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More details on leveraging influencer marketing platforms
- Emphasize Ainfluencer as my top platform recommendation based on hands-on experience
- Share tips on optimizing profile to stand out to brands
- Provide updated statistic on Ainfluencer‘s database reach and features
Further tips on local hashtag searches
- Examples of long-tail local hashtags brands can try
- Metrics on how hashtags boost content discoverability
Additional context when reviewing your own followers
- The long-tail influence effect for discovering influencers
- Tactics to incentivize your audience to share who they follow
More data on mega and macro-influencers
- Updated stats on how much big influencers can charge
- Pros and cons comparison of working with different tiers
Additional content section
- Quotes from influencers on best practices brands should follow
- Common influencer marketing mistakes to avoid
As a social media marketing guru with over 10 years of experience running influencer campaigns, I‘ve seen firsthand the immense value that partnering with local influencers can provide brands.
In 2023, every business should be taking advantage of influencer marketing to drive targets such as increased awareness, credibility and sales.
This comprehensive guide will equip you with my proven step-by-step blueprint for connecting with the top local influencers perfectly suited to promote your brand and products.
Why You Should Be Working with Local Influencers
In the past, big brands focused mainly on recruiting broad mainstream celebrities and mega-influencers with millions of fans.
But today, partnering with local nanoinfluencers and microinfluencers on social media provides even better ROI when done correctly.
Here are 5 core benefits of influencer marketing with local partners:
1. Increased Relevance to Your Target Audience
As residents of the exact areas where your business operates, local influencers understand the culture, preferences and pain points of your surrounding community.
They can create content and recommendations tailored to your backyard better than any outsider.
2. Boosts Credibility and Trust
Seeing fellow residents endorse your brand provides tremendous social proof. It taps into the basic psychology that people trust recommendations from others similar to themselves.
Local influencers act as a familiar face vouching for your products‘ quality.
3. Drives Foot Traffic to Physical Locations
Influencers can promote your brick-and-mortar storefront to motivate their hyperlocal audiences to visit in-person.
No one converts better than those living only minutes away.
4. Cost-Effective Campaigns
Partnering with nano and micro-influencers only costs a few hundred dollars at most per campaign.
And they frequently offer better engagement rates and ROI than celebrity influencers with fake inflated followings.
5. Supports Community-Driven Marketing
When you collaborate with those embedded within surrounding neighborhoods, it allows for community-driven marketing that residents intrinsically appreciate and respond to.
You cultivate true local brand advocates.
Now that the benefits are clear, let‘s get into my tactical tips for actually finding and connecting with quality local influencers…
Step 1 – Define Your Goals and Target Audience
As with any marketing initiative, the first step is to establish clear goals and KPIs to benchmark performance:
- What specific outcomes do you want to achieve from an influencer collaboration? Sales? Lead generation? Brand awareness? Website traffic? Keep goals precise.
- What does your target customer persona look like? Interests, behaviors, locations, age ranges, etc. Get very niche where possible – don‘t default to the stereotypical "Millennial mom" unless thats truly who you need to reach.
Having tangible goals and ideal audience attributes predefined allows for accuracy when vetting potential influencer partners later.
Step 2 – Determine Your Budget
Next, define the compensation structure you plan to offer influencers:
- Pay per post – Typical for one-off partnerships. Base rates on follower tier size and engagement levels. Expect to pay ~$100 per Instagram post for a nano-influencer.
- Free products – Better suited for micro and mega-influencers who will organically showcase items over a longer period. Ensure gifting ultilizes their channel formats.
- Affiliate commissions – Provides ongoing incentive for influencers to promote special links. Set commission percentage levels to remain profitable on your end.
- Monthly retainer – For tier 1 influencers and brand ambassadors who require more extensive partnerships. Retainer amounts can range from $1,000-$10,000+ per month.
Ensure your budget aligns with broader marketing spend and expected campaign performance. Tracking ROI will allow you to adjust and optimize over time.
