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What is Nano-Influencer marketing?

What is influencer marketing? Who is called Nano-Influencer? Who can use Teamfluencer? We had a pleasant conversation on all these questions.
RADAAR: Hello to everyone. Welcome to RADAAR:Talks, where we talked about the work they carry out with digital marketing professionals. I am Ayşegül from Radaar. Our guest today is Dilara Bostancıoğlu, founding partner of Teamfluencer. Welcome Ms. Dilara. How are you

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: We found it nice, I'm fine. Thank you. How are you?

RADAAR: We're fine too, thank you. First of all, thank you very much for not breaking us and being a guest of RADAAR: Talks. We will talk about Teamfluencer, but first we want to talk about you. Where did you graduate? How was your education life? What did you do before Teamfluencer?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: I'm Dilara. I'm 20 years old. I graduated from Kabataş High School for Boys last year. I am currently at Boğaziçi University. I have been in the entrepreneurship ecosystem for about 3-4 years, since high school. Actually, I started at an early age.

RADAAR: Well, I am curious about Teamfluencer. What exactly is Teamfluencer? What does it do?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Teamfluencer is a nano-influencer marketing platform. The people we call nano-influencers are actually real people who do not have many followers and actively use social media, unlike other big influencers we know on social media. We bring together nano-influencers, that is, these real people, in groups of hundreds of people and share them for brands. In other words, more than 100 ordinary people share for a brand. He conveys his own experiences to his circle of friends. In this way, we naturally make brands viral on social media.

RADAAR: So, how did the Teamfluencer idea come about? So what kind of need did you see?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Before Teamfluencer, we had another start-up called Sponsor. It brought together sponsor-seeking events and brands that could receive sponsors. While we were making the sponsor, we formed a big brand network; because we were constantly talking to brands about this marketing. On the one hand, because we have a lot of cooperation with student clubs, we have a student community. Then we realized that brands actually needed a more authentic marketing method rather than sponsors; Because on the other hand, we realize that these great influencers are constantly shifting links, they constantly share advertisements. Now he has lost his sincerity. In fact, Influencer Marketing was beginning to lose its sincerity quickly, although it was a new method. We also said that we are all influencers in our circle of friends. Anyone can be an influencer. That's why we created Teamfluencer and our first customer was Pepsi. He was a little surprise to us. Because we went to see Pepsi for the Sponsor. Teamfluencer was just an idea. We did not do anything about Teamfluencer; but we added Teamfluencer as a page to the presentation. Pepsi liked the idea of ​​Teamfluencer. Then we started working for Teamfluencer directly that day. Pepsi gave us 50 boxes of Pepsi. We shared it with 50 people. It became a reference to other brands after Pepsi. So we started very quickly and both the user side and the customers loved it. That's why we keep going well.

RADAAR: Yeah, very good. So what are the differences of nano-influencers from the influencers we know? So where exactly do they differ from each other?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Nano-influencers are people with 500 to 10,000 followers in their social media accounts. The influencers we know, mostly micro-influencers, have between 10,000-100,000 followers. Macro-influencers have more than 100,000 followers. But the difference of nano-influencers is that the people that these big influencers reach are composed of very dispersed target audiences and they do not have much in common with the influencer sharing. But in nano-influencer it is the opposite. Because if I share something, the segment I address is my circle of friends and people who really resemble me, people with similar habits, and in this way, brands can actually reach more specific audiences through nano-influencers. For example; When a brand requests a segmentation from us and says "I want people living in this region in Istanbul between the ages of 18-24", when they share a nano-influencer, they can actually address that audience directly. At the same time, the content they share does not create an ad perception. He is really satisfied and shares what he recommends to his friends so that when people see an advertisement, they skip that advertisement; But when he shares his friend, they really take it seriously and rely on his advice.

RADAAR: Yes. So when or why do you think brands should prefer to work with nano-influencers?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: In fact, I think brands can always work with nano-influencers because, as I said, the main branding allows it to directly address the target audience they want. The issues we work with the brands the most, we mostly work during the campaign periods of the brands, we work on the launch of a new product, we work when it has an announcement. We can also work with many different types of brands. Therefore, I can say that nano-influencer is an ideal method for any brand.

RADAAR: At this point, how can brands use Teamfluencer?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Currently, brands reach us by giving briefs on our website or they reach us by e-mail. Or we reach brands. We are holding a meeting. Communication is driven by us. The operation process is also going through us. Let me explain directly how we work; but this will change. In a few weeks, we'll be making a complete platform. It will be an online web platform for both brands. Brands will manage their own campaign processes. They will receive their own applications. Nano-influencers will also be able to register on our mobile application and participate in campaigns suitable for them. This is the next level; but let me tell you how we work right now. The brand tells the audience and size it wants to reach. According to him, we determine how many people will share and which segment people will share. We're sending them a list, influencer list. They can check each person one by one and give approval or rejection. They can revise that list. And we determine the platform to be shared. This could be Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Linkedin… We can share in every channel right now. And they also control the content to be shared. We provide a detailed report after the contents are shared. This is how we work.

