Social media has grown immensely over the last decade; now, almost 50% of the world’s population actively use social media, and marketers have taken note. As well as classic ad campaigns and targeted content, social platforms have also indirectly created another way to target potential consumers: influencers.
Knowledgeable users who share their expertise on a certain subject (such as makeup, video games, or sport), influencers will usually build their entire social account – including the content they produce – around their chosen topic. Having amassed a core audience, they are then perfectly placed to market products organically on behalf of brands who are looking to target that particular audience.
Not all influencers operate equally, though; generally, they are split into what are known as mega, macro and micro influencers. Mega influencers typically have over a million followers on a single social platform, and are usually celebrities who have gained their fame through external successes, such as in film, music, sport, or reality television. Macro influencers are one step down from mega influencers; they are either b-grade celebrities or successful online marketers who have generated a significant number of followers. In this group, you will often find lifestyle bloggers with high engagement rates. Finally, micro influencers generally boast over 10,000 followers, and are regarded as niche industry experts.
What Is a Nano Influencer?
Recently, however, a new group of influencers have emerged on the market: nano influencers. These Instagrammers have a significantly smaller number of followers in comparison to the other groups, and are oriented around their local community. For many people, they are a somewhat social media savvy friend, rather than an online presence.
Nano influencers create quality content but, as a rule, their profiles are not overly polished or retouched. While they have a small number of followers, these followers tend to be significantly engaged in the content the influencer is sharing.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Nano Influencer?
So, what are the assorted advantages and disadvantages of working with a nano influencer?
Pro: A Close Relationship with Your Audience
Primarily, nano influencers have closer, far more interpersonal relationships with their audience. This is mainly due to the fact that they spend more time engaging with followers by answering more comments and providing longer and more meaningful feedback. Nano influencers will know their most loyal followers by their usernames and enjoy interacting with them.
Con: Nano Influencers Are Restricted
The problem with nano influencers is that they are, after all, novices, and sometimes this inexperience can equate to incompetence. Because they have not collaborated with many brands, often they lack the necessary experience to generate traffic. They may not know how to correctly use branded hashtags or understand how their account insights work. They will also not have access to some premium features offered by social media platforms, such as Instagram’s Swipe Up feature (which requires you to have over 10k followers).
Pro: It is Cost Effective
Often, nano influencers will not seek out monetary compensation, but will instead happily accept gifts to try out your products. And, when they do ask for money, nano influencers make an average of $100 per post. Mega and macro influencers charge significantly more; mega influencers, for instances, will often charge thousands for a single post, while celebrity influencers such as Kylie Jenner can charge up to $1.2m for just one post!
Con: Content May Be Less Polished
Another major con when using nano influencers is the fact that some lack the ability – as well as the technology – to produce the kind of high-quality content that full-time influencers can. Some might argue that this is part of the authenticity, but it could create problems with brand alignment, or even force you to invest more money in producing better quality content for sharing.
Pro: It is Trustworthy
Since nano influencers have a much smaller circle of followers, they tend to be more trustworthy. Followers view their opinions as that of a friend and trust their judgement. In addition to this, nano creators are much more careful when picking what products to promote since they do not want to lose their credibility and damage their reputation. Remember: in many cases, nano influencers are normal people for whom influencer marketing is not their main source of income. This makes them more relatable, more approachable, and most importantly, more authentic.
When working with nano influencers, you don’t have to worry about ‘fake followers’, either. A smaller amount of followers usually represents a more organic audience which is something mega and macro influencers cannot always relate with. This instantly adds credibility to any brand that a nano influencer promotes.
Collaborating With Nano Influencers
It should go without saying that it is vital to pick your nano influencers accordingly, so make sure to research candidates whose output is related to your product. Since they are not spoiled with an overwhelming number of marketing opportunities, many of them will happily review your product for free. This is an easy and cost-effective way to get customer feedback on your product and understand the needs of your target audience better.
Since nano influencers are ordinary people (or, in marketing terms, the target consumer), brands can find them everywhere. Indeed, nano influencers can even be your own employees; an excellent example of employees becoming influencers are the cabin crew of the airline, Emirates. These employees share their travels and glamorous lifestyle regularly on social media, with many of these influencers cultivating sizeable numbers of followers and even graduating to micro and macro influencer level.
Where Can You Find Nano Influencers?
You can find nano influencers by searching and subscribing to certain hashtags on Instagram. You can ‘follow’ certain hashtags, which allows you to see different influencers incorporating target hashtags into their posts. Many nano influencers use the hashtag #discoverunder10k which allows brands to detect them with ease.
Look within your own existing network, too; a potential nano influencer could easily be your childhood friend Lisa, who now has 900 followers and an appealing, authentic Instagram page. She’s into nutrition and fitness, and you happen to sell health foods!
It's a good idea to build up a shortlist of potential collaborators, paying attention to the following, in particular:
- Their niche: Nano influencers – just like all influencers – must have a defined niche that they affiliate with. This will help your brand connect to the influencer's social feed and encourage them to collaborate.
- Their content: Regardless of how many followers a nano influencer may have, their most important attribute should be above-par content. Content is king and without quality, elevated, and consistent content, they – and, by association, your campaign – are unlikely to be successful in the long-term. While you can't expect a nano influencer to produce the kind of high-quality content that a mega or macro influencer would, their offerings still need to be visually attractive, interesting and, most importantly, relevant.
Examples of Nano Influencers
Aside from the aforementioned case of Emirates, a great example of a large brand using nano influencers is the haircare brand Remington. In an attempt to promote its newest curling wand, nano influencers were given the product for free and, in exchange, were prompted to create a branded content piece where they would describe their experience using the product. Remington’s guidelines for its influencers were fairly simple:
- Post a photo of yourself using the curling wand
- Use the brand’s handle (@RemingtonUK) as well as its most researched hashtag (#HairToBeDifferent)
- Mention that the post is #sponsored.
- Explain in detail the product’s purpose, why the brand created it in the first place and what you enjoyed about it the most.
The campaign was enormously successful and demonstrated that businesses of all sizes can leverage nano influencer marketing within their wider campaigns.
Nano influencers are just the latest iteration within the increasingly popular marketing method of influencers. Instagram tends to eliminate the line between an ordinary person and celebrity, and influencers have transformed the entire industry with their ability to contribute to any kind of business, be it B2B, consumer products, or media outlets.
While there is no secret formula for creating a successful influencer marketing campaign, keeping an open mind and trying out something new can give your brand a competitive edge. With this in mind, working with a nano influencer can be the perfect entry point for your brand into the influencer marketing world, and lay the foundation for many successful campaigns in the future.
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