Rick Barron
Rick Barron 21 November 2019

Think Nano

A nano-influencer, or “nano,” is just like you and me, depending on who you are of course. Nanos are perfectly ordinary digital citizens, with follower counts as low as 1,000.

What is a nano-influencer?

nano-influencer, or “nano,” is just like you and me, depending on who you are of course. Nanos are perfectly ordinary digital citizens, with follower counts as low as 1,000.

You have to ask as to why would nanos be courted for their influence with a low follower number. What would be the appeal to brands to engage with these nano-influencers? The appeal is that nanos aren’t famous.

Everyone who’s on Instagram has that friend who is quite simply really popular. Everything that friend touches on Instagram turns to gold, racking up likes, compliments, and countless emojis. They’ve most likely never worked with a brand before, but they’re just really good at social media.


Some context

Not all influencers have the same reach and celebrity status, and it’s possible to divide content creators into three sub-groups based on the number of followers they have:

Mega-influencers: Sometimes known as power influencers, this category includes celebrities (think of the Kardashians) and those content creators who have risen to celebrity status (such as YouTube sensation PewDiePie, who has 84 million subscribers). Mega-influencers have the biggest audiences, and therefore the largest reach, but they also have the lowest engagement rates.

Influencers: Most influencers are professional content creators who have worked hard to gain the trust and respect of their audiences, and have the knowledge and skills to talk in-depth in an entertaining and authoritative manner on a particular subject. They don’t have the same celebrity status as mega-influencers, but may have thousands or even millions of followers on social media, and usually have a deep understanding of their chosen subjects.

Nano-influencers: Also called micro-influencers, nano-influencers are niche content creators with audiences as small as 1,000 followers. While nano-influencers have the smallest reach, there are many benefits to working with them. In some cases, it may actually be more beneficial for a brand to work with a smaller influencer.


Why are brands interested?

If you think about it, it’s a logical progression in the influencer economy. Ordinary people are much easier for brands to deal with than your typical Hollywood or YouTube A-lister. They’re not seeking huge riches, just some free product or a small commission.

What they lack in reach (typically, a nano will have no more than 5,000 followers) they make up for in intimacy or real-time personalization of the brand. When they recommend a brand or product on Instagram, their word seems as genuine as advice from a friend.

What makes nano-influencers appealing to brands despite their small following?

Nano-influencers’ lack of fame is, in fact, part of their appeal. Reasons brands work with nano-influencers include:


Nano-influencers are “normal” people who don’t use influencer marketing as their main source of income, which makes them relatable and approachable. It’s easy for Instagram users to put themselves in the shoes of a nano-influencer. The nano- lifestyle is completely in-reach and mirrors everyday life. In contrast, the lifestyle and polished content of micro- and macro-influencers can feel unattainably glamorous.

A nano-influencer is almost considered a friend by most of their followers. A recent study revealed, that, if a decision requires a rather small investment of time, money, or effort (retail, restaurants, travel services, etc.), we tend to trust our friends more.

2-Higher Engagement Rates

Nano-influencers have a smaller, more concentrated audience that includes many followers who they know personally. This intimacy between influencer and follower leads to a higher social engagement rate per Instagram follower. Nano-influencers have stronger connections with their audience.

They have established a good dialogue with them and one-on-one communication, which is much more intimate and engaging.

Nano-influencers are more likely to answer almost every comment, moreover, they don’t just give a catchphrase but provide a quite meaningful answer or ask a question in return to understand their followers better.


Nanos know many of their followers personally, meaning their endorsement acts as a word-of-mouth recommendation. Word-of-mouth holds great weight in consumer purchasing decisions, which can help to drive conversions for your brand.

4-Nano-influencers are more relevant for your brand

Most nano-influencers tend to make their content more niche and category-specific. This is why the use of nano-influencers allows brands to reach different segments and better position their products.

You can make your advertisements more unique and relevant to each of these segments by targeting the right creators along with preparing original content.

Besides, it’s a good way to test your product or services in a new niche, as the audience reacts and nano-influencer can also predict potential feedback.

5-Easy To Work With

Nano-influencers tend to be agreeable to the terms set forth by a brand. This means they are easy to work with compared to established influencers who may have their own set of demands.


Instagram is nirvana for influencers

The number of influencers on Instagram is constantly growing. If you’re looking to promote your brand on Instagram, it can be difficult to distinguish between the millions of Instagrammers out there. Marketers are posed with the challenge of partnering with the right influencer who can drive results for their company. Established influencer tiers can help differentiate the size and reach of different influencers:

  • Nano-influencers: 1,000-10,000 followers
  • Micro-influencers: 10,000-50,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 50,000-500,000 followers
  • Macro-influencers: 500,000-1 million followers
  • Mega-Influencers: 1 million+ followers

The influencer marketing industry as a whole has already transformed the culture of Instagram. The rise of Instagram influencers has blurred the line between a normal person and spokesmodel, nanos are just the latest iteration.

The presence of brands on Instagram is ubiquitous. Companies of all types (consumer brands, B2B, startups, local businesses, media outlets) are on Instagram and millions of users voluntarily opt to follow official brand accounts. Instagram reports that there are over 25 million business accounts on the platform. The popularity of brand accounts on Instagram demonstrates that branded content is something that consumers accept and even seek out.

The bulk of Instagram users have grown up with social media advertising. Most of Instagram’s users are from the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts, which means they are digital natives who are desensitized to promotional content on social media. Nano-influencers are not changing this conversation, they are an extension of this trend.

When to Use a Nano-Influencer

Whether or not you use a nano-influencer depends on your marketing goals. If your focus is increasing brand awareness by getting your products mentioned in front of as many people as possible, then you need to consider working with a large influencer who has a big audience. However, if your focus is on building a rapport with an audience and getting a good return of revenue on your investment, a nano-influencer may be a better option.

Of course, the cost is an essential component in any content marketing plan, and working with nano-influencers is typically much more cost-effective. In the early stages of working with influencers, partnering with those who will accept the product as payment is a good way to minimize expenditure while still getting good results.


About the author

Hi, my name is Rick and I thank you for reading this article!

I explore to learn new stuff every day and here I will share all my experiences and thoughts with you.

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram. :)

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