To get the most from your influencer marketing campaign, it helps to understand the different types of influencers. Audience size is a key metric that affects the results you’re likely to get for your investment, and different audience sizes create different influencer tiers. However, it isn’t just about sheer numbers when you’re looking at an influencer’s follower count.
When you’re matching the different types of influencers to your product or service, sometimes a nano-influencer might get you the biggest bang for your money. Other times, you might need to reach the sheer volume of followers a mega-influencer can bring to the deal.
The Five Main Influencer Tiers
Five levels of influencers are available to consider. These influencers have follower counts that range from 1,000 up to 5 million. The smallest segment is referred to as nano-influencers with the least amount of followers. Micro-influencers are the next small tier. The lower cost of these smaller influencers can make it possible to work with more individuals in order to reach a bigger audience.
The next three influencer types are mid-tier, macro and mega with the highest amount of followers. Each of these three influencer tiers brings advantages and disadvantages, like higher potential for customers to see information about your product paired with reduced engagement.
Pros of Working With Nano-Influencers
On the positive side, nano-influencers, who have from 1,000 up to 10,000 followers, typically have the highest engagement rates. This tier is able to leverage higher engagement rates. This is because the smaller number of followers gives them more opportunities to have personal interactions with followers. Nano-influencers who have under 1,000 followers tend to have engagement rates about seven times higher than those with 100,000+ followers.
Influencers in this tier can be less costly to work with and they are also likely to deliver a high level of trust from followers. What that means to you is getting nano-influencers to talk about your brand can be very effective. These influencers also tend to be niche-specific and very targeted. So it can be helpful to choose those who are actively discussing things in your industry.
Cons of Working With Nano-Influencers
The small audience size of each nano-influencer is one of the main drawbacks when working within this influencer tier. These influencers may not have the platform privileges, like Instagram swipe-up, that higher-tier influences have gained.
They may also lack the social media marketing experience that higher-tier brand ambassadors can deliver. This can mean you end up spending longer getting them up to speed. Additionally, you have to manage more nano-influencers to reach a large audience. That means investing more time choosing influencers who fit your needs, managing them and reviewing the metrics to track their performance.
Pros of Working With Micro-Influencers
Like nano-influencers, micro-influencers tend to have high engagement rates with followers. A micro-influencer typically has from 10,000 to 50,000 followers and high engagement rates. In addition to high engagement rates, they also tend to deliver good conversion rates. This can help if you’re trying to reach people who are further into the sales funnel.
Micro-influencers usually engage frequently with their followers, making them highly trusted information sources. These are typically influencers who are focused on a specific niche and are also easy to target for a specific demographic group. And since they’ve likely been around longer, their content and skills tend to be more polished than their nano-influencer counterparts.
Cons of Working With Micro-Influencers
While micro-influencers bring good engagement and conversion rates to the table, the amount of brand awareness they deliver can be limited. This is due to having a follower count of 50,000 or less. It can be tempting for influencers who are just getting started to buy followers. So, when working with this influencer tier, it’s especially important to check for follower authenticity.
Pros of Working With Mid-Tier Influencers
When you choose mid-tier influencers, who have follower counts that range from 50,000 to 500,000, you tap into an influencer segment that tends to have loyal followers. But, these followers may not be as highly engaged as the followers you find at lower influencer tiers.
Mid-tier influencers are generally reasonably priced and accessible to both followers and marketers who want to work with them. Additionally, this influencer tier tends to have some level of niche-orientation, which makes it easy to identify the interests and demographics of their followers.
Cons of Working With Mid-Tier Influencers
While mid-tier influencers do tend to have some amount of niche-orientation, it’s less specific than you usually find at lower tiers. That can mean they have less social proof, their audience is more scattered, and their specialties may be harder to identify than those of a nano- or micro-influencer. In addition to that, you might not see immediate results from a campaign, making it take longer to track results.
Pros of Working With Macro-Influencers
Macro-influencers tend to be great at reaching customers where they are online. With macro-influencers, the tier that has between 500,000 and 1 million followers, you start to find people who are social media marketing professionals. These are trendsetters who have achieved what’s basically low-level celebrity status.
Working with influencers in this tier can add an air of exclusivity to your brand with followers who want to be like them. It can mean more people see the message about your brand and more people who want to try it in hopes of being more like the macro-level influencer.
Cons of Working With Macro-Influencers
The high follower numbers at this level can mean it’s harder for macro-influencers to engage with followers on a personal level. The audience size can also mean it costs more to work with them and that their brand is less focused. The reduction in brand focus comes from promoting things that don’t connect with their brand.
Pros of Working With Mega-Influencers
Mega influencers have between 1 million and 5 million followers, and they’re often well-known celebrities. Their fans tend to be loyal, which can add a boost for your brand when you work with these high-level influencers.
If your marketing campaign goal is to put your brand in front of the biggest number of people possible, mega-influencers can deliver in terms of audience size. They also can deliver an audience that’s diverse, so you can reach a wider demographic set.
Cons of Working With Mega-Influencers
Of all the influencer tiers, mega-influencers are likely to cost the most to hire for your marketing campaign. Additionally, while they’re great at making people aware of your brand, they aren’t always as great at getting their followers to spend money. This puts them higher in the sales funnel. It can make tracking performance a long-game effort, which may not be what you want if you’re looking for a faster return.