Effective digital-age marketing campaigns are all about connection. Brands that can master the art of establishing and maintaining deep, meaningful connections with their customers are brands that stay on top. But savvy marketers are taking the idea of mutually beneficial connection even further to the tune of great results.
Influencer marketing has been an increasingly important part of how brands connect with and grow their audiences for years now. But there are many different types of influencer to choose from, and it’s crucial to pick the right ones for your niche. Here are ten especially important ones to know in 2022 and beyond.
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1. Thought Leaders
When it comes to the most followed, talked about influencers on the web, it doesn’t get much more iconic than the thought leaders. Thought leaders can be found across every industry and niche, helping to shape key opinions and emerging trends everywhere.
Some of the best-known thought leaders in the world are household names, especially among business circles, and include icons like Bill Gates or Elon Musk. However, there are thousands out there with audiences of varying sizes that can help brands connect with an audience.
Thought leaders make great influencer partners for brands in industry niches like B2B, business management, self-improvement, publishing, personal empowerment, and more.
They may be spiritual leaders, CEOs, award-winning authors, and so much more, so there’s pretty much one out there who’d be ideal for every brand.
2. Beauty Influencers
Beauty influencers are such a big deal these days that they’re the first category people think of when they consider types of influencer. This is especially the case for women.
Over half of the female web users – 56 percent – follow at least a handful of beauty influencers, making them a must for any brand in female-focused niches like cosmetics, self-care, fitness, and fashion.
Content shared by beauty influencers frequently includes unboxing videos, product reviews, makeup tips, hair care techniques, fitness regimens, and more.
This influencer also tends to have an exceptionally loyal fan base, so they can make a massive difference in the reach of nearly any brand.
Look for beauty influencers to partner with on trendy social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter. Be sure to check out their target demographics and their engagement data.
You want influencers who command highly engaged audiences that include vital members of your target audience. A pretty good example of this kind of influencer is Michelle Phan. She haves 8,8 million followers just on her YouTube channel.
3. Bloggers and Vloggers
When it comes to the most popular types of influencers, bloggers and vloggers lead the pack by a landslide. Both vloggers and bloggers can be found across nearly every niche, including digital marketing, entrepreneurship, the culinary arts, beauty, fitness, and DIY.
Plus, not only do most popular bloggers and vloggers command loyal followings, but those followings tend to be massive, as well. Choose the right influencer of this type to partner with, and your brand could potentially expand its audience by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.
Both bloggers and vloggers can help boost your SEO by providing precious backlinks that will give you a significant boost on relevant SERPs.
These influencers also do an incredible job of raising their sponsors’ visibility on social media, so look for options with huge followings on your branding platforms of choice.
An amazing example of a person that is doing success and using it for really good campaigns is Khaby Lame, which in the last year has exploded on TikTok. You probably remember him. Today, he has amazing 140.4 million followers just on TikTok!
So many of the world’s most popular content formats and social media platforms are visual. (Think Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, to name just a few.)
It’s also true that they say about one good picture is worth a thousand words. The right image can carry a message that transcends language barriers, social differences, and more.
For that reason, photographers are one of the several types of influencer you’ll want to consider if you’re marketing a brand that relies on powerful visuals to get its message across. The right photo has the power to stop a consumer dead in their tracks while they’re scrolling through their social media feeds – an ability every brand could benefit from.
Look for photography influencers on platforms where stunning still images do exceptionally well – like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
And again, it’s essential to make sure the influencer’s audience overlaps with your target demographics of choice to ensure your messaging reaches the right people.
These days, people are looking for more in a brand than just an extensive catalog of fantastic products to buy. They want to feel like their purchasing decisions count for something more, so brand values that align with a consumer’s values are an absolute must.
If your brand messaging hinges on supporting a specific cause, value, or social concept, you might want to look into partnering with the right activist.
Like other types of influencer, activists often command fiercely loyal followings, so they can be quite valuable to brands that support similar causes.
