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Nano vs Micro-influencers: Why Influencer Marketing Is Downsizing

Sen Boyaci
March 31, 2023
Last Updated On
August 29, 2023
nano vs micro influencers blog header

In the past few years, there has been a significant shift in the world of influencer marketing. Gone are the days of brands relying solely on celebrity endorsements and macro-influencers with millions of followers. Instead, there has been a rise in the use of nano and micro-influencers with a smaller but highly engaged audience.

The secret for brands to interact with customers meaningfully? Collaborating with content creators who deliver genuine endorsements and drive effective advocacy. Marketers are waking up to the fact that visibility alone is less effective than visibility coupled with actions, which is why the size of creators' following is becoming less important compared to the quality of engagement.

By definition, creators with more than 500,000 followers are called mega-influencers, individuals with 100,000 - 500,000 followers are called macro-influencers, those with 10,000 - 100,000 are called micro-influencers, and a nano-influencer is someone with less than 10,000 followers. Contrary to popular belief, brands can benefit greatly from partnering with creators with smaller followings. In fact, data from Dash Hudson found that micro and nano-influencers receive significantly higher Effectiveness and Engagement Rates than macro and mega-influencers. We will examine the exact numbers and data in more detail throughout this article.

With influencer marketing spending projected to rise by 28% to $4.9 billion this year, there is a substantial opportunity for brands to analyze their current relationship returns closely, correlate them with wider departmental and business KPIs, and understand whether the value gained is aligned.

What’s the Difference Between Nano and Micro-influencers?

Besides the size of their following, nano and micro-influencers differ in several other ways. Below are some factors and data points to consider when looking at their differences.

What Is a Nano-influencer?

With a following of between 1,000 and 10,000, nano-influencers are known for their high level of engagement and authenticity. Their followers see them as relatable and trustworthy, and their recommendations carry much weight. Nano-influencers are ideal for brands looking to create a more community-based marketing approach and promote products through word-of-mouth recommendations.

nano-influencer effectiveness and engagement rates

What Is a Micro-influencer?

Micro-influencers have a following of between 10,000 and 100,000, and are known for their niche expertise and loyal audience. They often have a more personal connection with their followers, and their opinions are seen as more reliable than those of macro-influencers.

micro-influencer effectiveness and engagement rates

Why the Influencer Market Is Downsizing

In this era of authenticity and quality over quantity, it's no surprise that the influencer marketing industry has been downsizing, moving away from large, mega and macro-influencers with millions of followers towards smaller, more targeted audiences. 

While these more prominent creators still have much value to contribute, this shift offers brands opportunities to reach smaller communities on social media. Here are a few more reasons why this shift is happening:

  1. Over-saturation: The influencer market has become overcrowded, with many creators and sponsored posts flooding social media platforms. As a result, it's increasingly difficult for brands to stand out and make an impact with their campaigns. By working with smaller, more niche influencers, marketers can create more targeted and effective campaigns and have a chance to stand out — even if it is a smaller audience.
  2. Authenticity: Consumers are becoming savvier about creator marketing and looking for authentic, genuine recommendations from trusted experts. Sponsored posts and partnerships with multiple brands may make macro and mega-influencers seem less authentic. Smaller influencers, on the other hand, are often seen as more genuine and trustworthy, with a more personal connection to their followers.
  3. Cost: Working with large influencers can be expensive, with some charging thousands or even millions for sponsored posts. In contrast, lesser-known, niche influencers are often more affordable and may be willing to work with brands in exchange for products or services.
  4. Engagement: Micro and nano-influencers have a more engaged and loyal audience. By working with them, brands can tap into a highly committed audience and potentially see better results from their marketing campaigns.

How To Reach Out to Brands as a Nano or Micro-influencer 

Proactively reaching out to brands can be a great way to grow your reach and monetize your content. Here are some steps you can take to get in touch with brands:

  1. Identify your niche: Choose a niche and find brands within it. By doing so, you can create a targeted list of brands to contact that will likely be well-aligned with your existing audience.
  2. Do your research: Research the brands you want to work with. Look at their website, social media pages, and marketing campaigns to understand their values, mission, and audience. Even better, identify any content gaps before reaching out so you can leverage them in your favor.
  3. Create a media kit: A media kit that showcases your niche, content, engagement, and audience demographics can be very valuable. This will help you stand out from other influencers and show brands you are serious about working with them.
  4. Reach out via email or social media: Once you have identified the brands you want to work with, reach out to them via email or social media. Be professional and concise in your message, and include your media kit. Explain why you would like to work with them and what you can offer them.
  5. Follow up: If you don't hear back from a brand, follow up after a week or two. Politely remind them of your initial email and ask if they have had a chance to review your message.