RADAAR: I understand. What should brands target with this study? What kind of turn should they expect?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: We usually work with big brands. We work with corporate brands. That's why they work more on awareness and they already use macro-influencers with other types of influencers, they also use micro-influencers, and they actually "boost" their campaigns by using nano-influencers. We can work on awareness. If we work with start-ups, the marketing budget of start-ups will of course be more limited. That's why they care a lot about your return and expect a great yield. We are already fully working on its return. In other words, we attach great importance to Return Of Investment (ROI). That's why we always recommend nano-influencers to brands because the interaction rate is higher than other influencers. If they want to measure performance, brands share a link with us. The person sharing adds this link to his share. He does Swipe Up on Instagram or says "I added the link to my bio". Somehow we redirect to that link, and from the link, you can measure many things such as conversion rates, how many people signed up for your app or site.

RADAAR: Do you have a success story that you can give from your work with brands?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Of course there is. I can give an example about Pepsi. I can also give an example of one or two TikTok studies we have just done. During the quarantine process, Pepsi was holding a home concert on Youtube. We decided on the last day that we will do such a study. In the last hour, we shared this home concert with 112 people on social media. Two were macro-influencers, ten were micro-influencers, and a hundred were nano-influencers. And we planned this sharing operation in exactly one hour. Because when something is shared, it gets the most engagement and direction in the first two hours. As a result of this campaign, we achieved a reach of 3.8 million. It was a very successful campaign for us, for the brand. At the same time, there is an application we have made recently for young people who are preparing for the university exam called Doping Memory. We promoted it and Doping is trying every medium on social media. We said let's work on TikTok this time. We identified 7 TikTokers who are actually preparing for the university entrance exam and their followers are suitable for that audience. 7 people shared about Doping Memory from their TikTok account and we got a total of 1.5 million views. This actually proves how much potential TikTok has and is a rising medium. I can say that way. But because each of our works is different from each other ... For example, some of them appeal to the mass of housewives, some of them to men who drive ... Therefore, we do very different works in each category and our content-producing influencer also produces very beautiful content in their own language, sincerely and authentically way.

RADAAR: It is very beautiful. As you know, almost everyone is an influencer nowadays. What do you think a brand should pay attention to before doing business with an influencer?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: I think some brands are open to some innovation in influencer, they do Influencer Marketing; but they can be a little conservative. Especially because the person who knows the influencer best is his followers, it is necessary not to overwhelm the influencers with briefs before making a post. Of course, the brand can tell what it should and shouldn't. It is very natural, but I think not too interfering with the sharing they will make outside of it always makes it a healthier result. Because he is the influencer who already communicates the best with his followers. Therefore, I think they should not leave their own frames too much in the content they will share.

RADAAR: So how do you personally see the influencer population? Do you think everyone can be an influencer really?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Actually, the reason we came up with Teamfluencer was the personal thoughts of our team on this issue. I have always been following influencers; but I realized that seeing advertisements now really trust that person. Now you see that you post a lot of ads, and after a while, you realize that he actually shares a brand one day and shares his competitor brand the next week. Then all its credibility is lost. So of course nano-influencer seems more natural to me. In the nano-influencer part, I think the profile of the person who actually shares it should not be like a billboard. We pay a lot of attention to it. Usually, a person does not post more than one ad in a month. Because then his sincerity and credibility towards his friends will also disappear. I think the nano-influencer really needs to experience it and share its thoughts with all its transparency. But I already believe in nano-influencers and I believe that this market will grow through nano-influencers. And of course, everyone can be an influencer in their own environment. There are many people we know, even if not everyone else, in our own group of friends has different characteristics that can "influence" us or everyone can "influence". So I believe anyone can be.

RADAAR: Of course, when it becomes so popular, we can now encounter influencers with fake followers, so to speak. At this point, what should we pay attention to in order to differentiate themselves?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Actually, when you look at the profile of influencers with fake followers, the ratio of the number of likes they receive with their followers or the rate of watching their story, you can directly understand the rate of fake followers. There are also different "tools" for this. We were in the WorkUp Entrepreneurship Program. There was also a start-up called FakeFind. He is a start-up that does this job directly. Analyzing how many "fake" followers a person is… Apart from that, I can also recommend nano-influencers to minimize this risk; because the audience is his circle of friends. Anyway, nobody allows, does not want to follow "fake" followers.

RADAAR: So, what do you care most about your collaborations with influencers in Teamfluencer? What is the main issue you pay attention to?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: Since we were founded as a community at first, we were really founded as a student community at first. We had established WhatsApp groups at first, where schools had their own representatives and our communication with them was very strong and sincere. The most important thing that enables us to grow is our "community" spirit. It still continues. Even if we release the platform, which we released an application before, we will release it again. Communication of our WhatsApp groups was still continuing. That's why we really take care to have trust between us and our influencers, as we are working with big brands. They should not leave us in a difficult situation either. Besides, we do not let everyone in anyway. First they pass through a sieving screen. According to him, we buy profiles that produce quality content that we find appropriate, which we believe to be of really high quality. I can say that the most important thing is trust.

