The explosive growth of social media platforms like Instagram has led to a new era of marketing. As attention rapidly shifted away from traditional media like television and magazines, businesses flocked to social media marketing, turning to those with millions of followers on Instagram and TikTok to promote their products – thus creating the age of the ‘influencer.’
For business entrepreneurs such as Roman Semiokhin, influencer marketing has many advantages. Unlike traditional media, platforms like Instagram provide companies with a wealth of data, allowing them to track the success of marketing campaigns and promote their products to specific demographics more accurately than ever before.
Increasingly aware of the extent to which social media can influence consumer behaviour, businesses have made extensive use of popular social media stars; in 2023, the influencer marketing economy was valued at $21.1 billion.
Recently though, the ‘influencer’ label has started to have negative connotations, with people using it as a pejorative term.
Increasingly, the notion of an ‘influencer’ evokes the image of a celebrity from a reality TV show who – rather than returning to their day job – cashes in on their 15 minutes of fame by promoting products that they clearly have no affinity with.
The UK reality TV show Love Island is a classic example of the worst side of influencer marketing. It is glaringly obvious that the influencer’s only connection to any of the brands they are promoting is the brand’s willingness to cough up sufficient dough to impress the influencer’s agent.
This lack of authenticity – very apparent to the Instagram user seeing the content – means that whilst this style of influencer marketing attracts a lot of eyeballs to a brand, it adds little value to the product.
Given that an influencer charges roughly $100 per 10,000 followers for a story, companies are now looking for better ways to get a return on their investment, one that gets more than just views.
As a rebuttal to this macro-influencer approach, brands are looking to micro-influencers as an alternative. Even though they have fewer than 10,000 followers, nano-influencer accounts – especially those with a defined area of interest – offer a great opportunity for businesses to conduct effective influencer marketing.
Take jewellery as an example. A nano-influencer posting about jewellery consistently will attract followers with a clear interest in jewellery and build up a reputation as a trusted source of expertise.
By offering a voice of legitimacy and followers with a demonstrable interest in the jewellery market, this nano-influencer offers the jewellery company the chance to promote their product to an engaged, educated and interested audience.
This hypothetical promotion also seems authentic. Due to their small number of followers, nano-influencers are also less likely to have carried out countless promotions before, and their interest in the product makes sense given their well-documented interest in the product area.
Contrast this with a macro-influencer promoting the same product. Their lack of prior interest in jewellery and their many previous promotional activities – which has led the authenticity of their content to take a nosedive – leads the audience, who are also less likely to be interested in jewellery, to switch off and become unengaged.
The most effective marketing campaigns do far more than attract eyeballs to a brand. Instead, they drive behavioural change in the audience.
Nano-influencer marketing fills a niche, offering companies with a limited marketing budget the chance to promote their products to an active and loyal audience with a demonstrable interest in what the business is selling.
As the constantly evolving world of social media goes forward, it is likely that the authenticity offered by nano-influencers will be more attractive than ever to businesses in the years to come.
For more information about this topic, visit Roman Semiokhin’s website: https://romansemiokhin.com