I’m sure that you’ve seen all of the success that brands have been gaining from influencer marketing campaigns. You may be ready to get involved, but before jumping into your first campaign, it’s important to step back and understand the basics.

If you’re totally new to influencer marketing and are needing a pretty thorough explanation of each step of the process, then check out our influencer marketing guide for full detail.

What do the tiers mean?

This article is pretty much going to look at the different influencer tiers, which is one of the first things to understand. A lot of people come into the industry expecting to work with big-name celebrities. But, that’s totally unrealistic – and also not always the best idea!

There are five tiers that influencers are categorised into, based on their follower count. These are:

  • nano influencers
  • micro influencers
  • medium influencers
  • macro influencers
  • mega influencers
The reason we’re going to look at these tiers is to show you why follower count isn’t the be-all and end-all. There’s a lot more to take into account in order to run a successful campaign. So, without further ado, let’s take a look.


Nano influencers are in fact some of the most popularly used within influencer marketing. This is because of the incredible return on investment that brands have been seeing. This group has between 1K-5K followers. Their account has usually begun around a hobby or something that they love, and along the road have found others that share that passion and enjoy their content.

The best thing about this group of influencers is their high engagement rates. This is one of the most crucial aspects to address as engagement rates are what show interested followers. It indicates that an audience is genuinely interested in the influencer’s content, enough to interact with it. And, with fewer followers, the influencer manages to engage right back! Who doesn’t love an influencer that answers your queries in the comments?

Nano influencers are a fantastic option for start-ups or those on a budget, as they don’t ask for much. You will usually be able to sign a deal with these influencers by sending your product as an incentive and with no monetary fee. Of course, don’t forget that this depends on the value of your product.


Next up, we have micro-influencers, and probably the most commonly seen across social media. This group has between 5K-50K followers. They boast many of the same benefits as nano influencers, such as high engagement rates, but tend to have a little more experience in the industry.

With great engagement rates, micro-influencers have a group of followers that trust their opinions and recommendations. They believe them to be authentic and to only promote a brand or product that they genuinely like. This is why you need to do your research and make sure that your product is one that the influencer would be likely to enjoy and use, otherwise they won’t promote it.

Similarly to nano influencers, this group is low cost and you would typically be able to offer the product alone as an incentive, or a small monetary fee. However, be reasonable here, as these influencers can be a great opportunity for creating long-term collaborations in the future.


Moving on to medium influencers, with a follower count of 50K-100K, you can expect to see a few more changes. These influencers have a lot more expertise in the industry. They are generally beginning to turn their hobby into a career, and social media may be their full-time job. Their experience often results in consistently high-quality content, with many having professional equipment too.

Engagement rates are still particularly good, but watch out for the ones where it has totally dropped off. By still having a positive engagement rate, these influencers are a great choice if you want to reach a wider audience, as they tend to have followers in a few different areas.

With additional experience comes an extra cost. Although not expensive yet, you can expect to pay a fee. Some medium influencers will also have a manager, who will be charging a fee too.


Getting to macro-influencers, a lot of the positives start to fade. This group has between 100k-1M followers. This will most likely be their full-time job. For some, they will have gained a social media following due to fame in another area. With this many followers, they of course have a great reach. You can access a massive audience here, particularly if your goal is to dive into a variety of demographics.

The influencers come with a price tag, though. They collaborate with brands frequently, and will most likely have a manager that works with their communications. Expect to pay a higher fee, and that applies to manager fees too!


Mega influencers are in reality, just another name for celebrities. They have a following of 1M+, and are typically famous for sport, television, music, etc. Their social status tends to have occurred due to their fame out with social media. Their engagement rates are low, as social media is not their priority.

Their content is of very high quality, and will usually work with the biggest brands, and will have their own lines as well as partner lines. A manager will be in charge of not just their communications, but their publications and content too. You may never actually speak with the influencer, but only through the manager.

This equates to high costs. Your product could be perceived to be of lower value to these influencers, and additional fees will be very high. On top of this, their calendars are pretty busy!

The bug benefit with this group – you really can’t beat that reach! They will have followers across the globe, dipping into all sorts of areas of interest.

How do I know what’s best for me?

So, without boring you too much with these basic details, it is crucial that you remember them when planning your campaign. I can’t stress enough the importance of engagement rates, and factors other than just follower count.

Every business is different, and each has varying needs and objectives when it comes to influencer marketing. These objectives are what you need to establish before choosing a type of influencer. Consider these questions:
  • What is your budget? Don’t forget about additional costs like shipping here.
  • What is your ideal timeline? Are you working towards a specific calendar date?
  • Who is your target audience? Think about demographics and interests.
  • Does your product suit a niche community of people?
These are some really important things to figure out first. For example, if you’re a start-up skincare company, aiming to increase brand awareness initially in a local area, then nano influencers could be for you. With a low cost, access to a niche market, and a targeted audience that is highly engaged – you could specifically search for a beauty and skincare nano influencer in your area!


To sum up, the main thing to take away here is the importance of taking it slow and carefully planning your campaign from start to finish. Whether you’re interested in working with Instagram influencers, YouTube influencers, or any other social media platform, you’ll need to consider these tiers. Once you have identified answers to our questions above and you’re ready to find influencers that meet the needs of your campaign, head on over to Heepsy to get started.