The creator economy is booming and brands are all in to team ups with influencers. Whether it’s someone spreading the word about a cool new brand or a pro content creator driving those final conversions, brands are jumping on chances to tap into the widespread influence of different types of influencers on social media. Why?
- They wield the power to impact the purchasing decisions of their followers due to their authenticity, credibility, knowledge, and relationship with their audience
- They have followers in a specific niche with whom they actively engage
This yearning for more finding authentic and influential social media voices makes it all the more important to recognize different types of influencers, categorized based on their follower count, which can be further segmented based on their content/niche.
Breaking down influencer categories opens up distinctive avenues, allowing you to engage with demographics using contextually relevant content.
For example, when you categorize influencers based on their niches, you’re crafting a personalized strategy, ensuring your content resonates with your audience’s interests and preferences. Similarly, it’s essential to consider factors like follower count, content format, reach, and visibility to fine-tune influencer screening and make it more effective.
- Types of influencers based on follower count
- Types of influencers based on niche
- Types of influencers based on brand affinity
- Types of influencers based on channel format
- What to look for in influencers before collaboration
Types of influencers based on follower count
The ideal way to get started with influencers is by looking into their follower count (though it’s important to note that a higher follower count doesn’t guarantee a higher engagement rate). It’s the most straightforward measurable way to assess how a creator’s reach and visibility aligns with your goals.
Let’s break down the different types of influencers and make it a breeze for you to sort through and streamline your selection process.
|2500 – 10,000
|On-brand, niche-specific, with a focus on engagement and relatability.
|High-quality visuals and engaging storytelling for strong brand alignment.
|Professional content with polished visuals and strong brand messaging.
|Polished, high-quality content with broad appeal and consistent brand messaging.
|Highly professional, visually stunning content with mass appeal and celebrity endorsement.
|Highly engaged, active communities with high comment-to-like ratios.
|Good engagement rates, community-driven interactions, and potential for viral reach.
|Moderate engagement rates, with a focus on brand awareness.
|Lower engagement rates due to larger audiences, with focus on mass visibility.
|Low engagement rates due to mega-fanbase.
|Targeted reach within specific niches and communities.
|Wider reach within niche and general audience segments.
|Moderate reach across broader demographics.
|Broad reach across diverse demographics.
|Massive reach across global audiences.
|Content creation cost
|Most affordable, negotiable rates, open to barter/collaborations.
|Affordable, flexible pricing based on campaign/content type.
|Moderately higher cost per post, project-based pricing models.
|Higher cost per post, talent fees and agency involvement are common.
|Most expensive, high talent fees and complex contracts with agencies.
|Content approval process
|Minimal oversight, trust in influencer’s authenticity.
|Moderate content guidelines, collaborative approval process.
|More stringent content guidelines, pre-approval required for all content.
|Rigorous content approval process, legal review mandatory.
|Extensive legal and brand safety checks, pre-production scripts and contracts.
|Suitability for small budgets
|Ideal for startups and small businesses.
|Good balance for budget-conscious brands, value for reach and engagement.
|May require a larger budget depending on campaign goals.
|Not ideal for small budgets, high cost per reach.
|Only suitable for large-scale campaigns with significant marketing budgets.
Types of influencers based on their niche
Bet you’ve come across #GetReadyWithMe or #GRWM — it’s like the ultimate trend showcasing how fashion influencers are owning the creator marketing scene. They’re not just throwing together outfit ideas and style tips but diving deep into the world of trending clothes, accessories, and all things fashion.
And they are not just talking about products, they’re showcasing them. Picture this: stunning posts, engaging personal stories, and killer videos, all seamlessly featuring the latest and greatest from various brands. It’s not your typical ad. It’s like your fashionable friend casually sharing their favourite finds.
Many fast fashion brands like Shein have effortlessly connected with their target audience using these micro or mid-tier fashion influencers. And it’s not just fashion brands jumping on this train – even beauty and skincare labels are sliding into the DMs of these fashion influencers for some prime product placement.
Example: Romee Strijd x Naetur
Naetur, the US-based clothing and jewelry brand, has driven enormous success with fashion influencer Romee Strijd. The brand collaborated with the influencer for over two years to promote their products, which has helped them build credibility with the audience. By consistently posting about the brand, the influencer created a positive and reliable brand image.
