Since the 2020 lockdown, digital media in Sri Lanka has grown at an exponential rate. Screen time has increased rapidly across the country, increasing time spent on social media alone. The internet revolution peaked during this pandemic. Some refer to it as the 5 in 5 phenomena: In 5 months, five years of disruption occurred. There was an image floating around LinkedIn asking people what inspired their organization’s digital transformation. Was it the CEO, the CTO, or the COVID19? Oh well, a year later, we all know the answer to that question.
Almost everyone nowadays has a basic smartphone, and with the help of gimbals and tripods, they can create some fantastic content to be published. Now that they have these resources at their disposal, they are more aware of ingenious ways to churn out good content. They also have internet access to an infinite number of frames of reference. Apps like TikTok make being creative easier than a platform like YouTube. TikTok gives users the ability to create content within the app, including filming, editing, and sound syncing. This effectively lowers the entry barrier to near zero.
Influencer marketing has experienced rapid growth in Sri Lanka, with an entire industry of celebrity-level creators being compensated for sharing brand sponsorships with their millions of strong followers. However, astute digital marketers have begun focusing on influencers who aren’t as well-known as their larger-name peers, sparking renewed interest in smaller-scale outreach. Contrary to popular belief, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to generating social media engagement. While the most popular accounts appear to have the most potential audience reach, smaller accounts, such as nano influencers, frequently have more clout than their big-name peers. Nano influencers, in particular, provide an incredible amount of value to today’s brands.
Why go Nano?
Nano-influencers are social media celebrities with a smaller following than influencers. It would be inaccurate to label them as celebrities. Some describe them as “social media users with 1,000 to 5,000 followers” in the Sri Lankan context. Nano influencers are the most recent additions to the influencer marketing community. These are ordinary people who have used the power of their unique ideas and creative content to capture the public’s attention. Because of the shifting trends, brands are allocating at least 10% of their marketing budget to nano-influencers. The world has shrunk dramatically. “People want to form emotional and personal bonds with the people who live around them.” Brands that have the ability to connect with their customers on a more personal level are ahead of the pack. As a result, nano-influencers have grown in importance over time, displacing influencers and social celebrities.
Every nano-influencer has a distinct niche for which they create content. They also have a dedicated audience and followers who are interested in that particular niche. This assists businesses in identifying the best nano-influencers for their brand and reaching the right target audience. Everyone on Instagram or Facebook has an exceptionally socially popular friend. Everything the friend posts creates a conversation accumulating likes, compliments, and emojis. They haven’t worked with a brand partnership before, but they’re very good at creating social media engagement.
As the popularity of nano influencer marketing grows, brands should recognize that working with nano isn’t always the same as working with a long-established professional influencer. This can be a difficult adjustment for brands that handle influencer work in-house rather than through an influencer agency – but the benefits are well worth the effort. Nano-influencers will evolve alongside your brand. You can hire them at the start of their journey and help them become a highly influential brand ambassador.
The main reasons for the rise of nano-influencer marketing are;
Increased Engagement Rates: Nano-influencers have a much smaller following, including many people they may know personally. This personal connection between a nano-influencer and their followers frequently results in a higher social engagement rate per follower. Furthermore, because they have fewer followers, Nanos are better able to reply and engage to every comment or direct message), fostering a deeper level of engagement.
Word-of-Mouth Effect: Because nano-influencers know many of their followers personally, their endorsement or promotion acts as a direct word-of-mouth recommendation. Word-of-mouth has a significant influence on consumer purchasing decisions, which can help brands drive conversions.
Authenticity: They are essentially “normal” people who do not rely solely on influencer marketing for a living, making them more relatable and approachable. Many Instagram users can easily put themselves in the shoes of a nano-influencer.
More ROI: For the most part, nano-influencers are not “professional” influencers who use social media as a hobby or a side hustle. As a result, many nano-influencers are willing to create branded content in exchange for products or a small fee.
More Accessible: Nano-influencers are far more receptive to a brand’s terms. In other words, compared to more established influencers who may have their own set of demands and terms, they are easier to work with.
I’ve witnessed this firsthand when a global brand made it mandatory for me to include my social clout in the pitch proposal. I’ve received numerous requests during the last 18 months from prospective brands to promote specific products and services through my LinkedIn profile. I recently succeeded at promoting post-campaign PR and I’ve seen levels of engagement that I would never see in a brand-sponsored post, Even if the brand puts in top dollar behind its promotion. I’ve worked with page administrators like Hamza Haniffa (BRO Facebook page Admin), who uses his personal Facebook account to promote products on a more personal level (Laptops/Special Days). The engagement on those posts is phenomenal, and Hamza makes a point of personally responding to each comment in order to keep the engagement flowing and induce the algorithm to show this post to a wider friend circle. We see YouTube creators coming out of character and participating in campaigns via their personal profiles to drive conversations through a simple video or status posted on their profiles. A good local example would be to follow Softlogic Life’s “Group Exit Day” campaign that used this mechanism to drive much sharper conversations.
Nano influencers are an essential way for brands to reach out to potential customers. These everyday people are well equipped to help your brand grow due to the high level of engagement, enthusiasm, and authenticity they possess. Most importantly, they’re cost-effective and straightforward to work within the economic condition that Sri Lanka is currently facing.