Author, James Gaubert
With the social influencer market at an all-time high there is still some confusion as to the different split of shape and size of following and how these should be used across your marketing mix.
As a benchmark influencers can be split into four key categories; hero-influencers, macro- influencers, micro-influencers and nano-influencers and whilst the key differentiator between these categories may well be the size of their following, the difference of how they can and should be used is far far greater, knowing the difference between each of the four categories is essential when looking to run any type of influencer related activity.
Hero-influencers are the largest of the bunch, typically with more than one million followers, although this can depend on the scale of your campaign. Whilst this type of influencer may have mass reach their audience is often very diverse with many different topics of interest. Furthermore, their relationship with their followers can be more distant than the other categories of influencers, meaning content and communication can seem a little less personal and more like mass marketing.
As hero-influencers have substantially larger followings than other influencers they can provide brands with much greater reach. However, this is typically at a premium cost and whilst it might be great for brand building doesn’t always lead to measurable results such as traffic and online purchases.
Macro-influencers are one step down from hero-influencers. The main way to identify a macro-influencer is by their follower count, this should typically fall between 100,000 and one million followers. Unlike hero-influencers who are often celebrities in their own right, macro-influencers have usually built their following through social media itself.
If you’re brand is looking to target a certain type of customer, say young males in Singapore, but still reach volume, than a macro-influencer could be the right path for you to take.
A micro-influencer typically has between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. Unlike macro and hero influencers this category typically focuses on a very specific niche or area, typically regarded as industry or topic experts. Furthermore micro-influencers generally speaking has stronger relationships than a typical influencer, sometimes driven by their perception as an opinion leader or subject matter expert.
Whilst micro-influencers may have relatively small followings, and don’t boast a celebrity status, their content and audience are often very niche. This ensures that their engagement rate is much much higher than macro or hero-influencers and this comes at a fraction of the price, typically giving you the greatest return on your marketing spend.
Nano-influencers are a relatively new category of influencer, typically much smaller with less than 10,000 followers. The best way to describe a nano-influence is as someone who has influence within their specific community.
The idea behind nano-influencers is to get regular everyday people promoting and influencing an audience on behalf of a brand, mainly to family, friends, a local community or a very niche group of people who all have a common similarity.
From an engagement perspective nano-influencer typically have the highest engagement levels of all influencers. However, their reach is often very restricted to a small group. Content created by nano influencers is often seen as more ‘real’ and authentic than other categories, with more of a homemade or UGC feel to it.
Choosing The Right Influencer
Influencer marketing is certainly not a one size fits all discipline. The key to understanding which influencer to use is to look at the objectives of your marketing campaign and marry up the best category of influencer. If you are looking to reach the masses then using a non- influencer is not going to drive value, and if you only have $10 to spend then you can forget about the Kardashians posting anything!
James Gaubert is the Business Director of The Goat Agency. Goat is an influencer-first marketing agency, with global offices in London, New York, Singapore and Monaco. Founded in August 2015, Goat takes on any scale of campaign from global to creative to size overcoming any obstacle that they are faced with. For more information on the Goat Agency, please feel free to reach out here.