This partnership enabled the brand to reach over a million consumers. Their strategy extends beyond social media posts and videos. Naetur leverages the influencer’s content to enhance its website, featuring Strijd’s images prominently on the brand’s homepage and product pages to attract customers at the bottom of the sales funnel.
Technology influencers specialize in reviewing gadgets, spanning from smartphones and cameras to computers. They have established a thriving community. And if you utilize their experience and expertise, they can serve as a solid bridge between your brand and their dedicated followers.
But collaboration with them goes beyond sending samples and sponsoring a post on their social media account. Many brands like Apple invite these influencers to product launches so they can start a buzz about it on social media and get the audience interested.
Their popularity has led them to move beyond long-form content on YouTube to short-form videos. They share tech hacks, quick tutorials, unboxing content, and more on Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and TikTok.
Unbox Therapy x Shark Clean
The French tech brand Shark Clean teamed up with tech influencers on YouTube and Instagram to showcase their products to a wider audience. One of their recent collaborations was with Unbox Therapy, the tech YouTube channel owned by Lewis Hilsentger. He crafted in-depth tutorials about Shark Clean’s latest vacuum cleaner, delving into its advanced features.
Highlighting the product in action is key when dealing with tech products, providing consumers with insights into how their purchase will play out. The video not only listed the benefits but also demonstrated the level of convenience achievable with the cleaner, grabbing the attention of 298,000 users.
Food and beverage
Be it Chipotle, Dunkin’ Donuts, or McDonald’s, these fast food chains are totally in sync with influencers. They go all out, even dropping dishes on the menu that influencers rave about, enticing customers to give them a try and finally boost their sales.
Food and beverage influencers have a serious sway over what we think about recipes, restaurant reviews, food products, diet tips, and more. And it’s not just the cooking pros or food bloggers. We’re talking about anyone from the mid-tier to mega influencers. They’ve got the goods to make us crave those influencer-approved bites!
Emelie Hebert x HelloFresh
HelloFresh is a direct-to-consumer brand that sends meal prep boxes to customers’ homes. To promote their services, HelloFresh collaborates with food bloggers and different types of influencers who share images and videos of the prepared meals.
Their content highlights the convenience of subscribing to their services, appealing to the brand’s target audience — customers with a busy lifestyle desiring a healthy meal.
For their latest campaign, HelloFresh collaborated with multiple nano and micro-influencers in the food and nutrition niche to talk about their products and build hype around the holiday season. The campaign helped the brand leverage the connection these influencers have with their audience to build credibility for its services.
Health and beauty
In the post-pandemic world, putting ourselves first with a bit of self-care has become a must, and health and beauty influencers are stealing the spotlight. It’s not just about perfecting that smokey eye or sharing beauty hacks anymore. These influencers are the real deal when it comes to clean beauty products, self-care routines, and all things beauty and makeup.
But they are not just beauty enthusiasts, they are also the go-to peeps for promoting cool lifestyle products and giving the lowdown on healthy food items. They’re like our personal gurus for living our best lives—inside and out!
L’OCCITANE, a renowned brand in organic hair care, body care, and skin care strategically partnered with high-performing micro-influencers in the beauty and lifestyle niche to promote special edition Christmas gift sets in Singapore.
Using Bazaarvoice affable.ai they identified and engaged 53 micro-influencers for the campaign, who generated:
- 80 stories and seven posts on Instagram
- An estimated reach of 418.10k
- Earned media value totaling USD 22.75k
L’OCCITANE nailed it with their influencer marketing game by pre-vetting content creators. They ensured these different types of influencers onboard had a legit social vibe that matched their content goals.
Home and improvement
All those mommy bloggers, interior designers, architects, and craft influencers you see are so popular because they aren’t just selling products — they’re selling a whole lifestyle! They’re all about sharing cool DIYs, giving you the lowdown on how-to tips, dishing out styling advice, and recommending awesome home furnishings.
It’s like they’re on a mission to inspire everyone to step up their home game. Their best tips come in handy when you want homes to look more festive around Halloween and Christmas.
Julia Berolzheimer x Pottery Barn
In August 2023, Pottery Barn, the U.S.-based furniture retailer, teamed up with Julia Berolzheimer to showcase its kid’s product line. With a whopping one million Instagram followers, Julia wields influence over millennial moms, designers, and folks keen on home decor. Exactly the audience Pottery Barn aimed for.
