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The four different types of influencers you need to know about

Posted by Fiona Todd on 6th July 2021

When people hear the word ‘social media influencer’, a fair few might automatically think of the likes of Kim Kardashian and her $250k-worth Instagram posts promoting all sorts of different hair products and diet pills.

But the term influencer goes far beyond the Kim Ks of the world, and if you’re interested in putting some budget behind a B2C influencer relations campaign, then hiring a Kardashian is very unlikely to be the best idea — even if you do have $250K to spend on one single Insta post.

But despite the ridiculous price point high-flying celebrities can charge to promote a certain product in one single post, many brands do in fact see them as a powerful tool to increase brand visibility and raise general awareness for their products. In the world of influencer relations, these celebrities are known as mega influencers.

According to the CEO of HYPR Brands, a mega influencer is defined as being more famous than influential. They aren’t necessarily subject-matter experts, but they definitely provide a lot of reach in one hit.

While these mega influencers may get millions of likes and thousands of comments, how many of these engagements would come from your target audience? The answer is likely to be not very many, so these types of influencers are really only suited to not only those with higher budgets, but those who just care about getting their brand or product in front of as many people as possible.

So in addition to the mega influencers, what other types of influencers are out there, and how can you identify which of these are most likely to give you the best return on investment?

Macro influencers

Unlike the mega influencers, who are automatically recognised as an influencer because of their fame, macro influencers are those who have typically risen to fame through the internet. Think YouTubers, podcasters, bloggers or social media stars.

While macro influencers can still be relatively pricey to work with, these social media influencers can offer brands the best of both worlds. Not only do they have a well-established following and an audience that fits a certain niche, the fact they know their target audience inside out means they are a great option for effective brand collaborations.

If you are looking to target a more specific audience but would still like to build awareness across a wider reach, then a collaboration with macro influencers could be your the best option.

Micro influencers

Micro influencers are the most common type of influencer right now, especially across platforms like Instagram. While these influencers have a significantly smaller following (around 10,000 to 100,000), they are much more specialised and tend to focus on one particular topic, and are typically seen as the experts in their particular space.

As a result, micro influencers are extremely trusted by their loyal and highly engaged following and are much more likely to generate leads and conversions than the likes of macro or mega influencers, who have such a broad following.

So if you’re more focused on quality over quantity and want to reach a specific audience, then micro influencers could be your best bet. Partnerships with micro influencers are much more affordable too, which is probably another reason why they are the most popular type of influencer out there right now.

Nano influencers

 A nano influencer is an influencer with less than 10,000 followers. While that may seem relatively small compared to the other types of influencers, nano influencers are starting to grow in popularity because of their authenticity and the highly personal connection that they’ve built with their followers.

Unlike the mega, macro and micro influencers, nano influencers tend to share common and niche interests, and because they have a much smaller following, they are more likely to receive a higher level of engagement.

So if you have a smaller influencer relations budget but want to kickstart engaging conversations on a particular topic or product, then partnering with a nano influencer can be extremely beneficial.

Choosing the right influencer for your brand

Influencer marketing ROI is higher than ever and brands are set to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. In fact, influencer relations can provide a $6.50 return on investment for every dollar spent.

But to achieve the maximum ROI for your campaign (we’ll be writing a separate blog on this soon), it’s important to understand the different types of influencers out there and how they can help you to meet your business objectives.

So if you’re looking to significantly increase brand awareness, then think about partnering with a mega influencer (if budget allows) or a macro influencer. But if you’re looking to spark engaging conversations on a particular theme or topic with a more segmented audience, then micro or nano influencers are your best choice.

Learn more about Wildfire’s B2C influencer relations credentials.

Fiona Todd

Fiona’s early PR career began in a Hollywood film studio, but she left the glamour of entertainment in favour of the variety and greater opportunity offered by tech PR. Fi’s calm demeanour and pragmatic approach has helped her win the hearts and minds of her clients ever since. The secret to Fiona’s zen-like approach to account management is her love of yoga, helping her maintain mental and physical wellbeing after dealing with the daily demands of busy agency life.