Influencer: Bellwether of the Marketing arena — Types and characteristics
By Gunjan Chandok
“Influence” is a wide concept that has passed through many iterations over the last decade and, since the dawn of influencer marketing, Through Influencer Marketing, companies have the possibility to carry out advertising strategies in collaboration with well-known people on different online platforms. Currently, there is an opportunity for brands to take advantage of social networks, streaming platforms and ‘live’ as an effective vehicle to successfully reach consumers who are at home and who have changed their digital habits.
Paul Barron has said, “I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.”
Social media influencers are individuals who have built a social media fan base and are frequently viewed by their followers as iconic models and experts in their chosen industry.
Anyone can be an influencer, come from different backgrounds, and specialize in various fields, including but not limited to:
- Actors and actresses
- TV and social media stars
- Bloggers and vloggers
- Sports stars and athletes
- Editors and authors
Through publications, recommendations and testimonials, influencers suggest buying behaviour on a specific market, highlighting a certain product or service and favouring their sales. The influencer’ has become a billion-dollar business.
“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence”-Sean Gardner, Keynote Speaker, Digital Producer.
- What types of influencers are there?
- What kind of impact can you expect from them?
People follow influencers that they’re able to relate to. These influencers can help you achieve a variety of goals. For instance, Hobo.Video is one of its kind social e-commerce platforms driven by short videos.
At Hobo.Video influencers get more than free samples for their videos. They get a share in the revenue from the sales they generate. The percentage of revenue share is highest at Hobo.Video; bloggers can help with SEO while YouTube influencers can help you create engaging product explainer videos.
Types of Social Media Influencers
To find the right social media influencers for your goals, it’s necessary to know the types of influencers with whom you can partner. This can help you identify the right influencers to craft and execute better campaigns, and will help you make the most of your influencer marketing budget.
Six main types of influencers, through which you can have a clear view of the influencer market,
Nano Influencers Are The Smallest Types Of Influencers
Characteristics of nano influencers:
- The number of followers: 1K to 10K
- Regular, everyday people
- They can be fans of a particular brand or product and usually post and mention brands on their channels.
- Suitable for small business with low budgets
- Have a close connection with their fans, and answer almost every comment and question.
When To Use Nano Influencers?
- When you are a small business with a limited budget for marketing, partnerships with nano influencers might be the right choice.
- For example, Hobo Video offers the highest margin in the market. Starting at 10% to as high as 35% depending on the campaign, brand, and membership. Influencers have the opportunity to start their own brand with zero investment. Being a mobile platform Hobo has a much larger reach as is easily accessible across the globe. Hobo Video inspires the influencers to create a video experience that is unique to their followers
- They are cost-effective, and your brand has access to several potential customers who are loyal fans of the influencer.
How And Where To Find Nano Influencers?
Nano influencers are mostly available on social media channels, especially on Instagram — the main playground of the influencer marketing industry. For example, you can easily spot them through monitoring your brand mentions and tags.
Micro-influencers Are Types of Influencers With Potential To Grow
Characteristics of micro-influencers:
- The number of followers: 10K to 100k
- Specializes in a niche
- Have an extremely high engagement rate with their fans when compared to other influencer types.
- Highly segmented audiences, which will be easy for your brand to tailor advertisements for them.
- Are relevant, reliable and authentic to followers
- Average pricing
- Many of them are also open to other forms of compensation, including giveaways and shoutouts, which leads to more opportunities for companies that don’t have sufficient funds for an influencer marketing campaign.
When To Use Micro-influencers?
A micro-influencer will benefit you the most by shifting your influencer marketing strategy from brand awareness to a more specific approach.
For example, if you have a clothing brand and want to target more potential customers, instead of collaborating with mega and all-star influencers with millions of followers, you should choose micro-influencers.
Many micro-influencers can help you deliver the right messages to the right people on a larger scale.
The reason a micro-influencer has more followers than a nano influencer is that they are individuals who specialize in a particular field. The specialization allows your brand to partner with them whenever you find it necessary to prioritize quality rather than the number of followers.
How And Where To Find Micro-Influencers?
You can start looking for micro-influencers who are already fans of your brand by scanning brand hashtags or searching your followers’ list on social media channels.
Macro-Influencers: The Mid-Tier Influencer Type
Characteristics of Macro-influencers:
- The number of followers: 100K to 500K
- Segmented audiences who are easy to reach and engage
- A low number of multi-brand collaboration
- A relatively high number of loyal followers whom your campaign might have a considerable impact on
- Relatively high pricing
When To Use Macro-influencers?
- The perfect time to utilize macro-influencers and their potential to your brand is when you want to increase engagement rates and your brand’s reach.
- When you want your brand to be known, be noticed, and be discussed, macro-influencers’ can help you. With hundreds of thousands of followers, they are capable of broadcasting your brand image in the mind of their fans, make them wonder why the influencers use this product, what this brand is, and spark interest in the brand.
