Beauty Barrage - February 26, 2019

Influencers - it’s a word that’s been floating around for a few years now especially on social media sites like YouTube and Instagram – and while they’ve been helpful for some brands in getting publicity and attracting a following. But now there’s a new word in town: Nanoinfluencers.

Hold on – you might be asking what the difference between influencers and nano-influencers is? Thousands upon thousands of followers. Influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers were once golden in the eyes of brands. Over time the practice of buying followers, or likes, coupled with increased rates for promoting products on social channels didn’t turn out to be such a good idea after all for some brands – especially indie or small beauty brands. Often the price didn't make sense given the ROI or low engagement from potential customers.

Then came micro-influencers – those with a smaller social media following, typically ranging between tens of thousands to the low hundred thousand followers. Their large audience appealed to brands due to the authentic engagement between micro-influencers and followers. These micro-influencers built their following up over time through consistent, quality posting – which in turn created trust between them and followers. This translated to more success with promotional posts and advertising as followers are more likely to buy a recommended product from a trusted authority figure. Lower prices and higher engagement also helped to fuel the trend.

Finally, there are the nano-influencers. These are accounts on social media with small followings, usually hovering between 1,000 and 5,000 followers. When these individuals promote products, their audience is much more likely to listen because there’s a good chance that the engagement or interaction is going on continually. They are super authentic and passionate about the brands they like and are working hard to get the attention of these brands to send products or help sponsor a post.  As a brand, it makes more sense to invest in working with nano-influencers with a seriously good engagement rate and small following over an account with a massive audience and virtually zero authentic engagement.

Another advantage to working with nano-influencers is they’re easy to work with, and fees are more reasonable – especially for indie brands. There’s an advantage for nano-influencers, too. They’re able to spend more time with authentic engagement while bringing in small fees or free product from brands without feeling the pressure to go after fake followers just to get noticed. Overall, it makes the interaction from brand > nano-influencer > audience so much better!

The motivation for most nano-influencers is a bit different, too. For a majority, taking photos, interacting with the community, and enjoying free products is enough – whereas influencers with a large following tend to look at social media as a significant source of income and in turn charge higher fees.

Brands and Micro/Nano-influencers

Are you a small brand looking to get more attention for your products? Maybe you’re an established brand interested in tapping a specific demographic or market.

If that’s the case, then going with micro and nano-influencers is a great way to do that. As a new generation of social media users crops up – Gen Z, in particular – brands are going to want to start paying more attention to those who have influence even on a small group of people because it translates into more success over time. Instead of investing substantial amounts of a marketing budget on getting one or two influencers to promote products, brands are going to start spreading the budget around to micro and nano-influencers who curate great content and get a conversation going.

There’s another advantage to going with micro and nano-influencers for your brand – the stakes are much more reasonable. Over the last few years, some of the favorite influencers in the beauty industry and beyond have created serious controversies – whether it’s through inappropriate behavior, content that’s come out on social media about offensive comments…you name it.

For brands partnering with these influencers when controversy hits it causes a great deal of backlash and risk. When an influencer misbehaves, they’re not the only ones affected – the brand experiences tarnished publicity as well. One way to guard against this is to go with a micro or nano-influencer – someone who has a trusted following with authentic engagement between people they know.

A lot of brands have learned the hard way that major influencers – with large fees – don’t necessarily pay off in the long run. Want your brand to be seen by an authentic following? Go with a nano-influencer or brand ambassador working with a strategy group geared to boost your sales and make an actual impact on the brand.

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