Local Infuencers, don’t worry, they’re different

From the outset of this article I want to say one thing. Don’t let the word influencers put you off doing something that could really help your business

The word “influencer” has negative connotations that you associate with the Kardashians, somebody flogging diet pills or press stories about “reality TV celebs” messaging every hotel in a city for a free room for the weekend

The reality is most influencers don’t call themselves influencers. And local influencers rarely do

More than once I’ve been called “the most connected person in Altrincham”. Local businesses often call me Mr Altrincham as a term of endearment. A handful of trolls have referred to me as Mr Altrincham when they go on drunken hateful rants. I’ve never called myself an influencer or aimed to be an influencer, but as a business owner in the local area who trains and networks 100’s of businesses a year and has an online audience of 35,000+ you could say I have influence

So in this week’s blog we look at Local Influencers: How to grow your business by working with local influencers

What is a local influencer?
Everyone influences someone. It’s just that some are more influential than others

Local influencers have the community at the heart of what they do and have an audience that respects them

A local influencer might be a community worker, a member of the local business forum, a well networked individual or business owner, a teacher, a sports coach or they might simply be more obvious such a blogger or photographer who focuses on all things local

These local influencers might not have million of followers, but they could have 5-50,000 followers

When a local influencer posts, their audience sit up and listen

Why are local Influencers important ?
We did a quick snap poll on instagram whilst writing this blog and whilst not in anyway scientific it gives you an idea of general sentiment
* 91% of voters followed at least 1 local social media account
* 75% had followed, checked out or bought from a local businesss because a local influencers posted about it
* 96% of voters listened more to local accounts as opposed to 4% reality celebs
* 74% of voters didn’t consider the local printed newspaper to be influential

And yet despite this – only 25% had ever asked a local influencer to help their business

How to find local influencers
The local influencers are often right under your nose

They more than likely already follow your business and you probably already follow them

They were probably the very first accounts you followed when you joined each social media platform

But if you’re new to social media and you really want to find them. Go on to Twitter and Instagram and search the name or hashtag of your local town and you’ll see quite quickly who has a following and importantly an engaged audience

Also do the same for local Facebook pages and groups


How to pick the right local influencer for your business

Not all influencers are the same and not all influencers are equal

Not all local accounts have influence in your field

Look at the type of content the page posts on a regular basis and really do your research

In our hometown there are numerous local accounts

These are some of those accounts
– We post about local businesses and positive stories
– 1 posts about death, crime and outrage
– 1 posts old photos of the town
– 1 posts about litter
– 1 posts quotes
– 1 posts about just the town centre
– 1 posts about food
– 1 posts about nighttime economy

Some will be more relevant than others to help promote your business

There will also be local influencers with specialist fields such as sports, beauty and leisure

Can a B2B business work with a local influencer?
When you think of influencer marketing, you often think of food, beauty and fitness influencers

But what about B2B businesses – how do you make that work?

It’s harder, but go back to what we talked about before

Have they featured other B2B businesses previously?
What are their interests?
What is the interesting angle?

There are so many opportunities for B2B businesses with influencers

How to build a relationship with a local influencer
Talk to them before you need something

Talk to them after you’ve worked with them

Just talk regularly and don’t try and sell / push on the 1st conversation (or even the 2nd or 3rd for that matter)

Be the business that responds to their posts on a regular basis. Truly care about what they post. Share their posts. Mention them to others

Just generally be a nice member of the local community and be open with your conversations with influencers, but also other local businesses

How to pitch to a local influencer
Once you’ve built up a strong relationship with the influencer, then comes the pitch

Pitching to a local influencer is not the same as sending a press release to the local newspaper

Every influencer is different

When you pitch you need to think of collaboration, content production and what is in it for the influencer

When you work with a local influencer, there should be a benefit to them as well as your business

– Tell them about your product / service / business in the 1st line
– Acknowledge their previous work / content they produced and why you like it
– Make an offer + make it personal
– Include your contact details

If it’s time sensitive, where possible contact them well in advance rather than last minute

Are there examples you can pitch to the influencer?
These are just 4 examples that you can pitch to the influencer

Review
Taster session
Interview
Event

As well as these obvious examples, think outside the box though where possible and suggest something that may not have done before

Local influencers love new experiences


Is influencer marketing always about featuring on their channels?

When it comes to local influencers it doesn’t always have to be about your business / product featuring on their channels

Look at how the large national and multi-national channels feature influencers on their own social media channels and websites

Don’t always assume that collaboration means content on their channels

Think of how your own channels can work with each individual influencer

Interviews, blogs, live events and so much more

Does influencer marketing just have to be online?
Not at all

Last year we had 10 events for 10 years of Altrincham HQ

And guess what?

The businesses that we chose to host the events in had been kind, supportive and showed they care on a regular basis

As well as the content online we brought hundreds of people into these businesses over 2019. Many attendees went on to frequent the venues socially and hire them for business

Event marketing is so underrated and people (when not in lockdown) love physical events. Where you can bring your business, an influencer and your customers together in one place it’s magic

Do you have to pay to work with a local influencer?
The BBC reported late last year that the average cost per instagram post is upwards of $1600

Every case is different and many local influencers won’t charge at all

Some local influencers will offer paid for services as well as free services

Some are 50% business and 50% community

The key question here is not do you have to pay, but what ROI will you get from working with a local influencer

Many local influencers will have greater influence than local newspapers and magazines that will charge you 3 or 4 figure sums for advertorial

If it helps your business and the influencer doesn’t charge consider helping them in other ways. Use their paid for services, refer them to other business, support the charities that they support, give back

Are there any absolute don’ts of working with a local influencer?
Don’ts of working with a local influencer

– Don’t think they’re all the same
– Don’t complain they’ve never featured you if you’ve never even said hello or been in contact
– Talk with them, but don’t tell them what to say
– Don’t spam tag them on every post you do on social media
– Don’t disrespect their time or work

How to work with multiple local influencers?
Remember what I said about our home town influencers above

– We post about local businesses and positive stories
– 1 posts about death, crime and outrage
– 1 posts old photos of the town
– 1 posts about litter
– 1 posts quotes
– 1 posts about just the town centre
– 1 posts about food
– 1 posts about nighttime economy

Think about how you can help and engage with each of those individually

They all have different interests that will engage them more than others

Hint: We always like to hear about new businesses opening – so if you see one let us know and introduce us on alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk

I love hearing about examples of businesses doing great social media (and not so great examples of businesses social media)

I also am Vegan, love running and live music – so if you can talk to me about one of those areas you’ve got my ears

And that’s advantageous when you look to pitch

How often should you work with a local influencer?
We’ve always said you should have something new or a point of focus at least 12 times a year

There is no set timescale you should work with a local influencer

Some sectors are more obvious than others

– Restaurants = New Menu Launches, Awareness Days, Seasonal Produce
– Fitness = New Year Fitness, Summer Body, New Class Launches
– Retail = Christmas, Seasonal Items
– B2B = Key Dates the business calendar / awareness days

Any other questions on this – we’re happy to chat

alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk

NEED HELP WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services

We offer Social Media Training on
* Twitter
* Facebook
* LinkedIn
* Instagram
* Blogging

We can do this
* 121
* Corporate Workshops
* Group Workshops
* Face to Face or Via Zoom / Skype

Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email alex@altrinchamhq.co.uk

 

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