Influencer marketing is complex, as each influencer is a unique person with an equally unique voice and capacity to support various content and brand building objectives you may have. When establishing a strategy for which partners to work with, it’s essential to have clear goals and KPI’s in place, so you can craft the right mix of influencers for the right initiatives. Influencers have different strengths and weaknesses. A celebrity-influencer with millions of followers might be a great partner for awareness, but they might not be the surest or most cost-effective bet for long-term advocacy. To begin thinking about the right mix, we’ve broken down a few tiers of influencers and key considerations when crafting your ideal mix for various initiatives.
0-20K total digital audience: "Micro-Influencers"
“Micro-influencer” is an official buzzword and industry definitions vary, however this category ultimately has a relatively small, hyper-engaged audiences with above average engagement rates . These ‘emerging voices’ can be everyday social media users, consumers who didn’t intend to be labeled ‘influencer’, or aspiring content creators actively growing their channels. Why work with them? They have an intimate relationship with their audience proven by their impressive engagement rates and ability to drive conversion. The proof is in the comment feed. Fan reactions like, “I can’t wait to try that lipstick, where did you get it?” are tangible takeaways of the impact to the audience.
20-250K Total Digital Audience: "Rising Stars"
Influencers in this tier have outgrown the ‘micro’ label, but continue to retain healthy engagement and intimacy with their audience. Influencers in this category are great candidates to become long-term partners or ambassadors because they can offer both engagement and reach. They are seasoned experts with experience creating branded content that engages their audience while supporting brand expectations. Building relationships with this tier can also open up the door to strong ongoing often partnerships where both parties win: the influencer benefits from consistent revenue and becomes less reliant on other brand collaborations; the brand gains a social spokesperson who generates advocacy, awareness, and credibility over time.
We draw a distinct line between traditional celebrity and celebrity-influencer. Celebrity-influencers (like Casey Neistat and Zoella) have built massive audiences on social media platforms which are the foundation of their fame and ‘celeb’ status. They have follower counts in the millions, land six-figure deals, star in TV spots, and develop product lines. What don't they offer? Industry research reveals that engagement declines as reach increases. If you need awareness and you have big budgets, then a celebrity-influencer could be a great approach. However, one social media shout-out by a celebrity-influencer can be easily lost to their audience (and expensive!) so it’s important to negotiate appropriate licensing needed to support the campaign content.
Kim Kardashian, et al.
Investing in actual celebrity endorsements can be effective for certain campaigns or initiatives, but in today’s increasingly social and digital marketing ecosystem, it can be difficult to expect traditional celebrities to behave or perform like influencer-celebrities. Some traditional celebrities aren’t active on social media. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and DJ Khaled are exceptions to the rule because they’ve mastered social media and understand the power of social platforms to engage consumers online. That said, working with celebrities at this level comes with a hefty price tag, and brands often lose out on the ability to develop long term authentic advocacy with these partners.
It’s important to consider each tier in crafting your overall strategy--as ultimately there is no single recipe every brand follows--as influencers and brands are all incredibly different, and each “cocktail” should reflect that for greatest authenticity and impact.
Developing a holistic influencer strategy that supports concurrent marketing initiatives requires a thoughtful approach. We can help. Want to learn more about our approach? Email us .