In September of this year, the New York Times ran an article titled “Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers?

It’s a question that perhaps more than a few marketing managers and business owners have been asking themselves.

Nano-influencers, as the prefix “nano” implies, aren’t exactly social media stars.

They aren’t Instagram famous in, say, the Chrissy Teigen sense of the phrase.

In contrast to influencers – and even micro-influencers – nano-influencers don’t have thousands upon thousands of engaged followers.

Instead, a nano-influencer might “have as few as 1,000 followers,” but they are nonetheless “willing to advertise products on social media.”

In short, nano-influencers don’t have any particular claim to fame – and only a relatively small number of followers.

But that’s precisely why some brands are drawn to working with these individuals: with only a small number of followers, it can (oftentimes) be easier to secure deals with nano-influencers than with influencers who boast bigger networks. Additionally, nano-influencers frequently experience a higher level of engagement among their followers compared to influencers with a greater number of followers.

So all of this might reasonably prompt a question like: “Are nano-influencers the next ‘big thing’ in influencer marketing?”

Or is this just another one of those hot, voguish buzzwords that come and go in the marketing arena?

It’s our view that – when it comes to strategically planning an effective influencer marketing campaign – it matters less what individual influencers (micro, nano, “normal” size, or otherwise) you work with than the entire portfolio of social media influencers involved in the campaign. This point was underscored by CEO of FFPR, Emily Lyons, in a Forbes piece (Little-Known Best Practices For Launching A Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign).

As Lyons explains: “You can’t reliably use the past performance of an influencer to predict how well they will perform in your campaign. This is simply because (in most cases) there aren’t enough data points to make a statistically significant conclusion about any one influencer’s future performance…Research in this area has shown that there isn’t a strong correlation between the measure of how influential an individual influencer is – in terms of the number of followers, for example – and how well they can create a social sharing ‘ripple effect’ in the future.”

Put differently, it’s the mix of influencers you involve in your campaign that’s important – and not the number of followers, or even how engaged the followers are, for any single influencer. A mix of nano-influencers might outperform a mix of micro-influencers, for example, but they might not; that depends entirely on many factors, such as the exact mix of influencers you are able to secure for your campaign.

So our verdict on nano-influencers? Are nano-influencers, in fact, the next Big Thing in influencer marketing?

We, at FFPR, don’t think that’s the right question. Nano-influencers have always been relevant – for some influencer marketing campaigns. So have micro-influencers and influencers. What matters most here is the requirements of the campaign.

The right question, we argue, is: “What mix of influencers (of all sizes) will most effectively accomplish the goals of the campaign?”

To learn how FFPR’s team of proven social media mavens can help your business meet its marketing and PR goals, contact us today.