RADAAR: So how do you decide their compatibility when bringing brands and influencers together? How do you choose them exactly?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: We first want a target audience from brands, this is the segmentation I mentioned. We make an announcement when we learn the characteristics such as age range, gender, place of residence, and interest from the brand. Now, when we release the application, the appropriate profiles to be written directly in that application. Unsuitable profiles will not be able to apply for the campaign because they have already filled in their information while signing up. But in the manual method we are currently doing, we form people after receiving announcements. After selecting the most suitable people in the form, we send them to the brand.

RADAAR: Well, sometimes we come across content that is obviously highly sponsored but does not appear to be. In fact, this is too much nowadays. What do you think at this point? So is the collaboration with the brand better or not?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: I will advocate for nano-influencers again, because I believe too much. Nano-influencers seem to be collaborating, but it is not clear. because we do not put it in people's eyes. I will give the example of Pepsi again. In our first work with Pepsi, what Pepsi asked of us is that in no way should people label Pepsi. Just have a Pepsi somewhere at the table, for example, while studying, sitting with friends, because he has already drunk in his daily life. In this way, I and our team like and prefer advertisements that are made without putting people in the eye. However, although it is clear that it has an agreement with the brand, that transparency issue is very important. You shouldn't be recommending something you don't really like. So I defend transparency on that issue again.

RADAAR: What strategy do you follow in your digital marketing or social media as Teamfluencer? So what are you aiming at the end of the day with this strategy?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: As I said when we first released it, we did not actually do any marketing because we established WhatsApp groups with students. So we didn't advertise, and people actually grew up inviting their own friends. This is how our "community" grew. People invited their own circles. We went to events at schools, opened stands to promote Teamfluencer because the “community” was very influential in social media as the students actually use it very actively. Later, it started to spread from the Instagram account. Again, we did not advertise in any way. Because we don't believe in that ad anyway. We think this is the most effective method. Then we launched a mobile application for Teamfluencer. The application remained in the Stores for 6 months. In 6 months, we reached 20 thousand users without advertising for any extra influencer. Of course, let me tell you why we closed the application at the last minute. One day someone from TikTok, a user of us, throws a TikTok sharing us. "How to make money from the internet by sharing social media?" he. 400,000 people are watching TikTok. We get 5 thousand downloads a day. The application is crashing now and we have risen to the 9th place in the Trends in the App Store. We are very happy, but on the other hand, as the user arrives, there were not enough campaigns for him, and our database starts to charge us. Since there is no return, we said we should close the application now, although it rises. One day because it was 15th, 12th, 9th, it was getting higher but we had to close it. Actually, I realized that Teamfluencer is really the right marketing method. Without spending any budget for this, Teamfluencer's own members actually promoted Teamfluencer and made it go viral. In other words, we do not do a separate digital marketing in the Teamfluencer part. We use Teamfluencer itself. Even in our first campaign that came out in the application, the people who signed up for the application were throwing a story introducing Teamfluencer. So we actually applied this method within ourselves. But it is different on the brand side. We provide Google Ads in the brand part; Because we advertise for brands, marketing managers, digital marketing experts that are suitable for our target audience to see us on Google and it is really effective. Apart from that, we do Content Marketing. I use Linkedin actively. We may already have reached all of our customers on Linkedin so far. It produces tremendous value there.

RADAAR: Thanks. In terms of social media, which platform do you think is the most important for you right now? Which networks do you get the most interaction and feedback from?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: For the time being, I can say TikTok. So TikTok was very effective on Teamfluencer; but apart from that, there is still a perception of “cringe” or a bias in TikTok. It is already trying to overcome the TikTok, TikTok Turkey team is also trying for a long time and I think that they made progress. In other words, this situation depends on the wishes of the brand. For example, I can recommend Linkedin for B2B Marketing brands. Linkedin is a very good medium on that subject, it produces great value. Apart from that, Instagram is the right place for most brands, and for all brands in general; because they can reach the specific audiences they want to reach. I can say that TikTok is a platform where the return on investment made is very high; But the platform I personally use the most is Instagram.

RADAAR: I understand. So how do you see the future of Influencer Marketing and Teamfluencer?

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: As I said before, we believe that the growth of the Influencer Marketing industry will be through nano-influencers because now the macro or micro-influencer part has come to a point. After that, people started to lose their trust, and nano-influencers, especially a model that thousands of people shared, began to become a more reliable and logical method for people. It is also a method in which the return on investment they make for brands is getting more. We believe that the Influencer Marketing industry will grow through nano-influencers.

RADAAR: Thank you so much. Ms. Dilara, thank you again for taking the time for us and being a guest of RADAAR: Talks. It was very enjoyable to get to know you and Teamfluencer closely. I hope you enjoyed it too.

Dilara Bostancıoğlu: I also enjoyed it very much. Thank you so much.

RADAAR: Thank you very much for listening to this episode of RADAAR: Talks. I hope you guys enjoyed it too. You can access other episodes from Youtube or podcast applications such as Spotify, iTunes. Do not hesitate to contact us for your suggestions. See you in the next episode. Goodbye!