A Breakdown of Influencers & KOLs
Are you new at influencer marketing? Do you have a campaign that didn’t produce the results you were looking for? If so, don’t worry. We’ll help you navigate this $13.8 billion industry.
Understanding influencer marketing starts with understanding who influencers are. There are many types to choose from, from a nano-influencer with only a few thousand followers or a KOL who can change public opinion with one recommendation.
Are you not sure what these terms mean? Then keep reading for more information.
Influencers and the different tiers
People who are influential through social media are influencers. Influencers can promote brands, products, or services to certain segments of followers.
Although we often think of fashionistas and digital nomads when thinking about what it means being an influencer, there are influencers in every industry. Sports, family, lifestyle, electronics, you name it.
Also, all of the major social networks have influencers available for marketing campaigns. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok influencers are the most prominent right now. But Twitch continues to gain ground in the influencer-marketing industry, and don’t ignore networks like Twitter or LinkedIn.
Influencers can also be sorted into tiers, based on their number of followers. The influencer tiers can be used to determine the amount an influencer may charge for their content-creation services. Let’s take you through each tier.
Nano influencers: 1-5K followers
Although they have the smallest audience, nano influencers enjoy the highest engagement rate in the influencer industry. They appear to be relatable to their followers who trust their honest opinions. A nano influencer is a great option for brands as they’re cheap to hire: just give them some free products in exchange for their content creation services.
Micro influencers: 5-50K followers
The micro influencer is similar to the nano influencer in that they have high engagement and trusting audiences. They will sometimes work with you for free products, or may ask for small fees. They offer great ROI, which has made them very popular with influencer marketing.
Medium influencers: 50-100K followers
Medium influencers are when influencers start to get professional. They might decide to quit their day jobs and become full-time influencers. Some might hire managers. These changes also lead to higher fees. As such, if you’re working with a medium influential person, expect to pay a higher rate for their greater reach.
Macro influencers: 100K-1M followers
At the Macro level, engagement starts to drop. It becomes more difficult and harder to manage audiences consistently, as they grow in size. Although you may be getting more exposure, they might not always be focused on the content of macro influencers.
Mega influencers: 1M+ followers
Celebrities is another word for mega influencers. They are great at getting your brand front and center, but their frequent collaborations can be detrimental for consumers. People find it harder to connect with these influencers as they always post branded content and only seem to live luxurious, perfect lives.
KOLs, or key opinion leaders, are like uber-influencers. KOLs are different primarily because influencers get their influence through social media. But KOLs have other platforms where they can share their ideas.
Another difference is how influencers often don’t have much experience in what they do. It is possible to become a beauty guru without any specific credentials. You don’t need to have any special skills; success is more about passion, creativity, and determination.
KOLs on the other hand often have education or experience that backs up their reputation. Rand Fishkin, for one, is a well-known figure in the marketing world. He is the founder of Moz, which is one the most powerful SEO tools. Therefore, it is safe to assume that he has the experience necessary to know what he is talking about.
KOLs can have a significant impact on your campaign. However, it can prove difficult to collaborate or even get hold of them. They have to be well-aligned with your brand, products, and services before they are willing to even think about working with you. A positive boost can be expected if you manage to get hold of a KOL from your niche.
What to do when working alongside either
It doesn’t matter if you work alongside an influencer, or a KOL. Here are some things to remember.
Analyze social media channels and analyze their performance
You want to ensure that your future coworkers aren’t fakes. Marketers face a lot of fraud from influencers.
Avoid this by carefully looking at the statistics surrounding an influencer such as their follower growth, engagement, audience demographics, authenticity, etc. If you notice something unusual, please ask for clarification. With KOLs, you may want to analyze their success on channels other than social media, too.
Give them creative freedom
Regardless of how many followers they have, give influencers creative freedom when creating content. They have gained their audience and best understand their followers. This makes them the best person to choose the best way to communicate your brand message to their audience.
But, it is a good idea to have clear guidelines in place during negotiations. Describe deadlines and what they should emphasize about your product. And be clear with influencers if you wish them to use specific hashtags or mentions.
Decide if a contract is necessary
An influencer contract is not always necessary. If you’re just paying influencers with free products, you don’t necessarily need one. In these instances, you can summarize the agreement and send it to everyone as an email or briefing.
A contract is a must when you are paying influencers in money. You might already have a provision contract for services in place, but if you don’t, you can easily get an influencer contract template for and adapt it to your unique collaboration.
The first step in running an influencer campaign is choosing which type of influencer you want to work with. Hopefully you are now familiar with the differences in influencer tiers, and you can make the best choices for your brand’s campaigns.