Nano-influencers: A low budget marketing strategy

Think only big influencers have the power to reach large audiences? Not anymore.

With nano-influencers emerging in the market, things have changed.

But before I tell you how, let me ask: How many followers do you need to be an influencer? 1,000? 10,000? 1 million?

Nano-influencers proved that having anywhere between 1000 and 10,000 followers is enough to influence others. What’s more, with such a small number of followers, they can have a more significant impact on your brand than macro- or mega-influencers with millions of followers each.

These guys are actually the new kids on the block when it comes to online marketing for business.

Read this blog post to learn more about who nano-influencers are, who should consider working with them, pros and cons of collaboration, as well as ways to easily find and work with them to boost your small business marketing.

Who are nano-influencers?

Nano-influencers are ordinary people like you and me who love sharing content on social media about things they are passionate about—from hobbies, vacation photos, and makeup to comfy sports shoes and everything in between. Nano-influencers use video podcasts, live streams, and social media to share their content with a loyal following of 1,000–10,000 people. They have earned credibility in the eyes of these fans because they were able to build this trust over time through consistent interaction.

Having few followers, they are far from being celebrities. But what these nano-influencers lack in fame, they make up for with their authenticity. And it’s this authenticity that many brands want when investing in influencer marketing opportunities.

Pros of Collaborating with Nano-Influencers

Closer relationships with the audience

You may not be a celebrity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact on the world.

Nano-influencers have established themselves as influencers through social media and online communities thanks to the close connection with their followers.

This is due to the fact that they can offer personalized advice and help. Unlike big names, they personally know their most loyal followers and love talking to them. In fact, they are also more likely to answer almost every comment, which is much more personal than giving just one catchphrase answer.

Just have a look at the mutual compliments below. Aren’t they awesome?

The result is exceptional trust and strong influence!

More authentic and genuine

The survey by Social Media Today shows that our friends and family are more likely to sway our purchase decisions than celebrities or influencers. For instance, 59% of respondents indicated a review from friends and family impacted their decision versus 23% who noted reviews from celebrity endorsers as influential. This is because we expect our close friend-family members to give authentic feedback about how well (or poorly) something worked based on their experience.

It’s the authenticity that attracts people to nano-influencers. As such nano-influencers may have smaller followings than others but those followers make up their closest social circles. This means they’re much more likely to be influenced when it comes to making purchases!

Another factor that makes nano-influencers come across as more authentic and genuine is that they don’t get paid for their reviews, they just post what they are passionate about.

Any doubts about the authenticity of these kinds of reviews?

More trustworthy

The collaboration with nano-influencers is mutually trustworthy. On the one hand, these amateurs share their passions in a relaxed way—without any marketing jargon—making their followers consider them as their friends.

And in whatever concerns small investments, like choosing clothes, restaurants, travel services, etc. we tend to trust our friends more than big shots.

Look at the post below. The caption is simple, casual and friendly—nothing like salesy stuff!

On the other hand, nano-influencers are picky enough in choosing a product or service to post about as they don’t want to lose their followers’ trust. 

Higher engagement rate

The aforementioned three points—closer relationships with followers, authenticity and genuinity, as well as strong trust towards nano-influencers, encourage lots of engagement. In fact, the 2019 State of Influencer Marketing report from HypeAuditor shows the potential worth in these types of influencers, noting that their engagement rate is twice as high than other groups like micro- or macro-influencers.

The higher the engagement rate, the more followers an influencer’s sponsored post will reach.

This means that they have the potential for a larger audience, which would lead to lower costs per impression and engagement.

Below is one of such posts, with 763 likes and comments.

What can be better than this kind of effective marketing for startup businesses?

More relevant to your brand

If you’re looking for new ways to reach consumers, nano-influencers might be the best technique.

The key is to find the right match.

For instance, Queen Court (@blkgirlgrnthumb) is a plant influencer with a fresh take on plant parenting. She shares content on different plants she grows and her enthusiasm for it. She has over 10K followers and can be a good match for the brand that owns plant-related products.

Leave your competition behind

There’s no better time to collaborate with influencers than now. The reason is that currently they occupy an uncontested space in the market. This means you are most unlikely to find your competitor’s ads on their Instagram account.

While your competitor brands underestimate the power of nano-influencers, you can use this startup marketing strategy to find yourself in a rather advantageous position.

The only thing here to remember is that these influencers are amateurs and need some assistance from you on what to post. To help them, give them detailed briefs but don’t be too restrictive: the followers will notice right away if your nano-influencer’s posts seem false or unnatural because of fettered requirements you set for their communication.

Cost-effective solution  

It’s no secret that only large brands can afford high-priced celebrities like Christiano Ronaldo or Selena Gomez.

But who knew nano-influencers would become an affordable yet no less effective alternative?

