Influencer marketing seems pretty simple, right? But scratch the surface and working with influencers just isn’t that easy. There are many questions to ask before you can even get started with executing an influencer marketing strategy.
Which influencers should we work with? How do we reach out to them? How do we integrate them into current and future campaigns? What will we do to ensure continued success? And so on. Amongst the vast list of questions to answer, the one I get asked most is: “micro or macro – which is best for my brand?” Before you can answer that, here is a definition of each influencer type and the YouTube subscriber and Instagram follower sizes you can expect.
To get a real understanding of what influencer type fits your brand the best, it is good to know the influencer types out there.
There is quite a buzz around nano-influencers at the moment. These individuals typically have a relatively small audience on social and will have little experience in working with brands.
Instagram followers: 1k–10k
YouTube subscribers: 1k–10k
Micro-influencers have slightly larger followers on social. As a result, they will usually have some experience of working on brand collaborations. This can mean bigger investments from brands.
Instagram followers: 10k–50k
YouTube subscribers: 10k–25k
As the name suggests, mid-tier influencers sit in the middle of the influencer range. These influencers will often be savvy to brand collaborations. However, they can be difficult to get hold of as they are highly sought after, but are not always full-time influencers.
Instagram followers: 50k–500k
YouTube subscribers: 25k–100k
This type of influencer will often be professional in their nature. They commonly work with an agent when dealing with brands. This can mean increased efficiency, but also usually means inflated costs.
Instagram followers: 500k–1m
YouTube subscribers: 100k–1m
Influencers with over one million followers or subscribers are typically referred to as mega or celebrity influencers. These are usually individuals who are extremely successful on social media or those who have been made celebrities by other means (film, tv, music etc).
Instagram Followers: 1m+
YouTube Subscribers: 1m+
It’s all wrong
It all seems simple enough but of course, it isn’t. Follower count doesn’t really mean that much when it comes to gaging true influence as many other variables come into play. These include niche area, audience quality, and competition.
Take, for example, an Instagram fitness influencer with 9,000 generic, fitness interested followers. Sure, this influencer would qualify as a nano-influencer in most people’s books. Now, let’s take an influencer who focuses on something a little bit more niche. Let’s say a guy who tests out various work boots on building sites. He may only have 5000 followers but he is arguably a pretty big influencer in his area of expertise.
And then what if 100 of those 5000 are the top buyers of work boots for various construction companies around the world? All of a sudden, this guy is one of the most influential individuals in the industry. Hardly nano, wouldn’t you say?
Needless to say that the potential for fake followers throws in even more complexities to truly defining influencers by audience size.
Which influencer type is best for my brand?
But that doesn’t really answer the question, does it? You want to know which influencer types are the best for your brand. For all the issues, influencer types can be a useful starting point.
For example, nano-influencers can be great for start-up or small businesses that want to leverage influencers but do not have a vast marketing budget. Using nano-influencers also allows brands to test influencer marketing ideas before investing too heavily.
Micro and mid-tier influencers can offer your brand a number of powerful advocates who are usually open to developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. This can create huge efficiency in your influencer marketing campaigns and can steadily increase marketing ROI over time.
However, it might be difficult or too time-consuming to generate the required immediate reach via nano, micro or mid-tier influencers. In these cases, macro and mega influencers can get you in front of a vast number of people very quickly.
In reality, it all comes down to what resources your business has and what it is you are trying to achieve when choosing influencers. Although many brands currently choose to work with one or two influencer types, as the tool matures we will see smart businesses investing in all influencer types, leveraging their unique benefits across marketing campaigns.
As you can see, finding the right influencers for your brand is not as simple as choosing between micro and macro. To truly benefit from influencer marketing you must look beyond vanity metrics in order to find influencers who are a true match for your brand. However, influencer size can be a good starting point for understanding some of the benefits you may be able to leverage and how best to attract and work with that influencer.
How do you choose which influencers to work with? Let us know in the comments section below or tell us over on Twitter.