Nano-influencers offer big upsides for marketers

You can have the same audience size for the money, but smaller, engaged audiences will offer a better return on investment. Here’s how you should realign your strategy.

Over the last few months, Talkwalker has extensively researched what’s happening in influencer marketing across the world, with input from over 800 communication and PR specialists.

In the research, a clear opportunity has arisen for brands to increase their influencer outreach, potential engagement, and ultimately, without increasing their expenditure.

It’s time for brand managers to focus on micro-influencers and nano-influencers, the next generation of influencer marketing.

The report shows that influencer marketing was deemed important or a top strategic priority by 69 percent of the professionals we interviewed. However, 71 percent of these individuals use 50 influencers or fewer.

That’s where the opportunity lies: Brands should be working with significantly more influencers.

What’s holding marketers back?

Let’s take a look at the history of influencer marketing. When it comes to considering influencers, most marketers can quickly conjure up a specific archetype. You likely imagine someone with a huge social media presence (maybe even a celebrity), with an audience in the millions, who charges a wad of money for one simple sponsored post on Instagram.

This outdated concept of who is defined as an influencer is affecting the influencer market. You must to broaden your outlook and consider influencers with smaller numbers.

Bigger budgets, or better budgeting?

The average cost for an influencer-created Instagram post is now about $1,000 per 100,000 followers. However, there isn’t a set formula. Celebrity influencers can command $10k plus per post.

That’s why savvy marketers should look more towards smaller influencers.

Nano-influencers are people with audiences between 1,000 to 5,000. These are individuals who are good at social media and have created a niche audience that understands the topics they want to discuss. Their communities might be one percent the size of macro-influencers or celebrities. However, you’re also looking at about one percent of the cost.

At such low levels, some may even be happy to promote your brand in exchange for free products.

Quantity vs. quality

Instead of one influencer costing $10k per post, you now have a hundred influencers costing you $10k a month. That might sound like a lot more work, but no extra benefit.

However, those niche audiences that smaller influencers have built are significantly more engaged and interested than the audiences of the big influencers. According to a recent Digiday survey, nano-influencers on Instagram were able to engage up to 8.7 percent of their audience compared to just 1.7 percent for celebrity influencers.

So nano-influencers can give you over five times the engagement rate of celebrities. Therefore, with similar budgets, you can get similar audience figures, but that audience is five times more interested in what your influencer has to say.

Influencers with small, engaged audiences are often niche industry experts. These are the people leading the conversations to which you want to be tied. They’re also finding new, innovative ways to build their audience.

These are the people your consumers are following. The Experticity micro-influencer report discovered 82 percent of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer or nano-influencer, compared to 73 percent for an average person. They also noted that these influencers were typically perceived as being more credible, more knowledgeable and more capable of explaining how a product works, than an average person.

These influencers are powerful people, and you must rethink your influencer strategy to incorporate them.

Stay relevant

Before you go off and grab the first 500 nano-influencers you can find, don’t forget about relevancy. One of the reasons these niche influencers have such tremendous impact is because of how relevant they are to their audience.

That means, to get that maximum engagement, your organization must be relevant to that influencer, and that audience. It requires more research and more effective influencer monitoring, but that’s where the value lies.

Once you find the right influencer, the value is two-fold. Not only will your influencer speak directly to your target audience, but they won’t carry the risk that some celebrity influencers do.

Don’t expect to see your brand promoted one day, and a health shake fad the next.

Article written by: Dan Seavers