When it comes to brands working with influencers, bigger isn't always better.
With influencer marketing becoming a staple of brand marketing strategies, nano-influencers have started playing an important role in the creator space. While a brand’s first instinct might be to partner with an influencer with a large following, marketing experts say that nano-influencers have some of the most highly engaged followings, and can help brands with targeting. They’re also a great testing ground for brands to experiment with influencer marketing.
“Mommy bloggers are a great example,” says James Myrick, senior VP, global marketing, Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), a product placement, influencer marketing and licensing company. “When you are looking at a micro-group, these kinds of smaller influencers can provide great targeting. A mom might have a niche following because they live in a certain city, homeschool their kids, or have a child with a specific medical condition."
And nano-influencers’ authenticity and community with their followers could make product posts feel more like advice from a friend. “It’s easy for a celebrity to sell a product,” says Tola Adeoti, a nano-influencer in Dallas, Texas. “But I know people feel more connected when they hear about [a product] from a regular, everyday mom.”
A numbers game
There is no industry standard around how many followers a creator has to have to be considered a nano-influencer.
“Personally, I'm fascinated that there are so few benchmarks for the industry,” says Lindsay Jerutis, general manager of ShopStyle Collective, an influencer marketing platform. ShopStyle defines a nano-influencer as someone with 500 to 10,000 followers, while micro-influencer have between 10,000 and 25,000.
At Sway Group, another influencer marketing agency, nano-influencers have under 10,000 followers. “We chose that number because that is currently the bottom floor for swipe-up options on Instagram,” explains Danielle Wiley, CEO of Sway Group. Sway’s influencers have a minimum of 1,000 followers, while micro-influencers have 10,000 to 90,000, with three tiers in between.
BEN’s rule of thumb is that nano-influencers can have up to 50,000 followers. “But we don’t have a set range for nano or micro,” says Myrick. “We go by our client’s definition, because usually for a smaller brand, that’s a smaller number of followers, and for a larger brand, ‘micro’ has a different meaning.”