The meteoric rise of Instagram is undeniable. The social media platform has more users than ever before, with 111 million account holders now dedicating their spare minutes and hours of the day to the consumption of a range of media. At the same time, influencer marketing has evolved from a tactical marketing opportunity into a legitimate channel to reach online consumers.
However, one question that continues to hover over the world of social media advertising and influencer marketing is that of return on investment. The world of Instagram influencers is ever-changing, and countless brands have been fooled into putting their eggs into the wrong baskets.
Indeed, there seems to be an endless list of influencers that a brand could work with, from nano-influencers (3,000 to 10,000 followers), micro (10,001 to 100,000 followers), macro (100,001 to 1 million followers) to mega-influencers (more than 1 million followers). For brands unsure of where to start, the emergence of a new category, hyperlocal influencers, is excellent news.
Hyperlocal influencers are a form of micro-influencer that draws their audience not just from a shared interest and niche, but by geographical locations. Hyperlocal influencers tend to have earned their notoriety through being a voice in their local community, be they artists, campaigners, volunteers, or other fields. Follower counts of hyperlocal influencers obviously vary, but tend to be in the ballpark of 800 to 5,000 followers.
Hyperlocal influencers speak local, live local, and act local, making them uniquely placed to connect to the local consumer on a more personal level than their counterparts. This kind of intimacy gives brands the chance to tell their stories in the right places with a greater impact. Doing so regularly can help drive sales from target locales.
At the same time, hyperlocal influencers – who often work with influencer marketing agencies such as mine, 5WPR – are often located away from major capital cities already densely populated with influencers. They can be more easily overlooked by major brand marketing teams, and instead typically work with small local businesses. As a result, hyperlocal influencer rates are typically lower than their city-based counterparts, and they may more readily deliver beyond the required scope of work for a partnered brand.
One of the main reasons why influencer marketing has proven so successful is the relatability of this form of outreach. This is just as true for hyperlocal influencers. For example, a new mother in Hawaii will tend to believe the recommendation of a mother-influencer based in her state rather than one in Mississippi, regardless of how many followers the latter mother has garnered. Hyperlocal influencers serve far more effectively than other influencers as extended word of mouth.
Then, the challenge every brand needs to address is the question of whether hyperlocal influencers will serve as the final piece of the puzzle for digital media strategies. No two firms are the same, but with the rising costs associated with digital media campaigns and expanding groups of consumers looking to get away from the noise of non-stop advertisements, the authenticity of hyperlocal influencers shouldn’t be overlooked.