Thanks to social media, we’re now in the age of influencers. Every niche imaginable has an influencer, and that’s why influencer marketing exists.
Marketers leverage an influencer’s popularity to influence a group toward a goal. It can be to drive traffic to a website, raise brand awareness, or increase sales. Whichever it is you want to achieve, an influencer can help you with that.
But, does influencer marketing work? Well, 80% of marketers say so.
That means those who aren’t getting good results might not have a good strategy in the first place.
A good strategy includes picking the right influencer to represent your brand. Take a look at the best types of influencers to get an idea of what you’re looking for.
Micro-influencers are those who have a relatively smaller number of followers. Its definition is a bit broad, as it can encompass influencers with at least a thousand followers to 100,000.
Yes, 100,000 followers may not be so micro. Still, it’s smaller compared to the millions of followers of the likes of celebrities.
What would push a business to hire a micro-influencer instead of an influencer with a wider reach? Well, influencer marketing is not all about casting a super wide net.
Sometimes, high engagement and targeted reach are where it’s at. And that’s where micro-influencers excel.
It makes sense – they don’t have to manage millions of followers, and so they’ll be more connected to their audience. They have a more engaged and invested fan community.
Micro-influencers often focus on one niche, such as travel, beauty, fashion, and such. This way, their fans view them as an authority on that subject. This makes their followers a convenient audience.
As such, they’re effective at building high fidelity with their audience about your brand. They’re more authentic, and so everything they post has a higher chance to be effective.
You can either have them write a review, post about your product, and such. They can then engage with the audience to direct them to a website or answer a question about your product. As their followers are at a manageable size, they can build personal relationships this way.
What’s more, they often have lower pricing. This makes them affordable for small- and medium-sized businesses, too.
Macro-influencers have an audience size of 100,000 to 1 million followers. They can be smaller celebrities or “normal” people. Most of the time, though, they rose to fame through the internet itself by producing content.
They’re not likely to be an authority in a specific topic as they may have a diverse topic. They’re somewhere in the middle of micro and mega, which allows them to offer you the best of both worlds.
Because they have a wider reach, they can help raise brand awareness. If your business is still in that stage wherein you’re looking for reach for brand awareness, you can choose macro-influencers instead.
At the same time, you may be looking to start defining your audience. Macro influencers can do that for you.
Note, however, that people are less to trust them. If micro-influencers come across as authentic, macro-influencers don’t. Anything they post about a brand will come across as sponsored, which isn’t always a bad thing.
Mega-influencers are household names; they’re often A-listers online and in real life. They consist of actors or actresses, athletes, musicians, models, and even online personalities.
They have millions of influencers. If you choose to work with them, your brand will be in front of millions of people around the globe.
They provide you with a wide, wide reach, but they’re not necessarily an expert on any subject matter. They have a diverse fanbase with varying interests. As such, they’re more famous than they’re influential
They don’t have a targeted audience. If your brand only caters to one area in the United States, mega-influencers might not be your best choice. In this case, you don’t need a global reach.
Some mega-influencers you might already know of would be Kylie Jenner, Ariana Grande, and Taylor Swift among others.
As expected, a lot of exposure through mega influencers come with a hefty price tag. According to reports, Jenner earns around $1.2 million per post on Instagram alone.
It’s not affordable for most brands, but big names can afford this much for their awareness campaigns.
Journalists are already in the position of authority. This is how they became powerful media influencers. They often have high engagement rates because they’re natural at initiating (and continuing) conversations.
Many journalists today are active on social media, wherein they can have a sizeable follower count. Whether they’re at the micro or macro level, you can find someone who can work with your brand.
Note that partnering with a journalist is different from other types of influencers. Sponsored content won’t usually work because they have their credibility to maintain.
What you can do with them is to offer them to review your product or service. For instance, you’ve opened a new restaurant. Look for a journalist that specializes in food and restaurants.
The journalist can then post their review on the newspaper they’re working for or their website. You can gain exposure this way, especially if they have good things to say about your food.
You’ll likely see them on Instagram, so prepare to create a good Instagram marketing strategy.
Photographers are a bit too niche-specific as they specialize in high-impact visual content. That’s why they’re some of the best content creators on social media – each of their posts is high-quality.
In turn, their followers have a certain level of expectation. This translates to your brand in that their followers would have a high expectation of you, as well. The high-quality images also help paint your brand in a good light.
Brands like Nikon and Canon partner with photographers to promote their lenses, body kits, and such. In this scenario, the influencers would post images using their products. They might also have to use certain hashtags.