However, it’s crucial to vet activists thoroughly, as many can hold radical views that can affect your brand image. A bit of controversy in advertising can be a very good thing, but it’s essential to weigh the risks against the benefits before making any definitive decisions.
6. Sports and Fitness
Influencers are important to their followings for more reasons than simple entertainment. Following a favorite lifestyle influencer and religiously consuming their content is an aspirational act. The influencer’s lifestyle is something their audience is ultimately looking to attain on one level or another.
This is especially the case for influencers in the sports and fitness niches. People who follow such influencers are on a journey to become the fastest, fittest, most vital versions of themselves, so they tend to follow good advice to the letter when it comes from a source they trust.
If a top fitness influencer recommended your products or services to their audience, it could be game-changing. So definitely consider partnering with influencers in this niche if your products also occupy either of these niches. Fitness influencers can occupy many key sub-niches, including weight lifting, yoga, and a healthy lifestyle.
Travel influencers are another influencer type whose content is very aspirational in nature. Nearly everyone dreams of living a life that finds them exploring the world more and experiencing the very best of what it has to offer.
Travel influencers give their followings a wonderful taste of what that could be like. A good example of this type of influencer is Eric Damier. Apart from the trips themselves, Eric is a great adventurer and his videos are breathtaking. He has 1.2 million followers on TikTok.
Travel influencers often do more than just paint pretty pictures of what it could be like to travel the world. They also offer practical advice for people who are either already world travelers or who hope to be at some point in the future.
That said, the right travel influencer could be a game-changer for your brand if you’re in hospitality, the restaurant business, or any other industry that counts on appealing to avid globe-trotters, in general.
8. Gamers and Live Streamers
The gaming niche is for men and the beauty niche is for women with just over half of male web users – 54 percent – following at least a couple of top gamers. The reason why is that many top gaming influencers live stream their play sessions, offering followers a valuable way to get better at playing their favorite games.
Those who follow gaming influencers also tend to pay very good attention to the content when they do consume it. That said, a brand recommendation from a gamer will be heard and taken seriously by those looking to achieve the same level of skill as the influencer.
It’s also worth noting that gaming influencers are great fits for more than just game-related brands. For example, popular Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie has successfully partnered with brands like auto manufacturer Saab to the tune of incredible results.
Another good example is Ninja, a streamer that is successful all over the world with its live games. He has 13 million followers on Instagram and 8.4 million on TikTok! He became even more famous after he started playing Fortnite, a very successful game worldwide.
You don’t have to be marketing a brand occupying any specific niche to benefit from partnering with the right journalist. Journalists are among the world’s longest-standing influencers and have commanded a following since well before the internet age.
They are still among the most widely trusted types of influencers. Most have just taken what they do into the online space. Journalists can also be quite varied as far as the types of content they specialize in. Some write for traditional publications or maintain high-value blogs. Others are critics or specialize in niches like consumer reviews.
For best results, look for journalists who specialize in niches related to your products and services. Then reach out to them using best email outreach practices. Successful journalists receive many pitches from brands of all types, so it’s important to make sure yours stands out.
10. Micro and Nano Influencers
When people think of the types of influencer they want to partner with most, they tend to picture people with massive followings in the hundreds of thousands, if not the multiple millions. However, there are some serious benefits to partnering with influencers who command a smaller audience, as well.
Micro influencers are influencers with followings between 10K and 100K, while nano influencers have audiences around 1K to 10K.
Not only do such influencers tend to have loyal, highly engaged followings, but they often have more time, effort, and enthusiasm to pour into any partnership than huge mega influencers and celebrities.
Stay on Top of Influencer Trends to Get Even Further Ahead
As you can see, the world of influencer marketing is vast and includes many different types of influencer that could help your brand get ahead. Choosing the right one could be a game-changer for your brand.
However, it’s also important to note that influencer culture is always evolving, so smart marketers also keep track of the trends and aim to be early adopters of the right ones. AI influencers are just such a trend.
But what are AI influencers, what types of followers do they have, and how might they help your brand get ahead of the game and stay there? Check out our comprehensive write-up on the role of AI influencers in marketing to find out!