Grow Your Business With Local Influencer Strategies
Influencer marketing is still in its infancy. It's been interesting to see it evolve over time - influencers, celebrities as influencers, macro talent, micro talent, the KOL influencer, organic posting, whitelisting, UGC... the list of opportunities continues to grow.
Despite all that, most local businesses find that influencer marketing isn't really accessible to them. They think "it's great on a global or national scale, but too difficult to make work locally."
But, if you business is defined and driven by the local community, why not utilize the power of local influencers to boost your growth? This is a tactic available to you. You just need to understand how.
Local influencers can provide that much-needed push to your marketing strategy, and unlike their celebrity counterparts, they can drive significant engagement within your target audience. By harnessing their social media prowess and loyal followers, local influencer marketing efforts can offer authentic engagement, social proof and business growth.
Keep reading to learn how to find local influencers, approach them for collaboration, and build partnerships that continue to ensure ongoing success of your small business.
Understanding Local Influencer Strategies
Establishing robust connections with local influencers is a pivotal component of a successful marketing strategy. Through local influencer marketing efforts, businesses, specifically small ones, can tap into a more concentrated and relevant audience.
The power of local social media influencers lies in their ability to tell your target audience what to do in the area. This could be what restaurant they should eat at this weekend or which tire shop is going to give them the best possible service or where they can get exclusive discounts, for example.
They have broad appeal, but hometown roots. This makes them the perfect partners to deliver your brand message.
Influencers can be seen as brand ambassadors if they fit well with your brand message and resonate with your business goals. Be it through Google search, relevant keywords, or through direct interaction on social media platforms like Instagram, it's crucial to identify influencers that can create content that lends your brand some social proof, facilitating authentic engagement with potential customers.
Further, influencer marketing tools offer plenty of resources. Using an influencer marketing tool can simplify your process to find local influencers, pinpointing relevant influencers based on audience demographics, geographic location, and engagement rate. Whether or not this is a good approach when we talk through the "how to" based upon your budget and goals.
Note, not all influencers can deliver the desired results despite having numerous social media followers. It is crucial to analyze their engagement rate to ensure they can generate authentic interaction. For your local efforts, micro-influencers, despite having fewer followers than mainstream influencers, often show higher engagement and more local relatability, making them potent allies for small businesses looking to build rapport and trust within their local community.
The Importance of Local Influencers in Business Growth
Crafting successful influencer marketing campaigns requires businesses not just to find influencers, but to find the right local influencers who truly resonate with the brand's identity.
The right local influencer has the power to improve brand visibility, fortify the brand trust among potential customers, and expedite business growth. These influencers have an authentic connection with their social media followers and can ensure the brand message aligns with audience expectations.
Let's look at this example from Ling & Lamb. Despite the fact that they have millions of followers and work with large brands like Wal-Mart and Crocs, they are still a staple in their local community of Norwalk, CT.
They did this video for one of their local seafood restaurants that drove more than 4M views for a global audience and then was picked up by their local news programming furthering the restaurant's PR opportunities.
But, not all influencer engagements need to be with globally recognized talent.
Engaging local instagram influencers and micro influencers, renowned within smaller, niche communities, can be incredibly beneficial for local businesses. These influencers have a strong social presence in a particular location or community, offering the chance to target audience demographics effectively. Additionally, their credibility in the locality can enhance the receptivity of local profiles to the brand's marketing campaign.
Another benefit of leveraging influencers, particularly Instagram influencers, is the opportunity to utilize their content strategy for your brand's promotion. Influencers already have a proven content strategy that captivates their followers. When they weave your brand's message into their content, it ensures a seamless integration that doesn't feel forced or inauthentic to the audience.
Furthermore, investing in local influencers manually can enhance the brand's social proof within the local community. Seeing familiar faces endorsing a brand can elicit trust amongst potential customers. By harnessing a local influencer's credibility, businesses can build a strong and loyal local customer base, underpinning sustainable growth.
Identifying Potential Local Influencers in Your Area
Finding local influencers can seem daunting but with the right approach, it can be quite feasible.
We'll tackle two different approaches - 1) Using influencer marketing platforms and 2) how to find local influencers manually.
Using influencer marketing platforms
I'm a fan of platforms. And, there are lots of options out there. However, for local influencer needs, it's important that you select something that fits your budget and goals.
Given the number of talent that may be in your area a long-term contract may not be necessary and an expensive platform may not be worth the cost. That said, for local and mid-market brands looking to identify local influencers, there are several key features to look for in an influencer marketing platform:
Geo-Targeting Capabilities: The platform should offer robust geo-targeting tools that allow you to search for influencers based on their location. This is crucial for local brands that want to reach an audience in a specific city or region.
Engagement Analysis: Look for platforms that provide detailed insights into an influencer's engagement rates. A high engagement rate is often more important than a large follower count, especially for local campaigns where the goal is to connect with a community.
Audience Demographics: The ability to analyze an influencer's audience demographics is essential. This helps ensure that the influencer's followers align with your brand's target market.
Past Campaign Performance: A good platform should allow you to see an influencer's past campaign performance. This includes metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversions, which can help gauge how effective they might be for your campaign.
