The Rise of Pico-Influencers: A New Era of Authenticity

One of the drivers of the unprecedented rise of influencer marketing over the past few years has been authenticity: people are looking for genuine advice from products, services, or experiences from voices they trust. Brands worldwide were quick to catch on to this, looking to incorporate influencer marketing into their marketing strategy one way or another.

However, while influencer marketing is highly effective and boasts impressive ROI, the cost of entry can be significant, especially when it comes to working with macro or celebrity influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Enter pico-influencers — effective, affordable, and highly authentic creators with a relatively small following, who can be an accessible alternative to bigger influencers.

Sounds interesting? Let’s learn more about them and how they can benefit your business.

Who are pico-influencers?

Pico-influencers are social media personalities with up to 1000 users. You can think of them as your regular social media users, and you won’t be wrong: they are not “professional” influencers in the traditional sense. These are the people who are just starting out on their influencer journey, and while a lot of their content still features their friends, family, and cat, these are usually individuals creating content in a narrow niche (e.g. skincare, fashion, fitness, travel), and their following mainly consists of people sharing their interest.

Advantages of Working With Pico-Influencers

While the small size may make it seem that working with pico-influencers won’t do much for your business, in actuality, there are quite a few benefits you can reap from such collaboration.

Firstly, pico-influencers are typically focused on a very narrow niche; one their followers are typically interested in. This can be highly beneficial for the brands operating in that niche, who are looking to reach a small, but highly interested audience.

Secondly, pico-influencers prioritize their relationship with their followers. As they are just starting out, every member of their community counts significantly, and creators look to build strong, friendly, and trusting relationships with their followers. building very strong relationships with their following. As a result, pico-influencers are very authentic, because they know their followers trust them significantly.

Last on our list of benefits of pico-influencers is their affordability. Now, because pico-influencers are creators who are just starting out, they are significantly more affordable, which makes them a great choice for businesses with a relatively small influencer marketing budget. Pico-influencers are open and flexible to negotiate the pricing. Pico-influencers are also typically ready to work with brands with little to no pay, but for free products or services in exchange for posting on their social media accounts.

This is far from being an exhaustive list, but these are three of the main benefits your brand can achieve by working with pico-influencers.

Pico vs. Nano vs. Micro-Influencers

Pico vs nano influencers

Now that you know what pico-influencers are, let’s take a look at how they differ from nano- and micro-influencers, two other types of small creators.

Pico vs. Nano-Influencers

First are nano-influencers, creators with a following of 1,000-10,000, which is slightly more than what pico-influencers have. Similar to their smaller counterparts, nano-influencers are creators who are just starting out, so they have quite a few similarities, as well as some important differences to consider.
Firstly, both influencer types have a strong connection with their followers, are very authentic, and due to this, have high engagement rates. However, the engagement rates of pico-influencers can sometimes be higher, because they typically have a more niche following. Nano-influencers often “diversify” their content by widening their niche (e.g. fashion influencer additionally works with skincare brands), which makes them slightly less targeted.
The next main difference is regarding the financial aspects of the collaboration. As mentioned earlier, since pico-influencers have a very small following, they charge smaller fees and are ready to even work for free to build their portfolio. Nano-influencers can slightly differ in this regard, especially the creators who are on the higher end of the follower numbers, and may not be as flexible or affordable. However, as the follower gap between the two types is significantly low, cooperation with both types can be more or less equally affordable.

Pico vs. Micro-Influencers

Another category of influencers with a relatively small following is micro-influencers, who are creators between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. When compared to pico-influencers, the audience size of micro-influencers is significantly higher. Because of this, there are quite a few differences between the two types that need addressing.
First is the level of engagement: in the case of micro-influencers, the engagement levels are noticeably lower. Because pico-influencers have such a close relationship with their followers, and their content tends to be very niche and authentic, their followers are significantly more engaged, as well as more loyal and trusting. It’s worth noting, however, that on social media, it’s natural for the engagement rates to fall as the audience size grows. In fact, it can often be the case that creators with lower engagement rates directed more people to take action, due to their sheer size.
This brings us to the other major difference, the reach: micro-influencers have a larger audience. Because of this, they typically reach more people, which makes them a smart choice if your goal is to increase brand awareness.
Next up is the cost. As you’ve probably guessed, micro-influencers charge significantly higher fees than pico-influencers and can be less flexible regarding payment options, especially the micro-influencers who are closing in on 50,000 followers.
All in all, whether pico- or micro-influencer is right for your brand will largely depend on your goals and budget. If you are looking to boost sales, pico-influencers may be a better choice because of the high involvement of their followers, while micro-influencers are better for brand awareness. Same for finances: if you have the right budget, you can decide to go with one or several pico-influencers instead of more expensive micro-influencers.