Remember, as a nano or micro-influencer, you may not have the same reach and recognition as larger influencers, but you can still offer value to brands. Be persistent and professional in your outreach, and focus on building long-term relationships with brands.

How Brands Can Reach Out to Nano and Micro-influencer 

Identifying, reaching out to, and establishing partnerships with nano or micro-influencers can be time-consuming but very rewarding. Here are some steps you can take to reach out to them:

  1. Identify your target audience: Determine your target audience and identify the nano or micro-influencers with a similar audience demographic. In this way, you can create a targeted list of influencers to reach out to, and prioritize working with those who align with your target audience. Working with creators whose audience is not entirely compatible with what you offer as a brand can be harmful.
  2. Research influencers: Research the influencers you want to work with. Look at their social media pages and content to understand who they are. The savviest marketers ensure that the individual is aligned with their brand from a values standpoint. 
  3. Determine your campaign goals: Determine your goals and what you want to achieve through collaboration with influencers. This will help you identify the content type and messaging you want the influencer to create, which will be helpful when you reach out to them.
  4. Reach out via email or social media: Once you have identified the influencers you want to work with, reach out to them via email or social media. Be professional and concise in your message, and explain why you would like to collaborate with them and what you can offer. Be clear about your campaign goals and the type of content you are looking for.
  5. Negotiate terms: Once you have established a connection with an influencer, negotiate the terms of your collaboration. This may include compensation, deliverables, and timelines.
  6. Give creative freedom: Allow the influencers to have creative freedom in their content. This will ensure that the content resonates with their audience and feels authentic.

Keep in mind that it's essential to build long-term relationships with nano and micro-influencers. Focus on creating mutually beneficial partnerships that provide value to both parties.

Once you have compared all types of influencers and decided which one is best for your brand, ensuring you have the right tools to understand if your influencer metrics are performing well is essential. 

With the help of Dash Hudson's Relationship tool, your brand can effortlessly source, vet and measure the impact of each of your biggest fans and creator relationships. Creator Discovery lets you find potential influencers to collaborate with based on followers, industry and more. You can also track the type of content your creators are posting and whether it is performing the best to maximize the impact of your spending.

How Much Do Micro and Nano-influencers Make? 

The amount of money micro and nano-influencers make can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as their niche, level of engagement, and overall popularity. However, generally speaking, micro and nano-influencers typically charge less for sponsored posts than macro or mega-influencers. Here are some rough estimates of what micro and nano-influencers might make:

  • Nano-influencers: These creators may be willing to collaborate with brands in exchange for free products or services. For paid collaborations, they usually charge anywhere from $10 to $100 per post.
  • Micro-influencers: These creators may charge anywhere from $50 to $500 per post.

In comparison, macro or mega-influencers may charge thousands or even millions of dollars for a sponsored post or endorsement. It's important to note that these are rough estimates and that the amount creators charge can vary widely depending on their circumstances. As a social media marketer, it's important to budget accordingly and to negotiate rates with influencers based on your marketing goals and budget.

When Micro-influencers Are Better for Your Brand

Micro-influencers are great for brands looking to build strong relationships with their target audience, increase engagement, and drive conversions. Here are a few reasons why they may be better for your brand:

  1. Niche Expertise: Micro-influencers are often experts in their respective niches, whether fashion, beauty, home, food, or any other industry. They deeply understand their audience and what they're looking for, which can be invaluable for brands targeting specific audiences.
  2. Trustworthiness: Micro-influencers are often seen as more authentic and trustworthy than macro or mega-influencers, who may have multiple sponsored posts or endorsements. Their recommendations are seen as genuine and unbiased, which can lead to higher engagement rates and stronger brand loyalty.
  3. Affordability: Working with micro-influencers is often more affordable than working with macro or mega-influencers, making it a cost-effective option for smaller brands. 
  4. High Engagement: Micro-influencers often have highly engaged audiences with more personal connections to their followers. This can lead to higher rates of likes, comments, and shares, as well as better conversion rates. Dash Hudson's data found that micro-influencers have a 23.5% higher Engagement Rate than macro-influencers. 

