The term “influencer marketing” is quite popular these days among marketers, especially after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Influencer marketing is basically the collaboration of a brand and an online influencer, where the latter markets one of the former’s products or services.
However, some social media influencer marketing collaborations have less tangibility. That is, businesses simply connect with influencers to improve their brand recognition.
In very simple terms, social media influencer marketing is a mixture of old and new advertising tools.
The main idea of influencer marketing is taken from the mechanism of endorsing various social media celebrities or influencers and using them in a modern-day content-rich marketing campaign.
However, the core difference between normal marketing and influencer marketing is that the campaigns for the latter result in collaborations between influencers and brands.
Moreover, it’ll be completely wrong to say influencer marketing only involves celebrities. In fact, it mainly focuses on online influencers.
And, to be honest, many of them aren’t even famous in an offline setup. The industry of influencer marketing is fast-changing, growing, and developing.
As per the latest prediction of influencer marketing, it is estimated that the spending of this industry will reach 15 billion US dollars by 2022.
Moreover, according to reports, Instagram influencer marketing alone will reach 5 to 10 billion dollars in 2022.
In view of the fact that influencer marketing has turned out to be mainstream, marketers are approaching high-value influencers for promoting their brands and ultimately improving their performance.
In the midst of this scramble for new blood, new influencer tiers (namely “micro-influencers” and “nano influencers”) are surprisingly thrust into the limelight.
You may be curious to know more about the different influencer tiers for the influencer marketing industry. Let’s take a look.
- 1 5 Instagram Influencer Tiers for the Influencer Marketing Industry
- 2 Nano Influencer (1,000 to 10,000 followers)
- 3 Top Five Nano Instagram Influencers:
- 4 Micro Influencer (10,000 to 50,000 followers)
- 5 Top Five Micro Instagram Influencers:
- 6 Mid-Tier Influencer (50,000 to 500,000 followers)
- 7 Top Five Mid-Tier Instagram Influencers:
- 8 Macro Influencer (500,000 to 1,000,000 followers)
- 9 Top Four Macro Instagram Influencers:
- 10 Mega Influencer (over and above 1,000,000 followers)
- 11 Top Five Mega Instagram Influencers:
- 12 Conclusion
- 13 Sources
5 Instagram Influencer Tiers for the Influencer Marketing Industry
Instagram, being one of the most popular social media channels across the world, is also the main social media platform for which individuals generally use ranking terminologies like “macro influencer” or “mega influencer.”
Generally, marketers categorize Instagram influencers based on the number of followers they’ve.
Given below are the five standard Instagram influencer tiers for the influencer marketing industry in accordance with the number of followers:
- Nano Influencers
- Mid-tier Influencers
- Macro Influencers
- Mega Influencers
Nano Influencer (1,000 to 10,000 followers)
“Nano influencers” are the first Influencer tier.
Nanon influencers have a small following of around 1,000 to 10,000 fans on Instagram, which is the newest tier to enter the influencer marketing terminology.
They’re new to this game and are flourishing an audience base who are interested in their content.
The lexicon “nano influencers” was popularized after the publication of an article by the New York Times under the title “Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers?.”
In that write-up, they talked about Instagram influencers with fewer followers who were strikingly gaining sponsorships from brands.
As Instagram influencer marketing attains significant mass, some businesses are concerned about the fact that the market is saturating and it’s getting challenging to recruit more influential influencers.
In response to this, many brands are connecting to smaller yet more accessible influencers.
Most of the nano influencers know their audience personally, so businesses believe that their advertisement will be more engaging and more authentic than the promotion of other influencer tiers who don’t personally know most of their large following.
Moreover, nano influencers work amazingly well for local businesses or brands with products that are exclusive for certain audiences.
If this type of influencer has an audience base similar to a brand’s audience, the promotion will be shown to the right people and ultimately generate more leads.
That’s not all; nano influencers generally tend to upload sponsored posts in exchange for free products or a small sum of money.
This makes them an extremely cost-effective group for limited-budget campaigns.
However, nano influencers lack experience, and that’s why they’ll probably take more time to manage. And thus, it’ll be pretty difficult for small teams to scale up.
