E43: Hummingbirds’ Steele Puts Influencers to Work in Local

“I had a hunch this would be something big and meaningful for brands.”

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Episode 43 of Localogy’s This Week in Local podcast features a conversation on the power of local influencer marketing with Hummingbirds Co-founder & CEO Emily Steele. Hummingbirds is a startup based in Des Moines, Iowa that helps “place-based brands (e.g. grocery stores brick and mortar retail companies) find and work with hyperlocal content creators …to drive awareness and sales.”

Hummingbirds is in many ways the opposite of Khardashian-level influencer marketing, where people with millions of Instagram followers hawk luxury goods. Rather, it’s about that friend in your community with maybe hundreds of followers who convinced you to try out that new cocktail bar or yoga studio.

Hummingbirds also sees itself as a new way for brands to reach young consumers who are “spending money on Spotify to avoid ads.”

Steele and Co-founder Charise Flynn started Hummingbirds in 2019. The company raised a $1 million seed round late in 2022. Chicago-based VC firm M25 led the round.

Steele will be a speaker at Localogy’s Place conference, on November 7 in New York City. Steele will join the panel, “5 Multi-Location Trends That Every Marketer Must Know.” The panel is organized by Street Fight and sponsored by Devhub.

  • Local influencer marketing and its potential for brands. (0:23)
  • What is in this for brands? (8:24)
  • Using hummingbirds for marketing and fundraising. (12:37)
  • Influencer marketing in midsize cities. (17:45)
  • Local marketing and avoiding ads. (26:20)
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This Week in Local is Localogy’s weekly podcast featuring engaging conversations on topics relevant to the local digital ecosystem. The show’s hosts have been covering this space for decades.

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