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Are Micro-Subcultures Replacing Micro-Influencers?


A micro-influencer focus on the category of interest the influencer follows like Kim Kardashian could be related to fashion and lifestyle group. On the other hand, micro-culture is focused more on the cultural aspects of the group, not the influencer in themselves. For instance, young Asians who like fashion and branded clothes can be a “micro-culture group” for brands to target. In other words, Prada brand could allocate a marketing budget to that group instead of paying Kim Kardashian who despite her huge popularity on social media, cannot reach such a large Asian female group.


So what is a micro-influencer then?
A Micro
influencer is an influencer with fewer followers than a big influence, but I would say it has no less than 10K and the cost to advertise is less. A micro-Influencer fits into the influencer marketing landscape, in that they have a direct, personal connection with their audience. They have a very intimate sense of who they are, and what they like. A microinfluencer not only understands his or her audience members but respects them.


Micro influencers have been touted for high engagement rates, but as some experts point out that these aren’t the only metrics relevant to marketers. As the influencer marketing industry continues to grow, it’s important that marketers understand the role that micro influencers play in the industry, the pros and cons that come with working with micro influencers, and how they might prove effective for some marketing goals and strategies and ineffective for others.


What are a macro and a micro-subculture and how it is different from an influencer?
On the other hand, Micro-Subcultures or Subcultures are part of a large macro culture. For example, the United States macro-culture is predominantly composed of persons of European ancestry with English as their preferred language and Christianity as the religion of choice. From within that culture as a whole, there are smaller groups called micro-subcultures.


Micro-subcultures are described as distinct groups within a larger group that share some sort of common trait, activity or language that ties them together and or differentiates them from the larger group. A micro-subculture is also not limited to how small it can be. Latin-speaking residents of the United States would be a micro-culture to the larger macro-culture of a State or a Nation.


Furthermore, micro-cultures can be divided into further subsets based on many different factors, from things as gender, religion or occupation to specific brands they follow. For example,  for some baby items, Johnson and Johnson can target and sell to “ALL woman with children under five.” That would include Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans in one group.


Influencers used to have a point. They had a unique perspective, and they led sub-cultures, but now influencers–particularly micro-influencers on Instagram— all seem like carbon copies of each other or Kim Kardashian look-a-likes. Brands are at risk of compromising their authenticity by paying these ‘influencers’ to post on the promise of reach‘If you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to no one’ Georgie Harding co-founder of tastemaker based e-commerce company Semaine noted on an influencer marketing panel.


With macro-influencers losing their relevance, and Gen Z more likely to try a product if it’s recommended by a friend instead of influencers or traditional advertising, brands need to start paying attention to their top 1% of fans; the individual, their immediate peer group, and the micro-subcultures they inhabit. Using a combination of natural language processing and computer vision companies like Zyper,  have been able to identify thousands of these micro-subcultures that house peer to peer influence networks. From #curlyhairdontcare to #bookstagram or #memoriesofmotherhood these are places where smart brands have an opportunity to find their true fans and secure product placement with extremely high levels of engagement.


Sahar Saidi of Lus Brands (another startup in this current Y Combinator batch) produces a range of products for people with curly hair. Her brand’s Facebook page is a place where members of a subgroup of a subculture – women with curly hair – are participating as an interactive audience while simultaneously building networks.


When brands can facilitate building these networks with their own community hashtags #theplantone #popcornenthusiast #flowerstoyourdoorstep the effects are powerful. The communities we are building for our clients are in many cases driving a lower cost of acquisition than Facebook, a 5x higher LTV and on average, a 16% higher repeat rate of purchase. Influencers used to have a point, but the point is now every customer is an influencer. Smart brands should cultivate a more open-source ecosystem that allows the individual to market with the brand instead of being marketed to.


If you’d like to learn more about community marketing and how to turn your passive followers into active brand advocates reach out @digitalscrm

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