Oh, Mary

2019: Year of the Nano Influencer

November 19, 2018
Melanie Wilhoite

In some form or another, we all want attention. If you are a product, brand, agency or individual – or even the POTUS for crying out loud – we desperately seek the attention of our desired audiences. Attention is the currency of the digital age. Further along in our fledgling digital relationships, heaven help us for desiring just a little bit more. We want action: read my tweet, watch my video, like my post, recognize my logo, click my display ads, signup for my newsletter, follow my feed, read my blog, and for crying out loud, buy my product.

But attention is not so easy to obtain. It is elusive, slippery, fleeting. Organic reach is anemic. Consumers are more skeptical than ever. Advertisers spend billions of dollars every day trying to direct your gaze towards their clients. They compete with one another to appeal to deeper and deeper instincts on more and more nuanced levels, to the point that many people don’t even know that their attention is being bought and sold on a marketplace.

Millennials and Gen Z consumers are thrifty with their attention. They value their time and deal out their attention sparingly. Younger generations are savvy, skeptical and impatient. So how do products, brands, and agencies get their attention? Influencers.

As a result, the influencer marketing industry has grown exponentially over the past few years. At the top of the influencer marketing food chain, you have celebrities like famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with 145 million Instagram followers, musician and actress Selena Gomez with 144 million Instagram followers and Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie with 70 million subscribers. These are the biggest, most famous macro influencers. They demand huge payments for one mention to their audiences with a shelf-life briefer than the lifespan of a mayfly.

So, in 2018, brands and agencies shifted their attention – and dollars – to micro influencers. Micro-influencers do what celebrity influencers do to reach a sizable but somewhat smaller audience – from the tens to low hundreds of thousands. Inc.com declared “4 Reasons why 2018 is the Year of the Micro-Influencer”. Forbes suggested, “Micro-Influencers: The Marketing Force Of The Future?

Not surprisingly, the influencer tide has shifted yet again. 2019 is the Year of the Nano Influencer. Nano influencers are ordinary people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media. Their lack of fame is one of the qualities that make them approachable. When they recommend a shampoo or a recipe on Instagram, their word seems as genuine as advice from a friend. Brands enjoy working with them because they are easy to deal with. In exchange for free products or a small commission, Nanos typically say whatever companies tell them to.

In order to capture attention, brands are now turning toward common people. Young generations want to see real people doing real things. Nano influencers are considered the most powerful influencers because of their engagement rates. They might have a handful of followers, but they reach deep into their niche markets and have the “influence” needed for influencer marketing. According to a Digiday survey, nano-influencers are often able to engage up to 8.7 percent of the audience they serve whereas the engagement percentage is only 1.7 for celebrities who have more than a million followers.

Why Nano Influencers

Authentic, genuine

Inexpensive – satisfied with free product or a small commission

Approachable, easy to deal with, do what you ask them to

Young generation responsive to online sponsorship content

Volume – work and measure many, not just one

Why “No” to Micro Influencers

Saturation at the top

Influencer economy is opaque and rife with questionable tactics

Prices have skyrocketed

Content is removed after very short shelf-life

So if you are a product, brand or agency that desires the attention of segmented audiences, you might want to engage with a group of strategic nano influencers today.