Working with nano-influencers is actually a low-risk strategy. According to SocialPubli, only 44% of small influencers will take a monetary payment for their posts on social media networks. Many of them will just take a free product, experience it first-hand and then review it on their social media. Others will earn proceeds from affiliate links, which are really cheap as not many people will click on the link and buy the product.

In both cases, they’ll produce highly engaging content without you having to break the bank.

And a bonus benefit is that you can use the content created by nano-influencers on your social media. But to do this you should agree with them in advance and include this point in your contract to avoid possible disputes.

So, if you’re looking for inexpensive marketing ideas, nano-influencers should, by all means, have a place in your strategy.

Find Nano-Influencers

with our new influencer discovery tool

Grow with your brand

Nano-influencers are still in the infancy stage of their careers, but brands that take advantage now will be ahead of their competition.

The thing is nano-influencers grow with your brand. You hire them when they are only at the beginning of their journey, and they slowly become your brand ambassadors. But as time goes on, they get more and more followers. And one day…voila…they already become a micro- or macro-influencer.

So, don’t underestimate these rising stars: they do have the potential to become future superstars!

Easy to scale

Did you know that only 6% of creators have 100K-1 million followers? As to influencers with more than 1 million followers, their number is only 0.3%.

This means one thing—the number of big influencers is limited. So, are your chances to scale up.

The situation is different with micro and nano-influencers.

In particular, nano-influencers give you an opportunity to exploit niche markets and tailor your content to them. When are the chances for your success higher—when you create a generic campaign for one big influencer’s followers or when you create personalized content for smaller influencers?

More space for testing

Collaboration with nano-influencers also gives you plenty of opportunities to reach demographics, interests and areas you haven’t been able to before.

This means you can test out your product’s positioning and potential on different audiences.

Using this strategy is especially useful if you have limited time and a small budget.

More enthusiasm

Nano-influencers are enthusiastic about their job of simply promoting something. Even when not getting paid, the attention they get is highly rewarding for them and makes them feel like a success! It’s like having fun with your passion and still making people want to buy what you have to offer.

Remember the first days of your career and you’ll understand this enthusiasm and motivation.

But when creating content turns into a “battle” between brands—which is the case with larger influencers—this enthusiasm is gradually lost and turns more into a business “war.”

Easier to collaborate with

Regarding brand collaborations, nano-influencers are much more flexible and easier to work with than big-name social media stars.

Instead of many words, let’s look at a specific example.

Here’s a pitch we sent to a nano-influencer offering a collaboration within the framework of our Blanc Mask campaign.

Now let’s look at the answer. 

As you can see, nano-influencers are pretty easy-going and willing to collaborate. Unlike those big-shots, they won’t lay down various terms and conditions for you. Conversely, they are always open for negotiation and ready to go the extra mile to meet your needs.

This leads to one undeniable truth: With nano-influencers, marketing for startups has never been more hassle-free!

Cons of Collaborating with Nano Influencers

Although there are more reasons to collaborate with nano-influencers than not, you should still be aware of a few cons. Here they are:

Nano-influencers are newbies

As mentioned earlier, nano-influencers are not influencers in the traditional sense. They may be students, bank workers, artists, or housewives. What makes them different is that they simply like sharing their passion on the side.

This implies that they may often not be used to collaborating or creating quality posts. To help them create the content you want you can, of course, guide them, but don’t expect too high standards from them.

Working with nano-influencers is more time-consuming

In the case of macro- and micro-influencer marketing, you can find influencers in a short period of time and that’s enough. Not quite so with nano-influencers.

To make up for these influencers’ small number of followers, you have to find many of them. And this obviously means more hassle, as well as more time to find them and set up a collaboration.

Luckily for you, there are advanced influencer management tools that will help you discover creators and manage all your collaborations in one place.

Wrong impression of engagement

To become popular, nano-influencers need some hype. To create it, they often collaborate with the so-called comments pods or engagement groups to boost their engagement.

These Instagram groups actively engage with each other’s content to increase engagement and impressions and support each other.

Their work style is quite simple: they have Instagram DM’s, Telegram, WhatsApp, or Facebook groups, where they communicate and inform each other on a new Instagram post. Then they go and like the post or leave a comment to create attention around it.

This won’t necessarily affect the post’s engagement rate, since the likes usually outnumber comments. Nevertheless, consider this “phenomenon” when choosing a nano-influencer based on comments.

How to Find Nano-Influencers? 

Before you start looking for ideal nano-influencers for your brand, you should first of all have a thorough understanding of who your buyer persona is. 

This will help you find the right influencer who will be able to convey your message to your buyer persona. 

Once you have determined who your buyer persona is, the next step is to start looking for the right nano-influencers. 

Here are a few easy ways to do this: 

Use the magic hashtag

The easiest way to find nano-influencers on Instagram is by using a hashtag. Simply type #discoverunder10K, and there you are—a whole list of nano-influencers will be waiting for you!

