Nano, Micro, Squads: The New Influencer Ecology
Once considered a niche strategy, influencer marketing has since grown into a multibillion dollar global industry. By conservative estimates, it’s currently worth approximately US$2 billion worldwide. In the past two years alone, salaried positions related to the practice have more than doubled. And, the market is still evolving.
Whereas once influencer marketing was considered an exclusive province of individuals with millions of followers, strategies are growing more diverse and sophisticated. In 2019, many leading communicators are more heavily investing in micro-and nano-influencers – influencers with as a few as a couple of hundred followers who can still deliver significant ROI for their brand collaborators.
A 2018 study, for example, found that nano- and micro- influencers were considered more trusted and more knowledgeable than traditional influencers. In mature influencer markets like China, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) with smaller followings may be more suitable for some brands because they can be more exclusive and convey individuality by association. With these developments, influencer marketing for brands is poised to change considerably.
Leading sport and beauty brands have already experimented with ‘squads’ of smaller influencers – allowing them to engage diverse audiences, build stronger relationships and maintain cost-effective spend. With an evolving influencer ecosystem, brands and communicators can work smarter with current data and analytics tools to optimize their influencer budgets better than ever before.