How to Engage Local Influencers as a Small Business
Are you finding it hard to engage local influencers as part of your influencer marketing efforts?
Well, then this article is what you need to rise to this challenge.
Local influencer marketing is one of the top trends in digital marketing that you can leverage to achieve various business goals like creating more exposure, generating more leads, increasing sales, and so much more.
The nature and purpose of local influencers’ activity on different social platforms are the same as non-local influencers.
In other words, all the influencers in the world share the same purpose, which is to influence their audiences in many ways.
They can all motivate their followers to take some sort of action through sharing engaging and value-rich content.
And they do the same when collaborating with businesses and brands in their campaigns.
But the primary benefit of local influencer marketing is that you gain the opportunity to spread the buzz around your small business locally.
So let’s cut to the chase and see how you can actually engage local influencers to level up your business in two simple steps.
Step 1: Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
First, you need to set up an effective strategy that outlines all the details of your influencer marketing efforts.
Before you engage local influencers in your campaigns, you need to be specific about the market you want to reach, the goals you want to achieve, and the amount of money you want to spend.
Now let’s see how creating an influencer marketing strategy is done.
Set Measurable Goals
In any strategy, the first step is setting clear, actionable, and measurable goals.
Most believe goals should be SMART, meaning they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Time-bound, and Relevant.
However, you can use other methods and formats to set goals for your small business.
The whole idea comes down to one thing: determining where you want to take your small business with influencer marketing.
You can generally include goals like increasing your outreach, generating better leads, or/and boosting sales.
But know this, influencer marketing works best when wanting to achieve long-term goals.
So you may want to adjust your goal-setting efforts in a way that is more long-term focused.
Determine your Target Audience
Next, you should research the market you want to reach.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using influencer marketing or some other tactic; your target audience is less likely to change in any situation.
In this phase, you need to develop imaginary characters that stand for your ideal customers.
In Marketing Science, this process is called creating buyer personas.
Often times asking the right set of questions will lead you to come up with the best buyer personas:
- Are they primarily male or female?
- How old are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- What are their interests?
- What problems do they have?
- What products do they need?
Set a Budget
Finally, you should determine how much you want to invest in your influencer marketing plan.
Setting the proper budget will help you further in finding the right local influencers.
So in our case, since small businesses typically have small budgets, they’d probably reach out to local nano or micro-influencers.
The reason for this is obvious; these two types of influencers charge less; therefore, they’re the ideal choices for most small businesses and brands.
Step 2: Find and Engage Local Influencers:
Knowing the ins and outs of an excellent strategy to engage local influencers in your campaigns, it’s time to help you get in touch with them!
Mostly, people have a hard time finding the right local influencers, and this is actually natural.
Because all we hear is mostly about influencer marketing and what benefits small businesses can reap from it.
Two Ways to Find Influencers:
The best way to find local influencers is to search them in an influencer marketplace.
For this, you can use Ainfluencer, the leading global influencer marketing, and marketplace ads agency.
They offer a vast database of more than 700k Instagram influencers in various niches.
Unlike most other platforms that require you to pay upfront, no initial payment is required to use this platform.
You just need to submit your request for a FREE VIP tour of their service.
Besides using a tool, you can also perform a Google search to find local influencers.
However, you’ll end up spending a lot of time and energy to search them up using this old-school method.
Yet, it’s still a viable option to find influencers.
Simply start by inputting search phrases like ‘local influencers near me’ or ‘best local influencer in [location]’ into Google and check the surfaced results.
The top results will probably be advertisements from different influencer marketing agencies.
You may wish to use any of them to discover the influencers that you’re looking for.
But the majority of them will ask you to buy their premium accounts to get full access to their influencer database.
That’s why we recommended using Ainfluencer in the first place since it’s completely free to use.
Anyways, scroll down a bit to see some of the organic results on the first page.
If you came across some blogs introducing the influencers you’re after or even some Instagram profiles, be sure to check them out.
Once you’ve found out your ideal candidates, you can manually run an influencer audit by checking three factors:
First, you want to make sure the account you’re auditing also has an acceptable engagement rate.
A high engagement rate means the influencer is doing a great job to attract his/her audiences’ attention and, as a result, enticing them to take some sort of action.
This is why small businesses pay attention to ERs to decide who is their ideal local influencer.
It’s possible to calculate the engagement rate for each post, but not for the whole account.
For instance, for an Instagram account, divide the number of likes and comments of each post by the number of followers and multiply it by 100 to get the percentage.
As a rule of thumb, accounts with fewer followers have higher engagement rates, even as high as 10%, which is super.
And accounts with a large following count typically have lower engagement rates, say approximately between 1-4%.
Ainfluencer’s influencer marketing platform shows you the whole account’s ER.
So why not take a shortcut and make it easy for yourself?
Second, you need to check the quality of the influencers’ audience.
You can do this by briefly going through their followers and keeping an eye out for fake accounts.
However, this can’t be done for large accounts, and it’s better to use a tool that provides you with this option.
These influencer marketing tools use a set of measurable metrics such as likes, comments, shares, etc., to assess audience quality.
And finally, check to see whether or not the influencer’s niche fits well with your small business.
Your intention is to engage local influencers to promote your small business.
So it’s highly essential that the ones you want to collaborate with work within your niche.
This way, you’ll align yourself with the local influencers who have the same target audience you’re planning to reach.
For example, if you are a fitness brand, it’s best to partner with fitness influencers because they attract the people you plan to reach.
See how easy it is to engage local influencers in your campaigns?
All you need is a well-detailed plan and a powerful, reliable influencer database to find the best local influencers.
Just to get a quick recap, you should:
- Create an influencer marketing strategy
- Set goals
- Define the target audience
- Set a budget
- Find the right local influencers
- Use an influencer marketing platform
- Use Google
- Perform a manual audit
You just need to take these easy steps to see your local influencer marketing strategy in action.
Know any other strategies we might have missed?
Let us know in the comments below.