Social Influencers are people who guide the thoughts and feelings of their followers on a media platform. There really is no answer to how many followers you must have in order to be an influencer. In fact, everyone on social media has the power to influence their followers in one way or another. However, when it comes to sponsoring someone to advocate for your brand, considering the influencer tier should be an important step in your strategy.
This post will discuss what categorizes different tiers of influencers and how your brand can determine the best tiers to maximize the highest return on investment (ROI) for your campaign.
What are the Different Influencer Tiers?
Influencers are categorized into different levels or tiers based on their individual reach on a given platform. Though they are separated only by their number of followers and not by any other criteria, their reach can tell us a lot about their overall engagement, likeability, and authenticity. Let’s break down the tiers and what differentiates them.
When we talk about mega influencers, we’re referring to celebrities or those with celebrity status given their large followings. Their high and broad reach means you can reach a larger and more diverse audience. Mega influencers’ followings are more likely to be spread out across the nation and even the globe. Working with mega influencers gives brands a high reputation and an edge up on competitors.
Mega influencers are categorized by the following reaches per platform:
Instagram: 1M+ followers
YouTube: 1M+ views
Blogs: 1M+ UVMs
Macro influencers are trendsetters and viewed as experts in one specific field or many fields. Compared to influencers in lower tiers, macro influencers reach up to 22 times more people and, similar to mega influencers, their audience is broad, allowing brands to reach multiple niches and geographic locations in just one post.
Macro influencers are well-versed at sponsoring brands and often produce professional content that demonstrates their experience getting brands noticed. They understand their role in the success of the campaign and know exactly what will make their audience tick.
Macro influencers are categorized by the following reaches per platform:
Instagram: 400K to 1M followers
YouTube: 150K to 1M views
Blogs: 500K to 1M UVMs
Mid-Tier & Micro-Influencers
Mid-tier and micro influencers have the capacity to create genuine connections with their followers. These influencers realize the nurturing relationship of their following and are more likely to engage in one-on-one communication as well as respond to comments and questions. This type of engagement results in more trust and likeability from their followers. When the influencer makes a recommendation or talks about a product, their followers are more likely to draw upon that recommendation and convert into subscribers, customers, etc.
Mid-tier & micro influencers also usually have a more niche audience. When it comes to engagement, these middle to low tiered influencers are the place to look. Though they don’t have as high of an overall reach, they are likely to have a higher reach of those in your target audience. Statistically, engagement rates of micro influencers are 60 percent higher than those of a macro influencer which is pure gold if you’re looking to grow a loyal community. Partner with an mid-tier or micro influencer that matches your brand personality and their authenticity toward their distinct audience will deliver high ROI.
Mid-tier influencers are categorized by the following reaches per platform:
Instagram: 75k to 400K followers
YouTube: 50K to 150K views
Blogs: 100K to 500K UVMs
Micro influencers are categorized by the following reaches per platform:
Instagram: 10k to 75K followers
YouTube: 10K to 50K views
Blogs: 50K to 100K UVMs
Nano influencers are the ultimate micro influencers. They are well-connected with their following, have high engagement rates, and are trusted to make reliable recommendations for brands, maybe even more so than their micro influencer neighbors. Nano influencers have likely met a lot of their followers in person, so their social feeds are as genuine as word of mouth marketing and their audience is likely to be geographically centralized to where they live. These influencers are not going to represent or promote a brand they don’t believe in, and their followers know and respect them for their authenticity.
When it comes to organic comments and likes, nano influencers keep their followers engaged. However, one downside to engagement on the scale of a nano influencer is their limited opportunities for increased engagement. For example, the Instagram and Facebook story feature to swipe up to a website is only available to those with at least 10,000 followers.
Another great benefit to working with nano influencers is that they are the most cost-effective option for brands. Nano influencers are often not using social media as their main source of income, and will often partner with brands in exchange for low compensation or product. Influencer marketing, as a whole, is less costly than traditional advertising. ano influencers are the most economical way to achieve a high ROI.
