To give you a bit about myself, I was a Public Relations intern specialized in Influencer Marketing in the largest fashion e-commerce player in Southeast Asia.
You’re probably thinking that they’ve been in the game for many years now, but brands usually work with micro to mega influencers. Let’s not try to deny it, this pandemic has given nano influencers a vast range of opportunities to grow their following online.
What are nano influencers? Those with 1–10k followers. Micro usually has 10–50k. (Source: Mediakix)
While there are still a few big and household brands that opt to pay a bunch of micro to macro-influencers to create content for them, small businesses opened a whole damn window for these nano influencers alone in order to achieve their dream lifestyle.
- Nano influencers are more trustworthy than the bigger ones. Why? Because not everyone is aware that they are endorsing a product given their number of followers. Most viewers have this mindset that you need to have hundreds of thousands before you can promote.
- They have higher engagement rates and more targeted. Their audience are more invested in them because of their authenticity. Not to mention that most nano influncers have their own community, which is important for brands because they should not be asking a beauty influencer to promote their food. So these influencers are being followed for a specific niche.
- They go all out. Since these influencers are just starting to achieve their influencer dreams, they are pretty much giving all their time and effort in creating content for brands, no matter how big or small or even if they’re not paid.
Here’s how it actually started:
As we all go through the global pandemic, several countries’ economies were crippled due to lockdowns, movement restrictions, strict health protocols, and heavily militarized places to some. As result, the unemployment rate skyrocketed, some businesses filed for bankruptcy, companies halted business operations indefinitely, employees either resigned due to the massive spread of the virus or were fired, and all other mishaps.
Filipinos are known for being “resilient” due to lack of choice but to help themselves and figure things on their own. That is why in such a short amount of time, the number of online businesses started to rise. From viands, snacks, desserts, beverages (even alcoholic) to beauty products, furniture, organization kits, and more. Not to mention that even big businesses started selling their “ready to eat” meals that you can just reheat and ready-mades you can cook at home.
But aside from their circle of friends and family, who can still promote their products? Here’s where it will start.
If I take a shot of coffee everytime I see “looking for brand ambassadors” shizz on Instagram, I would be palpitating by now and puking in the bathroom.
To sum it up, the brands will post a visual that clearly states they are looking for brand ambassadors. Despite the brands’ very small amount of followers, a massive amount of entries will come pouring on stories and comments. The post itself already gives brands already a certain level of exposure, by the way.
How do these brands usually pick their ambassadors? Given that they don’t have so many audience, they mostly get picked out based on the brand’s image and values. Let’s say that Brand X positions itself as the classy lipstick for classy people, then they’re going to pick a person that best represents them — chic, classy, maybe an aesthetically pleasing feed etc.
What happens next?
After choosing, of course, these brands will now post the faces of those aspiring influencers and will receive kind comments supporting the chosen ones. Instant reach and engagements = brand awareness. Quick win again for the brand.
Why do they need to post when they can just send private messages or emails? Because it gives exposures on both ends. Despite being nano influencers, sometimes they still have more followers than the brands they want to become ambassadors of.
To make it simpler: Nano influencer will repost the brand’s post about them being the ambassador and the brand gets more exposure. Nano influencer’s followers get redirected to the brand’s page, which increases their profile visits number. Now on another perspective, the brand’s current and potential followers see the post, which will result in visiting the nano influencer’s page. By whatever standard the visitor has, odds are they get followed.
There will be an agreement between brands x nano influencers I don’t know of because I’m not pretty so I haven’t gotten any opportunity. But usually, by sending the brand’s products, most of these nano influencers will post FOR FREE in exchange for the products.
Can I blame them? No. If Chanel contacts me asking to create a whole damn film for their brand FOR FREE in exchange for a thousand dollar bag, which costs way less than my effort in coming up with the content, I won’t complain given I only have 1k followers.
How to protect yourself and your business? Contracts, please.
For influencers: If a small business asks you to promote their product in exchange of a free product, go ahead. Talk to them about the conditions, what are the types of product you get, do you get a whole damn gift bag or just a few stuff off their variety of products/current collections? Base your effort from there moving forward, especially if it’s free and you’re a busy bee.
For brands: While we all crave exposure and endless promotions, you are also on the verge of being taken advantage of by a very few numbers of influencers (oh please, don’t get me started on this one). Create your own rules from the inside and unless really needed or very beneficial to you, do not adjust to extra requests of products, especially if that influencer hasn’t given any ROI to you.
For influencers: Unless agreed upon, do not go overboard when it comes to postings. Do not promote them across all platforms and using several content pillars unless again, agreed upon and you’re okay with that for free and you want to help. Promote them, repost stories, tag them whenever you use their products, etc. Make sure you briefly discuss what types of posts (cross-post, stories, etc) and how many times you can post a month (5? 3?)
For brands: Do not take advantage of the free promotions because these are content creators who actually exert a ton of effort creating content for your products. Discuss amongst yourselves how many posts you need or you can change your influencer marketing strategy where you will be using more people but with less content each. You do you.
In my opinion, they’re not here to stay…. as nano influencers because they will eventually grow into micro. There are so many ways to grow their following, especially these days where social media is being used more often and giveaways are so rampant.
- They have cheaper rates. Oops, DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF.
- They have the best ROI (return on investment) results. Nano to micro-influencers reportedly has the best results as compared to bigger ones, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
- Small businesses are growing, which means high demand for nano influencers. Since they are less expensive than collaborating with big-ass influencers like Kendall Jenner, small biz owners are looking for an easier way to grow that doesn’t really require an ample amount of money. With the right strategy, they can make use of their influencers efficiently AND fairly.
If you’re a small business owner and thinking of obtaining help from nano influencers, GO. They are growing so fast. Make sure you get a hold of them while their audience is still dedicated.