Influencer web marketing has become the powerhouse of social media that expanded from celebrity influencers. With companies being more transparent with their audiences, customers like to see brands pushing the status quo and standing for something that’s more than just making sales. Along with this brand expectation, customers are seeing right through the “fakes” and taking their business to brands that are seen as authentic. 

Everyone loves to follow celebrities, but over the last couple of years, we’ve seen an influx of different types of influencers (non-celebrities) making waves on the social scene and making connections with their audiences.

In this social media influencer blog series, we’re going to start with the basics and introduce the 5 types of social media influencers and how they can support your business goals. 

5 Types of Social Media Influencers

  1. Celebrities (1 Million+ Followers)

Who are they? Celebrities are the highest paid influencers and many have massive followings on social media. If you partner with a celebrity to promote your product, you’ll definitely get the message across to a huge audience, but because they are famous and well known, not all their followers are created equal. 

A portion of their followers could be inactive on social media or only follow for certain aspects of their lives like fashion, health, or events. It can also be very difficult to gauge the effectiveness of their promoted posts because their audiences are so big and their comment threads tend to get flooded with irrelevant posts. 

Best for Brand Awareness: Celebrity influencers have a lot of power when it comes to having the ability to affect trends and culture in the masses, so they are best utilized for brand awareness. Everyone is constantly looking to see what their daily lives are like, what products they use, and what their secrets are to living a luxurious lifestyle. Introducing new products with a celebrity will definitely get you the added “cool factor” you need to boost your products and get your brand in front of millions of people.

  1. Macro-Influencers (500K – 1 Million Followers)

Who are they? These influencers are social celebrities and have a large follower base. They may not be A-list celebrity famous, but because they have over 500,000 followers, they are very well known online and have massive influencing power, which allows them to take on the influencer role full time. Although engagement rates tend to be lower as you go up the influencer tier, macro-influencers still have a pretty loyal fanbase. Macro-influencers are at the point where they want to keep their image intact, so they’re going to make sure they have quality content and keep things professional.

Best for Targeted Reach: If you’re looking to tap into a large audience and amplify your reach quickly, macro-influencers can help you get there. Because they are much more established in the influencer world, they have the ability to pick and choose the brands they’d like to work with, so you will likely have to do some negotiating with their agency or manager. 

  1. Mid-Tier Influencers (50K – 500K Followers)

Who are they? Mid-tier influencers are more established than micro-influencers, but not as popular as macro-influencers, so you can think of them as the “sweet spot” for paid sponsorship posts in terms of costs and return on investment. Their audiences are engaged and can deliver impactful results for your brand. Influencers under this tier have cultivated their followers by networking and connecting with their initial audience, so you know they are great storytellers and have engaging content that resonates with their audience. 

They generate word-of-mouth marketing for products they love which is another way they grow their follower base. This type of influencer has the best of both worlds by connecting directly with some of their audience, but still appealing to a wide range of people.

Best for Word-of-Mouth & High ROI: If you’re looking for a moderate price with high engagement rates and sales, then the mid-tier influencer is your friend. They have a strong sway on their audience’s buying habits which is why brands usually get pretty good results and a positive return on investment when working with mid-tier influencers. Because they are not at the peak of stardom just yet, they are pretty easy to work with and have great ideas for brand collaboration. 

  1. Micro-Influencers (10,000 – 50,000 Followers)

Who are they? Micro-influencers have a smaller following, usually under 50,000 and are experts or have a passion for a particular interest. Because they have a smaller following, micro-influencers actually get better engagement rates because they start conversations with their followers which makes them actively engaged with their posts. With micro-influencers, you’ll see more authentic posts about brands they truly love, which at times, are not sponsored or paid posts. 

Micro-influencers focus on their niche, which is why they are seen as an authority within their online community. Because they are focused on a specific topic, they will collaborate with brands that make sense for their “character,” which helps create trust with their followers. Their audience can expect them to show them only the best because they are “experts” in their niche and are a source for tips, ideas, advice, and inspiration.

Best for trend-setting & brand loyalty: Micro-influencers are great at growing their communities, getting their audience to see the value in a certain topic of interest, and fueling new trends. As experts, the products they recommend to their users will likely stick and help create brand loyalty around those products. Let’s put it this way, if your favorite makeup artist swears on a new brow pomade, you’re probably going to check it out because they are the experts and their eyebrows always look great. 

The nice thing about working with micro-influencers is that if you pay to work with them, their audience is likely your target audience because they are so niche focused and highly engaged. 

  1. Nano-influencers (1,000 – 10,000 Followers)

Who are they? Because nano-influencers are your everyday people, they have more trust and credibility when it comes to their opinions and recommendations. They are loyal to their products, and if they are recommending something to you, then it’s probably because they really believe in it. They are seen as easily approachable because they are active within their own community and aren’t very well known yet. 

Nano-influencer posts are very relatable and almost seems like your talking to one of your friends, which they might actually be because they personally know the majority of their followers. Because nano-influencers are the smallest, brand partnerships have a better chance of being perceived as authentic and genuine. 

Best for Small Businesses: Nano-influencers are great for businesses with smaller budgets or ones who are starting off small within their local community. Because they are just starting off their influencer “careers” they are more likely to post for you in exchange for free products. If you’re trying to make a splash, you may have to work with many nano-influencers to try and compete with the reach of other influencers in higher tiers. 

Depending on your business goals and budget, there are viable opportunities to partner with an influencer. With the power of social media, loyal followers and extensive reach, influencers will continue to drive brand awareness, engagement, and sales as marketing strategies evolve in 2019. 

New Target works with e-commerce brands with a marketing strategy to support sales and has noticed an increase in influencer campaigns over time. We’ll work with you to help you develop a marketing plan that will convert prospective customers into loyal brand advocates. To learn how we can help you, fill out our project form to get started. 

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.