With 92% of consumers trusting word-of-mouth more than all other forms of advertising, your brand has every reason to start using influence marketing. Influence marketing empowers brands to leverage everyday consumers by incentivizing them to create content. It is known to be more effective, as influencer-created content is more trusted than brand-created. Plus, it’s more cost effective.

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However, not all influencers are created equal, and each serves a different purpose. Some have a greater reach than others, while some have more trust. By knowing what each influencer can bring to the table, you can better focus your resources and reach your influence marketing goal(s).

Here are the 4 basic types of influencers:

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Celebrities and YouTube Stars

These include your Kim Kardashians and Michelle Phans. These are the people who typically come to mind as having influence because of their fame. These influencers are used mainly for awareness campaigns by B2C or B2B brands due to their large audience. The activation of this influencer typically involves product placement or endorsement over social media, whether it be through a tweet, Vine, Instagram post, Youtube video, or a combination of the bunch. These individuals are incentivized by cash, but brand affinity prior to the campaign is often limited.

These influencers are best for impressions.

Business Executives and Journalists

Industry experts, such as Elon Musk and Katie Couric, fall under this category. Like celebrities and Youtube stars, these are also people who are thought to have substantial influence. To amplify press, thought leadership, and lead generation, this category of influencers is used predominantly by B2B brands and PR firms. The activation of this sort of influencer usually entails sharing articles on a blog or social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. Their influencing power is often earned out of respect or the relationship a consumer already has with the influencers brand, as opposed to the brand they are advocating for. Their power and audience is not purchased directly, as it is motivated by credibility, trust, and status.

These influencers are best for impressions.


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Semi-Professional Bloggers

This category includes bloggers of all sorts, whether they write about sports, fashion, traveling, or the best cafes. They may not have the prestige of Perez Hilton or even SongOfStyle, but they hold influence over the topics they blog about. B2C and B2B brands utilize these bloggers primarily for direct response and lead generation. Much like celebrities and YouTube stars, bloggers are activated as influencers through product placement or endorsement in a blog post that is then shared via Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. Their incentives are cash payments and product prizes for their readers.

These influencers are best for engagements.

Everyday Consumers

If you don’t fall into any of the categories above, this is you. The majority of us are everyday consumers who are highly engaging around specific topics and brands (think of your friend who’s obsessed with CrossFit). We are used by B2C brands for all campaign types for this micro-influence: awareness, content generation, direct response and lead generation. Influencer activation may include re-sharing brand content, creating original content, tagging or referring friends or completing surveys. The most effective networks for this category are Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. To motivate micro-influencers, VIP treatment or branded incentives must be offered to leverage strong brand affinity.

These influencers are best for conversions.

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Let’s take a look at the spectrum of these four categories:

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Now that you know the different types of influencers, you can choose the type that provides the best results for your brand. But remember, your brand must also fit the brand of the influencer. For example, even the most influential personal trainers wouldn’t be very effective posting about jewelry or gardening, but would be highly effective posting about protein shakes, workout gear, and gym equipment. For step by step information about all things influencer marketing, check out of our free e-book by downloading it HERE.