Harnessing the Power of Local Influencers for Small Business Marketing

Image of Scott Baradell
Scott Baradell
Published: Feb 1, 2024
Last Updated: Feb 6, 2024

With 69% of consumers stating they trust influencer recommendations, the right partnership could potentially make your business. Working with influencers is big business, with ad spend on influencers totaling $6.16 billion in 2023. You may think that working with an influencer will blow your marketing budget, but it doesn’t have to. Businesses of all sizes can successfully incorporate influencer marketing into their strategy to build brand awareness and attract new customers. Here’s how. 

Set Your Budget

Influencers make their money from sponsored posts, so be prepared to pay for your collaboration. Before you start approaching influencers in your area or industry, set your budget. Influencer rates are based on: 

  • Number of followers
  • The nature of the post (static or video)
  • Time and resources needed to create each post
  • Campaign length
  • Usage rights

A sponsored post can cost as little as $100 to a high of over $10,000. Instead of agreeing to an initial contract filled with multiple sponsored posts, do a few trials to see which influencers and types of posts give you the best return on your investment. 

Find Influencers Who Are Popular With Your Audience

The key to nailing influencer marketing is to partner with the people who are already connected to your audience. Spend some time researching key influencers in your industry or in your area whose following aligns with your core audience. 

Partnering with well-known voices in your industry lends credibility to your business. Most influencers built their following by being excellent storytellers whose posts resonate with their audience. They understand how to sell your products or services without being overly promotional. A respected influencer can make your brand seem more credible and trustworthy

Connect With Influencers Who Are Already in Your Network

If you’ve already built a strong social following, you may have access to local influencers. Once you’ve identified the best influencers in your industry, check their profiles to see if you have any followers in common.

When you find these potential partners, ask your mutual contacts to make an introduction. Or mention your mutual contacts in your initial pitch. You can also look through your own list of followers and make note of any who have a large, built-in audience. 

Consider Their Social Media Presence

Once you’ve built a partnership, an influencer essentially becomes an extension of your brand. If you’re too eager and pull the trigger on your partnership before vetting them, you could potentially damage your reputation. 

Look through each influencer’s socials to see what kind of content they regularly post. Do some research to see if they are overly controversial. Just because someone has a large audience full of your potential customers doesn’t automatically make them the right fit for your brand. 

Start Small

Instead of trying to partner with celebrities and other macro-influencers right off the bat, connect with people who have a smaller following. For one, nano-influencers and micro-influencers often charge less for promoted posts, making them a lesser risk financially if the partnership doesn't work out. 

Micro-influencers may also have more pull with their audience than someone with a larger following. Because micro-influencers have a small but dedicated audience, they are often more effective at engaging their audience. They are also seen as more credible, with 82% of consumers stating that they are highly likely to follow a recommendation.

Working with nano- and micro-influencers doesn’t bust your budget and makes you seem more trustworthy with your target audience. Take it a step further by building a genuine relationship with your influencing partner and promote them on your socials.  

Go Local

If you can find industry influencers who are also in your target audience’s location, tap these connections first. Influencers within a local community bring familiarity with your target audience. They understand what to post to make a strong connection with your potential customers. 

Once you’ve established a partnership with a local influencer, you can strengthen the relationship by sponsoring events or collaborating on video marketing. Work with your influencers to promote other local businesses and show that you care about the community in which your customers live. Take it a step further by sponsoring local charity events and having your influencer partners promote it. 

Think Bigger

You may think that influencer marketing is limited to YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms, but influencers exist in plenty of other niches. Other potential avenues for influencer marketing include: 

  • Streaming video gamers
  • Podcasters
  • Bloggers
  • Journalists

Each of these content creators has the opportunity to connect your business with potential customers. Bloggers, podcasters, and journalists can help you tell your story in a way that resonates with audiences to help you build trust and credibility. These media allow you to go more in depth about how you provide solutions to your customers’ key problems. 

Pitch Your Influencer

Once you’ve built the right network of influencers for your goals and budget, you can start working on your pitch. Influencers are pitched multiple times a day, so it’s important to stand out. Start by introducing yourself and offer some background information on your company. 

Describe your vision for collaborating with the influencers and why you want to partner with them. Keep it positive and personally appeal to them. You might talk about how you appreciate their social media style or why you think their personality is a great fit for your brand. 

Be specific about what you expect from the partnership. Outline your expected: 

  • Campaign length
  • Deliverables
  • Budget

You won’t hear back from everyone you pitch. If someone rejects you, feel free to reach out and ask why. You can use the feedback to improve your next pitch. 

Track Each Campaign and Build on It

After you and your influencer have signed on the dotted line and started doing business, it’s time to get to work. You may choose to do a single campaign or work with a media personality on a series of campaigns. 

However you’re working together, measure your results to track your successes. Before launching the campaign, develop goals and determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) you will measure. For example, if your goal for influencer marketing is to generate new leads, you would measure click-through rates, mailing list sign ups, and new qualified leads.

These KPIs will give you an idea of what to improve in your next campaign. If your lead-generating campaign underperformed, you might try mixing up your messaging and running an A/B test on your ads before launching a large campaign. Or you might choose to switch influencers for the next campaign. 

By learning from your successes and your challenges, you can refine your strategy and create effective campaigns each time. 

Work With the Right Partner

Finding and pitching the right influencers can be time-consuming. If you don’t have the time to research influencers in your industry or you need some help crafting the perfect pitch, you are not alone. At Trust Signals, our business is helping you stand out online. 

We have developed winning influencer marketing strategies for our clients, and we understand how to make these partnerships successful. Influencer marketing helps you build a trusting relationship with potential customers. Don’t leave your partnerships up to chance. Contact us and let us help you create an influencer marketing strategy that works. 

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