Examples of Successful Collaborations Of Pico-Influencers And Brands

Hxrrietday x Pull&Bear

Hxrrietday x Pull&Bear

Starting fashion influencer Harriet continues to have a long collaboration with Pull&Bear, regularly featuring in their outfits and doing shopping hauls of their newly-launched collections.

Nancyhak x Wildrefill

Nancyhak x Wildrefill

Hamburg-based engineer/fashion creator Nancy cooperated with Wild Refill, a brand of refillable natural deodorant, to promote their product among her following, which mainly consists of healthy lifestyle and fashion enthusiasts.

Cleanbeautyrepublic x Vertly Balm

Cleanbeautyrepublic x Vertly Balm

Clean and non-toxic beauty enthusiast Jane Welcher collaborated with Vertly Balm, an organic brand of balms, bath salts, and oils known for being created weekly from the freshly-extracted Northern California botanicals. Both Jane and Vertly Balm are California-based, and their collaboration was just the right fit for both.

Finding and Working With Pico-Influencers

Once you decide to give pico-influencers a try, the next step is finding them. Finding and hiring the right influencer, who matches your brand voice and shares your values is one of the most important stages of your influencer marketing campaign, as it will determine the success of your campaign.
If you are unsure of where to start, here are a few steps you can take to find just the right pico-influencer for your brand.

Choose Influencers To Work with

Scout social media platforms to compile a list of potential creators. There are a number of ways you can do this. One good place to start is by searching through industry-relevant hashtags. Location-based search is also a great method (e.g. if you are an activewear brand, looking through posts with the location of local gym chains may lead you to relevant creators). Look for accounts with small following but high engagement rates. You can find pico-influencers in ViralMango platform.

Connect and Collaborate

with Pico-influencers

Be Clear About Your Expectations

Once you make the list of pico-influencers you want to work with and decide to reach out to them, it’s important that you be as clear and transparent about your expectation as possible. Pico-influencers are just starting, and they may not have a lot of experience in content creation, so providing them with clear guidelines and expectations will significantly help their partnership. This can help you establish trusting and genuine relationships, as the creators will see that you want to help them do the best work they can.

Prioritize Engagement Over Reach

The main strength of pico-influencers is that they have high engagement rates. This is something that you need to keep in mind throughout your whole collaboration, as due to their small audience, you are unlikely to see a large reach.
Give Pico-Influencers Creative Freedom
As you pitch your expectations, make sure that you are still giving the influencers the creative freedom they need to maintain their authenticity. They have a unique perspective and style, as well as a deep understanding of what works for their following, and it’s critical that they maintain that style throughout your collaboration.

Be Flexible With Compensation

As mentioned earlier, pico-influencers may be even willing to collaborate with you for no charge. However, you can offer compensation in the form of free products, discounts, or even an affiliate program, to show them that their efforts are appreciated.
Finding and hiring the right pico-influencer may require some time, however, the benefits you will reap are a highly-engaged audience, a cost-effective partnership, and a unique perspective on your brand.


Who are pico-Influencers?

Pico-influencers are creators with 0-1000 followers, who are focused on a narrow niche, and who have very high engagement rates.

What are the benefits of pico-influencers?

Because of their small following, pico-influencers are highly trusted by their audience and can help brands reach an albeit small, yet very interested audience. In addition to high engagement rates, pico-influencers are also quite affordable and can be a great choice for brands with limited marketing budgets.

How much working with pico-influencers will cost?

Pico-influencers are creators just starting their journey, and they are typically quite flexible when it comes to pricing. Many creators are often ready to collaborate for little to no payment. Gifting the creators free products or services is another common collaboration strategy between brands and pico-influencers that you can consider.


As people strive for more authenticity, the creators with hyper-targeted loyal followers seem to be the future of influencer marketing. Pico-influencers can play a very interesting role in these developments. With their narrow yet interested audience, they don’t seem to be “influencers” in a typical sense: they are average people sharing their lives on social platforms. But all that averageness translates into what many brands and consumers are looking for today – authenticity.