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How to Determine the Right Influencer Tier For Your Brand

One thing about influencer marketing that many overlook: picking the right tier of influencers to work with. Is the campaign of your dreams supposed to track 500 million impressions? That definitely won't become a reality if you aren't strategically working with the right partners!

A few misconceptions about working with influencers:

  • Bigger audiences are better

  • The more influencers you have on a roster the better

  • If you work with someone who doesn't have a lot of followers, it won't move the needle for your brand

ALL myths!

Whether you're looking to work with influencers who have an audience of 1K-5K or hoping to lock down a mega influencer, each tier can work extremely hard for your brand depending on the goals you have. Let's break it down...

Image courtesy of @diamondbroaden showing off her Alden's goodies for National Random Acts of Kindness Day.

A Quick Influencer Tier Breakdown

Nano influencers (1k-10k) are in the beginning stages of building their audience, but should never be overlooked. While their audience may not be large, their engagement is usually great and their following is super cultivated. These influencers typically know their followers personally and are open to collaborations in exchange for product or at lower rates. They're great for brands to engage and grow with over time.

Micro influencers (10k-100k) are able to communicate directly with their audiences, cultivating loyalty, and are likely to have high conversion rates. These influencers often focus on a specific niche making it easy to target a specific audience and offer quality content at reasonable rates.

Macro influencers (100k-500k) are influencers that have built a loyal audience focusing on either general or niche topics. They deliver high-quality content and when paired with a high engagement rate, can garner significant reach and conversion rates.

Mega/Celebrity influencers (500K+) have not only built a loyal following but are considered trendsetters and tastemakers within the social media space. They are impactful with reach and at this level, partnership rates start in the five figures and above.

So, which tier should my brand veer towards?

GREAT question! It all goes back to your goals for the campaign. We're sharing a quick highlight of how the benefits weigh against each other and breaking it down for you based on Macro + Mega vs. Nano + Micro pros and cons below!


As you look at the bottom of the pyramid and are looking to work with nano and micro influencers your overall engagement increases and you'll reap the benefits of:

  • Higher engagement. With a smaller audience and the ability to connect more directly with their audience, engagement rates are much higher.

  • Higher specificity, or targeted reach. If you're trying to target a very specific demographic or area, nano + macro influencers are a perfect fit.

  • Greater cost-effectiveness. Your budget will reach further and you can create even more content with amazing creators.

  • Greater accessibility + authenticity. You're reaching an audience who is extremely tailored to the influencer's niche and who are following them for a reason!

Benefits for Your Brand In addition to the points below, you're able to data much more easily and more accurately, especially with higher engagement! As a brand, you're also appealing to the audience as more accessible and trustworthy. Working with influencers at these levels also provides more room for experimentation and creative fun!


As you move towards the top of the pyramid and take a look at macro + mega influencers, the benefits change, and your overall awareness increases. You'll see:

  • A higher cost. The more followers an influencer has, the higher rates they can charge. These influencers are great for marquee placements or campaigns with 1-2 participants.

  • Higher audience reach but lower specificity. The bigger the audience, the more of a reach you'll have, but you will have less of an opportunity to pinpoint exact interests, demographics and habits.

  • Lower engagement rate. Again, the higher the audience number, the less likely all of the influencer's followers are seeing content and being extremely engaged. It doesn't mean it's a negative, per se, but you will need to keep this in mind.

  • Lower accessibility + authenticity. When influencers have such a large audience, sometimes their followers might not feel the authentic connection, especially if they have such a high volume of comments or DM's that they can't respond to. A high volume of followers means less accessibility on the influencer's side as well since they can't talk 1:1 with their dedicated audience frequently or get to know their audience on a super personal level.

Benefits for Your Brand If you're looking for eyes on your product or brand, this is the way to go! It's amazing working with influencers that have larger audiences since they can really move the mark for your product if they're genuine fans. Be aware that your budget may not go as far as you hope and that you have a little less control over creativity and specificity.

The Takeaways

Working with influencers on any scale is beneficial for every brand, but depending on whether you're hoping to have more eyes on your product vs. having a targeted campaign along with budget will help you decide which influencer tiers are best for your brand! If you have any more questions, leave us a comment below or join in on the conversation at @sodapoppr.


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