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When you think of the word influencer, you imagine a creator with hundreds of thousands of followers across social media channels promoting a brand product.
Some of the world’s biggest brands to rising startups partner with influencers every day because it’s a unique opportunity to connect with new audiences. It’s a smart marketing strategy — influencers have established relationships with their followers, they have an authentic voice that brands can’t always replicate, and their recommendations prove their weight in gold.
But not all influencers fall into the same category. Traditionally, influencers are categorized into five common groups by the size of their following.
The Different Types of Influencers and Their Followers
- Nano influencers (1000 – 10,000 followers)
- Micro influencers (10,000 – 50,000 followers)
- Mid-tier influencers (50,000 – 500,000 followers)
- Macro influencers (500,000 – 1,000,000 followers)
- Mega influencers (1,000,000+ followers)
Curious to know how much it costs to work with them?
- Nano influencers: $10 – $100 per post
- Micro influencers: $100 – $500 per post
- Mid-tier influencers: $500 – $5,000 per post
- Macro influencers: $5000 – $10,000 per post
- Mega influencers: $10,000+ per post
Breaking Down the Limits of Traditional Influencers
Mega influencers, with their millions of followers, are typically reserved for large-scale campaigns. So, they’re not always accessible for smaller budgets.
Macro and Mid-tier influencers, with smaller but still significant followings, may be better suited to campaigns with a more targeted audience.
Micro influencers have smaller followings, but they often have a more dedicated and engaged audience.
However, there are limits to these traditional types of influencers. Mega and macro influencers can be expensive to work with, and their large followings may mean that they have a lower engagement rate. Yes, this is true. Even though your product is getting in front of more eyeballs, not everyone will see it because as an influencer’s follower count increases, the average engagement rate steadily declines.
As for micro influencers, they can be more cost-effective, but their smaller audience may mean that their reach is limited. This is why I recommend working with micro influencers for a niche audience. Here’s a good example from Toyota appealing more to an outdoor audience.
What About Nano Influencers?
While they have the smallest following, nano influencers are becoming increasingly important for marketing purposes.
Brands may typically shy away from working with people under 10K followers because they may not get the best ROI due to reach.
However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards nano influencers because they’re affordable and accessible. Despite their relatively small following, nano influencers can be a catalyst for brands looking to build brand loyalty and increase sales.
Even larger brands like DoorDash, IKEA, Sephora, Dyson, and Starbucks consistently work with nano influencers.
Four Reasons Partnering with Nano Influencers Can Pay Off BIG
- Budget-friendly: Nano influencers can be more cost-effective to work with than larger influencers, especially if you’re a small business or startup with a tighter budget. Because they are just starting out, they may be willing to collaborate in exchange for free products or services.
Targeted audience: Because nano influencers have a smaller following, they may have a more niche audience.
This can be beneficial for companies looking to promote a specific product or service to a particular demographic.
Take a look at this example from blogger, Read With Sav. She recently partnered with the book-reading app, Reckit on a post to promote some of her latest reads to her 3,500+ followers. If you look at her Instagram feed, you’ll see a lot of comments and engagement on her recs.
High engagement: Speaking of engagement, nano influencers often have a high rate, which means that their followers are more likely to interact with their content.
Remember how I mentioned earlier how the higher the follower count, the higher the engagement decline?
Check this stat out → Nano influencers have the highest average engagement rate with 4% across all feed posts and sponsored ones. If we compare this to Macro influencers, they have an average engagement rate of 1.3% — 3x lower than Nano influencers.
This can be beneficial for companies looking to increase their reach and exposure.
Authenticity: Arguably the biggest pro for working with nano influencers is they’re often perceived as more authentic and trustworthy than larger influencers.
Unlike larger influencers who may have a more polished or curated image, nano influencers often have a genuine and relatable approach to content creation. They are seen as everyday individuals who have a passion for a specific niche or topic, and their content reflects their personal experiences and perspectives (see the Read With Sav example above).
For example, let’s imagine a nano influencer in the fitness niche who shares their weight loss journey and the impact of a particular brand’s fitness program on their life. By openly discussing their struggles, progress, and results, the influencer establishes a genuine connection with their audience.
When they recommend the brand’s program as a valuable tool, their followers are more likely to trust their endorsement because it comes from a relatable individual with similar tastes and preferences as you — and who experienced visible results.
It reminds me of the study where 70% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than online reviews.
How Do You Find Nano Influencers?
All this talk about the benefits of working nano influencers, but how the heck do you find a good one that fits your vision and goals?
In my experience, one of the biggest hurdles with running a successful influencer marketing campaign is actually finding influencers relevant to your brand and that match your target audience. There are many services that help source influencers. I like Grin.co, which allows you to search their influencer database by demographics and key performance metrics until you find the right fit.
Nano Influencers Offer a More Authentic Way To Market Your Brand
The rise of nano influencers is a trend that is worth noting for companies looking to improve their bottom line, brand awareness, and hit KPIs (quite the trio of benefits).
Don’t let the small following stop you, nano influencers can provide unique benefits such as higher engagement and more authentic connections with their followers.
When a nano influencer genuinely shares their thoughts, recommendations, or experiences with a brand or product, their followers perceive it as a genuine endorsement rather than a paid advertisement. This organic connection between the influencer and their audience creates a unique level of trust that is often difficult to replicate with larger influencers or traditional advertising methods.
Plus, you won’t get all sweaty seeing the price tag.