Everyone is talking about Gen Z. Born into a mobile-driven, digital first world, they have long been the ‘next big thing’ in the marketing industry and with every passing year their purchasing power grows – currently estimated to be £110 billion globally.
Over the past five years, the industry have theorised the best way to reach this youngest generation, with Influencer marketing seeing the largest growth of all. In 2018 it was reported that £1.2 billion was funnelled into sponsored posts on Instagram alone and 39% of brands plan to increase their Influencer marketing budget again this year.
Nothing better illustrates the perils of large, “insta-celeb” scale influencer marketing better than the 2017 Fyre Festival debacle. The festival itself was heavily promoted by some of the biggest influencers in the world, selling the dream of the ultimate, private island festival. It is not an understatement to say that these influencers drove thousands to buy tickets, expecting the most instagrammable experience money could buy. What actually transpired was a series of calamities resulting in the cancellation of the festival and a lawsuit landing the festival organizer a 6 year prison sentence.
High profile fiascos such as Fyre Festival have tested the trust between consumers (especially the tech -savvy Gen Z), influencers and brands, ultimately giving way to a new type of Influencer… the Micro kind.
Micro-influencers have a more organic following, less than 10,000, but in specific niches: fitness, beauty, fashion, students, parenting etc. They are seen as “normal people”, making them far more relatable, trustworthy and therefore benefiting from much higher engagement rates and consumer loyalty.
Sound familiar? Although the title “influencer” is synonymous with Social Media nowadays, our Campus Ambassadors have been on campus micro-influencers for decades. They have long been brand’s early adopters and evangelists and are passionate about a particular brand or category. Made even easier by Social Media, they hold the power to influence their friends and family members at scale.
Why do brands need them?
There have been enough studies published to know that word of mouth and recommendation are the biggest influencing factors for consumers. This is where Campus Micro-Influencers come in, they are nurtured, highly engaged communities of advocates that are genuinely excited to talk about your brand. With the daily guidance of experts (us!), their content is relatable, creative and most importantly, authentic.
Here are our top three insights on why brands should invest in Campus Micro-Influencers:
The Youth Factor – University is a significant point of change for a young consumer, no longer dictated by their parents’ habits and preferences, this is when they take pride in representing brands of their choice. In addition, they are more than comfortable spending online and are very connected to their digital wallets.
Advertising Mistrust – As touched upon with the Fyre Festival media storm, not only are Gen Z mistrusting of mainstream media, but they’re also now extremely savvy when it comes to Macro (10k fans +) Influencers promoting products. Student’s don’t like to feel like they’re being sold to – making peer to peer recommendation an excellent strategy. When they create content around the brands that they believe in on their social channels, they’re speaking directly to their loyal community of peers.
Authenticity – Having an influential student post about a product or brand online resonates far more with other students than a piece of polished marketing, because it’s more authentic. By partnering with influencers, your brand can deliver messaging during key moments of a student’s life and in the style and tone of the influencer themselves, often positioning the products in their every day lives.
Here at Campus Group, we’re leaders in harnessing the power of Micro-Influencers. Not only do we build communication, trust and campaigns around them and your brand, we have the tools to validate their authenticity and track everything that they do.
Contact us here to get started with your Campus Micro-Influencer campaign.