Every so often I’m asked “hey – where do you see the future of influencer marketing going?” To which I’ve steadfastly responded, “the future is nano, my friend.” As we near the halfway point in 2019, I’ve been reflecting on what else I believe to be in store for influencer marketing. I’m still confident that nano-influencers are the future, but I believe that’s just the first layer of an even bigger shift that’s about to take place.

As influencer marketing currently sits, there are three core reasons why marketers engage with influencer campaigns. In nearly equal thirds, we have sales-driven campaigns, awareness campaigns, and campaigns aimed at creating massive libraries of content.

Nano-influencers are clearly superior for two of these three objectives. If a high ROI on sales is what you’re after, then nano-influencers are your best bet. The same goes for creating massive archives of authentic content. For pure awareness, you may want to incorporate a few macro-influencers in with nano-influencers. That being said, for targeted awareness and engagement, nano-influencers are the way to go.

The Future of Influencer Marketing

I believe the future lies with campaigns geared organic and authentic towards content creation. Content is king and nano-influencers are arguably one of the savviest ways to gain access to incredible amounts of content that would otherwise cost you a hefty photographer fee.

A mobilized army of nano-influencers can produce massive amounts of organized content for your brand. It won’t happen by accident, but with the use of a campaign brief and some direction, you’ll see engaging content created regularly.

Traditionally, creating content costs time and money. The process of planning, scheduling, and executing a photoshoot gets expensive rather quickly and often for talent that’s marginally better, if any, than a self taught nano-influencer. But the problem doesn’t stop at price, you also get tunnel vision content. One person, or in a best-case scenario, one team conjures up a concept for the shoot and they execute to their vision. An entire batch of content is going to be produced with very little variation. Given the churn rate of successful content, that’s a large bet to place. No wonder so many brands and even large enterprises are turning their attention to a seemingly better alternative.

Nano-influencer | Big time content

Nano-influencers in a campaign are still given direction with the help of a campaign brief. The same team that had tunnel vision and created monotonous content is even designing the campaign brief. The difference lies in the execution.

A good campaign brief will not tell it’s participants exactly what to do and it also won’t put words in anybody’s mouth. A good campaign brief is like a coach – it’ll give structure to a campaign and provide guidance. Secondly, the campaign brief should inspire the participating influencers to create content that an amazing product like yours deserves. The execution of how each nano-influencer and content creator perceives the brief is what makes the resulting content so special.

Each content creator in your campaign will experience your product in a unique way. The added bonus of releasing some degree of control to the influencers is that you get inherent customer feedback with each piece of content created. Influencers may find benefits from your product that you never considered, or they may use it in a way you didn’t think would be valuable. The influencers then put it to test with their engaged audience.

Authentic Content

The resulting content from your nano-influencer campaign is incredibly authentic and original. Why limit yourself to a regular staff of a dozen creators when you can open the floodgates to hundreds of content creators, all willingly creating their best content for a fraction of the price an employee would cost?

There is certainly a time and place for staged photoshoot content, but it’s less prominent than ever before. Authentic content is more important than ever, especially for brands that are concerned with reaching Gen Z effectively. Gen Z demands authenticity and will not connect with brands who are perceived as fake, not genuine, or too commercial.

The potential with repurposing nano-influencer content is enormous. Billboards, bus ads, and virtually any print media can easily benefit from their content. Video content has been coming on strong for the past couple of years and the influencers have not missed a beat. 2019 has seen four times as many videos uploaded as the year past as user preferences have shifted to be more video-centric.

Nano-influencers offer flexibility, authenticity, and a rolling tide of amazing content for your brand. They offer a better alternative to staged content and can accomplish multiple marketing objectives. While you’re enjoying a steady influx of quality content, your brand may incur some side effects. Side effects include, but are not limited to: social media follower growth, increased ROI from social media, more engaged online customers, greater online sales, and larger audience pools.

Any of the above side effects could be enough reason to give nano-influencers a shot, but start focusing on the content. Select the right nano-influencers for your campaign, ensure that they are capable of creating the content you envision, then the rest will follow. High-quality content opens doors to success in other areas.