Since influencers have an innate ability to communicate with their audience, they have become an increasingly popular marketing tool. They help build brand awareness, influence major purchasing decisions, and extend your reach among a new audience. More importantly, brands benefit substantially from trust-by-association.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, an incredible 90% of respondents to their survey indicated that they believe influencer marketing to be effective. What's more, businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, with the top 13% earning $20 or more.
Here's how you can get in on the action by creating a local influencer marketing strategy with these five steps.
What Makes a Local Influencer
Often referred to as micro-influencers, a local influencer is a smaller influencer local to specific areas and engaged in online and social media communities. They don't have the broad reach of macro-influencers, but they are less expensive to commission and better resonate with their local audiences. Micro-influencers have the authentic voice and reach to speak to local consumers more like friends.
Micro-influencers have better engagement rates than mega-influencers. Even though they reach a smaller group of people, they can resonate with them better. To illustrate, their engagement rates by platform break down as such:
- Instagram: engagement rate for micro-influencers average 3.86%, whereas macro-influencers average of 1.21%.
- YouTube: engagement rate for micro-influencers average 1.64% versus macro-influencers' average of 0.37%.
- TikTok: engagement rate for micro-influencers average 18%, while macro-influencers average just under 5%.
Five Steps to Partnering With a Local Influencer
To maximize your benefit with influencer marketing, follow these essential steps:
1. Look for Influencers in Your Sphere
The best place to find a fitting influencer is to keep an eye out for local figures already in your following or who have previously engaged your brand. If they're already a fan, their promotion of your brand and products will be more authentic when you collaborate with them.
Search your social media account for influencers who have:
- Tagged your brand
- Shared your posts
- Commented and likes your posts
- Sent you a direct message
- Mentioned your products or services
2. Make a Proposal That Offers Them Value Too
Influencer brand collaborations are a win-win for both parties. You will be increasing their brand as much as they're increasing yours. For this reason, you must make a proposal that adds value to both parties — not just your own.
When reaching out, make sure to:
- Introduce yourself
- Discuss your appreciation of their work
- Outline your expectations
- Note how it will benefit them
3. Correspond Regularly
You must follow up regularly with influencers to reassure them that your offer is legitimate and convince them to take yours instead of other potential offers. However, there is a fine line between genuine interest and becoming spamming.
The general rule of thumb is to reach out if they don't respond in about three days, then switch to periodic emails. You want them to be consistently aware of you, but you don't want to push too hard.
On the other hand, don't wait too long between correspondence. Too much time between your initial and follow-up messages could risk the influencer not remembering your original message.
4. Trust Their Audience Insight
You must trust influencers to reach your target audience on their own, which means allowing them to form their own opinions and dialogue without your insight. When you let them develop their own honest, authentic opinions about your product, you make their message more authentic. After all, it's that real voice that resonates with audiences.
More customers value that tone, as 58% of people feel that being authentic and genuinely caring about their interests is vital for influencers.
You can integrate this approach more naturally by having micro-influencers develop their product reviews or tutorials for your brand on social media. Recently, Just Thrive collaborated with social media and fashion influencer Kirsten Morabito on TikTok. She used her platform to promote the health benefits of taking the brand's probiotic and antioxidant vitamins.
5. Ask Them to Advocate for Your Brand
Asking influencers to continuously advocate for your brand — either through steady posts or by using your brand publicly — is one of the best ways to increase the authenticity of your collaboration.
When you work with people who trust and appreciate your brand, they will explain its benefits more honestly, which will resonate with audiences better.
Letting your influencers present their genuine opinions makes their input trustworthy so that it reaches more like word of mouth from a friend than a celebrity endorsement. Authenticity and trust are the two significant reasons 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement.
Develop an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy
The influencer marketing market size has doubled since 2019, going from 6.5 billion to 13.8 billion in just two years. With the right strategy, brands are finding a way to promote their brands and products to the right people with the right influencer. Doing so brings in more sales, loyalty, attention, and awareness for their business. The key is having the right local influencer and the right influencer marketing strategy.