There are 4 primary types of influencers on social media. In this article, we will be going through each of them and discovering how you can make sure that the influencers you’re working with align with the overall vision for your brand.
The 4 Categories of Influence:
The top of the food chain of influencers begins with Celebrities. They’ve passed the tipping point of just being an influencer on social media. This usually happens when an influencer is picked up or signed with a leading entertainment company like Disney, Nike, Vans, etc. Once an influencer has reached this point, they are highly recognizable and in a great position to start endorsing brands that align with their core beliefs.
They are also among the most expensive ambassadors to work with because they have significantly more credibility and distribution because of the other media outlets who are writing about them.
A good way to determine if someone fits into this category is by the amount of news coverage the person gets without needing to orchestrate the stories themselves.
Example of Celebrity Influencer:
For most brands, Celebrity influencers might be out of the budget. That’s where Altruistic Influencers come into play. These are the second best option for brands that want to make waves in their industry using influencers.
Influencers in this category have a cornerstone belief system that is a common topic in all of their content. This is sometimes referred to as the influencers Niche, category, interest group, etc.
Some popular categories for these types of influencers are Fashion, Tech, Beauty, Outdoors, Gaming, etc.
Example of Altruistic Influencer:
Risque Influencers tend to rely on sexually suggestive content with a low emphasis put on their personal beliefs and mostly focuses on looks. Influencers in this niche can be used to promote a brand only if the intent of the brand is to align with the core reason people follow the influencer.
Examples of Risque Brands Using Influencers:
IGnite uses mostly risque influencer because they know that the core audience of their founder (Dan Bilzerian) likes swimsuit models. They leverage this understanding of their audience to coordinate influencers around the elusive cannabis industry.
Bang Energy uses a wide range of both male and female swimsuit models to promote their enormous catalog of energy drinks that come in bright/vibrant colors.
Influencers that are often bouncing around to unrelated topics are usually considered to be vanity influencers. They lack a consistent message and fail to provide any real value to their audience (other than entertainment). These influencers rely on clickbait titles.
Being a vanity influencer doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are countless examples of people who started as a vanity influencer who eventually got signed with a large company and became a celebrity influencer. (See “celebrity influencer example” above).
This is the most common group of influencers. They tend to have a very young audience and often times fail to produce any meaningful “influence” when used to promote a brand. The intent of viewers watching their content is often scattered and very low in the first place. Their primary focus is typically building an audience of people looking to escape from their own life, and see the life of someone they aspire to be like. These influencers typically monetize their audience by selling merch or pre-roll ad revenue from Youtube.
Example of Vanity Influencer:
Recap of The Circle of Influence:
It’s important to know what quadrant an influencer fits into before you pay them to do a brand deal. Although each of them has its use case, the best influencers will almost always fall into the “Altruistic” quadrant. Sometimes influencers might fit into 2 or more quadrants. If that’s the case, ensure that the primary quadrant the influencer falls into is the same as the one your brand wants to be associated with.