What are the different types of Influencers?
When we see an influencer do a brand post or what is now also called a sponsored post, all we witness is a beautiful post, sometimes an aesthetically pleasing hamper, or a flawless video with great production. But what we miss out on are the struggles and hardships behind it which makes everything worth it. We are glad for the behind the scenes trend which does give us a glimpse of the fun and effort the influencer puts into bringing the final result to life. But there’s another thing that we generally miss out on which is the process of how these influencers are selected.
As a consumer, the process is not your focus to know that but one thing you should know is that you are the driving force behind the process. When the brands are looking at collaborating with influencers they are finding ways to approach you. They closely assess your likes, dislikes, people you follow, trends you like play an important role in it to find their target audience. Consumers are at the center when brands decide on collaborating with the influencers.
The combination of influencers’ desires to do what they love and your enthusiasm as their follower to reciprocate to their passion, in the same way, has given the brands different types of influencers to choose from. Even if not the brands, the independent artists, creators, and influencers who work organically are too aware of these types and use them in their favor.
Different types of influencers serve different kinds of audiences and have different values or goals to fulfill. All we are thankful for is the vast diversity of talent and creativity that we are exposed to. There are influencers from different backgrounds, ethnicity, lifestyles, ideologies, ages, and whatnot. We live in an era of CGI influencers. And we cannot wait to see what other areas will influencer marketing help us explore. However, that is a discussion for another day. First, let’s get to know some of the amazing types of influencers that we have.
These influencers can be classified under two categories based on their number of followers and their professions.
Types of influencers by the number of followers
- Nano influencers
Nano influencers are individuals who have followership between 1000 to 10,000. These are generally people who are just at the beginning of their career as influencers or maybe the ones who are just curious to explore this path. However, it’s not just the number of followers that makes them influencers but also their desire and goals to be one. We live in a world where we have a lot of ‘internet friends’ so it is not very difficult for an individual to achieve this number of followers. Not everybody with more than 1000 followers is a nano influencer because some just do it for fun.
These nano influencers gain momentum with the help of a lot of influencer marketing platforms that connect them to brands who are looking for influencers to help them a small group or a certain number of people if not masses. They have fewer followers which means they have more personal connections with their followers and they are fairly popular in certain institutions like colleges and universities. A brand that has college students as their target audience, these nano influencers can be of great help for them to create awareness.
Micro-influencers are people who have between 10,000 to 1,00,000 followers. They are believed to be experts of their niche and people follow them certainly just because they share a mutual interest which could be food, travel, fitness, bikes, sports, or anything else. With micro-influencers, the brands have the best of both worlds- traditional and digital advertising.
Since they have a manageable number of followers and people who are genuinely dedicated to what they have to offer, they have a personal connection. They are able to cater to a certain number of people and build relationships with them which is how we used to roll when digital advertising was more like a dream. The other advantage is that they can have this connection and execute different levels of creativity with no boundaries.
- Macro influencers
Macro influencers have followers between 1,00,000 to 1 million. These influencers are professional creators who have excelled in their passion and niche and have been successful in building a sustainable platform for themselves. The size of their community is vast and that makes them an ideal collaboration for big brands who want to reach the masses.
Over the years, these influencers have not only managed to cater to a crowd that follows their niche but they have built a connection and a personality for themselves which gives them the freedom to explore and keep growing even if they try new things. Their visibility and popularity are attractive to both customers and brands. They are great for building awareness and generating more traffic. A strong partnership with these influencers can turn into a big advantage for brands as they are sure to gain new customers and also retain the existing ones.
- Mega influencers
Mega influencers are individuals who are celebrities like actors or stars who may have a niche or a profession out of the social media but their presence on it gives them more ground to cover. They are usually people with more than 1 million followers. But now to be a mega influencer you do not have to be an A-list celebrity like a movie star because these influencers have not managed to pass the 1 million margin and become mega influencers too.
There are people who started from social media, passed through all the stages of being different types of influencers, and have finally achieved being a mega influencer. They are in the same race as any other celebrity. The line between being a mega influencer because you are a celebrity and being a mega influencer because step by step one has achieved it is now gradually blurring.
