In 2021, the social media influencer market is expected to surge to a value above $13 billion. Since its original Instagram-driven explosion, the influencer marketplace has taken on a more distinct shape. We will divide that shape into four types of influencers as defined by the size of their following:
- Mega: more than 1,000,000 followers
- Macro: 100,000 – 1,000,000 followers
- Micro: 1,000 – 100,000 followers
- Nano: less than 1,000 followers
We know exactly what you are wondering. Wait just a nano-second – could I cash in on my knowledge and connections to become a micro-influencer and make megabucks, even if I did not major in macro? Let’s see what it takes.
Mega influencers, often highly visible celebrities, are the highest-ranking category of social influencers with typically more than a million followers. They offer massive reach to a very diverse audience.
No doubt, the exposure that celebrities can create for a business may be priceless, but the cost of partnering with them is incredibly pricey. And while the attraction to professional mega-influencers mega-watt personalities generates serious interest, they “are often more famous than influential.” They command a lot of eyeballs, but their relationships with those eyeballs are very distant. Studies show the rate of engagement decreases as the influencer’s total follower count increases. Yes, celebrities may be popular, but real people may not always relate to the recommendations of “some random celebrity.”
With a slightly smaller audience size approaching less than a million followers, macro-influencers may be celebrities, TV personalities, athletes, thought leaders, or those who gained fame strictly online.
Macro influencers can flex their reputations and broad reach but do not charge quite as much as mega influencers to appeal to the masses. They generally produce content that is more professional-looking than that of smaller-scale influencers. C-level (CEO, CMO, CIO) professionals, for example, can be well-positioned to leverage their executive experience into influencer status.
The most common type of influencer may be the micro-influencer. With 1,000 to 100,000 followers, micro-influencers are social media pros unlike typical celebrities, experts, or public figures. They are everyday people who work or specialize in a particular vertical and frequently share social media content about their interests. “Internet famous” for their specific content, they have a relatively smaller and more uniform audience and stronger relationships than the household-name influencers.
Content from micro-influencers is less polished but may feel more authentic than content from larger-scale influencers. The content is easy for their extremely loyal, hyper-engaged audience to relate to. This makes it more trusted. As a result, micro-influencers are more likely to produce leads and conversions than macro-influencers. Businesses consider this niche-focused group to be very effective. And micro-influencers can provide the most bang for the buck. Because they are relatively affordable, they are within reach for smaller local businesses. Businesses may choose to invest in multiple influencers at the same time. In return, they write a post about a product offer, publish a review, or share the product with their social communities. One study found that 82% of surveyed consumers said they were likely to buy something a micro-influencer recommended.
Nano influencers are the newest type of influencer with less than 1,000 followers. These individuals have influence within their community. They consistently create quality content. This could be someone in a traditional leadership role in government or their church, or it could be someone as familiar as an enterprising friend with a flair for Instagram.
While the reach of a nano influencer may be more modest and narrow, their influence among a tight-knit community has great potential. Knowing most, if not all, of their followers is a powerful asset. There has been a shift to a peer-to-peer model. Here’s the deal: people want to connect with real people who they know and trust and whose experiences and purchases they can relate to.
No surprise – nano influencers have the highest level of engagement with their followers. Their content is authentic, personalized, and well-received due to their street cred. Nano influencers are the most cost-effective category and attractive to businesses with limited resources. Some nano influencers who are still building their base don’t even charge and some partner with businesses in exchange for free products and services.
It may seem counterintuitive that a business would seek out someone with a few hundred or a few thousand followers to promote it, but that unique micro or nano influencer might just deliver better results.
So, can you be an influencer? Sure! Your voice is your value – not your number of followers. Sharing your passion through authentic content and engaging with your target audience will set you up to help businesses reach new audiences.
REACH Influencers is the world’s first marketing platform focused on connecting micro and nano influencers to businesses. Follow us on social to learn more about how you can build your influencer marketing strategy.