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Central to setting an effective influencer marketing strategy is understanding the various influencer tiers and their unique roles. From micro-influencers who have a tight-knit community of followers to mega-influencers with millions of followers, each tier offers distinct advantages and can play a crucial role in a brand’s marketing strategy. This article explores the different influencer tiers and how brands can leverage them for maximum impact.

Influencer tiers defined

Let’s take a closer look at the five tiers of influencers and what marketers can expect from each:

Nano-influencers

Audience size: Under 10K

Quick summary: Strong engagement and reliability, quality of content is usually lower

Nano-influencers are budding creators with a smaller audience of under 10K followers. While nano-influencers can’t provide an extensive reach, they often have strong engagement rates driven by the influencer’s investment in their audience. 

Statistics show the average engagement rate for nano-influencers hovers around 2.5%, compared with other tiers, which can be closer to 1%.

As a result, more brands are adding nano-influencers to the mix. Brands are expected to spend 14% of their budget on nano-influencers in 2024, up from 3% in 2021, according to eMarketer.

Many nano-influencers focus on an industry, but some pick more than one or none. At this level, some influencers are still trying to find their place. 

Due to their budding career and minimal experience with brand collabs, you may find their content requires more direction or is of lesser quality than you’d hoped. 

Micro-influencers

Audience size: 10K-50K

Quick summary: Targeted niche, targeted reach, improved quality of content

Micro-influencers have an audience size between 10,000 to 50,000. They offer brands larger exposure to a defined audience. 

Since micro-influencers often have a more refined audience and niche than nano-influencers, brands are willing to increase their budgets to work with this tier of creator. With a larger audience, micro-influencers likely have experience working with brands and provide polished content as a result. 

Mid-Tier

Audience size: 50K-200K

Quick summary: Large reach, strong exposure, high-quality content

 Mid-tier influencers, as you might expect, land right in the middle of the pyramid. 

Engagement rates in this tier are often strong and they are seen as community builders. 

Influencers with an audience size on the higher end of this scale could be working as an influencer full-time, which means they’re very familiar with brand collaborations and sponsored content. 

Compensation in this tier varies widely. As you might expect, influencers on the small end of the audience spectrum will likely charge less than those at the higher end.

Macro-influencer

Audience size: Over 200K

Quick summary: Strong reach, enhanced credibility, campaign experience, high-quality content 

Macro-influencers have a large audience and are marching toward the largest influencer tier, celebrity. Creators in this tier have usually made a career out of their social presence and cultivated their audiences over the years. They’ve built a trusted following, one that’s beneficial for brands to tap into. 

Brands spend the largest amount of their influencer budget on macro-influencers, with 29.6% of their budget on these creators, according to eMarketer.  

Sponsored content produced by macro-influencers has an expansive reach and is well received by its audience, but with so many followers, engagement rates won’t likely be as high. 

Still, campaigns that push brand awareness, social engagement, and sales are all effective goals for this influencer category.

Celebrity

Audience size: 1M+

Quick summary: Mass reach, strong credibility, high-quality content, expensive to work with

Celebrity influencers have an audience of over a million followers, a rare feat. On Instagram, just 4.8% of accounts worldwide have a fan base that reaches beyond a million fans, according to Statista.

Working with celebrities not only provides huge exposure, but a celebrity’s credibility often rubs off on associated brands, elevating sales. 

Celebrity influencers are experienced, likely completing many campaigns with brands in the past. You can expect high-quality content from celebrities with careful attention to your brand goals and campaign mission. 

As you might expect, celebrity influencers charge more than other influencers. Their experience, professional content, and audience size mean you’ll pay more than the other tiers.

Celebrity influencers aren’t afraid to negotiate rates. Unlike smaller influencers willing to accept offers to gain experience, celebrities will push for rates they’ve achieved with other brands. 

For more insights, check out our annual State of Influencer Earnings report, which breaks down rates by influencer tier.

Influencer tiers provide clarity for brands looking to work with creators. As influencers grow their audience, so does their experience with brand collaborations and sponsored content. While niches and channels vary, influencers of various tiers can help your brand successfully engage its target audience. 

Influencers:

Looking to partner with industry-leading brands? Create your free profile today. 

Marketers:

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influencer marketing software Managed Services

 IZEA MANAGED SERVICES 

Strategy and execution from the company that launched the industry.

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Learn more about our
Managed Services offerings

influencer marketing software Managed Services

 IZEA MANAGED SERVICES 

Strategy and execution from the company that launched the industry.

Request a proposal

Learn more about our Managed Services offerings

 IZEA MANAGED SERVICES 

Strategy and execution from the company that launched the industry.

Request a proposal

Learn more about our Managed Services offerings