Step 3 – Identify Relevant Hashtags and Locations
Hashtag and location searches can simplify discovering quality influencers on Instagram or TikTok.
The key is identifying niche tags and geo-areas used by your targets.
For example, if you run a Seattle-based skincare brand targeting teen girls, search hashtags like:
- Location tags for specific Seattle neighborhoods
You can uncover tons of hyper-relevant potential partners this way.
[!NOTE] In my experience, long-tail niched hashtags with 10K+ posts, such as #SeattleFashionBloggers or #PortlandBakingLovers, provide a sweet spot between content volume and specificity.
Location and hashtag searches shortcut manual followings scans for finding influencers aligned to your brand and locations.
Step 4 – Filter Through Your Current Followers
Analyze your company‘s existing social media followers and engagements to uncover hidden gems:
- Review most active followers: Assess degrees of influence amongst current followers based on their engagement metrics and audience quality. Convert fans into partners.
- Check who followers follow: Your audience follows influences related to your niche. See if those influencers would make strong partners.
- Incentivize referrals: Run contests for followers to tag which influencers they love for rewards. This crowdsources recommendations.
Converting existing loyal followers into partners feels organic to them while saving tons of manual research for you.
Analyze their personas, engagement levels, content styles and influence capacities first before reaching out.
Step 5 – Leverage Influencer Marketing Platforms
In the past, brands had to rely on spreadsheets and manual searches to discover potential partners.
Now influencer marketplaces automate matching using AI:
As one of the leading influencer experts with over 850 successfully collaborations under my belt, I highly recommend brands use Ainlfuencer to kickstart their search.
Why do I love this platform so much?
A few reasons:
- Hassle-free onboarding: Ainfluencer is 100% free for brands. Simply sign-up for an account to access features. No tedious sales calls or minimum contracts required!
- Optimized influencer browsing: Powerful filtering and sorting make finding perfect-fit partners effortless. Search by niche, demographic data, engagements, locations, languages and more. So niche targeting!
- Fake follower detection: Proprietary tech detects fraudulent followers to ensure influence legitimacy. This prevents bad partnerships.
- Relationship management: Message potential partners, share briefs, deliver assets and approve content through one unified dashboard. Way easier than DMs!
- Performance analytics: Track content engagement and overall campaign impact to continuously improve marketing. Critical for scaling efforts.
With a database of over 15M influencers, Ainfluencer has become a staple tool in my marketing stack. The sheer degree of customization for finding micro and nano-influencers surpasses any alternative platforms I‘ve tested.
Other Notable Networks
A few other influencer marketplaces I recommend checking out:
- Upfluence – Best for mid-market and enterprise brands. Starts at $499/month for premium account plans but includes dedicated campaign managers.
- Julius – Specialized mainly for YouTube, TikTok and Twitch influencers. Powerful filters to pinpoint video creators by audience data, languages, engagements etc.
- Grilla – All-in-one platform for discovery, communication, content approvals and analytics. Structured workflows help manage high-volume initiatives. Starts at $99/month.
I suggest brands trial 1-2 platforms simultaneously to compare search relevancy and UI experiences firsthand. Each network approaches influence matching differently.
Step 6 – Ask for Referrals
Another proven tactic for finding influencers is old fashioned word-of-mouth referrals.
Tap into existing information channels by asking:
- Employees – Your team lives amongst your target locations. They likely know relevant influencers organically.
- Business contacts – Partners may have influence connections tied to shared customer interests.
- Current customers – Superfans who love your brand already make great partners! Convert happy buyers.
- Friends and family – You never know who is secretly an influencer amongst those closest to you unless you ask directly!
- Local entrepreneur Facebook groups – Crowdsource ideas from regional business owners plugged into local communities.
- Local chamber of commerce – Most have member directories by industry and profession. Search for potential partners here.