When it comes to campaigns and strategies that would suit micro-influencers best, it's essential to consider your brand's specific goals and target audience. Here are a few examples:

  1. Niche Products: If you have a product that caters to a specific niche, such as vegan skincare or eco-friendly fashion, micro-influencers passionate about that topic would be an ideal fit.
  2. Local Businesses: If you're a local business looking to increase brand awareness and drive foot traffic, micro-influencers with a local following would be a great choice.
  3. Product Reviews: If you want to promote a new product or service, micro-influencers can provide honest and authentic reviews to drive conversions and build trust with your audience.
  4. Social Media Takeovers: Micro-influencers can take over your brand's social media account for a day, providing a fresh perspective and new content to drive engagement and brand awareness.

When Nano-influencers Are Better for Your Brand 

On the other hand, nano-influencers are a perfect choice for brands looking to create a community-based marketing approach, build authentic relationships with their target audience, and drive word-of-mouth recommendations. Here are a few reasons why nano-influencers may be better for your brand:

  1. Trust: Nano-influencers are often seen as the most authentic and trustworthy influencers because of their small following and highly engaged audience. Their recommendations are seen as sincere and impartial, which can lead to high levels of engagement and strong brand loyalty.
  2. Exceptional Engagement: Nano-influencers often have the highest Engagement Rate compared to all other types of influencers. They may not yield the same direct returns as macro and mega-influencers, but brands looking to prioritize quality over quantity and grow with their partners will greatly benefit from nurturing these relationships.
  3. Economical: Working with nano-influencers is often more affordable than working with larger influencers, making it a cost-effective option for small businesses or startups.

When it comes to campaigns and strategies that would suit nano-influencers best, here are a few examples:

  1. Product Reviews: Nano-influencers can provide honest and authentic reviews of your product, which can drive word-of-mouth recommendations and build trust with your audience.
  2. Giveaways and Contests: They can host giveaways and contests on their social media channels, generating buzz and increasing brand awareness.
  3. BTS Content: Nano-influencers can provide behind-the-scenes content of your brand, showcasing the people and processes behind the products and services you offer. Often, brands rely on their internal team members to create this type of content, but partnering with a nano-influencer to do this on your behalf is a great way to strengthen the relationship and build brand loyalty.

How Dash Hudson Works With Your Influencer Strategy

Dash Hudson’s Influencer and Creator ROI helps marketers easily measure influencer marketing impact — but measurement is just one part of Influencer marketing. UGC is an invaluable part of an influencer content strategy, which Dash Hudson supports by surfacing which UGC content will perform best for your brand, visual content analyzation that tells you which trends, stories, and content types perform best, and Relationship measurement tools so you can understand what drives growth and engagement for your brand. 


How do I find nano and micro-influencers? 

Finding the right nano and micro-influencers for your brand and campaign goals can be a time-consuming process, but there are several strategies you can use to identify and reach out to potential influencers. From finding trustworthy social media software providers to help you identify and vet the best partnerships, to using hashtag searches related to your brand or niche to find influencers who use them and have a small to medium-sized following.

How much do micro-influencers make?

The amount that micro-influencers make can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including their niche, level of engagement, and overall popularity. However, generally speaking, micro-influencers typically charge $50 to $500 per post.

It's important to note that micro-influencers' compensation may include products or services in addition to monetary payment. Additionally, some may be willing to work with brands in exchange for exposure or other non-monetary benefits.

As with any influencer collaboration, it's important to negotiate rates and terms that work for both the brand and the influencer, taking into account factors such as the influencer's reach and engagement rates, the length and scope of the collaboration, and the brand's budget and marketing goals.

What’s the difference between micro, macro, and mega-influencers?

The main differentiator between micro, macro and mega-influencers is the size of their audience. Typically, micro-influencers have 10,000 - 10,000 followers, macro-influencers 100k-500K followers, and mega-influencers have more than 500,000 followers.

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