An Ultimate Guide to Local Influencer Marketing for 2020
Updated: Apr 3
Nearly 90% of consumers used the internet to find local businesses in 2019, out of which 33% did so every day. Additionally, 82% of consumers read reviews of local businesses online, and positive reviews make 91% of consumers likely to use a business.
As a result, it’s essential for every local business to have a presence online to truly grow their business. This is perhaps the reason why nearly 67% of consumers have been asked to write online reviews by local businesses. In addition, 24% of them are offered a discount, cash, or gift in return for the review.
Consumers have the ability to shape the opinions of the people in their circles and getting them to write reviews can increase the trust factor of the business in the locality.
The process is, in essence, nothing but local influencer marketing. In fact, 53% of consumers in the US discover new products and companies from their family and friends.
Image via HubSpot
While you may think influencer marketing is only a marketing method for big brands, many small businesses already use it unknowingly by asking people to recommend them.
Local businesses have the opportunity to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing in a more structured and scalable way by collaborating with local influencers. These local opinion leaders can help spread the word about local businesses in an authentic and efficient way.
This is why local influencer marketing needs to be part of the marketing strategy of your local business.
So, who are these local influencers, and what is local influencer marketing? Let’s find out.
Pro Tip: Look for influencers by using city-specific hashtags.
What is Local Influencer Marketing?
As the name suggests, local influencer marketing aims to leverage local influencers to promote your brand locally.
Local influencer marketing focuses on leveraging individuals who have influence over potential buyers and orienting marketing activities around these individuals to drive a brand message to your relevant market.
While national brands may partner with celebrities, athletes, or models who can drive sales and engagement on a national or global scale, the goal of local influencer marketing is to collaborate with local journalists, bloggers, YouTubers, or Instagrammers who have a strong local audience and hence can influence purchase decisions in your region.
Examples of local influencers can be radio moderators from a local station, local mom bloggers, or local lifestyle Instagrammers.
The goal of local influencer marketing is to find and collaborate with influencers who live in your city, state, or region. Additionally, you want to make sure that they have a tight-knit follower base that’s predominantly based in the same location.
As a result, their recommendations can reach the target customers of your local business with ease, and this, in turn, can drive your sales and revenue.
Some things local influencers can do for your business are:
Build your brand awareness at a local level
Drive engagement through branded content
Attract new customers to your local business
Build your brand image in your location
You might find that a macro- or mega-influencer is based in your region and has a lot of local followers (e.g local sports stars). But we suggest that you partner with micro-influencers for local influencer marketing to be cost-effective.
Due to their smaller audiences, local influencers typically charge less than influencers with a bigger follower base. That's why startups and small brands with a smaller marketing budget can afford to partner with them for local influencer marketing campaigns.
However, that’s not the only advantage of local influencer marketing.
Ready to learn more?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider partnering with local influencers:
Why Should You Do Local Influencer Marketing?
Local influencer marketing can be very beneficial for local businesses as it can help you become popular among your audience in the given location.
Here’s why you should be doing local influencer marketing if you own a local business or if you want to attract customers in a certain location:
1. People Can Relate to Local Influencers
Local influencers are usually people who are based in the same location as your target audience. This means that they can personally go and test out the product or service that your business offers. And they can help you attract and engage customers.
Additionally, micro-influencers don’t have extravagant lives, and, as a result, your audience can relate to them better than mega-influencers or celebrities.
This, in itself, is a big plus-point of partnering with local influencers.
Why, you may ask?
That’s because people perceive them to be regular people who are just like them, and this makes their recommendations more believable. They are even more relatable when they have been actually testing the product or service in person.
Relatability is two times more important for consumers than the popularity of an influencer when they’re searching for people to follow.
2. It is Cost-Effective
Local influencers can come by your store, restaurant, or beauty salon to test your product or service.
You don’t need to ship the product or ask them to visit your city, which helps you save on any extra shipping or travel costs. Therefore, local influencers are usually more eager to accept a product or service as payment.
Additionally, their pricing depends on their reach and the complexity of the collaboration. As most influencers in local influencer marketing campaigns don’t have a massive social media presence, these collaborations tend to be more cost-effective.
As local influencers can come by your store, you can even hire a professional photographer to help them get all the right photos.
Influencers are always looking for great content that they can post on their social media profiles. If you could bring in a photographer, their professionally-taken photographs can add more value to the influencer’s feed.
