Influencer marketing is a new and increasingly popular marketing strategy that has proven to be one of the most effective PR tactics. It involves partnering with individuals who have a strong and engaged social or blog following (such as thought leaders, industry experts, or local celebrities) so that they will promote your brand to their extensive fan base. Influencers not only create content around your brand, but they distribute this content across all of their social media channels.
Why Use Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is extremely effective because, through various social media platforms, influencers can broadcast your business message to a larger, yet targeted audience. It’s proven that one tweet or Instagram post from an influencer a consumer trusts can be more powerful that a TV commercial or a radio ad. According to a recent Nielson report, influencer’s content generates 11x the ROI of the average traditional digital campaign. Data from MuseFind, a top influencer marketing platform, revealed that 92% of people trust these types of recommendations more than any type of brand marketing.
Influencer marketing is very cost-effective; many influencers will even promote your brand for free if they receive a product or discount code! The 2017 State of the Creator Economy Study found that “many marketers expected the cost of influencer marketing to be anywhere from 3 to 13 percent higher than the prices actually charged by influencers.”
Smaller influencers, also known as “micro-influencers,” usually connect with a specific audience or a group of people who are interested in a particular niche. While they have a lower number of followers, they publish content only related to a specific industry, and as a result, their followers look to them to provide recommendations only within this category. For instance, if you own a clothing store for women ranging from ages 30–50, you could find a local fashion influencer who has an audience base within that age range. Because of their targeted audience, you can be sure that your business message is being shared with the right people.
Here are some ways that you can find influencers for your small business:
Find Influencers Among Your Fans
Take a look through your social media followers, and you may find some micro-influencers that are clearly already interested in your business or brand who would likely be willing to promote your business to their fans. These influencers already know and trust you and would be much more willing to become a brand ambassador. These types of partnerships are often more effective because they are authentic.
To find micro-influencers who are already within your social networks, go through your Instagram and Twitter followers. Look at the profiles that seem interesting to you, with the goal of finding people who have a significant reach—over 1,000 followers. You should also consider whether or not they frequently post about your specific industry, which would show if they would be likely to promote your brand.
Once you’ve found the influencers you feel would fit best with your business, you can reach out to them and offer discounts or other offers if they promote their experience on their social channels.
Research Hashtags to Find Influential Users
Looking through hashtags and trending topics related to your business and even your local community can help you find influencers who are already interested in your products and/or services. They’re then more likely to partner with your business and have a follower base that includes current and potential customers.
Create a list of hashtags to research and make sure that these are specific and relevant to your business and customer base. For example, if you own a local grocery store, use the hashtag #organicfood instead of #food.
Once you look at the results, you will see a list of top users who have posted photos with this hashtag. You can also filter by location and see the top people in your area who have posted with these criteria. Take a look at how many followers they have, their bio, and the types of photos that they regularly post to determine if they are the right fit for your business.
Do a Google Search for Local Bloggers
Another great way to find local influencers is to search Google for bloggers in your area. Local bloggers often have a fan base largely from their town or city, so if you are mainly hoping to reach local customers, this may be the best route for you.
To find bloggers in your area via Google, use the term “bloggers” followed by your city or neighborhood name. For example, searching “bloggers in Greenville, South Carolina” will result in articles and lists that mention the top bloggers in this specific area.
By finding influencers in your specific area, you can run a much more effective campaign than by targeting influencers in irrelevant locations.