Remember the last time you visited a new city or explored a new destination? Who did you reach out to find out the best spots to visit and the best eateries to try?
The answer for most people is — the locals.
People reach out to locals to get the best insights, know the best places to visit and find the most interesting foods to try. And that's the power of a local influencer.
Region-specific businesses that need to get the word out about their new product or service can leverage local influencer marketing to reach their target audience and increase brand awareness.
This article covers everything you need to know about local influencer marketing, why you should work with local influencers and a step-by-step guide to executing a local influencer marketing campaign. Let's go!
Why should you work with local influencers?
If local influencers don't have a lot of followers, should your business collaborate with them? Here are six reasons why brands work with local influencers!
1. Local influencers are more relatable
When traveling to a new city, you reach out to the locals and ask them for recommendations of things to do and places to visit.
Well, local influencer marketing works the same way too.
Local influencers live in the same place and have similar interests as your target audience. They are considered normal ordinary people who share content and their experiences in an authentic and genuine way.
Most local influencers are nano and micro-influencers — with followers between 1000 to 100K — but they have an engaged audience. So, your prospects are more likely to relate to them and their experience.
Dunkin Donuts renewed sponsorship with NHL and launched a campaign #phillyrunsondunkin, partnering with several local Philadelphia influencers.
Look at this post by Kelley Galloway as she reminds Philadelphia Eagles fans to grab the $1 deal from their nearby Dunkin.
Dunkin focused more on collaborating with nano and micro-influencers and gave them the creative freedom to create the type of content they wanted. Look at this creative and artsy post by Rié Victoria Aoki, showing her personal touch to the content.
2. They provide a more personalized experience
For local businesses, providing a friendly experience to customers is a top priority. You need to show your prospects the experience they will have when they visit your store.
Local influencers will create content focused on personalizing their experience with your brand.
Suppose you are a new salon that has opened up in the suburbs of Chicago. In that case, local influencers can help spread the word by creating content around visiting your salon, their experience with your services, and showcasing videos and photos of them getting a haircut or any other service.
Bedrock Real Estate did a fantastic and out-of-the-box influencer campaign to encourage real estate purchases in the Detroit metro area.
The company collaborated with Big Sean, a celebrity rapper born in Detroit, to create an award-winning video, "Anthem of Us," highlighting the beautiful people and vibrant culture of Detroit.
And to personalize the campaign, the company collaborated with local citizens, influencers, and businesses — most of whom promoted the videos to their own followers. Because of these local micro-influencers, the campaign was a massive success on a regional level.
3. Highly authentic
Local influencer marketing campaigns focus on showcasing authenticity by doubling down on things that are important to locals.
Many local influencers are actively engaged in the community and are part of many networks. This gives them a special position where they meet a lot of businesses at conferences, local events, and other community activities.
People are more interested in what these local influencers have to say about their experience because they bring a level of authenticity to their content without sounding like it came directly from a brand or business they are collaborating with.
A great example of a local influencer focused on providing authenticity in her content is UK-based Georgette Olaiya, whose account is dedicated to plants, gardening, and plant care.
She collaborated with The Stem and showed off their products to her relevant and niche audience.
4. Local brand awareness
If you are living in a particular city, you will want to keep updated on new eating spots that pop up, new clothing stores that open, and other new immersive experiences.
And that's exactly what local influencers do for your brand. They give your business the most visibility in front of an audience that matters the most — your local customers.
Most local influencers are also niche-specific, creating content around lifestyle, beauty, skincare, food and cooking, or DIY house tips. So, their audience is highly specific and is actually interested in these niches.
Canadian ski resort Sun Peaks collaborated with local influencers to increase awareness and attract more people to visit their ski runs, seasonal festivities, and other winter attractions.
Look at this post by Canada's top adventure photographer, Callum Snape, showcasing the resort's natural beauty.
5. They are cost effective
A huge benefit of working with local influencers is that it is economical compared to working with celebrities or macro-influencers.
In some cases, local nano and micro-influencers will feature your business in exchange for a freebie, a discount, or an affiliate code from where they get a commission. Some local influencers are also willing to collaborate with your business in exchange for an all-expenses-paid experience or travel.
Working with local influencers will save you shipping costs to deliver your products. You can also ask them to come by your store and create videos and posts without spending a lot of money.
But if you want them to create entire social media posts and videos to talk about your business and your products, make sure to have a proper budget set aside to pay them.
Gopuff, American consumer goods and food delivery company, collaborated with London-based micro-influencers when they launched in the region.
Look at this post by Meet The Sons Family, introducing Gopuff to their audience and encouraging them to place orders with the promo code mentioned in the post.
Pro-tip: If you want quality content, make sure to pay for it. An influencer brings their audience with them, and your business should be willing to compensate them fairly for their services and the exposure your brand gets from their posts.
6. Local influencer-generated content
You can get authentic and personalized influencer-generated content by collaborating with local influencers.
Send products to local influencers and use their photos and videos in your social media posts and ad campaigns. This is especially effective if you want to get recognizable ad creatives for a local area.
You can also invite local influencers to try out your products or services and get some behind the scenes content that you can later use on your website and social media posts.
Look at this post by Gymshark with their brand ambassadors, highlighting them in their social media collateral.
Is local influencer marketing only for small local businesses?
You might assume that local influencer marketing is only for region-specific businesses. That's not the case.
Huge enterprises, fashion and beauty brands, and multi-national companies collaborate with local influencers when they plan to launch their products or stores in specific regions.
Let's look at Bolt and how they collaborated with local influencers when launching in 18+ countries all over Europe and Africa.
They have since collaborated with 500+ ambassadors and use Modash to find highly-specific local influencers at such a large scale.
Their ambassadors create posts that are fun and show individual personalities to make the content relatable and authentic.
6 steps to creating a local influencer marketing campaign
Now that you know how brands can take advantage of local influencer marketing, let's look at the six steps you should follow to create your campaign.
1. Define your objectives and KPIs
The first thing you have to do is determine specific goals and campaign objectives. Your campaign KPIs should be action-driven and give you and your team proper direction.
Setting objectives will determine everything, including which influencers to work with, when to start, what type of content to create, and who to target.
Your influencer marketing campaign KPIs will largely depend on your business goals and the maturity of your influencer marketing program. For example, KPIs will be different if you've just started testing the influencer marketing waters compared to if you are scaling your efforts.
Your KPIs can be divided into the following categories:
- Influencer management: Increase the number of influencers to X by Y, run X campaigns by Y, add X number of influencers to our pipeline by Y
- Content production: Collect X types of content for Instagram by Y, increase the volume of content by X from TikTok, repurpose X posts for YouTube by Y
- Sales: Revenue, sales conversion rate, average order value, cost per acquisition (CPA), return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Conversion KPIs: Increase the number of newsletter subscriptions from influencers by X, increase follower growth by Y
2, Find relevant local influencers
How do you find the influencers who reach audiences in your target city, and create content relevant to your products?
I'll show you how you can use Modash, an influencer discovery tool, to do just that.
Let's take an example. