Nano-influencers: Who are they, and why do they matter to higher ed?

July 19, 2022

Jayde Robertson

First things first - another kind of influencer?

The impact of the global pandemic, combined with the emergence of an absolutely digital-first generation (hello, Gen Z) gave rise to one term that we’ve all grown accustomed to - influencer marketing.

As marketers, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with the latest and most significant trends, acronyms - or platforms. We’re here to make it a little easier to stay on top of all the latest additions to the once easy-to-understand, (and even easier to implement) world of education marketing.

Let’s talk about Influencers.

A social media influencer has built credibility in a certain field, has access to a large audience, and can encourage others to follow their advice. Influencer marketing is rapidly rising to become a critical tool in a company's marketing armory when done correctly. Influencers, after all, have the ability and credibility to continually attract visitors and can inspire others to grow their social reach. They can be anyone from a blogger to a celebrity to an online entrepreneur, and they use a niche to gain global recognition.

To understand a little more clearly, picture this comparison. It’s 2002, and you’re 16 - a fresh-faced beauty in high school. While you’ve recently become quite popular, you’re yet to break into the ranks of the ‘cool kids’. As Millenials - or boomers, popularity ‘back in the day’, was based on one thing and one thing alone - your influence on those around you. Sure, it wasn’t done through social media, and its tactic was quite aggressive in comparison - but, if you got a seat at the ‘popular table’ at lunch - you knew you had made it. This is basically what an influencer is. Except, the ‘popular table’ is now a social account, and the aggressive tactics are now based on more sustainable, and inclusive ideals - like morality, diversity, eco-consciousness - and most notably, authenticity.

To throw a spanner in the works as such, there are in fact a number of influencer types that you need to consider before trying to implement this into your higher Ed recruitment strategy.

Let’s dive in!

Using Nano-Influencers in your higher Ed Strategy

Nano-influencers are Instagram users who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers - and their accounts are “real”, meaning no glitz and glam but 100% authentically them.

Often give “guy next door” vibes and most certainly are not social media influencers.

Nano influencers typically receive very little to no pay, as exchanges of products or services often compensate them.

They are more trusted by friends and families for review and often build a better relationship with the brand as they are more expected to speak the truth.

So, what can a nano-influencer do for Your Institution?

Developing a relationship with nano-influencers on Instagram, or any other social platform can be a fantastic method to reach an audience that was previously untapped. These industry leaders are experts in combining high-quality content with effective branding methods to boost social reach. One good comment about your institution to its thousands of followers might do wonders for your enrollment.

How is it done?

Ask - and you shall receive!

To include nano-influencers in your education marketing strategy:

  • Ask an influencer to promote your institution to increase your enrollments.
  • Mention an influencer in your social campaigns to increase their direct viewership of your institution.
  • Ask an influencer to promote or share your content to drive traffic to your website.
  • Create a relationship with an influencer to build their long-term advocacy of your institution.

If you’re struggling to find the right nano-influencer - have a look at your students! The great thing about Gen Z is that while they all love influencers - a lot of them want to be an influencer too. Simply put, your ideal nano-influencer could be sitting on your campus right now! Trend alert: They could even be on your faculty. Here’s how you can include them in your strategy.

    1. Enrollment Intern

  • Paid role
  • Help out enrollment
  • Talk with students who are applying to hult
  • Chat with current students and research possible marketing opportunities
  • Help marketing team:
  • Instagram lives
  • Q&A sessions on Instagram Stories
  • School tours
  • Help marketing to different niche students (e.g. @hultiberia for Spanish students)
  • Not officially student influencers
  • Help talk to new students through “Zeemee” and are titled as student influencers
  • 2. Student Ambassadors
  • Unpaid role
  • Share the same position with Enrollment Interns but carry fewer responsibilities.
  • The faculty handpick Students to create a marketing campaign or reach a specific target audience.
  • One time basis

Higher Ed Nano-Influencers In Action

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Are you a marketer curious to learn about the aspects that affect our industry?

Or do you want to tap into our expertise to sharpen your tactics? Look no further than our free downloadable resources. We work hard to research our content - and offer it to you - free of charge.

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