How to choose the best influencer for your brand

Social media influencers can be divided up into four categories, and what makes them different is much more than just how many followers they have or the fee they command. 

How to choose the best influencer for your brand

Thanks to analysis from performance marketing platform Affise, we reveal four different types of influencer and which kind might make the best partnership for your brand…

MEGA-INFLUENCERS

With a following of at least 1million, these are generally actors and actresses, musicians, reality TV stars, comedians or sports icons  – what we traditionally call ‘celebrites’. However their ranks increasingly include the likes of @zoella (pictured), who have worked their way to the top of the social ladder after years of connecting with their audiences and, in turn, gained their own celebrity status and normally other entrepreneurial business ventures along the way. 

WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?

  1. Instant brand awareness One post from a mega-influencer – especially if it’s organic content – can elevate your brand to new realms of fame, making you a hot topic amongst followers and fans looking to emulate their favourite influencer’s lifestyle. 
  2. Massive followings You can reach millions of potential new customers, and grow your own social followings significantly, especially if you collaborate with individuals who share your brand’s core beliefs and focuses.
  3. Diverse audiences Huge followings usually mean diverse audienceswho have aligned to the influencer for a multitude of different reasons. This allows your brand to connect with a totally new range of audiences and demographics.
  4. Saves time If you need results in a hurry and don’t have time to create a whole influencer marketing strategy, a single post could give you instant results (though it might cost you a significant amount of money).

TOP TIPS

  • Planning is key - you’re spending a lot of money and social blunders can cause big damage, so make sure you have everything covered.
  • Choose wisely by looking carefully at what they already do on social, including which other brands they work with. Getting a perfect fit is vital.

MACRO-INFLUENCERS

At around 100k to 1million followers, their social media presence has usually been built up over a matter of years, through continuously sharing content and building connections with their audience. A good example of this is the Mancunian style blogger @meganellaby (222k followers).

WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?

  1. Large following Their message has a wide reach and presents your brand to a number of potential new customers.
  2. Highly professional Having built their career on the basis of brand collaborations, they have a fully formed approach to brand partnerships, making them an ideal and straightforward choice for many brands.
  3. Easy to work with They usually need little guidance as they already have plenty of experience and know what’s expected of them (if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be the success they are). This makes the process smooth-running and means minimal effort is required from the brand side. 
  4. Trusted Having been continuously connected with their audience for years, their followers often feel like they’ve been on this journey of growth with them, meaning they trust them and take note of what they promote, especially when the content looks organic and fits in seamlessly amongst their platform's current aesthetic.

TOP TIPS

  • Check especially for someone who shares your brands values and core influences – otherwise their audience will not be a good fit.
  • Make sure they are not already in partnership with any competitor brands.

MICRO-INFLUENCERS 

These are the most common types of influencer, a good example being @BronteKingg, who has 53.1k followers and posts about fashion, beauty and all things university-related, as she’s the founder of @galswhograduate. This type of influencer is a common choice amongst brands due to them being extremely cost-effective and having a more engaged and niche following. Their communities are usually smaller, at between 10k and 100k followers, but they have fiercely loyal, dedicated and often regional followings, which can benefit brands immensely.¶

WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?

  1. Affordable Since they have a smaller following, their collaboration costs are lower. If they are really passionate about your brand, product or offering, they will often accept payment in the form of a gift. 
  2. High engagement rate They tend to be much closer to their audience, often responding to direct messages and comments and developing personal friendships with their ‘fans’. This means they can have a more direct influence on them. 
  3. Credible and trusted The majority of their content is organic and they don’t collaborate with too many brands, so they are deemed to be trustworthy and credible by their audience. This makes them a great choice to begin a partnership with because content will look truly authentic amongst their feeds. 
  4. Niche audiences They are the gateway for targeting specific audiences. They will usually have a topic or category their content falls into that their following is interested in, which might be anything from mental health, fashion, baking, gardening, home interiors, parenting or travel.

 TOP TIPS

  • Follow their social media for a while before approaching them - get to know them so you can build great rapport when you do get together.
  • Think about long-term partnerships with these influencers so you can both grow together.

 NANO-INFLUENCERS

Relatively newly recognised on the influencer scene, they are very close to the small community they have built. Whilst their audience is significantly smaller than other influencers, with only 10k followers or less, they have arguably the most engaged audience. Good examples, with their own niches and highly engaged audiences, include @carlajian (8,503 followers), a mum and wellness blogger who regularly discusses both topics on her posts; and @kandiewanderlust (8,129 followers), a travel blogger who combines her love of travel with her signature pastel colour scheme that’s primarily lilac on her social platform. 

WHY DO YOU NEED ONE?

  1. Authentic Their especially close relationship with their followers means their posts are considered to be more authentic and trusted, making the promotions they deliver highly interesting to followers.
  2. Low cost With smaller followings come a lower price point for collaborations, making them a low-cost way for you as a brand to work with influencers.
  3. High engagement rate Their first-hand relationships with followers mean a much higher engagement rate, as their following views them almost like a friend and is supportive of their content.  
  4. More flexible They can be easier to collaborate with and work to the terms and conditions of the partnership your brand presents 
  5. They go the extra mile Since many are quite new to partnering with brands, they will often go above and beyond to create high-quality content that will really impress the brand they are working with.  

TOP TIPS

  •  You can search for your nano-influencer on social platforms by using niche-specific hashtags, for example searching #nanoinfluencer followed by the word travel, to find influencers in that category. 

  • Since they are usually new to partnerships they can be great brand ambassadors.

  • Using them to generate new followers for your brand can connect you with new audiences – have them post as themselves on your brand’s channel, with Instagram takeovers for example.


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