Different types of influencers & how to work with them

Influencer marketing is, arguably, one of the fastest growing digital marketing tactics used by brands. The influencer marketing space was recently valued at a record 16.4 billion USD worldwide but when it comes to finding the right influencers for your brand, it can be difficult to know where to start.

So, before we share some tips about how you can work with influencers, let’s take a look at the different types of influencers.

What are the different types of influencers?

Often, there is a misconception with influencer marketing that the more followers that an influencer has, the better the ROI will be for your brand. However, this isn’t necessarily always the case and it’s important that you consider what your marketing goals are before jumping straight into an influencer partnership.

Follower count isn’t the only factor that’s worth considering and often other metrics such as the influencer’s niche and the quality of engagement with their audience are more important. 

If you decide to use influencer marketing, you first need to understand the different types of influencers in order to identify which option is the best for your brand.

Mega influencers

Mega influencers are usually famous in their own right before being influencers. Examples of mega influencers include Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Cristiano Ronaldo.

It can be tempting to explore the idea of working with mega influencers but for most brands, the cost of working with these influencers will be far beyond your marketing budget. 

Furthermore, it’s also important to consider whether your brand shares the same audience as the influencer that you’re interested in working with. Whilst your brand may be exposed to a huge audience, that audience may not translate to customers if your audiences don’t align.

Generally, working with mega influencers is only an option for brands that have very large influencer marketing budgets and whose main marketing objective is achieving increased brand awareness.

Macro influencers

Macro influencers are usually people who have grown a large following through the internet, rather than as a result of an existing celebrity status. They usually have between 100,000 to 1 million followers (but this can vary). 

Generally, macro influencers will have built their following on a specific platform such as a blog, a YouTube channel or an Instagram page, however their following may have grown to cover more social media platforms as they have grown in popularity.

Working with macro influencers can help you to gain brand awareness whilst targeting your specific audience a bit more easily. Macro influencers may have a specific niche that their content is centred around or a more specific audience demographic (e.g. age, location, interest). However, macro influencers are still likely to charge quite a lot to work with them so it will be important to consider how much budget you have to spend on influencer marketing.

Micro Influencers

Despite what the name may indicate, micro influencers’ follower count actually ranges from around 10,000 – 100,000, which is still a sizable number. 

Micro influencers tend to have more specific genres of interest and influence meaning that working with them may allow you to more precisely target your desired audience.

As a result of the more niche audience, engagement rates between the influencer and their audience will be better. So, for brands who hope to leverage a positive influencer-follower relationship, working with micro influencers may be the way to go.

Nano Influencers

Like micro influencers, nano influencers usually have a very engaged audience and a specific area of interest. Although nano influencers are usually defined as having a follower count of 1,000-10,000, this shouldn’t put you off. 

For the majority of businesses, you will see greater return on investment (ROI) from working with the right micro or nano influencers, rather than working with the wrong mega or macro influencers.

How to find the right influencers

When thinking about how to find the right influencers for your brand, there are a number of key factors that you will need to consider.

Consider your marketing objectives

If your marketing objectives are to increase brand awareness without necessarily targeting a specific audience demographic or type of customer, working with mega or macro influencers may be a worthwhile option for you to explore. 

However, it is worth bearing in mind that working with mega and macro influencers will come with a high cost so you will need to ensure that you are able to allocate this amount of your marketing budget to working with these influencers.

Alternatively, if you have a very specific niche and want to acquire new customers, exploring micro or nano influencers who’s following aligns with your brand is probably a good choice. The trust that these influencers have built up with their followers will make it more likely that they will purchase a product that the influencer endorses.

The size of your business

For small-medium businesses and start-ups, nano and micro influencers may be the best option to consider for your business as their costs will be lower and they may also be more open to working with you in a variety of ways. Some ways that you could work with influencers of this size are paid ads, affiliate marketing collaborations or gifted partnerships (although they will still need to be declared as ads by the influencer). 

For larger businesses, macro or mega influencers may be an option for your brand, however you will still need to consider who their audience are and how this aligns with your marketing objectives.

How to work with an influencer

Once you’ve decided on the type of influencer that you want to work with, you will want to spend some time finding the right influencer for your brand and understanding how to work with an influencer.

Firstly, consider which social media channels your audience use most. For example, TikTok has grown rapidly in recent years and was estimated to have 740 million new users in 2021, so if your audience uses this platform, you may want to consider working with TikTok influencers. 

Once you have done this, you can start to manually search for influencers by searching for well-known influencers in your niche, searching for hashtags and even asking your audience which influencers they follow.

If this is too time consuming, and if you have the budget, you may want to consider working with an influencer marketing agency to find the right influencers for you. They can help you to understand which influencers have an appropriate audience, good engagement rates and also how much they might charge.

Finally, it’s important to understand influencer marketing regulations and how you will need to ensure that your work with influencers is legal and not misleading. 

If you’re new to the world of influencer marketing, it can feel a little overwhelming at times but as long as you adhere to the necessary regulations such as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and draw up comprehensive contracts, you shouldn’t have a problem.

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