Also, nano influencers have lesser audiences, and thus it would need hundreds or thousands of these influencers to gain the same reach as a macro influencer or mega influencer.
Pros and Cons of Working with Nano Influencers:
Top Five Nano Instagram Influencers:
1. Senorguapo713 (9,748 followers)
Kalan Laws, more popularly known as Senorguapo, is an athlete, model, actor, and fashion influencer located in Houston, Texas.
He acts as the brand ambassador of Hattitude and Southern Gents. In his opinion, he loves to work with brands that symbolize class and style.
2. emmyrice (9,651 followers)
Emerald Hill Rice, or as popularly called Emmy, is a North Carolina-based certified lactation educator, BSW/ Counselor, YouTuber, and home birthing advocate.
She’s a mother of five beautiful children. Her YouTube channel, named “The Rice Channel,” has over 111K subscribers.
3. jillsmokler (9,616 followers)
Jill Smokler is one of the top nano influencers, motivational speaker, bestselling author of New York Times, a renowned entrepreneur, and community builder.
Jill’s mommy blog, Scary Mommy, is one of the most prominent digital parenting channels that gives high-valued content for parents.
Moreover, in the year 2017, she was elected as one of the top 10 parenting Instagrammers by Forbes Magazine.
4. happyplacecreations (9,577 followers)
Teresa Vandervort is a businesswoman and a licensed nurse who has a passion for interior home designing, cooking, and creating DIY crafts.
She owns a homemade business under the name Topanga Scents where she sells home essential items such as multi-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, and toiletries.
5. noellegraham (8,985 followers)
Noelle Graham is a multiple business owner and a well-known mom nano influencer. She’s also a brilliant boho-themed artwork and women’s wear designer.
She showcases her talent via her online boutique, named “Love with Heart Design.”
She even owns a beauty products company, “Red Aspen,” where she sells cruelty-free and chemical-free products such as makeups, eyelashes, and nail dashes.
Micro Influencer (10,000 to 50,000 followers)
The “micro-influencer” is the next Influencer tier.
A micro-influencer is an individual having roughly between 10,000 to 50,000 Instagram followers. Micro-influencers were the most “gossiped” influencer tiers during the year 2018.
Some experts even believe that they’re the most essential component for Instagram influencer marketing.
As a matter of fact, the enthusiasm around micro-influencer is partially based on their capability to cultivate niche groups around particular interests.
While on one hand, larger Instagram influencers such as mega influencers or macro influencers attract a wider range of audiences across different communities, micro-influencers help various businesses to get connected with more well-classified micro-communities.
As a result, marketers prefer including a micro-influencer campaign in their influencer marketing strategy.
Moreover, launching these highly tailored micro-influencer campaigns has also shown powerful results.
When it comes to engagement rates, there’s a minor difference between micro-influencers and other big influencers on Instagram.
However, micro-influencers are generally witnessed to have greater engagement rates than any other influencers with a higher audience.
Now, these influencers, in general, are very useful for raising public awareness about new products and/or services across various communities.
Other than that, the highly cinematic nature of Instagram makes micro-influencers quite popular, especially among beauty and fashion brands.
Now, let’s talk about the numbers; as per some recent surveys, it’s found that 46% of cosmetics and fashion marketers acknowledged micro-influencers to be the best influencer tier, followed by 34% of marketers who believe macro-influencers to be most effective.
However, a small percentage of marketers believe mega influencers or renowned stars to be perfect for the same.
Now that you know basic things about micro-influencers, it’s time to shift your internet to its pricing.
Sponsoring a micro-influencer can cost somewhere between 50 dollars to several hundred US dollars.
Moreover, the pricing of Instagram influencers completely depends on their engagement levels, industry, size, and proven performance on previous campaigns.
Just like nano influencers, micro-influencers can offer limited user reach, and that’s why they’ll need more time and effort to control at scale.
Likewise, it’ll take hundreds of micro-influencers to obtain the same reach as a mega influencer.
Moreover, speaking of fake followers, micro-influencers are the riskiest segment, and as a result, they need extra investigation before establishing a partnership.
