We know you’ve been in the meeting where the most senior person in the room says: “we should work with a big influencer for this, a celebrity perhaps” as though influencers are the same as celebrities and that either of them, without a strategy, are the magic bullet to success. A horrified look is exchanged as you wonder if this will work, but bigger has always meant better, hasn’t it?

Well, not anymore.

It’s the buzzword of the year, “new normal”, but when it comes to the power of influence, nano-influencers might just be the best choice nobody saw coming.

Nano-influencers (content creators with 1,000-10,000 followers) really came into their own last year with brands like MAC, Dove and Ikea all opting to partner with these creators over top-tier talent.  

These brands used the new influencers to promote products such as Dove’s Exfoliating Body Polish increasing share of conversation among their audiences and creating striking visuals to re-purpose on owned channels.

Despite the turbulence of 2020, Forbes are still predicting the influencer space will grow to 11bn by 2022 and the success of nano-creators hasn’t wavered. In their State of Influence report Traackr reporting they have the highest engagement rate of any influencer tier at 5.79% on Instagram in the Beauty category, and 5.67% in Fashion.


Unlike mid and top tier influencers who have an over 50k following on Instagram, these smaller influencers tap into their loyal and engaged audiences through niche social content and conversations.

It may seem easier for brands to opt for talent with a larger following. However, to drive product consideration and that all important click-through, it will undoubtedly be more effective to collaborate with a spectrum of trusted nano-influencers who reach a more diverse audience.

Oh, and that group of Gen Z who are impossible to reach? These guys will do it for you.

We Are Social’s latest report focusing on the power and paradox of the generation revealed that those surveyed found large influencer popularity unappealing. One student even revealed she unfollowed an influencer because they “got too big” on Instagram.

It’s not just Gen Z who have fallen under the spell, at ENGINE we’ve partnered with nano-influencers to create sponsored content for clients such as Next, Mitsubishi and Huggies.

Our work with Mitsubishi to promote the launch of their L200 Series 6 saw two micro-influencers secure a 10% and 8% engagement rate respectively, nearly triple the industry average.

More recently we worked with Next to drive awareness of their premium beauty offering through a weekly content series using #SelfCareSunday. For this, we partnered with influencers from a range of tiers, however, saw the strongest ROI from @faceyogadaisy who had a 4k following at the time. Not only did she secure the strongest organic reach of over 70% but the highest engagement rate at 14%.

It’s a no brainer; they work hard, their audience trusts them, and they are almost always the most cost-effective talent category.


Instagram Reels have surged in popularity and opened doors for smaller content creators to reach a wider audience as the feature is promoted on the Explore page. This means they won’t be nano for long, but this also provides brands with room to work alongside emerging and highly engaged creators whilst taking advantage of the reach Reels provides.

With new tools launching across the platforms, now is the prime time for brands to introduce nano-influencers into their strategy. Working with these new content creators over a longer period will not only help to facilitate their growth, through formats like Reels, but create stronger and more authentic brand ambassadors. 

It is undeniably the perfect win, win scenario. To paraphrase the great Shakespeare, though nano-influencers may be little, they are fierce.

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The purpose of inclusive design is clear-cut: “to make sure everyone who needs to access your service can use it”1. And while lockdown meant slowdown for most sectors, it massively accelerated demand for online services.


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