March 27, 2019 / By Juwan Thompson
In recent years, the power of social influencers has become a popular commodity in the sphere of marketing and public relations. Influencers are often divided into sub-categories dependent on their follower count and overall reach. However, there is one particular type of influencer that brands will be utilizing more of in 2019 – the nano-influencer – also referred to as the pro-sumer, up and comer, or even micro-influencer.
What is a Nano-Influencer?
Forbes defines nano-influencers as “everyday consumers” that “have 1,000 to 5,000 followers” and spread their influence by “telling their small community about products they love” and “are trusted by their friends while creating valuable content for brands.” A recent study found that only 32 percent of consumers follow celebrity influencers, compared to 70 percent who are influenced by those with a much smaller followership. One of the biggest appeals of nano-influencers is that they are not famous and their followers view them as a personal representation of a brand. An article from The Guardian points out, “You’re far more likely to book a holiday on the suggestion of a discerning friend than a random celebrity.” Their input on a particular item or brand comes across as advice from friends.
The rise of a friend to nano-influencer status can feel unexpected. Alexis Baker, for example, had built a small-knit community of 2,700 Instagram followers, with a regular social presence and strong audience engagement. For what seemed sudden to her online community, she began posting her approval of big-name brands, like Suave Professionals Rose Oil Infusion shampoo, Clinique Beyond Perfecting foundation and concealer, and Loco Coffee. Baker’s posts started to come with hashtags such as #sponsored and #ad, and her followers became fascinated. How does someone with a low followership, relative to 10,000+, get contracted and paid to run sponsored posts? Nano-influencers bring invaluable influence to brands due to one key trait, developed over time before any sponsorships take root: trust.
Why is this important?
While other sub-categories of influencers boast way more followers, nano-influencers offer a more personalized and authentic message. Kyle Berube, Taylor senior digital strategist, noted:
It’s not about trying to be more covert with your digital marketing efforts, it is about communicating your key message in a different way. They are considered everyday ‘real’ people because their followerships consist of almost entirely friends, family, and acquaintances. So, your messaging needs to be adapted to make sense on a peer-to-peer level. This helps create a more authentic and personal messaging platform for brands as well as offering higher rates of engagement. As their followerships grow over time, your relationship should grow with them.
Not only do brands have the opportunity to build a relationship with these “super fans” who are experts in particular topics, but they can also develop a relationship with the influencers’ follower base as well.
A Digiday survey reported that nano-influencers are able to engage up to 8.7 percent of their followership while the engagement percentage of celebrity influencers, who typically have more than a million followers, is only 1.7 percent. This could be because nano-influencers represent the everyday person and deliver more impactful advocacy for the brand. In addition to providing an authentic message, collaboration between brands and nano-influencers can typically be accomplished with a smaller budget as compared to work with larger ambassadors. Sometimes, nano-influencers don’t require cash compensation, but rather free product in exchange for social posts and partnership opportunities. The brand reputation and name have a positive impact on nano-influencers’ personal brands, and these could open doors for more lucrative sponsorships from brands down the line.
Opportunities to work with nano-influencers can occur in many ways. Taylor utilizes nano-influencers across many client partners, such as with Capital One or Diageo. In addition, Taylor’s capabilities in this space include a sophisticated range of syndicated tools for evaluating PR and social campaigns. Deep consumer insights and key search terms are used to inform the creative process. Then, teams are able to identify and validate influencers with audiences’ interests. Moreover, Taylor leads the way in developing tools and models, such as CustomTAYLOR™, a proprietary platform created to address unique measurement challenges that client partners confront. Nano-influencers can deliver excellent results when working with niche audiences, but be prepared to compensate them with discounts or free product, too. Building a mutually beneficial relationship is essential.