Nano influencers are categorized by the following reaches per platform:
Instagram: 1K to 10K followers
YouTube: 1K to 10K views
Blogs: 10K to 50K UVMs
Which Influencer Tier is Best for Your Campaign?
To determine which tier of influencer is best for your campaign, you’ll need to consider your objectives. Each tier of influencer will bring different benefits, so it is important to be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Let’s look at the key objectives obtained by the different influencer tiers.
When to Work with Mega Influencers
Key Campaign Objectives: Awareness, Visibility, High Reach, Global Status
If one of your key objectives is awareness and a global reach, you’ll want influencers with high popularity. This tier is ideal for getting multiple eyes on your product and affirming your brand as a celebrity brand. Since mega influencers are of celebrity status, sponsoring them to advocate for your product is a great status indicator of your brand, and should be considered by established, global brands.
When to Work with Macro Influencers
Key Campaign Objectives: Awareness, Visibility, Diverse Reach, Acquire Professional Content, Clout
If you’re starting a new trend, pushing a movement, or trying to create hype around an idea or product, macro-influencers are what you need. As experts, they will position your campaign as one of stature and importance to a large audience. Use macro-influencers when you have a diverse audience with a range of interests and geographic locations. Macro influencers can be trusted to create professional, tried, and tested content for guaranteed positive exposure.
When to Work with Mid Tier & Micro-Influencer Tiers
Key Campaign Objectives: Customer Acquisition, Engagement, Sales, Credibility, Trust, Reach a Specific Audience, Acquire High Quality Content
If you’re looking to create a genuine connection with your followers and acquire loyal customers, mid-tier and micro influencers can help you achieve your goals. Working with these influencers will increase your integrity and trust among your audience, so if your product relies on credibility and transparency, definitely stick to this range of influencers.
This is also the best tier range for engagement. If your objectives are conversions, sales, leads, or subscriptions, these mid-tier and micro-influencers are the best option for your campaign while still achieving high-quality content. Equally important is your audience. If your target audience is specific, mid-tiered and micro-influencers can help you hone in on those people who are most ideal for your campaign message points.
When to Work with Nano Influencers
Key Campaign Objectives: Increase Local Foot Traffic, Reach a Specific Geographic Area, Encourage Organic Conversation
Nano influencers are great if you’re looking to grow a niche community or an intimate connection with your audience. Though reach is low, authenticity is high. Use nano influencers to start intimate and organic conversations around your brand both on and off social media.
If your brand is a local business or if you’re targeting a very specific geographic region, nano influencers could be ideal. For a local restaurant, boutique, or a business just starting to grow, partnering with a few nano influencers who genuinely care about your brand and have a following of people close to your local region is much more valuable than one celebrity endorsement who doesn’t live anywhere nearby.
When to Work with A Multiple Influencer Tiers
Many campaigns will want a combination of different tiered influencers. If your objectives are reached by more than one of the above tiers, consider using a combination of tiers. For example, a macro influencer could get a trend started and spread while micro-influencers get followers engaged and acting. Consider your objectives and which tiers will accomplish them. Working with multiple influencer tiers could help you spread the word and reach a higher ROI.
A Note on Budget
Your budget will obviously be a large factor in determining which tier of influencers you sponsor. However, your objectives should still be considered. If your goal is awareness, but you can only afford nano influencers, your budget may be better spent somewhere else. The same goes if you are hoping to work with a celebrity to get widespread reach but don’t have the budget. Instead, consider working with a macro influencer who is still seen as a professional and has a large, broad audience to reach your objectives. However, if you want a celebrity endorsement and all you can afford are lower-tiered influencers, you may want to reconsider your campaign objectives or determine a different marketing strategy that will better reach your goals.
Wrap It All Up
Influencer tiers are determined by their overall reach and each will help you obtain different objectives. When determining which tier of influencer you want to sponsor for your campaign, you must first consider your objectives. Mega and macro influencers are the best options for awareness, diverse reach, and brand status while mid-tier, micro, and nano influencers are the best options for engagement and credibility. Ultimately, a combination of many tiers may be the best option for your campaign depending on your campaign objectives.
“Which influencer tier will best help you reach your campaign goals?”