Nano Influencers: Who They Are & How to Work With Them

    December 23 2020  |  Inspiration , Downloadables , Marketing

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    By the year 2022, it’s estimated that influencer marketing will be a $15 billion dollar industry.

    Most might think what’s driving this emerging market is celebrities. Influencers like Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who make hundreds of thousands of dollars from a single product endorsement on Instagram. And yes, that assumption is largely true. 

    But want to know who really drives influencer marketing both in the margins and, well, in influence? The everyday social media stars – the nano influencers. 

    Nano influencers represent the lion's share of influence on social media. No, not the influencers with 500K followers or even 1 million, but those with 5K followers or maybe even just a thousand. Sound surprising? Or even just flat out wrong? Well, the numbers prove otherwise. 

    Today we’re going to break down the importance of nano influencers, the measure of their impact, and how to partner with them in a way that’s both engaging and mutually beneficial.

    What is a Nano Influencer?

    Nano influencers are Instagram users who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. 

    Small but mighty, nano influencers are growing far more desirable to brands, agencies, and small business owners. Nano influencers are distinguished by their specificity. Audiences seek out influencers because of their expertise in a particular area – and it doesn’t get more niche than nano influencers. 

    Want to find an expert on natural skincare products? Maybe a mom that knows which car seat is the safest for your child? Or a fashion-insider that knows the best sustainable brands and products? Expertise and authenticity is where the nano influencer offers its greatest return on investment.

    The most important aspects of influencer marketing are authenticity and engagement. Some might say conversion, and they’re certainly not wrong. But that doesn’t happen if an audience doesn’t believe in or interact with the content. 

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    Nano Influencers: By the Numbers

    Numbers don’t lie. And when it comes to nano influencers, the numbers lean heavily in their favor.

    A 2019 report from influencer marketing platform Fohr concluded that nano influencers have the highest engagement rates on Instagram feed posts with 7%. Moreover, according to a similar report produced by HypeAuditor, the average engagement rate for influencers with 1 million+ followers is 1.97%, while nano influencers with between 1,000 to 5,000 followers see an engagement rate of 5.60%.

    When you consider those numbers coupled with the fact that there are nearly 500,000 influencers on Instagram, and the majority of them aren’t mega influencers with 1 million+ followers, the true impact comes from the nano influencers of the world.

    Nano influencers have also tripled in numbers since 2018. For every mega influencer, there are three nano influencers. And for every macro influencer, there are nine nano influencers. The odds of creating a meaningful partnership and generating brand awareness lies with the niche influencers in your market. Oh, and just in case you need more proof for your pudding, 85% of all Instagram influencers have between 1,000 and 20,000 followers.

    The Why: Benefits of Partnering with Nano Influencers

    While nano influencers can be in the business of influencing purchasing decisions, they’re not entirely of the business. They aren’t promoting products all day. Nor is every post in their feed a promotion or a partnership. Their feed isn’t just a digital advertisement – followers appreciate that. They trust them. Here are a few reasons why:

    They have a close relationship with their community

    Nano influencers are truly connected to their audience. They have established a dialogue with their followers and often speak to them one-on-one developing a personal trust that larger influencers simply don't have. 

    More often than not, nano influencers are extremely accessible. They reply to comments, engage with followers in their Direct Messages, and willingly connect potential customers with your brand.

    They are trustworthy

    People tend to trust their friends over anyone else. Nano influencers feel more like friends than strangers trying to sell them a product. And that has its benefits. 

    Although the influencer marketing industry is massive, the partnerships that work best are the ones that look and feel real. Nano influencers are real people with real lives, just like your customers. If a real person is endorsing your products and services, it’s likely another real person will trust their opinion.

    They are relevant and valuable to your brand 

    Smaller influencers tend to choose their partnerships carefully and really go to bat for those who invest in them. You don’t just want someone to push your product; you want a partner who cares about your brand the way you do.  

    Nano influencers aren’t always pulling in the big bucks. Typically, they’re working with brands because they really love the product. When thinking about partnering with a nano influencer, make sure they are passionate about your brand and/or business. When that passion is present, it’s easy for them to thoughtfully present your product, service, or brand campaign to their community; a community that trusts their taste and values their opinion.

    They are cost-effective

    Unlike mega and macro-influencers who are compensated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per post or per campaign, nano influencers are affordable for small businesses and upstart brands.

    Many nano influencers are happy to exchange goods for services to strike a partnership with a brand that they believe in. However, nearly 45% of smaller influencers prefer monetary compensation for their services. Yet regardless of how you prefer to negotiate with influencers in your industry, it’s important to compensate them fairly for their work and, of course, their influence.

    They bring new energy to your brand

    Need a boost in creativity? Looking for some fresh ideas for an upcoming campaign? Or maybe you just need to explore the mind of a thoughtful consumer that knows what your key demographic wants to see? Nano influencers can help you solve these problems and enable you to communicate better with your customers. 

    Leverage influencer partnerships by tapping into the creative nature of influencer marketing. Partner with creators that can breathe new energy into your brand through fresh ideas, thoughtful marketing, and by effectively speaking the language your customers understand. There’s no shame in hiring an influence to help you decode the marketplace, tap into Gen Z, or to keep pace with your competitors. 

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    Getting Niche: Finding the Right Nano Influencers

    Value-driven content is where the connectivity that you’re looking for takes place. Nano influencers are best at creating connections and forging relationships. This happens through content that really lets the viewer in, offering a true glimpse at their life.

    The best way to truly offer value-driven content is through creating authentic experiences that speak directly to your consumer. Ideate and execute niche experiences that your customers want to see. Single out those needs and focus on what that content should look and feel like. 

    Get Local 

    Find nano influencers in your city to speak directly to your market. If you’re a restaurant owner in Nashville trying to get new customers in the door, find a local food influencer with a trusted following for your partnership. If your goal is to tap into the local community, find a local nano influencer who has already done half the work for you.

    Diversity and Inclusion  

    Minority markets have nearly $4 trillion in buying power. African Americans make up almost half of that number. So if you’re not marketing to all communities and social media users, you’re missing out on a huge market share. A great way to capture said market is by partnering with nano influencers of color. Don’t just market with diversity and inclusion in mind, partner with diverse and inclusive people to help with your marketing. 

    Partnerships > One-Offs 

    Another critical aspect of niche marketing is partnering with intention. You don’t necessarily need to pay large sums of money for a one-off shot at a macro influencer. Instead, build a lasting and mutually beneficial partnership with a nano influencer who will truly value that relationship. This also has the added benefit of showing your customers a similar face and voice throughout your marketing initiatives which helps build brand loyalty. Also, as those nano influencers rise in stature and become more visible, so does your brand awareness.

    It’s a proven fact that influencers with less than 25,000 followers see higher engagement rates on their Instagram posts than any other influencer tier regardless of topic or genre. 

    Nano influencers are the future of influencer marketing. With 2021 quickly approaching and the industry expected to be bigger than ever, it’s time to invest your time and resources where they matter most – with the right nano influencer for your brand.

    Get a headstart on your 2021 influencer marketing strategy with our Influencer Goal Setting Worksheet. Download it here!

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