Julia’s aesthetic videos and images on Instagram, combined with some cool product giveaways, got her followers hyped up and engaged. The campaign was such a hit that it prompted the brand to dive into a second collaboration with Julia, hitting an even larger audience this time. One of her posts raked in over 13k likes from her followers.
Curious about what it’s like to get advice from someone who’s navigated the parenting mayhem you’re currently diving into? That’s where moms and dads step in. Your go-to influencers dropping nuggets of wisdom on tackling the parenting game, easing your workload, and juggling the whole work-life gig.
Interestingly, these parenting influencers are everywhere in travel, fashion, finance, or any sector targeting millennials.
Tabitha Brown x Target
Target, a chain of discount department stores and hypermarkets, collaborated with parenting influencer Tabitha Brown to reach out to a female audience, primarily moms, to promote their products like kitchenware, home essentials, and more. Brown boasts over four million followers on Instagram and is a big hit among moms.
As a part of the collaboration, Brown would pop into Target from time to time to meet the customers, sign products, and create content to build online buzz. She even launched her product collections, including outdoor furniture, candles, vegan food items, and more, and promoted them through this partnership.
Sports and fitness
From sports brands to diet plans, workout programs, and all things health and wellness – social media is currently dominated by sports and fitness influencers. It’s a crazy competitive scene, and brands are going the extra mile, reaching out to health-conscious folks and running clubs to spread the word from the ground up.
These influencers are highly effective in promoting fitness products as their audience mimics everything they do to look fitter. Whether it’s what they eat, the exercise routines they swear by, their workout outfits, or even simple hacks that make gym life easier. You’ll see their followers want to know everything.
Asics X Michelle Pillepich
Asics strategically joined forces with micro-influencer Michelle Pillepich, an intuitive eating dietitian for runners. Michelle curates compelling content, sharing everything from nutritious lunch ideas to pre and post-run snacks tailored for early-morning runners and insights on why individuals shouldn’t stress about food during the holidays.
While Asics has historically been synonymous with athletes, the brand is undergoing a transformative shift, recognizing the contemporary fusion of sports and fitness into our daily lives.
Beyond that, Michelle offers valuable insights for those navigating mental health challenges, advocating for the transformative impact of small, consistent actions. She seamlessly integrates Asics into this narrative, portraying the brand as an embodiment of holistic well-being.
Types of influencers based on their affinity with brand
Everyday shoppers are the people who love to share their opinions about their favourite products and services. They can be your family, peers, or existing customers who talk about their genuine experience after using a product.
What makes them stand out? They are authentic as they are truly interested in your brand and have been buying your product for a long time, compared to professional influencers introduced to your brand at the time of collaboration. They might not have a zillion followers, but people rely on their product reviews and ratings.
Everyday shoppers x Kraft Heinz
The multinational food company Kraft Heinz taps into the community of everyday shoppers to generate authentic product reviews. In 2020, the brand sent samples of its eight newly launched dressings to the shoppers on Bazaarvoice’s Influenster and asked them to share their experience. The brand knew getting customers to talk about the product was the best way to gain traction.
By doing so, the brand created massive awareness, reviews, visual content and social buzz for its new dressings. The result:
- 20,000 reviews
- 369,000 social posts
- 98,000 pieces of UGC
- 39 million impression
“Hearing directly from consumers about their experiences is a powerful way for us to identify specific attributes that people enjoy about our products and to make changes and improvements based on their feedback,” said Elizabeth Northrup, Associate Brand Manager for the three brands — Kraft Dressings Vinaigrettes, Twisted Ranch and Bitten.
Turning your employees into influencers is like having your team step up right in front of the brand logo. Because people trust human-to-human connections more than just dealing with a logo. Plus, when you add up all your employees’ social media reach, it’s likely way bigger than the brand on its own.
When your employees are out there boosting engagement on social media, it’s all about authenticity and credibility. That can set you apart from the competition because the real people behind it are making waves
Fitness instructors x Peloton
At-home-fitness brand Peloton doesn’t spend on influencer marketing, technically. Instead, they leverage the influence of their fitness instructors to build hype on social media. The Peloton instructors are no less than influencers, as they have a significant following on social media to promote Peloton at-home fitness classes and online coaching to build solid customer relationships.