In fact, the influencer is also likely to go the extra mile to generate more traction for your store with the impressive photographs they’ll have. That makes it a win-win situation for both your business and the influencer.
Is that all?
Nope. You can also host an event at your location and invite a few local influencers to generate even more exposure for your brand. Such events have proven to be mutually beneficial.
Having the right people in your restaurant, salon, or shop allows you to introduce your products or services personally. Additionally, the local influencers will get information from you or your team and will be able to tell a better story in their own words.
Pro Tip: Instagram Stories during the event are a great way to introduce your brand to the influencer’s audience in a very authentic way.
However, some local influencers with greater clout might want monetary compensation in exchange for the promotion. In such a situation, you need to have an idea of how much to pay them.
But how can you decide?
A great way of deciding the local influencer’s estimated post value is by counting the number of followers they have. You can pay them approximately 1-2.5 cents for every follower that they have per sponsored post.
However, this rate will, of course, change based on their engagement rates and other metrics along with the terms of the agreement.
For example, Isabella is a social media influencer in Los Angeles, and she has 19K followers on Instagram. However, her estimated post value is only $280, which is about 1.5 cents per follower.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
3. Generates More Engagement
Local influencer marketing can help you generate higher engagement on social media as compared to other forms of content marketing.
One reason for this is that your target audience is able to relate to the local influencers. People love and trust recommendations from others. Having a local opinion leader creating content and talking about your local store or brand can trigger conversations and social signals.
Pro Tip: You can agree with the local influencer that both your social media team and the influencer will reply to comments related to your product on the influencer’s social media posts. Your potential customers will love the fact that your team responds to them and will feel closer to your brand.
The local influencers and their social media followers reside in the same geographical location. As a result, there’s a good chance that many of their followers may know the influencer personally.
This, in turn, can increase the likelihood of them engaging with the influencer’s posts. They’ll also be more likely to be influenced by the recommendations that they make.
Additionally, local influencers typically have a small follower base. This makes it easy for them to be able to connect with all their followers on a personal level. They can keep track of comments and messages and can respond to them individually.
Macro-influencers and celebrities, on the other hand, can’t possibly manage to do the same.
Why does this matter?
As a result, the followers of local influencers will feel more connected to the influencer as compared to those of other influencers. This can help improve their engagement rates and the influence that they have on their followers.
In fact, the engagement rate of influencers with 1K to 10K followers is 10.1%, and that of those with 10K to 100K followers is 7.6%.
This is in stark contrast to influencers with over 100K followers who have an engagement rate of 5.3%.
Pro Tip: Check the number of shares comments, and likes. Also, check if the influencer responds to the comments of their followers.
4. It Improves Authenticity
Word-of-mouth marketing can do wonders for your local business.
When local influencers recommend your business to their followers, the recommendation appears to be authentic. They seem to be even more authentic when the influencer had the chance to test and review your product or service personally.
This can help improve the authenticity of your brand as the influencer’s word is taken as non-promotional.
If you went about tooting your own horn, the response would be different.
Every time a local influencer writes something positive about your brand on social media, it improves the authenticity of your brand.
Additionally, 98% of content creators surveyed said that they had spotted follower fraud among influencers.
Given the size of the following of local influencers, the chances of them having fake followers are low too. This is why local influencer marketing campaigns can improve your authenticity as well.
Pro Tip: Ask your local influencers to leave a review on your website, Google Business Page, or other relevant review sites to help boost your credibility even more.
5. Get Access to New Audiences
When you own a local business, the majority of your audience will be living in close proximity to your business. The chances of people from the other parts of your town or city visiting your business are minimal unless it is extremely popular.
When you partner with a local influencer and run a local influencer marketing campaign, you’ll be able to tap into a wider market. You’ll be able to reach out to people close to your location who might be interested in your business.
Due to their proximity to you, they might want to check your business out as well. This may not be the case when partnering with other influencers.
Because their audiences are scattered, and it may not be easy for them to reach your local business due to geographical constraints.
For instance, if you own a pizza place, the chances of people coming to it from around the country are minimal. However, on seeing a post shared by an influencer in the same town, they might choose to visit your restaurant.
Arbor Day Farm wanted to increase awareness about their hotel and family getaway in the midwest.
They invited local family bloggers from Omaha, Kansas City, and Des Moines to create awareness about their properties in Nebraska City. The bloggers and their families spent a weekend at the Arbor Day Lodge, creating content, reviewing the offering, and recommending activities to their followers.
Image via Instagram
6. Get Fresh Content
Finding fresh and unique content to post about on a daily basis can be quite a challenge for local small businesses.
