TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Who are micro-influencers?
- Why do Gen Z customers trust micro-influencers more than brands?
- How can entrepreneurs target Gen Z customers by using influencer marketing?
In the digital age, we are constantly bombarded by ads and marketing campaigns from different brands. However, what many companies fail to realize is that consumers are increasingly relying on influencers rather than celebrities or brands to make purchasing decisions.
In this article, you will learn about micro-influencers and their impact on buying decisions of Generation Z (Gen Z) customers – the generation of customers with increasing spending power. Let’s get right into it.
Who are micro-influencers?
Micro-influencers are people who have fewer followers on social media platforms than celebrities or brands, but still, have a strong impact on the buying decisions of their fans. According to Business Insider, micro-influencers “can have as few as 100 followers”. In addition, they tend to be more relatable than other sources because their content is very similar to what the average person would post online.
That is where the concept of shoutouts comes into the picture. A shoutout happens when someone promotes someone else’s product on social media, describing their experience whilst using such a product. Micro-influencers often engage with their audiences through shoutouts (in the form of a picture or video content) after having used these products themselves. Such authentic, personal experience makes it easier for customers to relate to and trust them. For example, a customer who views an Instagram post with a picture of someone using a certain product will be more inclined to purchase that item because they can see themselves doing the same thing. Not only products, micro-influencers can also help you promote a podcast that you’re hosting or a service that you’re offering.
Micro-influencers are also considered much less expensive than celebrities or brands for companies to collaborate with and get marketing messages across to their targeted audiences. This means that companies (even those that are just starting an online business) can reach their target audiences for a much lower cost when working with micro-influencers.
However, it is important to note that despite charging lower costs, micro-influencers still have a strong influence on the buying decisions of millennials and Gen Z customers. Why’s that? Let’s discover this in the next part.
Why do Gen Z customers trust micro-influencers more than brands?
Generation Z is the term used to refer to people who were born in roughly the late 1990s through 2010. They are considered as the next generation of consumers, after millennials and before whatever comes next (i.e., Generation Alpha).
Gen Z consumers are more educated and informed
Unlike previous generations, Gen Z consumers have a different approach to brands. They are more educated, so they know what to look for when purchasing a product. They are also more tech-savvy and have better online access to get informed about the products they want to purchase.
Because of these characteristics, micro-influencers, rather than companies, can have a stronger impact on Gen Z customers’ buying decisions. They know that not everything brands say is true, so they are more likely to turn to micro-influencers for recommendations on products that they should purchase.
With expertise and experiences in their industry, micro-influencers make it easier for Gen Z to get informed about a certain product without having to rely on brands or celebrities that do not necessarily have their best interest at heart. As a result, it’s a smarter move for companies to partner with micro-influencers instead of celebrities or brands because Gen Z customers are more likely to trust these micro-influencers.
Gen Z customers look for authentic content
Since Gen Z is on social media much more than previous generations, they consume so much content – sometimes this all becomes just noise. This means that when they see someone sharing authentic experiences with a product, they are more likely to buy it.
Gen Z customers also look for authenticity in the influencers that they follow. They want to know that the people reviewing products on social media aren't getting paid or receiving items for free (or at least the reviewers don’t get paid to give biased reviews).
This is a crucial part of building up a personal brand and is one of the reasons why Gen Z customers are more likely to trust micro-influencers because these people have a less marketable image than celebrities or brands do.
Influencers are now role models
Gen Z customers seek to display their lifestyles and stand out. They trust what influencers say because they often see these influencers as role models. For example, when micro-influencers say that they love using a specific product for their skin, Gen Z consumers believe and follow it because they want to have similar smooth skin with the influencers.
Over time, these customers develop trust and respect for the influencers and follow their advice on other things such as fashion or lifestyles.
How can entrepreneurs target Gen Z customers by using influencer marketing?
Work with the right influencers
Creating a product campaign that aligns with a company’s values is key. After that, it becomes easier to find influencers that align with such values. This way, you will get better results than if you were to just approach an influencer at random without knowing anything about them.
Focus on the most engaged types of content
Understand that engagements vary greatly depending on the type of content posted by the micro-influencers: certain types of content will get more engagements than others. For instance, listicles and step-by-step tutorials tend to attract a lot more engagement than images with captions because people want more useful and actionable content.
Be creative in launching your campaigns
Try to engage influencers through contests: instead of just providing free products for endorsements and reviews, try asking influencers what their fans would like as prizes, and then use these items as giveaways or contests that you host exclusively for the influencer's viewers/followers only! This way, it'll be easier for your brand to stand out from all the other companies seeking attention from each micro-influencer.
- Tagging the influencers in posts and commenting on their posts occasionally to get exposed to the target audiences and drive more traffic to your channels.
- Provide useful information that will be helpful to the influencer's viewers, followers, and customers.
Use the right language
According to an article by Sprout Social, “millennials are more likely to have a negative perception of brands that aren't transparent or authentic”.
So when you engage in influencer marketing on social media platforms, be sure to use language that is truthful and doesn't exaggerate facts.
Create engaging content that will keep the audience interested in what you have to say: don't just post pretty images with words or none at all!
Gen Z customers are used to reading about products through blog posts, articles, and other forms of media so instead of using a product image, try including interesting facts or stories about your company's history so it'll be easier for you to gain their trust.
Keep up with the latest trend
Understanding the latest trends in the market is important for all companies but it's even more significant when it comes to social media. This is where people get the most of their information about what's currently trending.
For example, if saturated hues are back in style, you should take advantage of this opportunity by using the same trends colors on your advertisements so they'll be more noticeable to your target market.
If you have a lifestyle business idea and want to market your products successfully on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok, working with micro-influencers is the way to go. This is a less expensive yet highly effective way of advertising and reaching Gen Z customers alike.
With the above tips in mind, you should have a good idea of how to use micro-influencers to get your product out in front of more potential customers.