The Various Types of Influencers

If you’ve lived in the 21st century, you’ve probably heard about influencers. And although there’s an image of the stereotype that pops to mind when you think of influencers, there are actually lots of different kinds of influencers.

If you’re looking to test the influencer marketing route it is important to learn about the different kinds of social media influencers to help you select the most suitable ones to partner with. There are several ways to break down influencers, so let’s learn about them.

By network

One of the main distinctions between influencers is the social networks they’re using. In 2021, influencers almost always have accounts across a range of social media. But they’ll have one platform that they’re most recognized for.

There are a myriad of social networks available and each one will have its own influencers. Let’s take a brief look at a few of the most popular in 2021.

Instagram influencers

Eighty percent of the surveyed marketers believe Instagram is the top platform for influencer marketing. This might be because the platform provides content in a highly visual format that is easy to digest. Creators can also create content in a variety of formats like photos and videos, as well as stories and reels.

Instagram also provides influencers with certain features that other networks don’t have implemented yet. Instagram influencers can mark their content with “paid relationship,” which helps content conform to disclosure requirements set by the regulatory authorities. Additionally, brands can set up Instagram Shopping and grant their influencers permission to tag products directly in their posts.

TikTok creators

TikTok creators have increased in importance with the impressive growth of the platform’s popularity over the past two years. Additionally, the number of TikTok influencers chosen for campaigns increased by threefold in 2020.

TikTok is among the most effective platforms to connect with Gen Z in that it has a third of its users are between the ages of 10 and 19. If your target audience group is teenagers, TikTok influencers might be the best choice to reach them.


Similar to TikTok, Twitch has also increased in popularity in the last few years, which has resulted in a rise of Twitch influencers being picked for advertising campaigns as well. Twitch influencers typically work within the gaming industry since that’s the main interest on that platform. But, Twitch also has channels that cover other topics as well, including painting, cooking or simply chatting.

By category

The influencer pool includes people from almost every category of content you could imagine. Although the most well-known categories are beauty, fashion or travel, there are plenty of other categories to look into. Here are some examples of categories that are less well-known.

Influencers from the active market

Influencers who are active post content that is about social issues they believe need to be addressed. Within this category, there are a lot of subcategories, such as anti-racists and environmentalists as well as feminist activists, and so on.

Social media is an effective way for connecting people to spark discussions. That’s exactly what activist influencers are doing. Furthermore, when brands wish to draw attention to the issue of social justice or commemorate the anniversary of a particular event, such as Pride or the like, they can look to these influencers to provide authentic content that’s not tone-deaf.

Blair Imani is a prime example of an influential activist. Blair’s content teaches people about the various issues that concern race as well as gender, religion and the concept of identity.

Tattoo artists 

We’ve all heard of influencers in the beauty industry, but what about tattoo artist influencers? There are many talented tattoo artists who share their artwork on social media, and their craft is just as visual and thrilling as the content that beauty gurus produce.

Tattoos are a subculture of their own. So engaging with influencers could be ideal for brands that share the same cultural values or are looking to get access to it. 

Handball players

Handball isn’t the most popular sport, but it does have an avid audience through social networks. Its average rate of engagement on Instagram for instance is 5 percent, which makes it the category with the fifth-highest average engagement rate on the social media platform.

If you’re a brand that promotes sports you might want to consider using handball influencers instead of the more well-known basketball or football players. You might connect to new audiences you hadn’t prioritized before.

By followers count

Another method to separate influencers is through follower count. The number of followers that an influencer has directly determines the price they’ll offer you. So let’s look at the various types of influencers arranged according to the number of followers.

Nano influencers

Nano influencers are those with between 1 and 5K followers. They’re still in the beginning stages of influencer marketing, and are thus affordable alternatives. They’ll usually be willing to collaborate in exchange for free goods. Furthermore, they have extremely engaged audiences, and a small number of fake followers, making them very affordable and effective options for marketing campaigns.

Micro influencers

They have between 5 and 50K followers, and are in the perfect balance between engagement and follower rate, as their rates remain very high. They are regarded by their followers as experts in their respective fields. At the lower end of this range you may be able to close deals for free products alone, however, at the upper end of the spectrum, expect micro influencers to request small fees.

Medium influencers

The range in which influencers reach 50-100K followers is when they also start to develop into professionals. Medium influencers might quit their jobs and begin working on social media full-time. Some hire managers to assist them to manage their more regular collaborations with companies. From now on you should expect to be charged for every collaboration you close.

Macro influencers

Macro influencers are extremely popular. They have between 100K and 1M followers. However, that means a decline in average engagement rates. Macro influencers are also costlier than lesser-level counterparts, and they can be difficult to get a hold of due to their heavy workloads.

Mega influencers

Mega influencers are influencers of celebrity status with more than 1 million followers. They have a huge number of followers, however, their engagement rates are usually very low. This is due in part to a loss of authenticity. They seem to lead extravagant, lavish lives, and their content is often edited heavily. This, in conjunction with frequent collaborations with brands, causes them to appear less authentic to followers. 

Bonus: KOLs

The term “key opinion leader,” or KOL, isn’t exactly an influencer. They have the same function but with one major difference: their influence isn’t restricted to social media. In addition, they’ll typically have professional credentials or expertise to validate their reputation.

Working with KOLs is costly. However, it may not be solely because of the fees they charge. Consider Oprah as an example. She would often mention a product and give it away to all present in her studio audience. This is a great way to build your brand, but those costs also add up.


These are only some ways to think about influencers. If you’re planning to work with influencers on marketing campaigns it is essential to comprehend the various types that exist. This way, you can choose the best ones that are suitable for your brand, audience and budget.