In this day and age, social media influencers are an omnipresent fixture in our lives. From YouTube to Instagram and beyond, they seem to be everywhere, making it seem like there must be thousands of them out there. Which begs the question – just how many influencers are there?
Well, the answer is a bit complicated, as it ultimately depends on what you define as an influencer. In this article, we will explore the different types of influencers and how many of them exist in each category.
What is an influencer?
First, let’s define what we mean by an influencer. Essentially, an influencer is someone who promotes a product or a service through social media platforms and has a significant following. They are often considered to be trustworthy and knowledgeable in their respective fields and can affect the behavior of their followers.
Types of influencers
Nano influencers are individuals who have a small but loyal following of 1,000 to 10,000 followers. They are considered to be experts in their niche, and their followers trust their recommendations. They are often the most relatable type of influencer, and brands can take advantage of that by reaching their audiences based on their unique perspectives.
Micro influencers are individuals who have a larger following than nano influencers but are still considered to have a relatively small following of 10,000 to 100,000 followers. They often have a more significant social media presence and can influence their followers’ behavior.
Macro influencers are individuals who have massive followings ranging between 100,000 to a few million followers. They are often experienced content creators who work with brands to promote their products, services, or campaigns. They have a broad reach and can make a significant impact on a brand’s marketing campaigns.
Celebrities are the most well-known type of influencer. They have a massive following that spans across multiple social media platforms and often charge high fees for promoting products or services. Their followers trust their opinions, and their endorsements can significantly impact a brand’s reputation and sales.
How many influencers are there?
Pinpointing how many influencers exist and what type they are is a challenging task, as influencer marketing is a rapidly growing industry. Currently, there is no central authority that tracks the number of influencers or their categorizations, making it difficult to get an accurate count. However, we can estimate the numbers based on available data.
Nano influencers have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to their genuine and relatable content. It is estimated that there are five to ten times more nano influencers than there are micro influencers. Roughly speaking, there could be between 5 million to 10 million active nano influencers globally.
Micro influencers are considered the sweet spot when it comes to influencer marketing, as they offer a genuinely authentic and engaged following. It’s estimated that micro-influencers account for about 80% of all social media influencers, or approximately 20 to 30 million micro-influencers globally.
Macro influencers are much rarer than micro-influencers since social media platforms prefer to limit the number of users with large followings. While it is difficult to estimate, there are likely around 5 to 10 million macro-influencers globally.
Celebrity influencers are, by far, the rarest type of influencer. While it’s challenging to gauge precisely how many celebrities with large followings exist worldwide, it’s estimated that only a few thousand celebrities have more than one million followers on social media platforms.
How do these numbers impact the influencer marketing industry?
The numbers mentioned above may seem daunting to some, but they are essential to consider concerning the influencer marketing industry. These estimates prove that influencer marketing is a vast and rapidly growing industry, with millions of individuals around the world seeking to enter the influencer space. Brands must take note of these vast numbers and figure out how to leverage influencer marketing to connect with their targeted audiences.
While it’s impossible to determine the exact number of influencers operating globally, we can make educated guesses based on what we know about the different types of influencers. Regardless of the type of influencer, a brand chooses to work with, it’s clear that influencer marketing is a critical strategy for businesses of all sizes.
Common Questions and Answers
Q: Who is the most famous influencer?
A: The most famous influencer is probably Kylie Jenner, who has over 200 million followers on Instagram and has made an incredible impact on the beauty industry by launching her brand, Kylie Cosmetics.
Q: Can anyone become an influencer?
A: Yes! Anyone with a passion or specialized knowledge in any area has the potential to become an influencer. That being said, building a following and becoming a successful influencer takes time, effort, and dedication.
Q: Are influencers honest about products they promote?
A: The majority are. The majority of influencers are careful to maintain their authenticity and credibility, and will only support brands and products that align with their values and fit their niche market.
Q: How do brands find influencers to work with?
A: Brands can use influencer marketing platforms like HypeAuditor, Grin, and HYPR to find influencers or reach out directly to influencers that align with their target audience and values.
Q: Are influencer campaigns expensive?
A: Campaign expenses can vary depending on the influencer’s reach, platform, and engagement rates, among other factors. Micro-influencers, in general, tend to be cheaper than working with celebrities or macro-influencers.
- “How Many Influencers Are There and What Do They Really Influence?”, Influencer Marketing Hub, 2021, https://influencermarketinghub.com/how-many-influencers-are-there-online/.
- “Micro Influencers vs. Macro Influencers vs. Celebrities: Which Influencer Type is Best for Your Brand?”, Linqia, 2021, https://www.linqia.com/blog/micro-influencers-vs-macro-influencers-vs-celebrities-which-influencer-type-is-best-for-your-brand/.
- “The Definition of an Influencer”, Later, 2021, https://later.com/blog/what-is-an-influencer/.