- When you want to increase brand reputation around your products, macro-influencers allow you to make the content and share what you want to show the customers. By collaborating with them, you will have full control in running your influencer marketing campaign.
How And Where To Find Macro-influencers?
Mid-tier or macro-influencers are mainly known as podcasters, vloggers, bloggers, or content creators on social media channels such as Youtube, Facebook, and Tiktok. Hashtag research and platforms’ tools could be great ways for you to figure out the most suitable influencer for your company.
Mega Influencers Are The Right Influencer For Scale
Characteristics of mega influencers:
- The number of followers: 500K to 2M
- Vast amounts of social media consumers
- High price tag, depending on their profiles.
- Collaborate with several brands at the same time
- Widely well-known and popular
- Contribute to the rising revenue of marketing campaigns
- Offer a brand the ability to increase its presence to a broad audience quickly.
When To Use Mega Influencers?
Brand awareness campaigns in which a broad reach is necessary to get your products or services in front of as many people as possible is where mega influencers step in, especially when combined with an unlimited budget.
Working with professional mega influencers who are usually managed by talented managers or agencies will satisfy you if you have a high requirement in partnership in your business’ campaigns.
With a considerably large number of followers, mega influencers are famous people. Therefore, many people know them and notice what they do.
How And Where To Find Mega Influencers?
Since mega influencers are generally popular with up to 2 million fans, they are almost everywhere on every social platform. Depending on their profile and fan base, you will see in which industry they are highly active and whether or not it is suitable for your company.
Since collaborating with them could also be seen as a more affordable option than all-start influencers, you will have more choices in finding a great partner without worrying too much about the budget.
All-Star Influencers Are For Developing Brand Image
Characteristics of all-star influencers:
- The number of followers: over 2 million
- Usually celebrities
- Massive following including highly diverse audiences (challenging to identify a specific segment)
- One post from them can be an instant hit and reach a vast number of people
- Are not necessarily experts in a particular field
- Extremely high cost, this might limit their accessibility to only large brands
When To Use All-star Influencers?
If you have a huge budget and are looking for immediate PR and branding advertisements, all-star influencers with millions of followers are willing to be your partner.
This type of influencer includes extremely famous people and celebrities, who might also be the face for other brands. In case you don’t mind their over-sponsored status, you can still consider collaborating with them to utilize the unlimited potential from their enormous number of followers.
When you are already familiar with influencer marketing and want to add a famous influencer to boost your campaigns, you will most likely need to get in touch with the influencer’s agents.
Working with professional and skilful agents and agencies who manage almost every all-star influencer will save you a lot of time.
How And Where To Find All-Star Influencers?
All-star influencers are the same as mega-influencer, but with more than two million followers. They usually are celebrities.
Thus, start by looking for recommended all-start influencers from agencies and agents. Yet, you are free to do it manually.
What is a Fake influencer?
Fake influencers are accounts who raise their followers and engagement rates artificially to seem more prominent and influential. Some fake influencers might repost photos and videos that are similar to the real ones, but their following is mostly from fake accounts and even bots.
When researching for influencers, keep track of the following metrics to see if they are legit:
- The number of followers in comparison with engagement per post
- The quality of comments on each post (any spam comments)
- How they react
- Who is following them?
- Who they are following
Likewise, there are many other ways to get fake followers. One of the most common free methods is calling for others to follow a user, and then they would follow back in return.
If you find an influencer who has thousands of followers while following thousands of people, typically, it is not a proper influencer.
Followers are simply accounts created on social platforms. And it can be easily faked. Accounts with no profile picture, no content, or random usernames, are accounts used to boost fake influencers accounts.
Finding An Authentic Influencer
Influencers often interact with each other. If you see interactions between influencers in the field, this might show they are authentic.
You can spot authentic influencers by looking for the blue verification badge on social media platforms. Each social channel has its policies and terms to verify qualified accounts that have a significant influence on people. Verification badges help you save time to track other metrics of those influencers.
Outcomes Of Fake Influencers
So, what if you unluckily collaborate with a fake influencer? This partnership will be more harmful to your brand; the longer the relationship lasts.
In the worst-case scenario, your company will be losing money. Fake influencers regularly take your money without generating results.
The impact of these fake influencers within your campaign depends mostly on your company’s size and budgets. Large companies can withstand the losses better than smaller companies.
Brand reputation and credibility might also be severely affected by a fake influencer. People may get disappointed and feel doubtful about your brand and products if they find out your influencer partners turn out to be fraudulent. But most commonly, the real reason for not working with fake influencers is the lack of results.
The amount of influencers is rising every day due to the rapid growth of social platforms and networks. Companies have many influencers to choose from, making it challenging to find the right match.
Acknowledging different types of influencers, you can determine which content creator is the perfect match for your brand, budget, and expectations in building an effective influencer marketing strategy for your business.
Last but not least, when choosing influencers, the alignment between the brand’s image and the influencers’ niche is vital. The right types of influencers will help your campaign reach more potential customers, encourage the spread of brand awareness in communities, and achieve marketing goals faster.