5 Types of Influencers for Your Budget
CREATING THE PERFECT INFLUENCER MIX
Aren’t all influencers the same?
By now, most brands have learned that not all influencers are created equal. There are many different kinds and knowing the various characteristics of each and when/how to utilize them can make or break a campaign. We’ve heard more than one tale of influencer marketing gone wrong. Our clients have expressed disappointment with their previous influencer attempts (obviously before coming to us), citing:
Not enough engagement on influencer posts
No uplift in brand awareness or brand interactions
No hard metrics to prove business impact
Don’t need the intro and want to skip ahead?
Influencer marketing does not come with an easy “GO” button. We cannot stress this enough -— an influencer with a large following does not automatically mean they are a fit for your brand. There are a number of articles and resources that explain the why and how of finding those individuals who are a good fit for your business.
Okay, enough linking to other websites’ content. We’re not here to talk about why you need influencers, we’re assuming that you agree with us on the fact that you do.
We want to discuss how you build relationships with various types of influencers in order to fully maximize the potential of your influencer marketing. Macro, micro, nano — which type is best for your brand? How many types should you partner with? When do you use one type instead of another?
Your program goals and budget will help determine the answers to these questions. We’ll also provide example mixes that you can use as starting points.
5 Types of Influencers
Athletes, actors, YouTube celebrities. Mega influencers have an explosive reach and tend to be the A-listers on social and in real life. However, their large audiences do not always equate to high engagement. Mega influencers are notoriously known for having large but passive audiences.
Bring in a mega influencer when your brand awareness needs a triple shot of espresso in short order. In this case, it’s all about the top of the funnel. Even short campaigns with these individuals will increase awareness and up the coolness factor of your program. These trendsetters often create movements. They are also the hardest to access of all influencer types.
Reach: 500K – 1M
Professional social media personalities with a niche focus. They do not have the same celebrity vibe of mega influencers. Since they’re adept at brand partnerships, their sponsored content tends to come across as organic and conversational.
Large, specific audiences are the bread and butter of macro influencers. When you need high reach in your target market or want to target broad demographics (ie: females), these individuals can help. They are also pros at creating high-quality, strategic content. They know what resonates with their followers. Partnering with macro influencers should be less about brand awareness and more about clicks and conversions.
Reach: 50K – 500K
Mid-tier influencers are the most “common” social media influencers and the ones you’re likely the most familiar with. Both professional and semi-professional influencers, these individuals can be the most effective for your program because they take the good qualities from both the micro and macro influencers. They are big enough to be considered influential but small enough to still engage with their audience.
Partner with mid-tier influencers when you’re looking for an affordable way to drive results with highly targeted engagement. These individuals are great at driving word-of-mouth since, oftentimes, their followers don’t realize they’re following an “influencer”. They’re friends of the medium campaign budget.
Reach: 10K – 50K
Micro influencers are often times more relatable individuals that can garner higher engagement than larger tiers of influencers. By nature, their smaller size garners increased trust from their followers and they vet sponsors very carefully.
A smaller following means a smaller price tag. Although you may need to partner with more micro-influencers to reach the same audience size as one mid-tier influencer, the increased engagement rate per influencer may make it worth it. Additionally, when you have small resources with a program that has multiple target markets, you make want to consider micro influencers.
Reach: 1K – 10K
The smallest of the bunch. But still powerful when used correctly. Nano influencers are often locally oriented or play in extremely niche spaces. Think B2B tech silos (subsets of AI for example) or a local organization. Seen as regular, everyday people they often have the highest rate of engagement of all influencer tiers.
Nano influencers give their sponsor brands an air of authenticity. Use these individuals when your program needs extremely specific audiences and you have little to no budget. We’ve come across large enterprises who are playing in extremely niche spaces where only nano influencers were available to really drive conversation. Nano influencers are the most open to in-kind partnerships – content swaps, schwag, etc.
How to Build Your Influencer Mix
As much as you’re able, you want to hit all the possibilities. As we mentioned previously, we’ve worked with clients where only one type of influencer makes sense for a campaign. But this tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
When you’re building your mix of influencers, keep in mind each of your program goals and how each goal relates to your customer funnel. Take in to account your customer’s journey and the various stages of your campaign. Perhaps you want to launch your campaign with a mega influencer for a brief stint and then promote across macro and mid-tier influencers for several weeks with deeper content types. Bring the campaign home using conversion-oriented content with micro and nano influencers.
If you have an influencer budget of $350,000 or more, you can begin to entertain mega influencers. Otherwise, your program will see more benefit from working with a larger variety of influencer types.
We’ve put together several influencer mix examples based on a variety of budget and goals to help jumpstart the brainstorming process.
Once you determine your mix, keep a few things in mind when collaborating on content with your influencers.
Manage expectations – yours and your influencer’s. Chances are, there will be a few kinks that will need to be worked out after the first collaboration. It helps to be very clear about what you expect from the partnership and what the influencer is willing to do and share.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate – you might not be able to meet an influencer’s asking rate at first glance. Hop on the phone and have a transparent discussion to feel out how much the influencer wants to work with your brand and how flexible they are. You might be able to negotiate a partnership that consists of both paid and in-kind compensation.
Be consistent and continuous – with the exception of the mega influencers, a one-time sponsorship with an influencer is not the most effective way to spend budget. Plan to partner with an influencer multiple times during the course of your campaign. These types of sponsorships are less likely to be ignored by followers as they have repeated exposure. It also allows you to progress the audience through the various stages of the customer funnel.
Get creative – there are very few hard and fast rules to working with influencers. Part of building the relationship with each individual is finding a way to collaborate that works for both of you. Perhaps it’s a retainer model where you engage the influencer in a set amount of content per month. Or you agree to a content swap. Or the influencer agrees to promote several key moments during the campaign. Options are limited only by your creativity.
The flexibility and effectiveness of influencer marketing makes it a valuable addition to the majority of brand campaigns. Taking the time to build those relationships can help expand your program as whole, allowing you to tap in to influencers time and again.