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If you’re considering partnering with an influencer to help drive your brand’s message, there’s no time like the present. Since 2016, the influencer marketing industry has grown by about 50 percent each year, according to estimates in the latest annual Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report. Even a pandemic couldn’t slow the trajectory. When COVID-19 arrived, people stayed home for long periods, and many turned to social media influencers for entertainment, information and inspiration. With so many influencers out there, mid-tier influencers might be the perfect pick for your brand.

Five Different Influencer Tiers

Influencers help sway the thoughts, feelings and actions of followers on a social media platform. To be an influencer, you can have anywhere from 1,000 to several million followers. But for classification purposes, creators are often separated into five different influencer tiers based on follower numbers:

  • Mega-influencers: 1,000,000+ followers
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000–1,000,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000–500,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000–50,000 followers
  • Nano-influencers: 1,000–10,000 followers

Why Brands Like to Work With Mid-Tier Influencers

Mid-tier influencers fall between nano-influencers who are just starting out and mega-influencers who have racked up a million plus followers. For brands, having an influencer that falls in the middle of the five influencer tiers can be an advantage. Brands like to work with mid-tier influencers for the following reasons:

Mid-Tier Influencers Work Hard

Most mid-tier influencers have built a following from the ground up. This process demands time, resourcefulness, patience and attention — all qualities that brands look for in a prospective partner. Having gained a good amount of experience, mid-tier influencers offer brands photography, video and written content with polish. Brands can also expect authenticity from mid-tier influencers because they continue to work to preserve the bond they have built with their audience. Although many mid-tier folks have turned social influencing into a full-time gig, there are still plenty who are looking for the perfect brand partnership.

Mid-Tier Influencers Have Good Engagement Rates

Technically speaking, engagement rates are determined by dividing the total number of likes, comments and shares on a social media account by the total number of followers. Engagement rates always depend on the particular influencer, but as a whole, mid-tier influencers do quite well. With a unique blend of broad and concentrated audiences, mid-tier influencers have good reach yet they are still able to form and maintain personal connections with followers. When searching for a mid-tier influencer, make sure to assess how engaged their followers are by looking at the quantity and quality of interactions on their social accounts and/or blog.

Mid-Tier Influencers Command Moderate Prices

The price you’ll pay an influencer depends on several factors, including follower numbers, engagement rates, and levels of expertise or notoriety. Because they have a proven track record of earning a loyal following and their audiences have grown in size and variety, mid-tier influencers can command medium-priced campaign budgets.

A recent influencer pricing report shows that mid-tier influencers make an average of $535 per sponsored photo, $960 per sponsored video and $222 per sponsored story on Instagram. Although a mid-tier influencer usually costs more than a nano- or micro-influencer, think of the convenience of running one campaign instead of many.

Mid-Tier Influencers Are Easy To Work With

Mid-tier influencers aren’t so sought after that they’ve forgotten their roots, which means they work well alone and in groups. As they gain confidence, mid-tier influencers also take more risks, which can lead to higher levels of creativity.

Finding a Mid-Tier Influencer

When searching for a mid-tier influencer, it helps to look beyond follower numbers. Make sure to take these factors into account:

  • Core interests and beliefs: Look for influencers with links to about pages or bios so that you get a good understanding of your prospective partner.
  • Highlights: Look for mentions of specialties, awards, former or current brand sponsorships and other highlights.
  • Photography skills: Choose an influencer that displays high-quality photos featuring appealing subjects, good composition and unique color and lighting.
  • Contact information: Make sure mid-tier influencers offer proper contact information like an email address or a LinkedIn profile.

Advantages of Partnering With a New Mid-Tier Influencer

Once an influencer has amassed 50,000 followers, it’s obvious they have something that appeals to social media users. However, there can be significant differences between influencers on the low end of the mid-tier range and those on the high end. For instance, an influencer with 55,000 followers might earn $750 for each sponsored photo, while one with 455,000 followers might bring in $2,500 per sponsored pic.

In addition, people who have just become mid-tier influencers often have more time to commit to your brand than influencers getting ready to break into the macro-influencer tier. In the quest to gain more followers and meaningful brand partnerships, it stands to reason that those on the lower end of the mid-tier range would also have high levels of authenticity, enthusiasm and gratitude.

Examples of Popular Mid-Tier Influencers on Instagram

If you’ve never worked with an influencer, you may not know what to expect. Here are a few examples of popular mid-tier influencers on Instagram.

Dabito – @dabito – 228k followers
With a following of just over 225,000 people, Dabito falls right in the center of the mid-tier influencer range. He is a designer, photographer and creator of the popular blog, Old Brand New. With his use of unexpected design choices and a bold color palette, Dabito’s Instagram feed is fun and festive. He has been dubbed one of the Best Instagrammers by Nylon and one of 2015’s Best Decorating Bloggers by Better Homes and Gardens. In addition, Dabito’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, House Beautiful and the New York Times

Carly Rowena – @carlyrowena – 169k followers
Carly Rowena offers followers the perfect blend of fitness education and inspiration. Her Instagram tagline, “Just breathe,” reflects her easygoing attitude toward life, and her feed features fitness photos and videos as well as fun family pics. For more information about Carly, you can visit her website. On her blog, you’ll find fitness articles as well as many lifestyle tips, from creating the perfect home office to traveling with children.

Nick Neves – @dad_beets – 63.4k followers
For mouthwatering meal ideas, look no further than Nick Neves’ Instagram feed. This modern-day husband and dad cooks up delicious dishes and presents them in an extra-scrumptious way. His aim is to challenge followers to get in the kitchen, experiment with cooking and have fun doing it. After seeing his work, it’s not surprising that Nick has won Best Food Instagram from the Saveur Blog Awards.