“It’s a very important way to connect with our members in real-time,” Alex Toussaint, a senior Peloton cycling instructor, told BusinessInsider. “For certain rides where you have thousands of members, it’s hard to give shout-outs to everyone. Social media is another way you can connect with those members.”
Product collaborators are influencers that partner with your brand to launch products. They give their insights on packaging, design, and production of the product so you can create products your audience would be interested in.
Take Dunkin’ Donuts, for example. They’re bringing in these different types of influencers to get the expert scoop on what products would hit the sweet spot with the audience. Whether it’s a fresh new drink, a menu game-changer, or something that’s already an influencer favorite, these collaborators are the real deal.
Molly Mae x Beauty Works
Molly Mae, a prominent beauty influencer, initially served as the brand ambassador for Beauty Works, a UK-based hair extension company. Later, she was elevated to the role of a product collaborator. With a substantial follower count exceeding seven million, Molly Mae effectively connects Beauty Works with a specific audience passionate about beauty and haircare.
Leveraging her extensive following, she furnishes the brand with valuable audience insights, allowing Beauty Works to tailor products precisely to customer preferences. A single post by Molly Mae generated over 100k engagements, showcasing her significant impact on the brand’s reach and engagement.
Types of influencers based on channel format
Gaming influencers are an obvious choice for gaming brands selling products like gaming chairs, laptops, consoles, etc. But non-gaming folks like GrubHub, Domino’s, Spotify, and Samsung are also jumping on the gaming bandwagon, teaming up with gamers to spread the word about their products.
Hershey x Ninja and DrLupo
Let’s take Hershey’s, for instance. They’re not your typical gaming company, but they got clever at Twitchcon, a big gaming sports event. They partnered with top gaming creators Ninja and DrLupo to hype up their Reese’s Pieces chocolate bars. As part of the partnership, both the creators did a collaborative live stream where they played games together. The live stream was to share the message that Ninja and DrLupo are amazing duos, just like Hershey’s and Reese’s.
Unlike your usual influencers, podcasters dive deep into specific topics, giving you a real talk experience. They have a tight-knit community of folks who love audio content, a prime spot for brands to shine.
Podcasts aren’t restricted to having big names on the show but are also about laid-back chats with other types of influencers or experts in the field, forming real connections with the audience that’s totally into it.
The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast x Fabletics
Febletics, the yoga wear brand founded by Kate Hudson, sponsors episodes by The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Show. The podcast, founded by lifestyle blogger and influencer Lauryn Evarts Bosstick and her husband, Michael Bosstick, covers various topics including business development, wellness and more.
Fabletics sponsors the episodes and offers exclusive offers to podcast listeners to boost its sales. The brand’s partnership with the podcast helped it tap into the community of 183k listeners on Instagram alone.
Key opinion leaders (KOLs)
Cchefs, doctors, nutritionists, authors, and journalists. These aren’t your average Joe’s. They’re the go-to experts, the Key opinion eaders (KOLs) in their game. They are good at what they do and have a solid fan base backing them up.
Think about tapping into that goldmine of credibility and positive vibes they’ve got going on. It’s about turning their expertise into a powerful connection with customers.
Journalists x Squigs Beauty
Squigs Beauty rolled into the scene in 2023 with their beauty products. Founder and CEO Nikita Charuza pitched the brand to influential beauty editors and journalists who are also social media stars. Beauty editor Phoebe Bain joined forces with Squigs Beauty, dropping an article and featuring the brand on her socials.
If you haven't read @notnotphoebe's series on Challenger Brands for AdAge you are missing out!— Natalie Sportelli (@N_Sportelli) February 15, 2023
This installment features a cool brand and a cool expert, my friend and colleague, the one and only @emcho41. https://t.co/dinul6EpJj
The move took Squigs Beauty to the top of the DTC (direct-to-consumer) beauty space.
What to look for in influencers before collaborating
With a sea of influencers out there, how do you pick the right one? Here’s the scoop: check their core audience, past collaborations, real and ghost followers, engagement, brand affinity, audience distribution, follower growth, and what falls within your budget.
Better still, AI-driven influencer marketing platforms like Bazaarvoice affable.ai give you detailed insights about these different types of influencers, letting you know if they’d be a good fit for your brand.Get started