Once you've identified a platform that meets these criteria, the next step is to use it effectively:
Define Your Goals: Before you start searching for influencers, it's important to define the goals of your campaign. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or boost sales? Your goals will guide your search for the right influencers.
Search and Vet Influencers: Use the platform's search tools to find influencers in your desired location. Once you've identified potential influencers, carefully vet them by analyzing their engagement rates, audience demographics, and past campaign performance.
Build Relationships: Before you start reaching out to influencers, take the time to engage with their content and build a relationship with them. This can make them more receptive to your collaboration proposal.
Measure Results: Once your campaign is live, use the platform's analytics tools to measure its performance. This includes tracking metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversions. Use these insights to refine your strategy and improve future campaigns.
How to find local influencers manually
Validating potential influencers starts with a thorough research process.
The easiest (and often most effective) place to begin is a simple google search using keywords specific to your industry and location.
Google's ranking of all online content make it easy to create relevant google searches based upon your needs.
You can also go directly to the social media platforms for your influencer search and add them to your roster via the TalentSheets Chrome Extension. While scouring social media, seeking influencers based on local hashtags can be another effective strategy. In particular, platforms like Instagram and TikTok can shed light on local creators who show promise as influencers for your brand. Both, with their visually rich platforms, have a number of influencers in diverse fields from fashion bloggers to food business enthusiasts.
Simply search for your [keyword + location].
For example, let's say you're a restaurant in Louisville, KY.
From there, you'll want to click "Tags".
You can see in the example above that there are more than 150K+ tags for the location.
Be sure to capture the right Instagram influencers by looking at not just their follower count, but also their style of creating content, the quality of that content, and how they engage with their audience. These factors can provide crucial insights into audience location and offer clues to the influencers’ influence within their follower base. Tapping into your own social media followers can also be an essential resource to find influencers organically within your existing audience.
Relevance is key when identifying potential influencers. The identified influencers should have an audience that aligns with your potential customers and should represent a style or ethos compatible with your brand's message. Remember, the goal isn't to find the influencer with the largest following but rather an influencer whose follower base will find value in what your brand has to offer. Once you've identified the right influencer, you can automatically add them into your Google Sheets with TalentSheets.
How to Approach and Collaborate With Local Influencers
Once a business has identified the right local influencers, the next step is to initiate contact and propose a collaboration. Opening lines of communication should be sincere, reflecting a genuine understanding of the influencer's work and how they resonate with the brand message. Offering an honest review of their work before outlining a proposed partnership can create a good first impression and lay the groundwork for a successful relationship.
Courteous and clear communication is vital when dealing with influencers. It's important to articulate clear business goals, what is expected from the collaboration, and how the influencer fits into these plans. Transparency in communication fosters mutual respect and solidifies the foundation for a successful influencer marketing campaign.
While approaching the chosen influencers, an agreed-upon form of compensation for their service is crucial. Whether it takes the form of monetary compensation, free products, services, or a combination of these, it’s essential to agree upon adequate and fair remuneration. It's also important to consider the terms of the agreement as influencers need clear guidance on what's expected from them in terms of content creation, posting schedule, and the nature of the posts.
Finally, foster a collaborative atmosphere with the influencers. Encourage them to lend their creative touch to the marketer’s vision. This approach not only ensures the content will resonate with their followers, but it also increases the likelihood of genuine, authentic engagement for the brand, ultimately attracting a loyal customer base in their local community.
Maximizing Engagement Through Influencer Partnerships
A successful strategy to boost potential customer engagement is to partner with the right local influencers who have an authentic and active relationship with their audience. These influencers can help create content that's both highly relevant and appealing, driving higher engagement rates. When influencers who are experts in their field collaborate with brands, the authenticity of their content can lead to genuine engagement and meaningful interactions from their followers.
The power of influencer marketing lies not only in the original content created but also in the repurposed content. By re-sharing influencers' posts on the brand's social platforms, businesses can increase engagement with their own social media followers. Moreover, it offers fresh and dynamic content which is more likely to be shared, increasing its reach.
Another notable way to drive higher engagement is by utilizing trending hashtags mentioned by influencers. A smart combination of popular and localized or niche hashtags can increase the visibility of the content to a broader audience. Experimenting with different all text formats, visual content, and interactive posts, such as contests or challenges proposed by influencers, can also trigger greater audience involvement.
Ultimately, remember that genuine, quality engagement takes time to build - it can't be rushed. Stay patient and continue to nurture the partnership with influencers. Allow them to connect with their audience organically, and over time, through their efforts, the brand will achieve its goal of maximizing engagement and fueling business growth.
Building Trust and Authenticity With Local Influencers
Building trust and authenticity with local influencers is fundamental for a sustainable and efficient long-term partnership. This involves ensuring a mutual understanding and respect for each other's brand and mission. Additionally, allowing influencers the creative freedom within the framework of the brand's guidelines can foster a healthy working relationship, enabling the creation of authentic content which resonates better with the audience.
One method to improve authenticity in influencer marketing campaigns is to focus on finding an influencer who naturally aligns with the brand. When an influencer’s personal brand values correspond with those of the company, it communicates a strong, coherent message to the audience. Brands should reach out to influencers who genuinely enjoy their product or service, as their honest perception can instigate a more natural and reliable promotion.