Moving further if we keep aside the number of followers there are influencers who fall under these above categories but belong to different niches, professions, identity and have a different approach altogether.
Blogging has prevailed for a very long time, even before social media and hence a long time before influencer marketing was even a thing. There are bloggers in almost every sector or niche. Pick anything as small as cleaning and you will find people telling you things about it that you did know you needed.
These bloggers are not active only on social media but they also have their separate platforms which can be WordPress, Wix, Pinterest, Tumblr and so many more. They started from these platforms and now since the opportunities and possibilities have widened they are also influencers.
- Actors and Celebrities
We are familiar with them. We know actors and celebrities from way before the time of digital dominance. Actors are people who we ideally refer to as mega influencers. You will now see a lot of actors being fashion, make-up, and travel influencers too. And then there are celebrities who have been a product of reality shows, trends, sensation, or even your regular people who gained momentum with their work to become what they are today.
These celebrities can also be your girl/boy next door because that’s where most of them actually come from. This is the power of the internet. The access we have to impact so many lives makes it possible for a lot of people to go from ‘I don’t know what I am going to do with my life’ to ‘I cannot believe I have achieved so much’ and we think it is incredible.
Activism has found a great deal of support through social media. A lot of activists who have worked hard for their lives to fulfill a purpose, to fill a gap in society are not able to influence the lakhs of people. There was a time when even being aware of social issues was difficult. Of course, we have newspapers and news channels but with so much happening around the world, different people believe in different purposes and with the help of social media, they are able to spread the word.
It’s not just that. These activists have opened possibilities for modern ideologies and justice for the underprivileged. There was a time when organizations and individuals have struggled to collect funds but now it has become easier and better. These activists sure go through a lot of bashing but the support that they receive makes it all worth it. The biggest example of how activism in itself has become a social media influence is the momentum that the LGBTQ community has gained over the past few years with the help of social media platforms.
Vlogging is booming and why would it not because video content is the present and future of the digital world now. These vloggers can range from people who vlog their day where they are buying coffee and bagels to vlogs in which people are hitchhiking and jumping through cliffs. Basically, these are your travel influencers, fashion influencers, artists, tutors, comedians, gamers dancers, and almost everyone. Vlogging is so predominant and hard to resist that even non-influencers also try a hand at it.
These vloggers have been most highly active on YouTube but then we also saw some other video platforms come and go like Tik-Tok, vine. Now a lot of vloggers are also active on Instagram with IGTV. A lot of tech-based companies collaborate with bloggers to promote products like phones, cameras, high-tech systems and so much more. Vlogging gives people to connect with their audience on a deeper level because these vloggers are putting their lives out there and constantly encouraging their followers to be a part of it too.
It is safe to say that we are witnessing the wonders of social media journalism these days. Without pointing at the political aspects of journalism, let’s just say that the world needed local journalists the most during these times and through social media, a lot of journalists have come up and have been able to influence people.
A lot of passionate journalists have emerged through social media where they try the best to cover more grounds than mainstream media. Another big advantage is that earlier we only received the news and now we discuss it, we collectively look for solutions and have a space for constructive criticism. These journalists also receive a lot of backlashes and get bullied but their supporters and strict cyber laws are doing their best to fill this gap.
- Thought Leaders
Thought leaders are individuals who influence aspects like self-development, creativity, and innovations. You follow them to learn about new things, to have perspective about certain topics or even life in general. You follow these thought leaders because you know they carry solutions to your problems, you know they are capable of giving you the daily motivation to keep you going.
These are individuals who have achieved big things in their lives and now on even bigger things. Some popular examples are Elon Musk and Gary Vaynerchuk. Thought leaders have expertise in certain niches too like design, technology, marketing, and a lot more.
Don’t be shocked if we tell you that this is still just a fraction of what we all actually experience. You must think to yourself, “Hey, you missed this category of influencers”, and you wouldn’t be wrong. There are so many new platforms coming up, so many trends and trendsetters and so many niches that are either underrated or yet unexplored by most. But the idea that there’s still so much to come and we are falling short of experiencing what we already have, is kind of exciting, isn’t it?