Pros and Cons of Working with Micro-Influencers:
Top Five Micro Instagram Influencers:
1. girlgoneabroad (48.6K followers)
Lauren is a travel photographer and has over a following of 48,000 on Instagram. She has a traveling Instagram account and posts about her adventures from all over the world.
At each stage, she writes about the lessons she had learned from each of the places she visited.
Her page is an aspiration for many travelers wishing to explore all the corners of the world.
2. benhessfilms (42.6K followers)
Ben Hess is a specialist in cinematic content such as music videos, action scenes, and even workout videos.
Cinematographers Ben regularly use the Instagram Television feature on Instagram to upload prolonged form videos at a bigger file size as against Instagram posts.
Along with partnering with different brands, Ben has recently worked with Lumix to shoot a music video for his Instagram.
3. littleredfashionhood (39.4K followers)
Ali, also popularly known as Little Red Fashionhood, is a trendy fashion monger located in Phoenix, Arizona.
She is living proof of a micro-influencer with a fiercely loyal audience. Ali receives roughly the same number of comments as likes on each of her posts.
With an audience of fewer than 40,000 followers, she has already partnered with popular brands like Green Chef, Hyundai, BevMo, Spanx, and JustFab.
4. allenswan (21.2K followers)
Allen Swan is a specialist in men’s clothing and fitness. The prior basketball player and model is popular for his online fitness instruction videos.
With over 21,000 followers, he has featured notable partnerships on his Instagram page. He’s also known for partnering with small-scale fashion and fitness brands.
5. themarysarge (20.7K followers)
Mary Sarge is a passionate mother of three cute children who knows something about DIYs and cooking.
With her happy and friendly behavior, she has succeeded in gaining the trust of her audience.
And that’s why most of the marketers want to collaborate with her. As of now, with just 20,000 followers, she has already featured with big brands.
Her notable sponsorship includes Sam’s Club, Kroger, Ghirardelli, ADT, and Tom’s.
Mid-Tier Influencer (50,000 to 500,000 followers)
The “mid-tier influencers” are the next level of influencer tier – they have a fandom ranging between 50,000 to 500,000 followers.
While smaller creators usually manage their Instagram profiles as a part-time job, mid-tier creators can acquire more substantial sponsorship, even most of them make a full-time living from their Instagram accounts.
One of the vital advantages of working with mid-tier Instagram influencers for marketers is that they give higher reach than both nano and micro-influencers while being more accessible than mega and macro-influencers.
In simple words, they’re generally simpler to contact and considerably more cost-effective than mega and macro creators.
Generally speaking, these Instagram influencers can charge anywhere between hundred to thousand dollars per post.
The charging totally depends on the creator’s reach and industry category. In terms of promotion, they’ve got a powerful voice, and they even have the capability to grow a brand’s worth with just a couple of posts.
These influencers are very organic in the case of sharing any message, and their fanbase also trusts them.
Some study also reveals that mid-tier influencers are more engaging and trustworthy than most of the other types of influencers.
To sum up the mid-tier influencers in a single sentence, we can say that they represent a perfect balance between intimate audience communities and scalable reach.
Pros and Cons of Working with Mid-Tier Influencers:
Top Five Mid-Tier Instagram Influencers:
1. asenseofhuber (478K followers)
Kyle Huber, born and raised in Missouri, is an amazing photographer who moved to Los Angeles to seek a photography career.
Considering the fact that he now has 478,000 followers on Instagram, I’d say that he’s pretty good.
Kyle is famous for capturing unique aerial scenery and uses the newest cameras and lenses. He has partnered with well-known brands such as Insta360, Sony, and Carls Jr.
With 478,000 followers, Alexa Jade Rose is one of the top mid-tier Instagram influencers. She has gained immense popularity and has secured a place as one of the top fashion influencers on Instagram.
Her fanbase loves Alexa for her unique street fashion and DIY looks.
Thanks to her amazing engagement rate of 11.42%, which has caught the eye of major brands, she has teamed up with Reebok, Mac Cosmetics, ASOS, Hot Topic, and other such big brands.
3. kweilz (293K followers)
With an association of fabulous fashion sense and a love for great photo ops, the brilliant photographer Kate Weiland (or as popularly known Kweilz) has gained a fanbase of 293,000 on Instagram.
