One of the classic and most popular marketing tactics is to have a popular person (e.g. a celebrity, socialite, industry authority, etc.) to use and promote their products. Through time, this marketing strategy proved to be quite successful; and naturally, it spilled to the realm of digital marketing. In this case, the strategy is called influencer marketing.

Businesses reach out to Internet celebrities such as bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers who have hundreds of thousands to millions of followers. The idea is for these businesses to have online celebrities promote their products to those huge amount of followers. With the influencer’s scope, a business can exponentially improve reach, engagement, and sales.

In theory, this should work. However, the huge following of influencers makes the strategy very impersonal. A report by Stackla revealed that only 23% of customers believe that content from influencers is actually influential in making their purchasing decisions. Rather, customers turn to recommendations from friends or loved ones as well as personal experience as the primary factors in their purchasing decisions.

The large number of followers makes social influencers inherently inauthentic. In general, the content they create are easily recognizable as advertisement, not genuine experiences as experienced by real customers. Influencer marketing, therefore, is more geared towards “soft” metrics such as awareness and engagement but fails to impact “hard” metrics such as conversions. In fact, the Association of National Advertisers said that while 75% of marketers use influencer marketing strategies, a mere 36% consider such strategies positively working for them. 19% consider influencer marketing as ineffective.

Bigger isn’t always better after all.

Enter Nano Influencers



The ineffectiveness, impersonal, and inauthentic effect of macro influencers may be circumvented by partnering with nano-influencers. Nano-influencers have a smaller network of influence, usually numbering up to 5,000 followers and lower.

This small number of followers can be a good thing. Nano-influencers have a more defined base. They focus on a specific niche such as a certain aspect of art, hobby, sports, or service. Usually, this niche is a particular subject that they have a personal interest or passion in. In fact, it may not even involve business interests at all. Due to these factors, nano-influencers tend to nurture more passionate and engaging communities.

For example, a nano-influencer may be an individual who is passionate about fashion. He or she may be a fashion coach, a hobbyist who creates his or her own clothes, or a traveler who wears fashionable clothes as he or she visits exotic countries. If your business is about creating custom clothes and other fashion accessories, you may want to partner with this influencer. Their followers would most likely be fashion conscious people---your target audience! In exchange, you can offer your influencers some customized clothes and accessories. This would be a form of payment for their promotion of your product/brand, and also serves as free marketing whenever they wear your clothes/accessories. Talk about a win-win! 

Following the above example, here are some nano influencers whom you can work with:


Sapna Maheshwari of the New York Times describes nano influencers as “people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media. Their lack of fame is one of the qualities that make them approachable. Brands enjoy working with them partly because they are easy to deal with.”

Because of their smaller fan base, they have more time and chances to answer inquiries through private messages or replies to comments. The experience and engagement becomes more personalized, more human, and more authentic.

There are several other advantages of engaging with nano-influencers.


1. Better engagement

According to Digiday, nano-influencers interact up to 8.7% of their followers. Compare that with influencers who have more than a million followers; they only top out at 1.7%. This is because viewers can instinctively identify authentic experiences of nano-influencers versus paid promotional content of macro influencers. As a result, viewers and followers feel more at ease communicating with the nano-influencer, due to their more authentic feedback.

2. More affordable

Most nano-influencers know where they stand in the social media landscape; they are not as popular as macro-influencers (social media personalities with more than 100,000 followers). As such, they usually don’t charge excessive fees to partner with businesses. Some even settle for ex-deals rather than cash. For example, you might treat them for a free stay in your hotel in exchange for a nice blog post or series of Instagram posts.

In addition, because they are affordable, you can use your marketing budget to tap into several other nano-influencers. This gives you better reach and quality of engagement than just relying on one single larger influencer.

3. Target people who are frequently online

Most nano-influencers are millennials (people born in the 1980s to early 2000s) and Generation Z (people born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s), and a lot of their followers are also from the same generation. In addition to being tech savvy, Millennials and Generation Z---being born in a digital age---tend to base their opinion, and buying decisions, more heavily on peers, reviews, and online information.

Partnering with nano-influencers is a great way for promoting your brand. Not only that, you’ll be marketing your business in a friendly, experiential, and authentic way, to help you get in front of the right audience. Have you ever thought of including them as part of your marketing strategy?