Beauty, cosmetics, fashion, and lifestyle are some of the top categories that capitalized on the trend
Small but mighty, nano-influencers are creators with less than 5k followers (depending upon whose definition you believe. In the past year, they've proven their worth ten times over when budgetary constraints due to the pandemic pushed brands towards these content warriors.
A Marketing Week report testifies to their power - 44% of brands continue to collaborate with nano-influencers and 52% plan to do so. Why? Because joining forces exposes brands to a small but highly targeted niche audience. All at a fraction of the cost.
Beauty, cosmetics, fashion, and lifestyle are some of the top categories that capitalized on the trend. It was a choice no one saw coming, yet some of the biggest names explored the route.
L'Oréal Paris did it for the launch of its extraordinary oil serum and a beauty ready event with Amazon. Lay's did it for its Khol campaign, with a PepsiCo executive labelling these small creators as "amplifiers of relatable content."
This shift towards social media warriors with the power to influence on a microscale will continue in 2021 as the quality of engagement (demographic fit and cost per engagement) becomes more important than quantity (followers and reach).
What makes nano-influencers the pocket rockets for this year?
The first pull factor towards nano-influencers is the high engagement. For a campaign, Havells partnered with 40 creators, majority of them in the nano-influencer category. The engagement rate it secured was 9%, nearly triple the industry average.
The second factor is the ability of their content to cut through a saturated and noisy digital space. Consumers are not charmed with curated posts anymore. Real, unedited content attracts more attention than heavily filtered content. People want to see content in its original form, or as close as possible. Nano-influencers deliver exactly that - work that is not over polished.
Besides fewer edits, their work is more authentic, which piques viewers' interest. Nano-influencers are seen as a trusted source or authority on a specific niche, gaining their content much-needed traction.
Lastly, with bigger creators, posts look less like content and more like advertisements. That's where audience attention is lost. Influencer marketing is not about creating ads, a mistake brands often make. It is about creating content that resonates with the audience. Nano-influencers generate relatable content that always falls shy of appearing like a blatant promo. In an era where skipping adverts has become muscle memory for digital natives, this is an unparalleled benefit.
What's The Way Forward For Brands?
Start counting brand advocates as nano-influencers. Brands advocates are consumers who either already use a brand or aspire to it. In both cases, they are passionate and vocal about the brand. They not only post product reviews but also their thoughts on the brand. With social media increasing exposure, one positive review from an advocate can turn the tide for a brand. The reverse being equally harmful.
Cultivate nano-influencers into long-term brand ambassadors. Paid ads and sponsored posts have lost their efficacy. To concretely affect buyer behaviour, brands need a more integrated marketing strategy. One way is to make creators ambassadors. For instance, adding a brand profile link in the creator's bio so that followers can explore the brand further.
Share discount codes with nano-influencer. One of the most effective methods to tap into the power of smaller creators is to assign unique coupons or discounts to them. Some of the most successful campaigns leverage this strategy. Shoppers love to save money. That's why creators sharing a promo code with followers works so well in encouraging potential consumers to turn into real buyers.
What's The Verdict?
If a consumer is likely to swipe away an Instagram ad, then it's just as probable that they'll tap back when a friend is making a case for the very same brand.
That's the power of user-generated content. Papers had exhausted an ocean of ink as to why. But the fact remains that it is 9.8x more effective than any content a brand pushes.
The only way to access UGC at scale is from an army of brand advocates. Collaborating with nano-influencers gives you precisely that – an arsenal of genuine content that builds engagement and elicits trust and connections. There is only one caveat brands must follow - never force-fit the creator to the brand.
The author is Ankit Agarwal, Founder, Do Your Thng
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