Are you new to influencer marketing? Have you already run a campaign but didn’t get the results you wanted? If so, don’t worry. We’ll help you navigate this $13.8 billion industry.
One of the very first things to understand about influencer marketing is the influencers themselves! And there are various types of influencers, from a nano influencer with a few thousand followers up to a KOL, or key opinion leader.
Not sure what these terms mean? Keep reading to learn all about it.
All about influencers
Influencers are people who, through social media, can influence their followers. Influencers can introduce brands, products, and services to certain segments of consumers.
We probably tend to imagine fashionistas or digital nomads when we think of what it means to be an influencer, but there are influencers in all kinds of industries. Sports, family, lifestyle, electronics, you name it.
Likewise, all of the major social media networks have influencers available for marketing campaigns. The most famous right now are probably Instagram, YouTube and TikTok influencers, but Twitch is also gaining footing in the influencer marketing industry. And don’t discount networks like Twitter and LinkedIn.
Influencers can also be sorted according to their tier, or number of followers. The influencer tiers are important because they determine how much an influencer might charge for their content creation services. Let’s take a brief look at each influencer tier.
Nano influencers: 1-5K followers
Nano influencers have the smallest audiences, but some of the highest engagement rates in the influencer marketing industry. They come across as highly relatable to their followers, who trust their genuine opinions. For brands, nano influencers are also affordable options, as you can usually just send them some free products in exchange for social media content.
Micro influencers: 5-50K followers
Micro influencers are similar to nano influencers in that they have high engagement rates and trusting audiences who see them as experts in their field. They’ll sometimes collaborate for free products, and other times may ask for a small fee. They’ve become popular with influencer marketers in recent years because they offer a great ROI.
Medium influencers: 50-100K followers
Medium influencers are starting to professionalize. They may leave their day jobs and start influencing full-time. Some might hire managers. With these changes, fees also rise. So if you work with a medium influencer, expect to pay more for that increased reach.
Macro influencers: 100K-1M followers
At the Macro level, engagement rate starts to drop off. As audiences grow larger, it becomes more difficult to manage them in a personal, consistent way. So while you’re getting exposure to more people, understand that those followers aren’t always laser-focused on macro influencers’ content.
Mega influencers: 1M+ followers
Mega influencers are celebrities. They’re good for getting your brand in front of as many people as possible, but consumers also see through their frequent collaborations. Further, followers have a much harder time trying to relate with these influencers, who seem to live picture-perfect lives of luxury.
All about KOLs
KOLs, or key opinion leaders, are like uber-influencers. The main difference between influencers and KOLs is that influencers derive their influence from social media, while KOLs have other platforms where they can share their ideas.
Another difference is that influencers don’t always have a ton of experience in what they do. For example, anyone can become a beauty influencer. You don’t need any special qualification; if anything, success comes more from a mix of passion, creativity and drive.
But KOLs often have extensive experience, education, or some other credentials to back up their reputation. For example, Rand Fishkin is a key opinion leader in the marketing industry. He’s the founder of Moz, one of the biggest SEO tools out there. So we can assume that with that experience behind him, he knows what he’s talking about.
KOLs can have a great impact on your campaign, but it can be difficult to collaborate with them. Getting ahold of them is tricky, and they have to be very well-aligned with your brand and products in order to even consider working with you. But if you can hook a KOL in your niche, you can expect a positive boost.
What you should do when working with either
Whether you work with an influencer or KOL, there are a few things you should always do.
Analyze their social media or channel performance
You want to make sure that your future collaborators aren’t fakes. Influencer fraud is a common issue for marketers.
To avoid this, carefully analyze an influencer’s profile statistics, like follower growth, engagement rate, audience demographics, and authenticity. If something seems fishy, ask for further information.
As for KOLs, you may want to have a look at how they perform on social media or other channels, depending on where they have the biggest presence and where you plan to launch the campaign.
Give them creative freedom
Regardless of follower count, give influencers creative freedom. They have grown their audience, and they best understand their followers. This makes them the most qualified to choose how to communicate your brand’s message to their audience.
Of course, if you have any specific guidelines, lay them out during negotiations. Explain deadlines and what you want them to emphasize about your product. If you want influencers to use certain hashtags or mentions, let them know.
Decide if you need a contract
An influencer contract isn’t always necessary. Basically, if you’re only paying influencers with free products, you don’t need a contract, unless the product is extremely valuable. In these situations, it’s fine to just sum up the collaboration agreement in an email or briefing that everyone can refer to along the road if needed.
When paying influencers money, you’ll probably want a contract. You may already have a provision of services contract that you use at your organization, or if not, you can get an influencer contract template and modify it to fit your unique collaboration.
When running influencer marketing campaigns, choosing the type of influencer to collaborate with is one of the most important steps. Hopefully now you understand the different influencer tiers, and the difference between influencers and KOLs, and can make the best choice for your brand.