Without it, you might find it difficult to attract an audience online and drive them to your brick-and-mortar store. However, local influencer marketing can provide a boost to your content marketing efforts as well.
When you partner with local influencers, they’ll create content about your brand. You should give them full control of the creative aspects of the content so that they can create something that’ll attract their audience.
You can, however, provide basic guidelines for the content.
You can also repurpose local influencer content and share it through your social media accounts.
Additionally, if the influencer is able to drive some user-generated content from their audience, you’ll have more new content for your social media accounts.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
To take it a step further, you can partner with the influencer for an account takeover. This way, they’d be able to create unique content for your social media account directly during your local influencer marketing campaign.
Kala Art Institute is an arts organization based in California. They partnered with Chelsea Wong, one of their students, for an Instagram takeover. This helped them get fresh content for their Instagram posts and meet their business goals.
Image via Instagram
Now that you know the advantages of local influencer marketing, let’s take a look at how you can find local influencers:
How Can You Find and Reach Out to Local Influencers?
Here’s how you can find relevant influencers for your local influencer marketing campaigns:
1. Monitor Your Reviews
One of the best places to find relevant local influencers is your reviews. Whether it's on social media platforms like Facebook or Google My Business listings, you should keep track of your reviews online.
Not only do they help you manage your reputation online, but in the process of going through them, you might find local influencers.
Local influencers would be people who’ve written positive things about your brand and have a decent online or social media presence.
You can check out their profiles to find out how many followers they have. If they have more than 1,000 followers, that’s a good start.
You can also check if the majority of their audience lives near your business. Lastly, check if their values match your brand values. If the answer to this is yes, you may have found a local influencer.
For instance, Brews Views & Reviews is a social media influencer who reviews beer from different cities in Vermont and creates social media posts about them. Brands can track their reviews to find influencers like him for local influencer marketing.
Image via Instagram
Once you find potential local influencers, you also need to check their engagement and reach to determine if it could be beneficial to partner with them, and this process can be time-consuming.
2. Search for Local Blogs
Yet another method of finding the right influencers for your local influencer marketing campaign is by looking for local blogs.
These bloggers can drive traffic to your website and improve your SEO, too, through their blog posts.
You can head to search engines and search for bloggers in your city or state. You can use search terms like “[niche name] blogger in [city/state name].” This will bring up a list of bloggers from your location.
You can then check their blog and social media accounts to figure out their reach, engagement, and other metrics. This research will also help you find brands with whom they’ve worked in the past.
For instance, a simple search for “food bloggers in new york” fetches the following results:
Image via Google
From these, you can check each blogger out and reach out to them to check if they are open to a partnership with your local business.
3. Hashtag Research
Hashtag research is another potential way to find influencers for your local influencer marketing campaign.
You can use this method on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. All you need to do is find city-specific hashtags, such as #njfoodie, and search for them on these platforms.
Image via Instagram
This will bring up a list of posts that contain the hashtag. You can check out the profiles of the people who’ve created these posts and judge if it’s worth reaching out to and partnering with them.
Based on that, you can send them a message on the social media platform and pitch your idea for a partnership.
4. Influencer Marketing Platforms
The best way of finding potential influencers for your local influencer marketing campaigns is through influencer marketing platforms such as Fourstarzz Media.
Through our platform, you get access to over 750K influencers from around the world. You can search for the local influencers using their name, hashtags, or keywords used in their bio.
It’s possible to search for influencers based on your city as well. This makes the search for local influencers very straightforward. You can further filter influencers based on their niche, social media channels, interests, reach, and engagement rate.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
Furthermore, our platform provides detailed influencer reports to help you decide if it’s worth partnering with them. You can directly contact the influencers from the tool and pitch your idea of a collaboration.
Simple, isn’t it?
Ready to Get Started?
To promote your local business, you should consider leveraging local influencer marketing. Partnering with local influencers who have an audience from your location can help increase your brand awareness, engagement, walk-ins, and sales.
Local influencers are cost-effective, have good engagement rates, create fresh content, and can improve your authenticity. People from your region can also relate better to them, and this can help drive more customers to your business.
To find influencers for your local influencer marketing campaigns, you can search for them on social media and search engines. Monitoring your reviews can also come in handy.
Searching for city-specific hashtags can also help you spot local influencers. Lastly, you can leverage our influencer marketing platform, Fourstarzz Media, to find influencers for your local influencer marketing campaign.
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