Updated: Jul 30
Whether this is the first time you’ve heard this or the hundredth, I’m happy to keep screaming it from the rooftops: Follower count does not directly correlate to the effectiveness of an Influencer. It is not as simple as lots of followers = successful influencer marketing. Rather, there are different tiers of influence and factors about the Influencers that fall under each tier that make them right for different projects + different campaign goals. We have a full-blown blog post RIGHT HERE where we break all of that down more specifically, but for this post, we’ll be discussing how Nano-Influencers in particular can be leveraged to grow your brand.
What Is a Nano-Influencer
Less than 10K Followers/Subscribers/Reach
This is the largest group of influencers that are known to have the smallest number of followers, but the highest engagement rates. Since their audience is so small, they can create more personal relationships with the people that follow them. They truly KNOW their followers and have likely met a good majority of them in person. They are “tiny but mighty” and shouldn’t be underestimated. Nano-Influencers usually influence a brand’s product or service to their followers which usually consists of their friends, family, colleagues, and the local community. Think about it this way: your favorite cousin that has the best fashion sense and always has the cutest new finds posts about the brands she loves. She isn’t a big-time guru but her opinion matters to you because she is more accessible and therefore trustworthy. You know, like, and trust her taste and you’d buy anything she recommends. That’s the way it works with nano-influencers and their audiences.
Why and how are Nano (and Micro) Influencers so impactful? And how is this true even in uncertain [Pandemic] times? We think Siobhan Freegard of Talking Influence said it best- It comes down to the 5 I’s: Instinctiveness, Individuality, Interaction, “Inspiriting” effect, and Immediateness. Here is a summary of her take on what makes smaller Influencers largely impactful.
Instinctiveness: They are not so far-removed from the lives of their followers like big-time Influencers and thus their content is more instinctively in tune with their audience.
Individuality: Smaller Influencers generally are on their own and do not have a team or managers that you’d have to filter through in order to work with them, which also means their messaging and tone within the content will be less couched and more relatable.
Interaction: The accessibility of smaller influencers gives the impression that they are within reach and can maintain a personal touch within their content.
"Inspiriting" Effect: They contribute to their communities and go beyond preaching at them or just being inspiring- they can incite change and influence from the ground up, not from the clouds down.
Immediateness: Having a smaller audience means more control over their work and time, leading to the ability to provide quick turnarounds on projects and immediate access.
We couldn’t have described it better ourselves!
Why They Are A Safe Bet
As we just touched on, the fact that Nano-Influencers have a smaller following makes them more accessible. Being able to respond to a higher percentage of their followers and interact more consistently than huge Influencers builds connection with the audience in a deep way. This sense of authenticity pours over into Brand campaigns that Nano-Influencers are involved and makes the Brand a part of their tight-knit, active community. The engagement rate of Influencers with a smaller following are always higher as well. This means there will be greater visibility of your Brand when they mention it. Not only that, but there are more frequent and deeper conversations on smaller accounts.
Due to the smaller amount of followers, Nano-Influencers are more likely to accept lower rates and deliver the best bang for your buck. Some Brands have the mindset that smaller Influencers will accept products or services as payment in exchange for branded content. While this is true, some are willing, do not assume that you shouldn’t pay or budget for working with them. They are great to work with when you’re on a shoestring budget and the benefit to working with them while they still have a smaller audience is that you are laying groundwork and establishing a relationship with them that may help you later as their audience grows.
Matching Goals + Expectations With The Right Influencer
Nano-Influencers have developed niche followings and have established themselves in a narrow range of content categories. A mention of your Brand to an audience that’s already primed to receive content in your niche will appeal to them and won’t have to break through the noise. There are, of course, exceptions to this and we discuss our unpopular opinion about niche-specific Influencers HERE. But it is important to note that being a Nano-Influencer and a niche-specific Influencer are not mutually exclusive. There is a threshold of effectiveness someone can have on their audience before their channel becomes too inundated with redundant content, brands that are all direct competitors with one another, and the messaging gets lost. The takeaway here is that niche interests of a Nano-Influencer’s followers can be an advantage for your campaign, as long as you take into account: 1) the other brands they are working with (make sure there are no competitors), 2) that your campaign goals are more focused on conversions than on exposure (read more about why this is important HERE).
How To Work With Them
First, check for alignment between their audience and your Brand’s values + campaign goals. When scoping out Influencers to work with, no matter what tier of influence they fall into, it is always a good idea to really follow and make an effort to get to know them. This is about creating a real working relationship. Reach out and show them you’ve been paying attention to their channel and tell them the kind of content you love to see from them that you think aligns well with what you’d like your Brand’s target audience to see.
If you are still unsure about the right steps to take when pitching an influencer, we tell you about the art of pitching Influencers HERE. Don’t have a ton of time and want this process templated out for you to use in your current campaign and when you need to pitch Influencers for future ones? We’ve got a killer TEMPLATE that’s perfect for you. But for those of you who want to take the guesswork out of the process, apply HERE and let us handle it for you! We can help you find the right Influencers to work with that will help yield the campaign results you are after in your Influencer Marketing strategy.
About the Author
Katherine Pereda is the Founder and CEO of The Influencer Grapevine, a boutique Influencer Marketing agency based in South Florida. Her clientele list ranges from luxury houses such as Gucci, Roberto Coin, Acqua di Parma, Vacheron Constantin, Jitrois Paris, Cartier LatAm, and Jimmy Choo to beauty, home design, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness companies like Maisons Du Monde, Tampax + Always PURE, Home Made Simple by Procter & Gamble, Target, MintedLeaf CBD, and Agnes & Dora. Katherine has also worked extensively in experiential marketing for WantedDesign, New York Fashion Week, DesignMiami/, Glossier, Create & Cultivate, Miami Swim Week, Funksion Fashion Week, and Art Basel Miami. Now specializing in talent management, and brand campaigns, she helps influencers and businesses from all over the world gain exposure, connections, and collaborations to build lifelong relationships.
Looking for Social Media Tips? Check out:
How-To Incorporate Influencers Into Your Marketing Strategy (11-Page Guide)
The Ultimate Email Template to Pitch to Influencers
How to Calculate Influencers’ Engagement Rate (free guide)
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