Influencer marketing started with the big influencers. The people on social media with over a million followers. Then, it turned to microinfluencers, who have a few hundred thousand followers to expose to brand endorsements.
Now, the reign of the nanoinfluencer is upon us. The ‘ordinary’ people that happen to be good at social media. Those with a social audience as ‘small’ as 1,000 followers, but whose posts generate high likes and shares.
Nanoinfluencers are the ones that businesses are talking about. But their popularity and power highlight an underlying strength that’s commonly overlooked: customer advocacy. Are brands missing a trick?
The rise of the nanoinfluencer
The rise of the nanoinfluencer comes down to a number of factors, including the cost of employing influencers with a bigger reach, and the ease with which nanoinfluencers can be approached.
Interestingly, it’s the lack of fame held by the nanoinfluencer that makes them so influential to their audience. What they lack in reach, they make up for with intimacy and genuine engagement. In fact, nanoinfluencers are considered the most powerful of the three types of online influencer. Their engagement rates are as much as 8.7% of their audience, compared with 1.7% for traditional influencers.
And if you think about it, it makes sense. Would you be more likely to trust the recommendation of a friend or ordinary person, or the recommendation of a celebrity? When a nanoinfluencer plugs a brand, a product or an experience, it seems more like a genuine endorsement than a shallow money-maker.
Plus, nanoinfluencers serve niche markets. So, when they endorse a brand, that recommendation is being directed at the target audience of the brand, and is shown to fit with their interests. This is far more effective than targeting the more generalised audience of a traditional influencer, where many may not be interested in the area your product serves.
So, the strength of the nanoinfluencer lies in the intimacy of their connection to their audience. In the fact that you’re more likely to trust an ordinary person, a friend, or a family member when they endorse a business.
But wait, if employing a nanoinfluencer is employing the power of personal recommendations, then what makes them so different from your customers?
Your customers buy your product, interact with your business and know your brand. When they like something, they give personal recommendations to their friends and family. When they don’t, they share their experience with the world. Your customers are just like those nanoinfluencers. Yes, they might not have as big a reach on social media, but they are authentic, intimate and powerful in their own right.
When a customer endorses your brand, they aren’t being paid for it, they don’t have to do it. It’s a genuine endorsement, there’s no hidden agenda. This makes their recommendations powerful.
Power of the ordinary person
The power of the personal recommendation is well known. The rise of nanoinfluencers has just served to highlight it again. On the personal level, 92% of consumers believe the recommendations of friends and family over all other forms of advertising.
But the influence of ordinary people doesn’t stop at their close circle. Recommendations from ‘friends we have never met’ are just as powerful. That means reviews, comments and star ratings, any time your customers choose to tell the world about their good experiences. In fact, 85% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust the personal recommendations of their friends and family.
So, maybe it’s time we recognised the influential power of our customers. This means encouraging brand advocacy. It means inspiring customers to share their experiences with both their circle, and the world.
Encouraging customer advocacy
But getting customers to share is easier said than done. Customers are busy, and once they’ve bought from you, most will just carry on with their lives. However, there are a few things you can do to harness the influence of your customers.
- ● Create a great experience
Before anything else, you need to make sure you’re creating a great customer experience. (That doesn’t mean creating ‘delight’ or focusing on speedy resolutions.) Creating a good experience gives customers something to talk about, and a reason to endorse you.
- ● Ask customers to leave reviews
It can be as simple as asking – people like to share and seek validation and recognition. They want to be listened to… In fact, up to 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business or product if they’re asked to. So, look for opportunities to ask your customers for their thoughts. For example, you could ask in a follow-up email, once they’ve received your product. Or in a post chat survey after they’ve had a positive support session.
- ● Make it easy
Customers don’t have to endorse your products, service or business, and they won’t if it requires a lot of effort to do. So, make it easy with an interactive website, ready to listen to the customer. Use social media share buttons, and suggest quotes, sentences and things they could say about your products. The easier it is to share; the more likely customers are to do it.
The time of pico-influencers is around the corner
Influencer marketing is powerful, but the rise and popularity of nanoinfluencers demonstrate how the power of the personal recommendation still reigns supreme.
There is certainly a space for nanoinfluencer marketing, but it’s also important that we don’t forget our customers. After all, they know our brand, service and product, and collectively have the power to influence more than just their audience.
Note: we originally published this article here: https://www.digitaldoughnut.com/articles/2018/november/why-the-real-nanoinfluencers-are-your-customers