Use ViralMango

ViralMango is a great tool to help you speed up your search for nano-influencers. Instead of reaching out to them one by one, you create a campaign with all your requirements and wait for influencers to apply for it. Besides, you can invite the influencers you’re interested to work with by sharing your campaign link.

Once they start applying for it, you can choose and accept influencers based on your preferences. This will ease the influencer discovery process and save you a lot of time and efforts. The selected influencers will share the draft and will post the content only after your approval.

ViralMango is free to use until January 1, 2023. So, hurry up and start your first campaign today!

Discover & Analyze Nano-Influencers

Instagram Hashtag Collector

  1. Go to Instagram Hashtag Collector
Instagram hashtag search
  1. Open Use this Phantom and follow the steps described
Connect Instagram
  1. Once you’re connected to Instagram, you’ll be given a chance to insert hashtags for scraping. This can be any hashtag—anything related to your niche product. Say if you’re selling an outfit, you can search for the outfit of the day by using the popular #ootd hashtag. Or if you’re interested in dog products, you can use hashtags like #dogsofinstagram, #pupsofinstagram #doglife, #dogmom, etc. 

Let’s try out the hashtag #dogsofinstagram. 

hashtag collector

Now you have the data of all the influencers who posted with that hashtag. The next step is to choose those with followers under 10K. 

There you are! You got a list of nano-influencers.

How to Collaborate with Nano-Influencers

Once you have the list of your nano-influencers, it’s time to start working with them.

Below I’ll tell you a few steps you need to follow to make the most out of your collaboration.

  1. Draft a contract

The contract or the so-called “engagement letter” sets a common framework for your collaboration—simple rules you expect them to follow. Here are a few important points to include in your contract:

  • Contract start and end dates
  • What the influencer must provide in return for the product (i.e., social media post)
  • Standards for the content (original, decent, honest, and factual, based on guidelines provided by the brand)
  • Number of posts/stories to be created on social media
  • Provision on approval before posting
  • The type, dates and duration of the post (for example, a photo/60 sec video and 15 sec story on Instagram/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter during the next X days)
  • Any specific tags or hashtags that you would like to be included in the post
  • Compliance with social media platform terms and conditions
  • Dates for sending the insights
  • Language requirements (for example, ruling out vulgar language)
  • Description of the product and method of delivery (mail, coupon, etc.)
  • Any other requirements or information to be included in the post (for instance, guidelines, sample posts, etc.)
  • Permission to use the content created by nano-influencers on your social media, etc.

Read The Key Components of Influencer Contracts to learn more on Influencer Contracts and download a free contract template.

  1. Evaluate your nano-influencers

There might be cases when the posts created by your nano-influencers don’t meet your expectations.

While many brands prefer signing an engagement letter with nano-influencers, enforcing it is not always cost-effective.

Here comes another strategy you can use—evaluation. It’s actually always a good strategy to evaluate your nano-influencers, both before and during the collaboration.

The pre-engagement vetting is the most important part, on which you should spend most of your time. This will definitely pay off in the future when you have this list of your top nano-influencers who you can trust to promote your product or service.

You should also do the evaluation after each engagement. Did the nano-influencer use the hashtag you requested? Did they post it on time? What was the quality of the photo and caption? How many engagements did the post have, etc.?

With this information at hand, you can constantly update your database and have a list of top nano-influencers to help you kick off your next project.

To Sum Up

If you’re a small business, beauty brand, or eCommerce shop, collaboration with nano-influencers can be part of an ideal startup marketing strategy. These influencers can have a huge impact on your marketing, promoting your product and becoming your brand ambassador.

So, during your next project don’t hurry to go straight after big guys.

The small nano-influencers can be just as effective, but with fewer costs, more opportunities, higher engagement, trust, and authenticity.


  • Do big brands collaborate with small influencers?

More and more brands are becoming interested in working with nano-influencers as they discover their hidden potential. They realize that they don’t need to spend as much money on them as they spend on macro-influencers or celebrities. But, in return, they get more engagement and more sales. Brands like Nivea, Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks, and many others already have successful collaborations with small influencers.

  • How to work with nano-influencers?

Since nano-influencers are new to the industry, they are more responsive and eager to collaborate with brands. You can work with them by sending your product to get a video review in return, or provide cash as compensation for a promo post.

  • What is the difference between micro and nano-influencers?

The main difference between these influencers is the number of their followers. Nano-influencers have 1,000-10,000 followers, while micro-influencers have 10,000 – 100,000 followers. Even though nano-influencers have fewer followers, their engagement rates are usually higher and they are considered more cost-effective.

  • Why do brands work with nano-influencers?

Brands choose to work with nano-influencers because their content is more authentic and has more influence on their followers. These creators have a strong bond with their audience, so they have higher engagement rates. Besides, nano-influencers are more affordable than big influencers.