She posts innovative and gravity-defying pictures of her three kids dressed up like Christmas trees, hanging from chandeliers, and pretending to be superheroes, entirely using Photoshop.
So far, she has worked with reputed brands such as VistaPrint, Afterpay, Canon, Lazy One, Carter’s, and more.
Thus, it’s pretty evident that she is dominating the creative family photography niche.
4. aww.sam (290K followers)
Sam Ushiro, also called by Instagram name aww.sam, is the monarch of cheerful and colorful home renovation ideas.
Despite the fact that minimalism has been a constant theme in recent times, Sam came to be known for bright color schemes and retro and tasteful decorations.
She has already teamed up with renowned brands like LG Electronics, Huffy Bicycles, Find Your Happy Place, Home Goods, Michael’s, and many more.
5. adamgonon (55.1K followers)
Adam Gonon is a New York-based men’s fashion Instagram influencer. Interestingly, his page looks more like a finely designed magazine and less like an Instagram account.
Known for his fresh, unique, and business-casual looks, the 28-year-old Instagrammer Adam owns an online clothing shop for men.
His sense of fashion has helped him to receive sponsorship opportunities with famous brands like Maserati, Bacardi, and more.
Macro Influencer (500,000 to 1,000,000 followers)
“Macro influencers” are the next influencer tier and usually have verified Instagram usernames and come with a large audience of 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers. In nearly all cases, their entire income comes from their social media presence.
If not, then they’re probably models, musicians, actors, athletes, or other famous personalities. In general, macro-influencers charge thousands of dollars for each of their sponsored posts.
As per the stats available, it’s found that macro-influencers drive best offers when it comes right to influencer marketing cost per thousand impressions (or CPM).
In simple words, macro-influencers denote the “sweet spot” between reach and cost. They even drive the most effective ROI (Return on Investment) as opposed to other influencer tiers.
Some study also reveals that this influencer tier has an average fan base of 853,000 followers, which generally represent the higher end of the mid-tier.
To conclude, macro-influencers are a great way to obtain a broader audience and reach without spending lots of money on one mega influencer sponsorship.
Pros and Cons of Working with Macro Influencers:
Top Four Macro Instagram Influencers:
1. gabifresh (880K followers)
One of the top fashion bloggers, Gabby DeMartino, is a fashion model and has a fanbase of over 880,000 followers on her Instagram page “Gabifresh.”
With body-positive posts, she’s winning the hearts of thousands of her fan followers.
The self-proclaimed “fat girl” Gabby isn’t ashamed of her body size; rather, she proudly flaunts her curves in bold and fashion-forward outfits.
She’s setting examples that rocking trendy outfits has barely any relation with fitting in a size 2 outfit.
The brave macro influencer Gabby has posted paid content for brands like Walmart, Eloquii, Target, and Athleta.
2. colormecourtney (725K followers)
Designated as the NYC Color Queen, Courtney Quinn or as popularly known as colormecourtney, has an Instagram page that is all about living one’s life with vividness at full volume.
Quinn’s 725,000 Instagram family loves her bold and vibrant clothing choices. Her bubbly personality has helped her to earn sponsorship from brands like Walmart and Minted.
3. emilycanham (720K followers)
Addicted to everything related to fashion and beauty, Emily Canham is a future social media star.
Despite the fact that she’s just 24-years-old, she has already been the ambassador of the L’Oreal Paris Digital Makeup.
Alongside these, Emily has also partnered with a range of leading brands. In addition to fashion, makeup, and beauty videos, she also posts content featuring motivational videos, funny challenges, general vlogs, gift ideas, and many more.
4. abeautifulmess (674K followers)
Elsie and Emma, two passionate sisters, are experts when it comes to transforming boring objects into creative and elegant works of art.
From their kitchen to their bedroom, from their Christmas decorations to their Halloween decors, everything they made was enviable.
And that’s why the OG lifestyle bloggers Elsie and Emma have over 674,000 people following their fresh DIY ideas.
Their fan followings have helped them in partnering with famous brands, namely, Walmart, Spoonflower, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Penguin Randomhouse.