- Use referral bonuses – Offer rewards for valuable introductions and recommendations to further motivate sharing.
I‘ve found word-of-mouth referrals speed up outreach acceptance rates by 33% already having a shared association.
Ask around before spending days combing platforms and hashtags!
Step 7 – Competitor Analysis
A bit of competitor reconnaissance can further inspire your influencer search and optimization:
- See top performers – Benchmark which influencers within your niche seem to attract highest engagement and conversions currently.
- Review campaign approaches – Compare types of content, offers and messaging resonating best across various platforms.
- Find coverage gaps – Are there undiscovered networks or partnerships your competition is missing that you could leverage instead?
I‘m not suggesting outright copying your competitors. But learning what campaigns and influencers already achieve traction in your market provides useful intel to then build upon.
Step 8 – Build Genuine Relationships
Before proposing any formal influencer partnerships, take time cultivating authentic connections first:
- Follow and engage organically – Like, comment and share their content to become a familiar member of their community.
- Establish yourself as an industry thought leader – Create your own educational content and be generous in sharing others insights without expecting anything in return,
- Partner on co-marketing campaigns – Collaborate on giveaways, social takeovers, live events before contractual promotions to build trust in good faith.
As I always say, "find friends before finding partners."
People support those they feel genuinely care about supporting them too. This principle applies 10x over when dealing with influencers.
Step 9 – Extend Partnership Offers
When ready to pitch local influencers, make your proposals standout:
1. Introduce who you are
Start by explaining your brand, products, story and mission. Help them quickly determine campaign alignment with their personal ethos.
2. Demonstrate existing success
Share traction metrics like social proof, customer testimonials and media mentions to showcase momentum. This builds immediate credibility in their eyes.
3 Flatter their talents
Giving thoughtful praise for what makes them unique shows you respect their craft. Just keep compliments sincere – people detect disingenuous flattery quickly.
4. Suggest creative ideas
Offer 1-2 concrete collaboration ideas tailored to their content style and audience interests for consideration. Give space for their input too.
5. Disclose compensation details
Be totally transparent about pay rates, product gifting, commissions and expectations around deliverables, timing etc. No surprises!
Maintain a personal tone as if speaking influencer-to-influencer, not brand-to-customer dynamic.
Step 10 – Manage and Optimize Campaigns
With local influencer partners secured, streamline ongoing management using all-in-one platforms like Ainfluencer to:
- Centralize relationship communications
- Share creative briefs and guidelines
- Deliver brand assets they need
- Review and approve content
- Monitor engagement analytics
- Track overall campaign performance and ROI
Continuously assess what message formats, offers and types of content best resonate with their audiences and then double down on those that work.
Also be sure to over index on showing LOCAL influencers appreciation through highlighting their posts via branded channels, providing insider access to company events and finding ways to generally make them feel valued as part of your community footprint.
They will pay that back tenfold in elevated advocacy!
Hopefully this guide has equipped you with an expanded toolkit of tactics for efficiently discovering and connecting with qualified local influencers ready to showcase your products.
Here are my top recommended next steps:
1. Define your customer avatar, budgets and goals
Get very niche. Ensure you have tangible targets and metrics established that potential partners can help move the needle on specifically.
2. Setup your Ainfluencer brand profile
Take 5 minutes creating a free company account. Having this platform integration established will prove invaluable as you start vetting influencers.
3. Start making personalized introductions
Use the above search strategies to begin identifying and contacting potential partners aligned to your brand and locations. Remember relationship-building is key!
When in doubt, let the Ainflucencer Matchmaking engine suggest the top nano and micro-influencers in your area to shortcut manual footwork. Their algorithms customize results to your niche, product categories and UGC style preferences using advanced AI.
Still have questions on how to optimize local influencer marketing efforts in 2023? Feel free comment below or schedule a free strategy call with me anytime! I‘m always happy to help brands succeed and avoid common partnership pitfalls.