Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Weekly Shorts: With rising prices, D2C brands are turning to nano influencers for collaborations

Nano influencers provide authentic content, higher engagements, personal connection with the audiences, and a lot more at half the price demanded by mega influencers or celebrities

Published: Apr 20, 2023 10:44:29 AM IST
Updated: Apr 20, 2023 02:52:17 PM IST

Weekly Shorts: With rising prices, D2C brands are turning to nano influencers for collaborationsIn 2022, the influencer marketing spend in India reached $400 million and is estimated to touch $3.5 billion by 2028, according to research. Marketers are actively spending on the creator economy to boost audience engagement across social media, causing an increase in influencer rates. Image: Shutterstock

While some brands are busy employing big-name influencers to promote products on social media, well-known D2C brands place their bets on nano creators.

With over 19.2k nano Instagrammers in India, more D2C brands leverage their content to stay relevant in the Indian market. Nano influencers provide authentic content, higher engagements, personal connection with the audiences, and a lot more at half the price demanded by mega influencers or celebrities.

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram nano influencers with 1k-10k followers can charge anywhere between $10 to $100 per post depending on content format, number of followers, and collaboration duration, which is nearly 200 percent less than the $10,000+ charged by macro and mega creators. As influencer costs rise, nano influencers will dominate the creator economy in 2023.

In addition to being less expensive, nano creators clock the highest engagement rates and conversions compared to other influencer categories, making them an ROI-positive solution for D2C brands. The data extracted by affable.ai after analyzing 4.5 million influencer profiles shows that nano influencers generate a high 14.63 percent engagement rate on YouTube, followed by 96.89 percent average views on TikTok and 5.05 percent on Instagram.

Plus, as Gen Zers and millennials increasingly demand honest content, nano influencers might be the only way to connect with the younger minds.

How nano influencers can help D2C brands cut campaign costs and improve ROI


In 2022, the influencer marketing spend in India reached $400 million and is estimated to touch $3.5 billion by 2028, according to research. Marketers are actively spending on the creator economy to boost audience engagement across social media, causing an increase in influencer rates. Since the influencer marketing industry boomed in 2020, influencers have raised costs to meet high demands and create valuable content. Influencers encourage fellow content creators to charge more for their content.

D2C brands are largely affected by this rise in influencer costs as they depend on creator marketing to build a solid social presence and drive customers to online shops. Finding a balance between rising influencer costs and maintaining profitability can be difficult.

In such scenarios, nano-influencer partnerships can give you the biggest bang for your buck by providing:

1. Higher return on investment


Nano influencers can maximize ROI by driving massive engagements, captivating new and existing customers, and helping you stand out on social media. Since nano influencers know most of their followers in real life, it makes their audience more interested and engaged in the content, driving spectacular engagement rates.

The small-scale influencers with 5k-10k followers generate the highest average engagement rate of 5.05 percent, while micro and macro influencers generate a lower engagement rate of 3 percent. Despite a larger following, mega-influencers (250k-1M followers) create only 2.66 percent engagement on Instagram, according to affable.ai findings.

Additionally, due to their genuine product reviews and personal connection with followers, their recommendations seem more trustworthy to the audience, encouraging them to buy from the brand.

Also read: Weekly Shorts: How momfluencers can garner positive engagements for brands

2. Scalable content


The low costs and small following of nano influencers allow D2C companies to hire hundreds of creators at once, creating an endless flow of scalable content pieces. These content assets are flexible and can be used to:

A. Enhance content on other marketing channels


Repackaging content from nano influencers into different formats is a clever move to enhance the feel of other marketing collaterals, including emailers, product and landing pages, or ad content. Many brands use the content to send out engaging mailers or show a genuine review on product pages.

Source: Really Good Emails

By repurposing influencer content, brands can save countless hours creating polished content for each marketing agenda. Also, it saves content production costs.

B. Reach a diversified audience


D2C brands can reach a more diverse audience who speak different languages or have different cultures and beliefs by hiring hundreds of low-costing nano influencers. The content bank is created by diverse creators in diverse settings, different types of photos or videos, and diverse looks, which are hard to match with branded content.

C. Create an honest brand image


Nano influencers publish raw and natural posts instead of fleshing out polished pieces due to limited resources, helping brands to distribute genuine reviews and building positive associations for their product. Aware of this authenticity, many D2C companies have increased their collaborations with these small but mighty creators. The sponsored content generated by nano influencers on Instagram peaked by 115.16 percent in the last three years, according to affable.ai's platform data.

Also read: Brands should go beyond tokenism and be more queer-friendly, say LGBTQIA influencers

3. Future-proof the influencer strategy


Partnering with nano influencers for a longer term or turning them into brand ambassadors is the key to creating cost-effective influencer campaigns. This way, D2C brands can work with influencers for an extended period on shorter budgets. Influencers get to know your brand over time, sharing content that resonates with brand values. The influencers share more content with their followers over time which builds brand awareness, loyalty, and credibility, protecting brands from future possible economic inflation.

Discovering the best social media channel for cost-effective nano influencer campaigns


Instagram remains the most popular platform nano creators prefer to share their content. Based on affable.ai's findings, there are 391,691 nano influencers on the platform, generating a high engagement rate of 5.05 percent. After Instagram, YouTube has the highest nano influencer count, followed by Facebook. TikTok has the lowest number of nano influencers, counting up to 15.9k.

Despite having a low number of nano influencers on the platform, "TikTok can become a preferred platform for D2C brands due to its lower influencer costs compared to Instagram," says Jessica Shee, Manager at iBoysoft, a data recovery software company.

D2C brands must be savvy about where and how they run their nano influencer campaigns to reap maximum benefits. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to nano-influencer marketing. Choosing the right target market and the right social media platform can make all the difference.

The proliferation of platforms and formats like short-videos have changed the influencer marketing game for marketers, brands and creators. In this fast-evolving space, keep up with the big trends and hot topics that matter in Storyboard18’s Weekly Shorts in collaboration with affable.ai, an end-to-end AI-powered influencer marketing platform. Track how creators, communities and brands are engaging with users and disrupting marketing to get a sharp and fast insight into present and future trends.

This week’s Weekly Shorts was written by the editorial team of affable.ai