The Rise of Nano-Influencers: How the Smallest Voices are Making the Biggest Impact The bigger an influencer is, the more beneficial it is for a brand to collaborate with them, right? Not necessarily.

By Yauhen Razhko

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Social media influencers have become a powerful force that shapes consumer behavior and drives sales. With their large followings and engaging content, influencers are often seen as the go-to source for product recommendations and lifestyle inspiration. However, a new type of influencer is gaining increasing popularity — the nano-influencer.

We've been following influencers for a decade, and in the beginning, it was a common belief that the bigger an influencer is, the more beneficial it is for a brand to collaborate with them. Eventually, though, it became obvious that mega- and macro-influencers can't reach each and every audience there is. Also, they are inaccessible to smaller businesses with limited marketing budgets.

One more reason behind the rising impact of nano-influencers is that social media users have started to trust big influencers less since people have become more aware of the ways influencer marketing works. Besides, there were some cases when mega- and macro-influencers jeopardized the trust of their audiences by false promotional promises, so their followers have turned more cautious towards the information that they spread.

Related: 5 Things You Should Know Before Collaborating With An Influencer

Who are nano-influencers?

There are various definitions of a nano-influencer. However, the difference lies mainly in the number of followers a nano-influencer should have. The lower threshold usually starts with 100 to 1,000 followers with the maximum amount reaching 5,000 to 10,000 followers.

Nano-influencers are everyday people who have built a small but dedicated following around a particular passion or interest. Unlike traditional influencers, nano-influencers are not celebrities or industry experts. Rather, they are relatable and authentic, with a strong sense of community and trust among their followers.

Why they are so impactful?

In 2017, Stackla surveyed 2,000 adults in the U.S., U.K., and Australia to find out that 86% of them found authenticity highly important for a brand. At the same time, it turned out that consumers can tell authentic user content from content created by a brand and 57% of them don't see brands' content as authentic.

So, it seems that content created by consumers is going to be received better than content created by a brand. It is one of the reasons why nano-influencers are impactful.

Nano-influencers are also seen as more authentic and genuine than other types of influencers. They are not seen as being motivated solely by money or fame, but rather by their passion for their niche and their desire to share their knowledge and experiences with others. This authenticity and genuineness are highly valued by their followers and make them more likely to trust their recommendations.

Also, due to having fewer followers, nano-influencers are capable of building better and stronger connections with the community around them. They may even be friends, family members, or acquaintances with their followers who share a common interest or passion.

Nano-influencers get highly engaged with their followers and respond to comments and messages and ask for feedback. Because of this, they are viewed as relatable and trustworthy. They are not seen as celebrities or influencers who are paid to promote products. Research shows that even though nano-influencers' posts have less reach than that of micro-influencers, their content has a higher engagement rate.

Another reason nano-influencers are so influential is that they have a niche audience. They often focus on a specific topic or interest, and their followers are interested in that niche as well. This means that when a nano-influencer recommends a product or service, it is more likely to be relevant and useful to their followers.

Related: The Unexpected Rise of Micro-Influencers and Their Impact on Marketing

Why collaborate with them?

Since nano-influencers have a more engaged following and are able to reach out to narrow niches and narrow audiences, they are a great asset for any business. Being seen as more authentic, their involvement with any product is going to be perceived in a more positive way by their followers.

Moreover, they are more cost-effective since they are often ready to make a post in exchange for free products or charge less than macro-, mega- and mid-tier influencers while having higher engagement rate. So, nano-influencers are an awesome marketing opportunity for small businesses relying on moderate marketing budgets. Especially if they collaborate with local nano-influencers to save money on shipping of their products.

Nano-influencers are a must for brands that work within a narrow niche or want to reach out to a narrow audience. They help to get branded content to people who are not interested in celebrity influencers or aren't ready to trust these social media stars.

Moreover, nano-influencers are highly efficient when mass advertising is needed because a group of nano-influencers is capable of delivering stronger results than a big influencer can produce for the same amount of money. Social media celebrities are better when the task is to boost a brand's image but they don't perform as well as nano-influencers when it comes to conversion.

As a marketing opportunity, nano-influencers may become the new black among marketing professionals. Especially now, when the world is going through an economic recession mixed with people reevaluating many aspects of their lives and being more conscious towards what celebrities have to say. Brands can find a lot of advantages in working with nano-influencers since they are more cost-efficient and are seen as more trustworthy by users.

Yauhen Razhko

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Founder and CEO at Hypetrain

Yauhen Razhko is the founder and CEO of Hypetrain, a full-cycle platform designed to help any-size agencies, brands, media companies and freelancers execute and manage their influencer marketing campaigns.

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