In 2016, influencer marketing had a market size of approximately $1.7 billion. By 2020, it had grown to an estimated $9.7 billion—and with good reason. Influencer marketing is a continually growing trend that helps increase brand awareness and boost brand image with the people in your community that will benefit most from your products. If you haven’t made the most of influencer marketing for your business, you could be missing out on the chance to spread the word about everything you have to offer and how it can benefit your customers. Influencer marketing also helps you increase your brand image by connecting you directly to people who strongly influence members of the community.
What Local Influencers Do
Local influencers are the TV and radio personalities who have a strong presence and following in the community. These local influencers share some traits in common with solely social media influencers since they often have significant social media followings, but they often have a much broader reach. Since they’re part of the local community, they’re also more likely to connect directly with the consumers who are most likely to need your specific services.
Local influencers have a solid understanding of your target audience and are very good at communicating with them. They know what your target audience is looking for, how they make purchasing decisions, and their needs. They also know what type of marketing is most likely to reach those individuals. Local influencers are great partners for small local businesses because they often don’t have the high rates you might find when trying to connect with an influencer with a massive, national base.
Find Influencers That Fit Your Goals
The best way to drive organic promotion of your brand is to find local influencers who are representatives of your target audience. They increase their audience’s trust in you by associating your brand with their personal brand, which they have already invested a great deal of time and energy into promoting. Before finding an influencer who will fit your business, you need a strong understanding of your target audience, such as:
- Who they are
- What influencers they’re likely to follow
- Why those influencers are so important to them
It’s not enough to connect with just any influencer. You want to work with one who is a genuine representative of your audience.
When choosing an influencer, you should also look beyond the basic metrics of social media, including reach, and pay more attention to actual audience engagement. You want an influencer who often communicates with their audience and will help create that vital sense of connection you’re looking for with those who fit your target buyers.
Trust Your Influencer to Communicate With Their Audience
Your influencer clearly understands audience communication as it pertains to their specific followers. After all, that’s how they became an influencer—and why you want to partner with them. You need to respect your influencer by trusting their judgment. Influencers often have a lot of autonomy when it comes to how they promote a brand, and even what brands they want to connect with. When you approach the influencer, make sure your offer is relevant and beneficial to them, not just financially, but in other ways, as well. Influencers want to promote brands that have meaning for them, or that create a deeper sense of connection and relevance to their community, just like you do. By arriving at a mutually beneficial arrangement, you can sow the seeds of a much more successful partnership.
Create Flexible Guidelines
In addition to respecting your influencer, you need to trust how they shape their message to reach your audience and encourage people to visit your site. The partnership will often work better—and resonate better with your audience—if you don’t have a rigid vision of exactly how the message must come across. Instead, allow the influencer to shape the message naturally, based on:
- Your brand voice
- The things that are important to you
- Your overall guidelines
This natural shaping can increase your brand authenticity and make your brand more human to your audience. In many cases, it also makes the influencer’s support seem more genuine, which can increase the trust consumers are willing to put in you.
Influencer marketing is a growing trend that humanizes and makes your brand more authentic. Connecting with the right influencers, and sharing the right message, can go a long way toward increasing your overall brand presence and helping you to connect more fully with your target audience, often in ways that will give you a greater overall impact on your community. Your media partner has the connections and tools you need to create an effective influencer partnership, from connecting you with the right influencers to helping you create guidelines for the partnership that will benefit everyone involved.