Do Your Instagram Influencers Need to be Celebrities?

Posted by Ami Iannone on Feb 16, 2016 6:00:00 PM

In Influencer Marketing, Snapfluence

When you should consider celebrities vs. everyday influencers for your Instagram marketing


celebrity_influencer_considersationsThere are a host of things to consider when choosing the right influencers for your brand. We’ve talked about that a lot. Your ideal influencer will have a lifestyle fit with your brand, affection for your brand, and a content style that reflects the values of your brand. When you’re launching an influencer marketing program, it is easy to think that the biggest people are the most effective or valuable. But, in fact, the very best person for the job may actually have a smaller following. So when is it right to look for each type of influencer? We’ve put together some pros and cons as well as some strategy considerations for each.



Big-time influencers

When you think of influencers, you probably think of the incredible lift celebrity sponsorship and mentions can provide both established and emerging brands. You probably think of people with a considerably large audience. And well you should, those people have lots of pull. Here are some considerations when you’re thinking of searching out the biggest names in the game to plug your product.


  • Their large audience means you have the ability to get in front of a lot of people. These content creators with a lot of followers give you a great opportunity to share your brand.
  • Aspirational content reaching an audience that looks up to the influencer. The content that a lot of these top influencers share often represents a lifestyle which their followers aspire to be living themselves.
  • Professional incorporation of brand mentions and high-quality brand plugs that comes from experience working with many brands. Typically, these influencers have worked with a variety of different brands who’ve worked to leverage the influencer’s large following. This experience will simplify your communication with them during your programs.


  • Competition with more brands for sponsorship space. This can lead to the authenticity of your brand’s message being compromised by the presence of other brand plugs in the influencer’s feed.
  • Posts become dramatically more expensive as audience size grows. These influencers will not be wooed merely by product or experiences and sometimes their posting rates can be prohibitively expensive for brands.
  • Engagement on posts may lack relevance to the brand. Since people are infatuated with the influencers’ personalities and lifestyles, many of the comments on their posts can be irrelevant to the brand. As research from Oracle suggests, marketing messaging from celebrities and athletes doesn’t actually resonate well with consumers. 


When to consider these big wigs:

  • Promoting high-ticket items -- like luxury brands -- and other cases where sending tons of free product is not an option. The larger influencers, when they are a smart brand fit, will give you more audience reach with less product distribution.
  • When you want to poise your brand as a part of an aspirational lifestyle. In this case, you want to place your product amongst the beautiful trappings of an influencer whose followers may not be personally connected, but desire the lifestyle an influencer portrays through their social channels.


Small but mighty

We’ve said it before and we will say it again. Don’t underestimate these “everyday” influencers when it comes to packing a social punch and creating brand love through product posting. An influencer does not need to have 100K followers to make a serious impact.


  • Creating meaningful connection and brand love. We find that the surprise and delight nature of gifted brand product goes much further with this group than with the bigger influencers who may be jaded by frequent brand collaboration. In short, these influencers are often flattered when reputable brands reach out to them. 
  • These content creators who have a smaller following are considerably more affordable than their counterparts with bigger audiences.
  • Less brand plugging per channel likely leads to more authenticity with the content shared by these individuals.
  • Increased likelihood of proximity to and genuine relationship with audience members. This is particularly valuable for brands who are limited by location or regional availability of products. 
  • User comments are more focused toward the brand or product and less toward the individual sharing them.



  • The obvious negative here is the smaller audience size that these content creators have.
  • Because these individuals typically don’t have the same experience in these types of partnerships, the execution of the program with them may require more communication and planning.

When to consider everyday influencers:

  • Smaller influencers can be successfully mixed into almost any campaign, but are especially useful and relevant for campaigns where the brand is useful, affordable and easily accessible.
  • When you have a super niche market that isn’t well populated with large influencer content.
  • When you want to blanket your reach across many different regions.
  • When you want to test the messaging of a campaign strategy that includes larger influencer personas.

New Call-to-action

When you’re planning your next influencer marketing program, don’t think that you need to work with the influencer who has the largest followers. Focus first on the individual’s fit with your brand and their ability to reach your targeted audience. Then, you can make the considerations of whether or not an everyday or celebrity influencer will best help you reach your social media marketing goals. For all of the other considerations you need to make in your campaign planning, download our free campaign planning guide!