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Influencers have become a vital part of social media and content creation. As many brands are discovering, working with an influencer can be more effective than traditional advertising, and the many ways influencers can contribute to a brand strategy continue to evolve. One of the great things about working with influencers is that, regardless of the size of the brand or the audience you want to reach, there are nano-, micro- or macro-influencers who are skilled in being able to reach that target market and can work with your budget. The first step in knowing which type of influencer is the best fit for you is to understand the types of influencers and the appeal of each segment. 

Nano-, micro- or macro-influencers explained

These days, it doesn’t take huge numbers to be an effective influencer. Here’s a look at four categories of influencers as broken down by size: 

  • Nano-influencers (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers). Although nano influencers have a smaller social media following, they are known for their expertise in a specific area and have earned the trust of those followers. 
  • Micro-influencers (between 10,000 and 100,000 followers). Micro influencers have more followers than a regular person but haven’t hit true celebrity level.   
  • Macro-influencers (100,000 to 1 million). In most cases, these influencers have found their following through an internet-related activity (YouTube, TikTok, etc.) and are often a specialist in their field. 
  • Mega influencers or celebrities (1 to 5 million). These are usually big-name celebrities; they might be singers, athletes, or actors. 

Matching your brand with the right influencer

So, which influencer is best for your brand? Obviously, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. Knowing which influencer to use depends on such factors as your budget, your intended audience and even the individual personality of the influencer. While it might seem that going big is the way to go, that’s not always the case.

In most instances, mega influencers or celebrities are reserved for big brands with big budgets, like for Big Game ads. Mega influencers are pricey; for example, Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who has an incredible 404 million Instagram followers, charges millions for a social media campaign. Before betting the house on a mega influencer campaign, keep in mind that although they boast a huge base of followers, mega influencers often have lower engagement rates. 

Macro-influencers can also demand a bigger budget, and because of their niche following, it’s important that your brand is well aligned with the influencer’s message before investing in them. Macro-influencers can be found in several content verticals, such as fitness, home design, travel, style and more. The right brand with the right budget could find this a great way to reach a specific interest group. Read our State of Influencer Earnings™ to learn more about pricing trends in IZEA’s ecosystem of agencies, brands, and influencers. 

At the micro level, brands will discover an influencer who wants to promote products that pair with their interests or area of expertise. Or they might just like the product. This can be particularly beneficial for brands that are just starting up or that have a new product to push out; micro-influencers are typically affordable and have high levels of engagement. 

Nano-influencers show that bigger is not always better. While they may not have the big numbers, their followers tend to be active and loyal. When a nano influencer recommends a product, followers view that recommendation as more authentic, because they tend to only work with brands they love and are willing to use. That means these smaller numbers can add up quickly for brands that find the right influencers to work with. 

More brands thinking small

If you’re considering using nano- and micro-influencers to reach your audience, you aren’t alone. Recent research shows that more brands are discovering success with smaller influencers, thanks to their hyper-focused audiences with very specific interests. Because smaller influencers are seen as more “real” and trustworthy, their followers tend to put more faith in the product or service. Now, even big brands like Coca-Cola and Gillette — as well as direct-to-consumer brands — are looking at nano- and micro-influencers as part of their marketing plans, according to Insider Intelligence.

Working with an influencer can bring a new perspective and fresh new energy to your campaigns, and you might find that influencers provide value to your brand that far exceeds your spend. Whether you’re looking for a one-off campaign or want to build a lasting relationship with an influencer (or two), this can be a way to make your brand more relatable while boosting its profile.   

The IZEAx Discovery platform is a search tool that can help your brand find the right influencer for your campaigns.


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