Influencer marketing has cemented its place as a mainstream digital marketing tactic. And gaining a comprehensive understanding of the various types of influencers is crucial for brands before investing in influencer marketing.
Google Trends shows how the influencer marketing industry has grown and taken center stage in the last decade.
Image Source – Google Trends
Whether you are investing in influencer marketing on YouTube or any other social media platform, you need to partner with the right influencers.
But how do you select the right influencers?
To help you make this choice, we are giving you a brief overview of the various types of influencers and what they are best suited for.
Without any further delay, let’s get started.
Types of Social Media Influencers Based on Followers Count
The number of influencers is constantly growing on social media channels. The secret to running a successful influencer campaign lies in identifying the right influencers for your brand.
To do so, it is vital to know the different types of influencers that you can collaborate with. Based on the number of followers, social media influencers are divided into 4 categories.
Nano Influencers (1K-10K)
Nano influencers have a highly engaged social media community. These types of influencers share a close bond with their followers and their recommendations are highly valued.
Nano influencers are the right choice for you if you are a small company or working on a tight budget and want to spread awareness about your brand in a super-specific niche.
They also tend to have the highest average engagement rate among all influencers at about 4%.
That said, nano-influencers have some drawbacks too. They’ve relatively lower experience than other influencers and this means that they could be tougher to deal with.
Micro-Influencers (10K to 100K)
Micro-influencers have a decent follower count, much more than nano influencers. They put in a lot of effort to engage their followers with high-quality content. They are often seen as an authority in a specific niche and usually have some degree of brand experience.
Brands can leverage the power of micro-influencers to reach out to a fairly large audience in a targeted niche.
So, if you’re willing to make a compromise between the pros and cons of macro and nano influencers, micro influencers are the ones to partner with.
Macro Influencers (100K to 1M)
Macro influencers can be called internet celebrities or social media stars owing to the widespread reach they have. Famous YouTubers, food bloggers, podcasters, and many more fall in this category.
These types of influencers are not born overnight. Rather, they would have made their way up the ladder with a lot of effort and dedication. That’s why macro influencers are usually considered an authority in their niche.
Macro influencers are the best choice for spreading brand awareness, owing to their massive reach. And, unlike mega influencers, they can be afforded by many businesses.
And the best part?
They’re well experienced in dealing with brands. This makes it easy to partner with them.
Mega Influencers (>1M)
Mega influencers are actors, pop stars, fashion icons, and other public figures. Although mega influencers have an enormous number of followers, the percentage of engagement they generate is the least compared to other types of influencers.
In fact, the same report mentioned above found their average engagement rate to be about 0.8%.
They can be helpful in building brand awareness but you need to have a healthy influencer marketing budget to afford them.
Types of Influencers Based on Their Niche
Now it’s time to categorize the types of influencers based on the kind of content they create and the niches they belong to.
Here we go.
Did you know that a majority of men, 54% to be precise, follow gaming influencers?
These social media influencers are popular for live-streaming their games on YouTube and other social media platforms.
Take DangerousThing for instance. She partnered with Brawl Stars to promote their game along with a host of other gaming influencers.
Image Source – YouTube
Gaming equipment and eSports brands can collaborate with such gaming influencers to promote their products or run contests through YouTube videos.
Bloggers and Vloggers
These are some of the most popular types of influencers. Bloggers and vloggers are known for creating highly informative and fun content in their respective niches. They are active on multiple social media, but their expertise lies in creating blogs and vlogs.
Travelers, parenting gurus, fitness coaches, food vloggers, gadget experts, and several niche-specific bloggers and vloggers fall in this category.
Brands can partner with such influencers to try a variety of tactics to maximize influencer marketing on Instagram and other social media channels.
When these types of influencers review a product or recommend a brand, their followers are often motivated to try them out.
While we are discussing different types of influencers, we have to include photographers. These influencers are known for creating stunning visual content.
