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Follower Counts: Why Smaller is Better as an Influencer Marketing Strategy
When it comes to your influencer marketing strategy, bigger isn’t always better. The latest trends favor smaller, word-of-mouth campaigns that rely on Instagrammers who boast modest follower counts.
The influencer marketing pros at Peersway and other eminent agencies call them nano influencers. They’re niche content creators who curate enthusiastic followings of engaged fans.
By the Numbers: What is a Nano vs Micro vs Macro vs Mega Influencer?
In 2022, you’ll find it hard to find someone who doesn’t know what an influencer is. The concept has grown so popular that the term now needs several qualifiers: nano, micro, macro, and mega.
You can find the main difference between these four categories in the black-and-white numbers of their follower count.
- Nano: 1,000–10,000 followers
- Micro: 10,000–50,000 followers
- Macro: 500,000–1,000,000 followers
- Mega: 1,000,000+ followers
While mega content creators are likely celebrities with global brand recognition — think Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande — nano influencers are everyday people with more followers than the average university student or dog mom on Instagram.
While they’re involved in endorsement deals, they may not earn all their income this way. There are however now platforms (see here) that allow these influencers to join up and browse curated offers from brands and apply to campaigns based on their particular interests.
This then pays securely with free products or cash, so can be a great little extra earner for nano influencers! Their social media is still likely a personal account rather than a strictly PR or professional one.
Authenticity and relatability are key factors when it comes to successful social media marketing.
All too often, macro and mega influencers score a big, fat zero in these categories. If the brand and celebrity aren’t the perfect matches, consumers will see through even the best content for what it is — paid advertising for a product or service the celebrity has never used.
Nano influencers, on the other hand, have built a bespoke online persona that performs well with their followers.
3 Reasons Why Nano Influencers Are More Authentic Than Others
Followers are more likely to pay attention to their unboxing or product shoutouts for a few of reasons:
They’re Everyday People
When you need advice on your next vitamin C serum, pet-friendly vacuum, or trail running shoe, who do you call? If it’s not your partner or best friend, it’s your mom, a close cousin, or even a trusted co-worker.
Nano influencers aren’t out-of-touch celebrities but someone’s friend, parent, or partner. Followers get a peek into their lives as genuine people, which inspires trust.
Compared to brands, people are more likely to trust recommendations from an influencer as they would advise a loved one.
They Have a Niche
Successful nano bloggers carve out a niche for their accounts. Maybe they’re an amateur chef who organizes their family’s traditional Korean food. Or perhaps they’re an accountant by day and a classic car mechanic by night.
These passion projects haven’t become overly commercialized yet. Nano Instagrammers haven’t oversaturated their content with paid advertising, so it’s still fresh. Their followers pay attention when they partner with a brand.
They Foster Closer Relationships
A celebrity can get thousands of tags, replies, and DMs every day but few of them hold real meaning.
All that attention can be hard to handle, even with the best of intentions. Celebrities and larger accounts can’t interact with all their fans, so there’s no real connection between them.
This can negatively impact engagement for those followers who feel as though they aren’t being heard.
A boutique Instagrammer with 3,000 followers has a much easier time keeping track of every DM and tag. They respond personally to each fan beyond just alike — they share advice, answer questions, or solicit requests for new content.
These interactions make for strong online relationships that nano influencers can leverage for your brand. Fans are more likely to engage with their sponsored posts.
What Are the Benefits of Working with Nano Influencers?
Between deeper relationships, greater trust, and authentic content, nano Instagrammers bring a lot to the table. Here are some of the biggest benefits of working with these smaller accounts:
Affordable and Scalable Costs
A large follower count comes with a big price tag. The cost of one macro influencer is the equivalent of 15 nano Instagrammers, so focusing on smaller accounts brings more breathing room to your budget.
If you’re just starting out, you can team up with only a few content creators to keep your costs low.
Alternatively, you can easily work with hundreds of influencers on one campaign. Since each Instagrammer costs less than your average micro-influencer, you can maximize your outreach for fewer of your marketing dollars.
Smaller Instagrammers have put in the time to foster strong connections with their followers. Their relatable cachet pays off in the way their followers engage with their content.
While micro-influencers usually average an engagement rate of 3.86%, experienced influencer marketing agencies create nano campaigns that routinely blow past this benchmark. Some campaigns can even land double-digits.
These agencies can boast such high numbers because they find the right person with the ideal followers for your campaign.
Return on Investment
Let’s cut to the bottom line. Your brand is utilizing influencer marketing strategies to convert browsers into customers. You need a campaign that delivers a solid return on investment.
On average, a brand earns $18 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. With nano influencers’ greater engagement levels and fewer upfront costs, you’re likely going to secure an even healthier ROI for your campaign.
How Do You Find These Nano Instagrammers?
You can painstakingly vet countless influencers before handpicking the 20 or so content creators you want for your campaign. But to save time, most brands hand the keys over to an influencer marketing agency.
These agencies already have large networks of Instagrammers spanning broad content niches, and they can easily tap their inventory to find the perfect fit in no time.
The top influencer marketing agencies assign you a campaign manager who takes care of all the nitty-gritty details of the campaign. Beyond finding your content creators, they’ll also track your campaign, review content, deliver reports, and process payments.
Hit the web to search for a local company, making sure you check their track records. You want to see their campaign results, such as total reach, total engagement, engagement rate, and cost per engagement.
This data underscores their value as an agency, so keep your eyes peeled for it on their website.
Influencer Marketing Strategy: Bottom Line
On the surface, Instagrammers with millions of followers seems like your meal ticket. But these super popular accounts lack authenticity, which neuters genuine engagement from the start.
For a truly successful influencer marketing strategy, stick with people who have fewer followers. Ten thousand and under is your sweet spot for ROI, affordability, and engagement.