Are ‘nano influencers’ a new marketing trend?

You've heard of the micro influencer, but a new breed now offers brands even more granular targeting.
25 December 2018

They’re everyday social media users like you and me. Source: Shutterstock.

In the still-developing influencer marketing industry, 2018 has been all about the targeted value of ‘micro influencer’, the smaller, sub 10K follower cousin to the celebrity level ‘media influencer’.

Most airtime has been given to how these social media accounts can offer brands access to much more niche and relevant audiences which, in turn, delivers high engagement rates for a much lower cost.

But there’s a new influencer in town; ‘nano influencers’ are now on the rise, with many marketers arguing that they offer more bang for their buck than the best of the micro and mega influencers out there.

So, who are nano influencers? Well, they’re everyday people — you and me — who have just a few followers, sometimes fewer than 1,000, and are willing to advertise products and services that companies offer.

In most cases, nano influencers provide their support to brands in exchange for a free sample or a small commission on the sales they drive through friends, family, and other followers.

Besides being “cheaper” than the conventional influencer with a million-plus follower, nano influencers are often simpler to deal with.

“Everyone who’s on Instagram has that friend who is just really popular and is racking up ‘likes’ and comments and has great content. They’ve probably never worked with a brand before, but they’re just really good at social media,” Obviously Chief Executive Mae Karwowski told the New York Times recently.

Obviously works with dozens of nano influencers who they describe as people with roughly 1,000 to 5,000 Instagram followers.

“There is such a saturation at the top. We’ve seen a real push to work with smaller and smaller influencers because their engagement is so high and we have the technology to work with a lot more influencers now and track and measure what is and isn’t working,” explained Karwowski.

Kimberly Clark Thailand recently conducted a survey and found that commercials on televisions are not convincing for consumers today. About 80 percent of the respondents said that they’d rather listen to recommendations of their friends and family — which attests to value that nano influencers bring to brands these days.

“Knowing that nano influencer is new to the market, I think it is a big opportunity that brands should start considering.” – Beiersdorf Thailand Senior E-commerce Manager SEA  Phunnapa Limtansakul said recently.

To be quite honest, although ‘nano influencer’ seems like a term that the marketing world has recently coined, the concept is something the world is already familiar with. While the intention hasn’t been so targeted, since as long as social media has been around brands have sought to harness the power of endorsement from their customers in the form of shares, likes and hashtags, etc. 

In the coming year, for businesses looking to improve their market reach, it’s a good idea to explore the power of nano influencers — given that it’s an inexpensive option that can provide a lot of value if done right.

“You’re able to place a lot of really small bets rather than, ‘We’re going to work with Kim Kardashian’”, said Karwowski, which is why nano influencers are expected to draw more attention in the coming year.

A version of this post originally appeared on TechWire Asia.