A social media influencer at work. (Shutterstock/paulaphoto)
It can’t be denied that Instagram is the go-to social media platform in Indonesia. Indonesians love to use Instagram whenever they have a gap time, from lining up to commuting to work. At IDN Creator Network, we saw almost every major brand investing in influencer marketing in some capacity in 2019. And what once seemed like a tactical marketing channel has now become a legitimate channel to reach consumers both online and offline. But with that legitimacy will come the greatest marketing mystery: return on investment.
With endless list of influencers to work with, from nano (3,000 to 10,000 followers) to micro (10,001 to 100,000 followers) to macro (100,001 to 1 million followers) to mega (more than 1 million followers), we started to see a pattern that can provide an answer to the question of return on investment: hyperlocal influencer.
Hyperlocal influencers are city-based influencers spread among the top 15 cities in Indonesia with a strong local following. With the democratization of attention and influence, here are the three main propositions of hyperlocal influencers and why they are the future of influencer marketing:
Hyperlocal influencers speak local, live local and, therefore, can connect with the local consumer on a personal level. This intimacy allows brands to tell their brand messages in the right place with more impact. Doing it regularly can drive sales from each local targeted geography.
Because hyperlocal influencers are located far from Jakarta, where most brand marketing teams are located, they tend to be overlooked and mostly work with small local businesses. This means their rates are relatively lower than their Jakarta-based counterparts. Some of our research shows that their rates can be 50 percent less for macro-influencers and 65 percent for micro-influencers. On top of cost efficiency, hyperlocal influencers take great pride in working with a national brand and are more than happy to deliver beyond the required scope of work.
High relevance and high engagement
One of the reasons why influencer marketing works is because of its relatability. Our internal report shows that the relatability of the influencer can be nearly twice as important as the influencer’s popularity. A new mother in Makassar, South Sulawesi, will tend to believe the recommendation of a mother-influencer who is based in Makassar more than those who are based in Jakarta, regardless of their number of followers. The manifestation of trust is represented in the ratio of engagement (comments compared to followers or likes compared to followers). Hyperlocal influencers serve as extended word of mouth.
Are hyperlocal influencers the final piece of the puzzle for digital media? As price becomes more proportionate to scale, hyperlocal influencers are becoming an integrated and necessary part of digital marketing. And as consumers are bombarded with non-stop advertisements, hyperlocal influencers can cut through the noise with their authenticity and advocacy.
If you are mapping your customer journey beyond the segment level to the micro-segment and geo-targeted level, it is time to start creating hyperlocal content with hyperlocal influencers.
William Utomo is the cofounder and COO of IDN Media, the largest content platform in Indonesia with more than 50 million unique monthly users. William has received multiple awards for his efforts in democratizing information to all Indonesians, such as from Forbes 30 Under 30 and Tatler Asia. He is also a lecturer at the University of Indonesia.
Rayi is an experienced associate researcher and content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production and start-up industry. Currently, she is a research associate at IDN Research Institute as part of IDN Media.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.