It’s an influencer’s world. Brands know it, Kylie Jenner knows it and so do the growing number of micro-influencers, or nano influencers, who are shining their light on emerging as well as established brands. From a small-batch, organic face cream to the latest fried chicken sandwich, the “nanos” are just everyday people who have decided to share an opinion and, whether by luck, passion or intention, have gained a small, yet powerful share of voice on one of the world’s most influential social media networks: Instagram.
The expression, “the riches are in the niches,” is something that nano influencers like San Francisco-based Elyse Wellness and Dallas-based The Chicken Critic understand all too well. With less than 5,000 followers each, these influencers are definitely not your Kim Kardashians of the social media sphere, with a mind-boggling 127 million people hanging on their every word. And therein lies the power of the nano influencer’s ascendency. It may be nano-sized, but the passion, engagement and ability to influence purchasing decisions is there.
Think about it. The world around us is much bigger. We have access to more of everything. Need a recipe for an exotic curry dish? It’s a click away. Office supplies? Groceries? No problem. Online retailers have everything you need and can have it to you within a few hours. While the convenience is there, the personal 1:1 trust is not. And that is why I believe nano influencers are on the rise. The 1:1 connection that all humans crave is still there which is why The Cool Hip Mom connects with me in a way that Kim Kardashian West, also a mom, cannot.
So, what do you need to know about working with this small but important group of influencers?
1. Give them something to talk about. Nano influencers need a compelling reason to talk about your brand. Are you wanting to test a new menu item? Will they be one of the first to try it? They want to give their audience something to engage with and remember.
2. To pay or not to pay? Every influencer is different. While brands are carving out dollars in their marketing budgets for paid influencer mentions, the beauty of working with nano influencers is that you don’t have to reach too deep into your pockets in order to create an effective campaign.
Oftentimes, a nicely branded box filled with your product or a gift card covering the cost of the experience is enough value. And don’t forget about their fans. Give the nano influencers something they can share with their audience.
3. It’s a side hustle. Remember, this is likely not their “day job,” so how can you make it easy to for them to work with your brand? What types of assets and guidance will you give them? Access to well-produced photography, inspiration, props that are on-brand, samples and giveaways for their audience are important considerations.
4. Communicate. All influencers offer brands the same measurements, such as the number of likes and comments, as evidence of their success. Be upfront with the influencer about your goals. What is your expectation? What can they tell you about their audience’s likes and dislikes? Are their followers concentrated in one geographic area like New York or do they range from coast to coast?
Working with influencers is like harnessing the power of the sun. We all understand the power of sunshine. It illuminates, it reveals and we all gravitate toward its warmth. But when you focus this light, it can be a powerful laser that can cut through the strongest of materials.
Nano influencers have lasered in on something that brands want more than anything: the desire for a focused message and connection. If you find the right ones, they can illuminate your brand for a fraction of what it would cost to work with a celebrity and still reap similar benefits for your brand.