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Working with influencers

Working with influencers is often at the top of a brand’s marketing goals, and it should be a part of any well-rounded successful online marketing strategy. Influencers can be approached and worked with as part of a successful PR campaign, SEO campaign, or affiliate marketing program. This often creates confusion as to whom should be building these partnerships for you. 

I have found myself often working with a brand whose outsourced teams do not work together, agencies taking ownership of contacts, and arguing over who can contact who on behalf of your brand. Unlike traditional media outlets that have departments that separate paid and editorial opportunities, influencers usually have one main point of contact for all potential opportunities.

Influencers don’t usually limit themselves to strictly paid opportunities (although emerging partnerships with most influencers will require some sort of paid campaign.) Influencer relationships can be an important part of your public relations, marketing, and SEO campaigns.

So what is an influencer?

When you think about the word influencer today this definition is what pops into the mind of most;a person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media”.

Of course, the term influencer dates back beyond our current definition of a social media influencer. Traditionally an influencer was simply someone who could influence others by inspiring or guiding their actions. Before Instagram came along I would often point out that potential partners should have a skill or celebrity that made them stand out to others as someone credible in their area of expertise. Today social influencers are often measured by the size of their followers. Which isn’t necessarily the best way for measuring the lifetime value of their partnership.)

Influencer Partnerships Graph
Source: Google Books Ngram Graph

Most business owners are to some extent influencers as well. Have you considered that your brand or founder may in fact have some strength as an influencer from this perspective? Building a long-term relationship with influencers works both ways (like any quality relationship.) It may begin as a monetary exchange but as your brand and influence continue to grow, you may find more ways to offer value back to your partners.

What are the five Influencer tiers?

Influencers are categorized by their follower numbers. It is important to remember that followers doesn’t equal engagement. A social network platform’s ever-changing algorithms may limit the exposure of posts made by those with a larger follower count.

The five categorization tiers for social influencers are; Nano, Micro, Mid-tier, Macro, and Mega.

  • Nano – 1 to 10,000 followers

  • Micro – 10,000 to 50,000 followers

  • Mid-tier – 50,000 to 500,000 followers

  • Macro – 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers 

  • Mega – 1,000,000 followers plusWhere is an influencer’s audience reach located?

Every potential influencer partner’s audience reach is unique. I like to look at your influencer partners under the umbrella of ‘digital media publishers.’  Influencers create digital media content in the form of text, images, and videos. They then  publish that content across a variety of digital media platforms including; social networks, websites, blogs, online community forums, podcasts, and other digital platforms. 

Since 2018, nano-influencers have shown stronger connections with their audience compared to larger accounts, with engagement rates around 5%, compared to the average rate of 2.2% for all influencers. “ Michael Keenan, Shopify

How influencers create brand or product awareness for your product could be as simple as a paid campaign, a review, and a CPA rev share, or as unique as an ongoing partnership to create unique art pieces using your product that are then shared across all their digital platforms. 

Some main considerations when planning your influencer outreach strategies include having clear KPIs, the audience you are trying to reach, and what part of your marketing funnel your partners are bringing new visitors into.


“Influencer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.

“Influencer” Accessed 15 Apr. 2022.

Michael Keenan, “How to Find and Work with Instagram Influencers in 2021.” Shopify, 27 June 2021,

Feature image credit: Photo by Windows on Unsplash