Can Instagram Influencers Transform Your Business in 2020?
Influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends in social media. Learn how you can use it to drive more business.
Influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends in social media. In December, Business insider released a report on the state of the influencer marketing industry. The authors project that the market will be worth $15 billion within the next two years.
The term influencer marketing is becoming a popular buzz phrase as it gains more traction. As a business owner, you may be wondering whether influencer marketing is actually beneficial to your business or is simply another fad that will fizzle out. You certainly want to do your due diligence before investing heavily in influencer marketing.
You can look at the data and see that influencer marketing is far more than a temporary fad. Marketers are investing more heavily in it these days. In 2018, just 39% of marketing teams intended to invest more heavily in influencer marketing. This year, 65% of marketers are going to spend more on influencer marketing. Only 2% plan on cutting their influencer budgets.
A number of case studies have demonstrated the benefits influencer marketing provides.
While these case studies from large organizations are inspiring, small businesses might still be skeptical. They often worry that influencer marketing is only suited for companies with a national presence. They fear that influencers can’t effectively support a local marketing strategy.
This is not the case. There are plenty of ways that local marketers can leverage influencers to their benefit. However, they do need to adjust their strategies to align with their goals.
Guidelines for creating a successful influencer marketing strategy
Local businesses can create a successful influencer marketing campaign with the right strategy in place. We spoke with some experts from Viral Race. They shared some great ideas for using Instagram to build your customer base. However, you need to earn followers first. Influencer marketing can work nicely with the strategies outlined by Viral Race.
Some of the core elements of the strategy include the following.
Find local influencers to support your marketing efforts
Large brands often turn towards big-name celebrities to support their marketing strategy. Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Marcus Smart are some of the celebrities that can help companies reach millions of people on social media.
Small businesses obviously can’t afford to enlist the support of these influencers. Don’t let that distract you, though. The benefits that influencers with a national piece of followers offer to small businesses are minimal relative to the cost.
Your business will have a much better ROI by enlisting the support of local influencers instead. You might question whether local influencers exist in your community. There should actually be plenty of them. They just have a different profile than your stereotypical celebrity or Instagram beauty star.
What kind of local influencers can you turn to? There are a number of options. The seemingly most obvious example would be a local politician. However, there are several reasons that asking a politician to help your campaign might not be the best approach:
- Even at the local level, politics is very polarizing. Unless a politician has nearly unanimous support in your area, they could do as much damage your brand as support it. Even a popular politician might be off-putting to your core customer base if their views differ from the rest of the community.
- Local politicians tend to have a rather large platform. They generally will expect you to pay a handsome price to access it.
- Politicians tend to have a rather generic message. They are rarely seen as experts on anything of significance. The fact of the matter is that the average customer isn’t going to choose a restaurant just because it has been endorsed by the local mayor or one of the city councilors. Unless the mayor was a well-known chef before taking office, his voice will probably be dismissed by the average citizen.
The best influencers to work with are other business owners for heads of important organizations. You might want to build a rapport with the president of a local Rotary group, the owner of a non-competing business or the head of women in business organizations.
There are a lot of places that you can find potential influencers. You might want to start by mingling with people at Chambers of commerce. Most people that attend chambers of commerce have found that it is the best place to meet leaders in the community, even if they won’t be potential customers themselves.
Vet potential influencers by their social media presence first
An influencer will obviously need a strong social media presence before they can help get the message out about your own business. Unfortunately, some of the biggest business leaders in any community will have little to no social media profile. Some of them have never even created a social media account, while others haven’t updated it in months.
You should start by creating a short list of influencers you are likely to work with. You should start creating a shortlist of people and put it in an Excel document. You will have the first column for the name of potential influencers. The other columns can have pertinent data about their social media activity, such as the number of accounts they have, number of followers, the last time they made a social media post on any given account and the number of engagements their posts receive.
Get influencers to use local hashtags
Hashtags are a great part of any social media campaign. Local marketing strategies are no exception.
You want to come up with some hashtags that will fit into your message. You should try getting influencers on board to use them.
Make the Most of Your Local Influencer Marketing Budget
Large organizations have proven that influencer marketing can be very beneficial. You can benefit from it as well. However, you need to make sure that you use your budget wisely. The preceding tips should help.