Since a photographer’s content is often universal, they have a wide reach that covers the whole world. This is especially important for international brands like Nikon and Canon.
The posts also serve as a real-life testament to the quality of the camera. After all, a picture comes from both the skill of a photographer and their equipment.
There’s the expectation that the photos aren’t fake. As such, the camera brands get a good rep from the beautiful shots.
However, photography brands aren’t the only ones who can work with these types of influencers. They’re also useful for fashion, travel, and lifestyle brands.
6. Key Opinion Leaders
Key opinion leaders (KOL) are experts on a specialized topic. They have the highest authority on that subject. They’re considered as professionals in their field.
Because of that, they’re trusted contributors in their industry, so they get a lot of respect. To their followers, what they say must be the truth. This will help boost your brand’s credibility and authority.
Partnering with KOLs also means getting access to a highly targeted audience. Specializing in a small niche means all their followers express genuine interest. They’re invested and engaged, and so they’re more accepting of any brand that a thought leader might endorse.
Examples of KOLs are make-up artists, celebrity chefs, scientists, and the likes. Any influencer who’s at the top of their game, they’re leaders.
They’re useful when you want to target the audience in a specialized field. Their word has a lot of credibility and their followers trust them. In turn, they’ll trust their recommendations and reviews, as well.
Key opinion leaders use different platforms, so you can work with them in different ways. They can publish an article about your brand, for instance, or make a demo video of your products. They’re on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, and even written publications.
7. Bloggers and Vloggers
Speaking of blogs and videos, we also have bloggers and vloggers. They create high-quality content, which explains their large following. Because they put so much effort into their content, they can also be authority figures in their niche.
Bloggers specialize in the written word. While they may have social media accounts, they focus on their blogs or websites.
You’ll want to have them write a blog post about your brand. This way, they can raise brand awareness or increase sales by referring to your product page.
They can also help with your SEO because they can provide high-quality backlinks. As you know, links coming from authoritative sites are worth more to Google.
Vloggers aren’t that much different, the only dissimilarity is their form of content. They focus on creating high-quality videos. You’ll likely find them on YouTube, Facebook, and similar sites.
A big advantage of vloggers is that video marketing is the trend nowadays. People consume more videos than other forms of media.
Did you know that video traffic accounts for 60% of internet traffic? Experts also believe that it will only increase from now on.
Videos are fun to watch and share, so you get more exposure each time a user shares the vlogger’s content. If you want website traffic, the influencer can put links in the caption or video description.
Livestreaming is growing to phenomenon status, so it’s becoming important in marketing, too. It provides fans the chance to interact with an influencer in real-time. Streamers can attract thousands or hundreds of thousands of watchers in one stream.
Brands that partner with live streamers get access to an already passionate audience. This type of influencer usually do or talk about what they love. And so, their audience is likely to share their passion.
Their viewers also watch with intent. A well-placed brand can let you raise awareness among thousands of watchers.
For instance, you can sponsor the equipment they use in their live streams. In the case of gaming live streamers, you can give them a cool headset, a gaming chair, or even a simple mousepad.
Your brand will gain natural exposure every time they show up in the streams. You can also have the influencer talk about the product for a bit before continuing to use them.
This also serves as a real-time review of your products. Provided they don’t malfunction during the stream (remember, it’s live), the audience will have a good impression of your brand.
Activists are those that use their voice to bring awareness to important social, environmental, political, and other issues. They aren’t afraid to use social media or other platforms to express their opinions.
As such, they might not be the first choice of brands that prefer to keep a neutral stance on issues. Businesses would have to practice extreme caution when picking out an activist influencer. Everything the influencer says can appear to be a reflection of the brand’s views and opinions.
Furthermore, a business relationship with an advocate has limitations. It will only work if both the brand and influencer share the same goals.
On the flip side, that’s exactly why you should work with them. If your brand’s views align with their views, you’ll gain access to their followers who have the same views, as well.
Let’s say we have an activist who preaches about ethical fashion consumption. This would work great for a business that wants to emphasize its ethical manufacturing process.
Are you against product testing on animals? Get an influencer who’s passionate about saving animals to promote your brand.
Activist influencers are niche-specific, yes. But, note that their followers are more likely to patronize a brand that goes with their beliefs.
Choose the Types of Influencers That Fit Your Brand
Among these types of influencers, do you now have an idea of which one would work best for you? Many considerations go into this decision, including their audience, your goals, your views, preferred media, and many more.
If you want to know more about influencer marketing, contact us and let’s see which one is a match for you.