The word influencer was recognised and entered into the Merriam Webster dictionary in 2019 showing how what once might have been business jargon is now very much a day-to-day word. However, whilst everyone gets the jist of what influencers are, this guide will break down what the different types of influencers are and how this changes who might use them and how they are used.
Given that there are over 3.6 billion social media users and it is no surprise that the global influencer marketing value in 2021 reached $13.8 billion dollars. Businesses of all sizes would be wise to learn about the different types of influencers and how they can benefit their business.
What are influencers?
It is pretty guessable what influencers do for the clue is in the name- they influence. How does one then gain the title of an influencer?
Well, in the marketing world, when we talk of an influencer we are talking about an individual who influences other people's purchasing decisions due to their position or relationship with their audience. Often following their own brand or niche, influencers are used by companies to infiltrate their target audiences and are gradually forming the centre of the modern marketing strategy.
Types of influencer
Influencers are grouped into classes ranging from nano to mega. Whilst an understanding of the differences between these types of influences might seem unimportant for your business, understanding these differences will be key in understanding how influencers can fit into your social media marketing strategy and will help you decipher your budget given that these classes come with different prices. The most expensive influencer might not necessarily be the right influencer for your brand and this guide will highlight the benefits of each level of social influencer.
Nano-influencers are individuals that have a following between 1,000-10,000. Their audiences are often niche and highly engaged.
Nano-influencers, due to their number of followers, are often viewed by their following as the most authentic influencers. These individuals might be viewed as 'ordinary, everyday' people by their following meaning that their endorsement of your product might seem more genuine than influencers with a larger following. As nano-influencers typically cost (X) you are likely to see more return on your investment. They might also be easier to recruit and might have more time to spend helping your brand as a content creator.
A smaller social media following is not something to view negatively. The best influencers for your brand might in fact be smaller influencers as they might have a larger engagement rate than larger influencers; be more open to the idea of guest posts, podcast or blogs and might have a strong personal brand. A nano-influencer will also be considerably cheaper than other forms of influencer so when evaluating how successful an influencer campaign will be for your business you might want to start in this category. You might want to consider making a nano-influencer a brand ambassador of your product: if they trust your product enough to promote it to their audience, their audience will also trust it and might feel a personal connection to the product, particularly if you give the ambassador personalised discount codes.
Micro-influencers are typically considered individuals who have a following between 10,000-100,000. Micro influencers, like nano-influencers use their following to promote products that fit their following.
As with nano-influencers, micro-influencers might not necessarily be appropriate if you intend to utilise influencers for a wide audience reach but they will typically have higher engagement. For example, micro-influencers will often have more frequent and genuine interactions with their following. Ferrara says that micro-influencer campaigns have 150% the engagement rate of celebrity influencer marketing campaigns. This is particularly true in our TikTok era where people are seeing a more authentic version of other's lives online, not just the glitz and glamour of other social media channels. Millennials have grown up in an era of advertising and brand endorsements- they're savvy to our typical marketing toolkit- and they want authenticity before they buy. Giving micro-influencers free products to try and demonstrate in front of their following is a great way to build on this trust.
Macro-influencers have a large following between 100,000 to 1 million on social networks. Macro influencers often started as a nano or micro influencer and have since expanded their following as opposed to having fame from other sources (although of course this is no hard and fast rule). These influencers might have attracted and built a following as bloggers or YouTubers.
Macro influencers are useful in allowing brands to target a certain type of customer but at scale due to their large audience. For example, if you wanted to target demographic, such as young people aged between 15-21, you could access this audience through macro influencers. These influencers will often produce extremely high quality content with templates, metrics and case studies from prior experience of sponsored posts.
Mega-influencers make up the rest of the influencers on social media platforms and are the highest ranking category of social media influencer. These individuals are often famous through other mediums and are often what we might consider to be celebrities, such as the Kardashians or Cristiano Ronaldo who has the largest Instagram following at 388million at the time of writing.
Using mega-influencers is a great way to get celebrity endorsement of your product and is similar to traditional brand partnerships but focused on digital marketing. However, due to their large following, their following is considerably more diverse, attracting a vast audience. For this reason, mega-influencers are most appropriate for brands that are wanting to achieve top of the funnel marketing campaigns for products that attract a large audience or with influencers who by association will boost their brand.
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Another important feature between the different types of influencers, besides their audiences and purposes, that business owners will need to consider is their pricing.
Pricing will often depend on the type of content that is being created. For example, a TikTok- a relatively high effort piece of content- is likely to cost more than an Instagram post. For posts, the most common baseline pricing formula is: $100 X10,000 followers + extras = total rate. Andrew Macarthy writes:
- Nano-influencers cost between $10-$100 per post.
- Micro-influencers cost between $100-$500 per post.
- Macro-influencers cost between $500-$10k per post.
- Mega-influencers cost between $10k+ per post.
For example, entrepreneur Kylie Jenner charges $1 million per sponsored social media post. For this reason, business owners will need to consider marketing budget alongside purpose and need.
Legislate is a contracting platform where business owners can create contracts to help grow and develop their business. Forming relationships with influencers is a great way to grow your business.
Once you have reached out to an influencer, It is sensible to formalise your relationship, the arrangements and the objective of the hire. Using a Legislate consultancy agreement is a quick, cost-effective and easy way to put your arrangements in place and to ensure that both you and your influencer are on the same page.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.