These types of influencers are often seen collaborating with leading product brands as they can take tempting product pictures to attract new customers.
For instance, Jesse Driftwood, a photographer/influencer on Instagram, promoted Storyblocks while sharing some useful photography tips.
Image Source – Instagram
Activists on social media are focused on building awareness about a social or political cause. In doing so, they try to shape the opinion of their audience regarding a matter. Their audience is typically niche-specific and shares the same beliefs and values as the influencer.
Compared to the other types of influencers, activists can be radical at times and brands need to keep that in mind.
If you are a brand manufacturing sustainable merchandise, you can collaborate with an environmental activist to build brand awareness on social media.
Beauty and Fashion Influencers
Among the several types of influencers, beauty and fashion influencers are one of the highest followed ones by women. Women can’t get enough of these 2 types of influencers.
Beauty and fashion influencers can be seen talking about their beauty secrets, makeup tips, fashion trends, hacks, and all things beauty and fashion.
When these influencers recommend a brand or a product, followers are lured in to try it too. Users regard such influencer-generated content to be more authentic than branded content.
In this example, Gojkovicc, a nano influencer on Instagram, can be seen collaborating with her favorite skincare brand Organics, and offering a giveaway.
Image Source – Instagram
Subject Matter Experts
When it comes to the types of influencers, subject matter experts really know what they are talking about. They include people like doctors, researchers, coffee growers, gadget experts, SEO gurus, and seasoned professionals from any field.
These experts readily share their industry knowledge with their followers to inform, educate, and engage them.
Followers often approach subject matter experts on social media to get their queries answered and to gain industry knowledge.
One of the most followed types of influencers on social media is thought leaders. These are CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, industry experts, Nobel laureates, and so on.
They shape industry-wide opinions and trends, and can be thought of as the celebrity equivalent of subject matter experts.
People like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Aung San Suu Kyi, and hundreds of others are considered thought leaders who influence a larger world audience.
Image Source – Twitter
Social Media Sensations
As the name suggests, social media sensations are types of influencers who have shot to fame via viral or sensational posts. These are not necessarily celebrities but common people who have something exciting to offer and have built a strong personal brand.
Although they are not experts in their niche, the engagement they can generate is phenomenal.
Keri Fay, for example, has garnered a huge fan following on Instagram by sharing engaging content with her audience regularly. Here, she can be seen promoting Daniel Wellington’s watch in her own style.
Image Source – Instagram
1. What are the 5 types of influencers?
The types of influencers based on follower count are:
- Nano Influencers (1K-10K)
- Micro-Influencers (10K to 100K)
- Macro Influencers (100K to 1M)
- Mega Influencers (>1M)
2. What are some types of influencer niches?
Some of the key types of influencers based on their niche are:
- Gaming influencers
- Bloggers and vloggers
- Subject matter experts
- Beauty and fashion influencers
- Thought leaders
- Social media sensations
- And many more!
3. What types of Instagram influencers are there?
Well, apart from the type of influencers we have mentioned above, here are some popular categories of Instagram influencers:
- Diet and fitness experts
- Reality TV stars
- Mainstream celebrities
- Sports stars
- Public personalities
4. How to choose the right influencer for your brand?
Here is what you should look for in an ideal influencer for your brand –
- Number of followers
- Niche relevance
- Authority over the niche
- Creativity and style
- Influencer marketing budget
5. How to look for fake influencers?
Fake influencers are present on almost all social media channels. Here are some of the red flags you should look out for:
- Unnatural spike in followers
- Spammy comments (mostly emojis)
- Unusually low or high engagement rate
- The quality and number of posts
Which Types of Influencers Will You Choose?
There you go, we have listed all the major types of influencers operating in the social media world today. Whether you choose an influencer on the basis of their fan following or niche, place the highest value on authenticity and engagement.
Not sure which types of influencers you should partner with?
If you would like some professional help in getting connected with the top influencers in your niche, then get in touch with us and explore the possibilities.