Influencer Tiers: 5 x Influencer Marketing Tiers You Need To Know

November 12, 2021

Did you know influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising?

*mic drop*

With 49% of people admitting they’ve been persuaded to try a product or service after seeing an influencer’s sponsored content, there’s no doubting that influencers can help your brand.

Influencer marketing is worth an estimated $13.8 billion, with the benefits of partnering with an influencer helping increase brand awareness, build credibility and trust, and drive purchasing decisions. Whatever metric you prefer to use, influencer marketing is huge right now.

But finding a winning influencer partnership isn’t as simple as choosing the influencer with the largest audience. Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, a smaller influencer may exert more influence over their audience (read on to find out why).

If you’ve been considering using Instagram influencers or TikTok influencers to kick your brand goals in 2022, you’ll need to know about influencer tiers and which tier is right for you.

What influencer tiers are there?

Influencer tiers are measured by follower sizes. 

▫ Nano-influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers

▫ Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 50,000 followers

▫ Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 to 500,000 followers

▫ Premium or macro-influencers: 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers

▫ Celebrity influencers (or mega influencers): Over 1M followers

To get the most out of your influencer marketing partnership, you’ll need to look beyond the follower count. The huge audience numbers of a mega-influencer might suit your brand. Or, a small but powerful voice in the micro-influencer tier might give you the biggest bang for your buck.

To help you understand the influencer tier options available to you, we’re sharing the pros, cons, and differences between each tier.

Interested in partnering with any of the influencer tiers above? Click here to learn about driving ROI with the Influencers Agency

Nano-Influencer Tier (1,000 - 10,000)

Nano-influencers are the smallest of the influencer tiers, but they can pack a serious punch. Don’t let a smaller audience fool you, the right nano-influencer has built a strong and highly loyal following that hangs off their every word and recommendation.

Utilised properly, a nano-influencer can reach a niche demographic with specific interests. This is possible as nano-influencers are highly authentic. As more of an Average Joe or Jane, they’re not using their influencer status as their sole income. This means any brand partnership or collab feels real,  and their followers are more likely to be influenced as a result.

DID YOU KNOW? Nano-influencers have an average engagement rate of 4% across in-feed and sponsored content, which is the highest average engagement rate of all influencer tiers.

Nano-Influencer Pros

✔ Followers tend to be highly engaged 

✔ Typically less costly to partner with

✔ Often niche-specific and offer highly targeted access to certain demographics

Nano-Influencer Cons

✘ Lower reach than higher influencer tiers

✘ May lack experience working with brands

✘ May not have platform privileges that larger influencer tiers have gained

Micro-Influencer Tier (10,000 - 50,000)

A tier higher than nano-influencers, micro-influencers are also creators who exert influence in a specific niche but have established themselves as more of a thought leader than nano-influencers.

More commonly seen as experts in their niche, micro-influencers are effective at raising brand awareness and bringing attention to new products and services. With audiences between 10,000 and 50,000, micro-influencers don’t bring the same costs as larger influencer tiers - but plenty of engagement from their active and engaged followers.

Micro-Influencer Pros

✔ Tap into niche communities and categories

✔ Typically less costly to partner with

✔ Enjoy higher engagement through strong audience trust

Micro-Influencer Cons

✘ Lower reach than higher influencer tiers

✘ May create less brand recognition and awareness

✘ More challenging to create large hype or brand awareness

Unsure what to budget for your influencer marketing campaign? Here’s how much you should pay for your influencers

Mid-Influencer Tier (50,000 - 500,000)

Mid-tier influencers have more experience than the tiers below them and represent a powerful group of creators with large audience numbers. Not as relationship-based as smaller influencers, this tier typically has experience working with brands and may even make a living as an influencer (which means they know how to drive interest and desire for your brand).

Working with a mid-tier influencer means polished, professional, and high-quality content whether it’s IG posts, IG stories, or other creative projects. This content is polished, but not out of touch, which adds authenticity to each post. Followers of a mid-tier influencer are a mix of niche-specific and general, which helps expand your reach.

Mid- Tier Influencer Pros

✔ Tap into a loyal, well-segmented and diverse audience

✔ Typically have experience working with brands 

✔ Potential for wider reach than smaller influencers

Mid-Tier -Influencer Cons

✘ Typically cost more than lower tier influencers

✘ May accept brand partnerships that help them grow (but aren’t a good fit for you)

✘ May have bought followers to inflate numbers

Premium or Macro-Influencer Tier (500,000 - 1 Million)

We’re in the big leagues now! Macro-influencers have grown their following and moved up through each tier to command huge audiences and significant sway over their follower’s purchasing decisions.

Influencers of this size are a proven way to reach thousands of potential customers without upping your marketing spend to connect with celebrity influencers. It’s worth noting that influencers at this tier don’t typically maintain the same engagement rates as smaller influencers, but this is because of their audience size - not their lack of marketing potential.

What brands lose in engagement rates, they make up for in reach, professionalism, and reputation. Working with a macro-influencer means seriously high-quality content (professional photographers, videographers, editors, etc) and the potential to drive quick sales through priceless brand validation and momentum.

DID YOU KNOW? Research shows macro-influencers deliver more organic impressions than micro-influencers. 22x more to be exact!

Macro-Influencer Pros

✔ Target a broad yet specific demographic

✔ Plenty of experience working with brands to create buzz, interest, and sales

✔ Highly recognisable and thought leaders in their niche

Macro-Influencer Cons

✘ Expensive compared to smaller influencer tiers

✘ Less creative input as influencers have content styles they stick to

✘ Higher competition from brands means you may miss out on your fav influencer

Celebrity or Mega-Influencer Tier (1 Million and up)

Ummmm, Kendall Jenner anyone?

We’re not suggesting you ask Kendall Jenner to help on your next influencer marketing campaign (earning a reported $1,053,000 per post, you’ll need to bump up your marketing budget), but these are the type of instantly recognizable names you’ll find in the highest influencer tier.

Made out of famous folks from celebrities to actors, musicians to social media icons who have built an enormous following online, this is the most expensive influencer tier to tap into. However, the cult of a celebrity influencer is huge. That means instant buzz, brand awareness, and exposure. Although the potential reach is significant, influencers in this tier typically have lower engagement rates than nano and micro-influencers, so it’s worth setting your goals before you look into a top-tier influencer. 

Celebrity or Mega-Influencer Pros

✔ Massive potential reach

✔ Can create buzz, awareness, and excitement FAST

✔ Broad appeal across multiple demographics and audiences

Celebrity or Mega-Influencer Cons

✘ Most expensive influencer marketing tier

✘ Typically lower engagement rates

✘ Partnership may come across as inauthentic

What tier of influencer is right for your brand?

Alright, you know everything there is to know about the five influencer tiers. The challenge is finding the right influencer to align with your brand.

Remember, the influencer you choose will be aligned with a specific audience. Bigger might be better...or it might not be. With 63% of customers trusting what influencers say about brands, you can tap into a huge and hungry audience by partnering with the right influencer. Numbers count, but we’re not just talking about followers. Be sure to look into the engagement your preferred influencer generates and how interested their audiences are in sponsored content. 

Whether you want to reach the most people or resonate with a super concentrated audience, each influencer marketing tier offers exciting benefits to brands looking to grow.

Unsure what influencer tier is right for your brand? Contact us today for an obligation-free chat about an influencer marketing campaign that’s right for you

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