An additional way to build trust with the audience is to leverage influencers for user-generated content campaigns. By encouraging influencers to share real experiences or organize contests where followers participate and create content, brands can earn user trust more rapidly. This results in authentic engagement, increased brand visibility, and user trust as potential customers witness people similar to themselves appreciate the brand.
Maintaining transparency throughout the partnership is also crucial for building trust. Be open about the partnership with the audience and avoid any form of deceptive advertising. Honest advertising reinforces the bond with the audience, ensuring their loyalty and enhancing the chances of converting them into customers which will aid in achieving the targeted business growth.
Leveraging Local Influence to Drive Customer Loyalty
Driving customer loyalty is a crucial objective of local influencer marketing strategies. Engaged and repeat customers not only contribute to a brand's profitability but also become brand advocates, bringing in new customers. By partnering with the right local influencers, brands can build relationships with customers, promoting loyalty through authentic engagements and consistent messaging.
Authenticity plays a pivotal role in garnering customer loyalty. Customers are more likely to stick with brands they perceive as genuine and reliable. Thus, a local influencer who can convey a brand's message authentically and relate it to their audience's everyday lives can immensely contribute towards increasing customer loyalty.
Equally important is personalization. When content is tailored to audience preferences and values, it nurtures a deeper connection. Local influencers, with their understanding of the local language, culture, and customer preferences, are in a unique position to infuse such personal and culturally relevant elements into their endorsements, encouraging customers to build a long-term relationship with the brand.
Lastly, one cannot underestimate the power of consistent communication. Regular engagement with the audience via updates, responding to comments, or addressing their concerns reinforces brand visibility and paints the picture of a brand that values its customers. Encouraging influencers to maintain this consistent communication is a surefire way to drive customer loyalty, stimulating business growth.
Tracking the Impact of Local Influencer Strategies on Business Growth
Tracking the impact of local influencer partnerships on business growth is as essential as the campaign implementation itself. Monitoring certain metrics such as engagement rate, audience reach, and the frequency of brand mentions can offer insights into the success of the influencer's content strategy and their influence. These measurements help identify what's working, what's not, and what improvements could be made.
Another key metric to monitor is the surge in new followers or visitors to your social media platforms after the activation of the influencer marketing campaign. A noticeable increase in follower count or website traffic post-campaign is a positive indicator that the influencers are channeling their audience towards your brand. However, mere traffic should not be the sole determinant of success; brands should also track how many of these visits convert into tangible sales or leads.
Studying customer behavior and responses can further gauge the campaign's effectiveness. This could range from tracking the number of new sign-ups and downloads to direct customer feedback and reviews. Active customer participation and positive feedback are good signs, testifying to the influencer's effectiveness in driving customer actions.
Lastly, the relatively recent performance metrics 'Sales Lift" and 'Brand Lift' help evaluate the impact of influencer marketing on business growth. These metrics analyze the increase in sales and brand awareness respectively, post the influencer campaign. Monitoring these gives a clearer picture of the influencer's contribution towards achieving the overall business goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find social media influencers in my area?
To find social media influencers in your area manually, start by using the search function on platforms like Instagram or Twitter. Input location-specific hashtags or keywords relevant to your business or industry. Look for posts with high engagement and take note of the users who are creating that content. Additionally, you can explore location tags to find popular posts in your area, and identify users who frequently engage with or post about local businesses and events. By taking these steps, you'll be able to find influencers who have a strong presence in your community and are relevant to your brand or industry.
How much does it cost to hire a social media influencer?
The cost of hiring a social media influencer can vary widely depending on a range of factors including the influencer's follower count, engagement rate, industry, and platform.
As a general guide:
Nano-influencers (1,000 - 10,000 followers): $10 - $100 per post.
Micro-influencers (10,000 - 50,000 followers): $100 - $500 per post.
Mid-tier influencers (50,000 - 500,000 followers): $500 - $5,000 per post.
Macro-influencers (500,000 - 1 million followers): $5,000 - $10,000 per post.
Mega-influencers (1 million+ followers): $10,000+ per post.
It's important to note that these are rough estimates and prices can vary. Some influencers may also accept product or service exchanges instead of monetary payment. If you're looking for additional guidance on pricing, TalentSheets has a pricing guide baked in based upon each talent's projected performance.
Always communicate clearly with influencers and have a written agreement in place to outline expectations, deliverables, and payment terms.
Maximizing business growth with local influencer strategies plays an instrumental role in modern marketing.
By leveraging the authenticity and audience connect of local influencers, businesses can reach their target audience more effectively.
The right local influencer not only amplifies brand visibility, but also cultivates trust, thereby solidifying customer loyalty.
Furthermore, personalized content and consistent communication delivered through influencer partnerships foster deep-seated customer relationships.
Tracking the impact of these strategies ensures that businesses can refine their approach, creating more effective campaigns.
Ultimately, local influencers present an exciting opportunity for businesses to attain sustainable growth by engaging their customer base in a more meaningful and impactful manner.