Influencer marketing has defied expectations and is now often considered a vital part of any business’s marketing budget. In 2023, the business of ‘influencing’ is only set to increase and as it does, it poses genuine questions about what is influence and who has it. We’re here to talk specifically about nano influencers and why they shouldn’t be overlooked.
If you’re wading into influencer territory for the first time or rethinking your approach, its time to consider nano influencers and whether they can help you achieve your campaign and business goals.
While nano influencers may lack the followers that a micro-influencer has, they can often make up for their smaller numbers with impressive audience engagement and genuine influence.
The right influencer for you will largely depend on your budget and objective.
Mega, macro, mid-tier, micro, or nano?
Before we go any further, it’s worth breaking down the varying influencer categories.
Mega influencers: Over a million followers. Think celebrity-level status or individuals with a profile beyond social media.
Macro influencers: Between over 500,000 followers and a million followers.
Mid-tier influencers: Between 100,000 followers and 500,000 followers.
Micro influencers: Between 10,000 and 100,000 followers.
Nano influencers: Less than 10,000 followers.
Determining which influencer category will work best for you depends on a number of different factors including your overall objectives, budget and audience.
Choose partnerships strategically
Lack of strategy, research, or a mutual understanding of what the partnership is trying to achieve, often leads to unsuccessful influencer partnerships. Regardless of whether you work with a mega, micro, or nano influencer, building a successful influencer campaign takes strategic planning and careful consideration.
A reputable influencer can provide value whether they have 5000 followers or 500,000. Determining which influencer category will work best for your business or campaign will vary largely depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
If your campaign is focusing on wide-scale reach, you are more likely to consider partnering with a micro-influencer or one with a larger following. In comparison to nano-influencers, micro-influencers are also often seen to have greater authority and higher perceived credibility.
On the flip side, campaigns involving nano-influencers typically have a higher engagement rate. Often, they have spent time cultivating a small, but highly engaged following that really listens to what they have to say.
Relatable vs. aspirational
According to Matter Communications, 69% of more than 1000 US respondents stated they’re likely to trust a friend, family member, or influencer recommendation over information coming directly from a brand.
Those surveyed also indicated they were most interested in the following type of influencer personality:
- Relatable personalities (61%)
- Expert personalities (43%)
- Just-for-fun personalities (32%)
- Aspirational personalities (28%)
This research highlights that relatability is the most appealing trait an influencer can have as opposed to aspirational which is often the category where the influencers with the highest influencers sit. This point clearly demonstrates that a following doesn’t necessarily equal influence.
Why nano influencers?
If you’re a business delving into the influencer world for the first time you would be forgiven for thinking more followers, equals better results. That used to be the broad consensus. However, as the influencer industry grows and expands, we can see outcomes and expectations vary significantly.
Here are just some of the many reasons why you should consider working with a nano influencer for your next campaign:
They’ve created a community
If you think about it, someone with a million followers can’t possibly nurture relationships with all or even half of their followers. Compare that to a nano influencer with 2k followers, who can realistically build and nurture their community by responding to DMs and comments frequently. This personalised communication can also establish greater trust.
Their content is often more authentic
Nano influencers tend to be less polished and professional when it comes to the content that they produce. This is not a bad thing by any means. This raw, unpolished content is authentic. It’s more real-world and less stylised. Again, providing enhanced credibility.
Nano influencers are also more likely to partner with and feature affordable brands. When you look at a celebrity or a high-profile influencer it’s easy to assume that what they’re wearing and what they use might be outside of the everyday person’s budget. Whereas, people can typically connect more to the less polished, relatable nano influencer.
They’re more affordable
While there is no standard price when it comes to influencers, you can expect to pay more for someone with a larger following regardless of whether their engagement rate is comparable to that of an influencer with a smaller following.
On average, the rates within Australia sit around $100 per post, per 10k followers per post. So you can imagine the financial investment of partnering with someone with 5k followers as opposed to someone with even 80k followers.
They’re more flexible
While they are still a business, they’re less likely to be represented by an agency and more likely to be open to flexible working arrangements. While flexibility is often advantageous, it’s essential if you’re a business engaging in influencer marketing that you don’t take advantage of an influencer’s flexibility and potential inexperience.
They get more engagement
As we’ve mentioned throughout, nano influencers tend to get more engagement due to many of the factors listed above. They’ve carefully cultivated a loyal community and they’re more authentic. The quality of their engagement is also often typically higher as the engagement is more likely to be authentic. As a business investing time and money, you want to ensure the partnership generates as much engagement as possible. Engagement indicates people are interested and if it’s engaging, it’s more likely to be shown to more people.
Paid vs. contra deals
We often work with businesses to establish influencer partnerships and when it comes to working with nano influencers in particular, a lot of businesses want to know if they can send products in exchange for a partnership instead of payment.
Now this topic could be an article on its own!
There are a few factors that should be considered when negotiating an agreement, regardless of whether it’s an exchange of money or goods. Realistically, it is an exchange of their time – the businesses and the influencers, and time costs money. In some instances, it may be fair to offer a product in exchange for content. However, this needs to be a careful discussion.
Too often, businesses send out products with the expectation they will receive content in exchange, despite never discussing their expectations. This can be problematic for a range of reasons with the most obvious being – what if the influencer genuinely doesn’t like the product? Should they recommend something they don’t believe in to their community? If they do, will it be content that they enjoyed creating? Will it be convincing?
In our experience, most of the time it’s best to enter a paid agreement with a contact that outlines the expectations of both parties.
So if you’re a business owner looking to delve into the world of influencer marketing it’s worth considering engaging a successful nano influencer before you look at mid-tier or macro influencers. While there are some instances or campaigns not suited to a nano influencer, many are. Partnering with the right influencer for your campaign requires careful consideration of your goals with the campaign, the audience you’re targeting, the engagement an influencer has, and if they’re actually influential.
Remember, followers and influence are NOT the same thing.