencers typically fall into one of these sub-niches:
- Game reviews
- Game walkthroughs
- Team matchups
- Game type (action, FPS, MMO, strategy, etc.)
Gaming influencers usually live stream their games on platforms like Twitch and YouTube and can garner millions of followers who are looking to improve their own gameplay or learn more about gaming. While they often promote video games and game-related products and brands, gaming influencers represent such a targeted niche that vehicle, clothing, shoes, and snack and beverage brands are likely to get great results with a gaming influencer partnership.
6. Sports and Fitness
Mirna Valerio, paid partnership with Hydro Flask.
Like gaming influencers, fitness influencers can cover tons of different niches:
- Weight lifting
- Healthy lifestyle
- Weight loss
- …and more
Sports and fitness influencers are typically a source of motivation for their followers. They tend to endorse sports brands, food and drink brands that relate to the health and wellness industry, specific eating and workout programs, and more.
Bloggers and vloggers are the two most popular types of influencers. They’re typically macro and mega influencers thanks to their large follower counts on their blogs or YouTube channels. Bloggers and vloggers create high-quality content that keeps their followers engaged and sets them apart as authorities in their niches. In addition to the audience that follows their YouTube channel or blog, they’re likely to have a large audience on other social media platforms, too.
Bloggers and vloggers have SEO on their side and can usually result in high-quality backlinks and get a fair amount of referral traffic through sponsored blog posts and videos. These types of influencers can help you build brand awareness, drive website traffic, and improve your sales.
Photography influencers who fall into the mega through micro influencer categories tend to be picked up by big-name camera companies to promote their cameras, lenses, and other accessories. These influencers are some of the best content creators around.
Eric Stoen, paid partnership with Qatar Airways.
Travel influencers offer more than just a huge dose of FOMO. Many travel influencers offer travel tips, tricks, and hacks, as well as reviews on travel-related brands and recommended itineraries complete with places to eat. Travel, like gaming and fitness, can be broken down into several niches like gear, places to visit, how-tos, and more.
Jordan, paid partnership with The Body Shop.
About 43% of consumers follow beauty influencers. These influencers share beauty tips, product reviews, how-tos, and more, and can easily increase your beauty brand’s awareness and increase sales. Influencers of this type range from average people of any or no gender who love makeup to professional makeup artists.
Louis Polo for Express.
Fashion influencers focus on things like clothing, jewelry, shoes, watches, and other accessories, giving them a broad range of products to promote. They typically offer product reviews, promote products, work directly with fashion lines, post-shopping trip “haul” videos, and offer styling tips.
Parenting influencers share tips and tricks for new parents, review products, and share their own stories about being parents—both successes and failures. Parenting influencers can promote products across a very large range of industries.
Fake Influencers: How to Identify and Steer Clear of Them
Fake influencers are everywhere. These are accounts that pay for more followers and engagement so they look like they’re influential. While some of them are easy to spot, others take a bit more discernment. When you’re looking for the right influencers for your brand, there are a few metrics you can look at to make sure that an account is actually as good as they seem:
- Engagement rate
- Comments (look for quality comments)
- How the account reacts to comments
- Who’s following them
- Who they’re following
As influencer marketing becomes more lucrative, it’s no surprise that fake influencers are popping up more and more.
Finding Influencers for Your Brand
When everyone can be an influencer, it can get complicated to find the right influencers to represent your brand. Here are some factors other than influencer rates to think about during your influencer search.
Once you find an influencer with the follower count you’re looking for, take a look at who those followers are. Do they match your target audience? If they don’t, the influencer will probably have a harder time sharing your brand message. If they do, great! Before you go signing them up, though, check out the engagement and read some of the comments and responses to make sure that the engagement is what you’d like to see for your brand.
Authenticity, Passion, and Knowledge
Does the influencer you’re considering speak knowledgeably about your industry? Does their audience engage with their content—even their sponsored content? Does the influencer create their own content in their promotional messages? The right influencer for your brand is one that comes across as a relatable person sharing information about their favorite products instead of a salesperson. It helps immensely if they also have a passion for the niche.
Your goal has a lot to do with the type of influencer you’ll want to choose. For example, if you’re looking to increase your brand awareness, macro influencers with larger fan bases are probably going to be the most beneficial to you. If you want to increase conversions, however, nano or micro influencers might be your best bet thanks to their typically high engagement rates.
The platform an influencer uses is important, too. If your audience loves stunning imagery, you’ll probably want to find an Instagram influencer. If your audience goes crazy for video content, a YouTube influencer might be a better option. If you’re a B2B business targeting other businesses, find a LinkedIn influencer to partner with.
As you can see, there are several different types of influencers you can use to promote your brand, products, and services. Depending on your niche, brand personality, and budget, you’re sure to find the perfect influencer for you. Want a shortcut? Use one of these influencer marketing tools to find influencers!