When local businesses think about using influencers to market and grow their business they often believe that they don’t have the budget to work with them. While this is the case for the largest influencers, local businesses would be surprised at how cheap and reasonable most averaged sized accounts can be. Similarly, they tend to be ‘tighter-knit, ’ and this can mean a significantly higher ROI. Local companies often find it difficult to market their business effectively but using influencers is one of the easiest and most efficient methods available.
WHO ARE INFLUENCERS?
So, what classifies someone as an influencer and what can they do for you? Think back to your teenage years, if you can remember that far back, you probably copied the style of your favorite band or the coolest kid in your class. What they did influences your behaviors. With the advent of the internet, we have a whole new branch of influencers. When we talk about them, we are usually referring to people that have a following on social media or a website where their followers will trust and act on what they say. This could just be the coolest kid in your local area who knows everybody and has 6,000 followers or it could be a blogger with 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. Whatever the case, the important thing is that they have influence over what other people spend money on. Most businesses choose to work with the largest influencers, but if you’re running a local business, you only want to target people in your area. Similarly, you might not have the budget for a huge influencer and will settle for a smaller one instead.
WHY ARE SMALL OR LOCAL INFLUENCERS SO POWERFUL?
Local influencers are extremely powerful for local businesses because they have followers who are located in your area and could be potential customers. However, just as importantly they have small followings, and that means they will probably charge a tiny amount to promote your business. This is the same case with small influencers i.e. below 50,000 followers, who rarely get the opportunity to work with companies and who charge a fraction that the most popular accounts do. The great thing about these smaller accounts is that they are often more niche. They might target body weight workouts rather than fitness in general, and this makes their audience more targeted. Also, they often interact more with their audience, and that can mean that they have a closer connection with them. In many cases, this will mean that their followers are more influenced by their recommendations.
HOW TO FIND THESE INFLUENCERS?
Before you start on your search for influencers, you should decide on a platform that you want to target. Most people will use multiple platforms, but they’ll often prioritize one where they have their largest audience. Depending on the type of product or service that your business sells you might want to choose one social media platform over another. For example; if you sell jewelry then Pinterest is likely to best the best choice whereas B2B services might be better for an industry related YouTuber or Facebook page. Once you know what platform you’re looking at your should start searching on that website for keywords and phrases that are related to your business. This should bring up a selection of influencers that you can look at. When you’re filtering your list of influencers, you should look not only at the number of followers they have but also the amount of interaction they get on each post. This is a better indication of the number of people that read their posts. Depending on your budget you might want to focus on people with accounts below 10,000 followers. These influencers rarely get approached by companies and can be the cheapest to work with.
HOW TO WORK WITH THESE INFLUENCERS?
When you’re working with influencers, you can either decide to pay them with money or to give them your product or service as compensation. This decision will be up to you and the person you’re working with, but generally, the more popular influencers will expect cash payment whereas the smaller accounts might accept products or services. It’ll also depend on what you offer. For example; many influencers would accept a free dinner for two at a restaurant in their town, but they might not be interested in the latest toenail treatment. Once they’ve received payment in whatever form they’ll be expected to let their audience know about your company.
Influencers are an incredibly powerful way to get thousands of new hits to your website in a single day, and if you target your marketing, correctly many of these will convert into paying customers. Don’t be afraid to work with small local influencers. Even someone with 1,000 followers could have a huge impact if they can convince 5 of their fans to become regular customers at your business.