Influencer marketing is a buzzword you’ve probably read a couple of hundred times when browsing through any generic marketing blog. For a while now, influencer marketing has been presented as the be all and end all of online marketing. However this certainly is not the case. While collaborating with influencers can be effective it can also be a large waste of time and resources if done incorrectly. That’s why we think when researching influencers to collaborate with you should always choose one who is local – especially if you’re an SME.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is someone who has a substantial online following and holds a strong influence over their followers. Alternatively you could describe them as trend setters or leaders. Their followers will listen and are actively interested in all the things they do or say say. However depending on what type of online influencer they are, could harness different sorts of results from marketing campaigns. So it’s imperative that you do your research carefully and ensure you collaborate with the best influencer for your business.
Why choose a local influencer?
Almost every local community has a local influencer. Generally, local influencers are people who are followed by a large number of people within their physical community, online. The reason why the word “local” is such a determining factor in this article is because for SMEs their local community is usually where their main pool of customers are. Therefore if you’re having trouble reaching them there’s no better way than collaborating with someone who already has their attention online.
How do I reach out to this influencer?
Reaching out may be a lot easier than you think. Many of these influencers have PR email addresses which you could directly contact them through. However, before you throw your proposal to collaborate with them into their inbox look through their work carefully. Then pick out a piece of their content you really like and that you think is relevant to your proposal. For example, if you run a local restaurant and you notice an influencer posts quite a lot of food related content, mention this and mention what you like about it. This is a great way to show influencers that you have taken the time to do your research and you actually care about working with them – not just about the exposure you’ll gain from it.
How do I work with this influencer?
Traditionally this part is completely up to you. However some influencers like to be a bit more creative and actually enjoy contributing ideas themselves. If this is the case, make sure you set up a meeting with them to give you both the chance to talk through your ideas. If not there are many ways in which you can approach this. You could ask them to do a straight-forward sponsored piece of content in which they shout you out on social media or post up a picture of your product and/or service. Typically, this doesn’t always work so well and renowned influencers tend to stay away from these sorts of collaborations, mainly because it is so transparent and their followers can tell it’s sponsored. Instead try something a little more insightful like hosting a social media takeover together, organising an event with them or even work on a new product/service together.
How can I monitor my influencer marketing?
Now this is a little trickier. If you opted for the “straight-forward” sponsored post then this is actually a lot easier to monitor if your business focuses more on online business. Just log in to your Google Analytics, click on the acquisitions tab and look at referrals. If your influencer did a sponsored post on their website just search for their URL in the referrals table. You can even dig deeper than this and see if anyone who came from your influencer’s website contacted you through a contact form or bought something off your sight. However if you collaborated on social media, this is harder to monitor but there is a way – just get a marketing whizz to set up some UTM links for the influencers to use when they post your collaborated content. UTM links allow you to monitor sessions coming from this link on Google Analytics.