How to use Influencer Marketing for your local business

Influencer Marketing is the smartest way to grow your local business. Here's how.

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LIL MCAVANEY

@STYLEFORT
FASHION BLOGGER

According to Hubspot71% of consumers are more likely to purchase based on social media referrals like the ones made by influencers. Long story short: if you’re not using influencer marketing, you’re missing out.

But isn’t influencer marketing for big business or online business only?

No, absolutely not. 

Influencer marketing is highly valuable for local business. For the purpose of this article, we refer local business are businesses that provide goods and services to a local population. Businesses like cafes, restaurants, professional services such as lawyers or accountants, or retailers who are looking for more customers to their brick-and-mortar store all fall under this category. If you’re trying to get more locals into your business, then read on.

Set your objectives

Everything in marketing should start with a plan. Influencer marketing is no different.

Before you start reaching out to influencers, be very clear on what you’re trying to achieve and how you will measure your success.  Are you trying to build brand awareness? Get people to an event? Generate more sales? Build a stronger social following? Know your objectives and stick to them.

Furthermore, you need to know who your target market is. All of this comes together to make an Influencer Marketing Campaign Plan. If you have no idea how to do this, hire someone like us who will do it with you.

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Find your influencers

Influencer outreach is a task in itself – do not underestimate the time commitment involved in this process! It is not as simple as sending a random direct message to an influencer on Instagram. You need to consider the following steps and make time for them:

  1. Create a list of appropriate possible influencers to contact
  2. Court the influencers and start building a relationship with them.
  3. Filter the list and choose your best influencers.
  4. Pitch your offer.

You will need to set parameters to your search: the most important being, do they have an audience based in your local area? Or in other words, your specific target market? 

But here’s a valid question: does the influencer need to be local? The honest answer: Not necessarily.

But it all depends on your campaign objectives, your industry, your campaign, the lot. For example, it will be an option for you if you plan on using one or two macro-influencers and inviting them down for a specific event. If they have enough star power to bring the locals together, then it’s a valid option. An example of this would be Westfield Geelong using Sydney-based influencer Elle Ferguson to host their style masterclass.

Just note that this option would require a much larger budget than you would need if you chose to use local and/or micro-influencers. That said, the payoff could be huge.

Create your campaign

This would need to be more localised or specific than a lot of the digital campaigns you see online. Sure, the content can be shared online (and it will) but the creative direction of the campaign needs to be centred around the local region.

Belmont Hotel used our talent, Lil McAvaney, quite successfully by focusing on her ability to bring people into the restaurant. Lil is the partner of Geelong Cats player, Cory Gregson, and is known as the one who gets the footballers partners together (her hidden talent is event planning!). Knowing this, the Belmont Hotel organised for Lil to host multiple events and luncheons for both the wider public and for the Geelong Football Club. Lil organised a lunch for the partners of the Geelong Footballers to experience their new ‘Bottomless Brunch’ deal – which saw the majority of them sharing their experience on their own social media. This was a big win for Belmont Hotel – bonus free promotion straight to their target market.

Think of a creative way to maximise your influencer’s presence. Do more than simply invite them into to eat a meal or experience your service. Devise a way that encourages the influencer to interact with the locals, or experience your offering in a unique, entertaining way.

Create a clear call to action

This should tie in neatly to your campaign goals. What do you ultimately want locals to do? Sign up to your newsletter? Come in store and try for themselves? Attend a specific event? Make a purchase? Remember, influencers are a marketing tool, not a sales tool so if you do want to ultimately get more sales, then provide an incentive to do so. This could be a discount or even a time-limited offer (such as the 6ft6 Art Collab series you can see here)

There is definitely a place for influencer marketing on the local scale. Don’t succumb to the pressure of feeling too small to use influencers – and never underestimate the respect influencers have for small business. They want to work with the smaller guys as much as the bigger guys.