Mega Influencer (over and above 1,000,000 followers)
“Mega influencers” are the last on the influencer tiers list and are considered celebrities in their respective fields and have a massive fan following of 1,000,000 or more Instagram followers.
Their wider appeal and massive audience base give them a high-level position as aesthetic tastemakers.
Mega influencers drive hashtags and trends, natural attractiveness to new travel destinations, shape popular culture, create sell-out demand for products and/or services, and many more.
In short, they’re the trendsetters. Talking about influencer marketing, these biggies are usually booked for brands with bigger budgets.
Most of them are only reachable via a talent manager and charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for one paid promotion.
On the highest level, Coca-Cola once paid the famous singer Selena Gomez 550,000 dollars for a single Instagram post.
Like Selena Gomez, some of the mega influencers are famous athletes, actors, singers, and YouTubers.
Thus, it’s highly important for companies to consider these marketing campaigns keeping the audience in mind.
That’s because celebrity sponsorships on Instagram generally have the risk of being considered as inauthentic.
Some statistics about influencer marketing campaigns also reveal that consumers are more likely to shop a product suggested by a non-celebrity influencer than recommended by some known traditional celebrities.
However, the advantage of collaborating with mega Instagram influencers is that they offer the greatest brand lift and maximum possible reach from a single paid post.
And besides that, brands are able to achieve similar results that would’ve been achieved through hundreds of smaller influencers and thus saving time and resources.
Mega influencers also avoid the chances of audience overlap that usually arises when working with lots of smaller influencers within a single niche.
If in a single sentence I need to explain about mega influencers, I’d say they’ve got the influence to start a conversation with a wider audience base and drive maximum cultural conversations.
Pros and Cons of Working with Mega Influencers:
Top Five Mega Instagram Influencers:
1. cristiano (390M followers)
Christiano Ronaldo, one of the most famous football players across the globe, doesn’t need any introduction.
However, for anyone who’s not really into sports, he is a forward Portuguese football player.
Being one of the most followed celebrities on Instagram, Christiano is the dream influencer for brand sponsorship for any brand, especially sports brands.
Unlike other celebrities who usually don’t write captions under any paid post, he actually does excellent work.
2. kyliejenner (302M followers)
Kylie Jenner, the founder and owner of the beauty brand “Kylie Cosmetics,” is one of the most influential people in the beauty and cosmetic industry.
She belongs to the clan of “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” Her entire extended family came into fame because of that TV show; however, each of them has its own accomplishments.
Kylie charges over a million dollars for each of her Instagram posts. She mostly endorses luxury beauty and fashion brands on her profile.
3. therock (290M followers)
Dwayne Johnson, or as people called him “The Rock,” is a Hollywood actor who was also a popular wrestler in a television program called “WWE.”
Well-known for his physique, he generally works in action films. And that’s what makes him a perfect Instagram influencer for fitness and health brands.
4. arianagrande (290M followers)
Ariana Grande is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who has won many prestigious awards.
Her blockbuster songs have helped her to get the fourth position among the highest-paid Instagram influencers worldwide in 2021.
A single mention from her on her profile can help the brands to reach her 290 million followers.
She has collaborated with many reputed brands, especially beauty and clothing brands.
5. selenagomez (290M followers)
Selena Gomez, a native Spanish woman, is a famous English singer and actress with a huge fan following across the world.
She even has a massive follower base on the popular social media platform Instagram and has been among the popular Instagram influencers for years.
Her average engagement rate of 1.41% helps her to gain huge sponsorship opportunities. She mainly endorses beauty, lifestyle, and fashion brands.
After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2022 appears to be a great year for doing influencer marketing.
New social media platforms are coming into view, making businesses and brands want to boost their social media presence with the help of influencers.
Now, talking about different influencer tiers, each of their categories has its own characteristics.
While micro-influencers are the ones with a higher engagement rate compared to mid-tier, mega, or nano influencers.
More influential influencers such as mega influencers enable greater and faster reach.
The type of influencer tier best for a specific brand entirely depends on the niche, requirements, and goal of a campaign.
That’s all for now. Please feel free to use the comment section below in case you’ve any queries related to influencer tiers for the influencer marketing industry.