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[REPORT] This Counterintuitive Influencer Strategy Drives 114X Higher Revenue Per Follower

New research upends conventional marketing wisdom by showing that brands generate significantly higher revenue per follower by targeting smaller “nano-influencers” rather than marquee names with massive followings.

Professors Maximilian Beichert, Andreas Bayerl, Jacob Goldenberg, and Andreas Lanz analyzed influencer marketing campaigns in fashion, beauty, gaming, and entertainment. They found that nano-influencers with relatively modest followings consistently outperformed hugely popular “macro-influencers” in driving product sales.

In one field study, nanoinfluencers generated 114 times higher revenue per follower than macroinfluencers. Across three field studies involving 319 influencers, the nano-influencers achieved 17 to 114 times better performance on this key revenue metric.

The researchers also analyzed real-world sales data from 2,808 influencers who generated over €17 million in tracked revenue for a leading European fashion brand. Again, nano-influencers delivered superior results, achieving five times higher revenue per follower than macro-influencers with über-popular accounts.

To understand why, the researchers conducted a parallel mediation analysis. This revealed that the nano-influencers’ advantage stemmed from the higher engagement between them and their followers, compared to macro-influencers’ detached relationships with their massive audiences.

Textual analysis confirmed this finding. Nano-influencers’ language mirrored that of their followers more closely, indicating tighter social bonds. Their followers used more authentic, positive language compared to macro-influencer fans. Read the full report here.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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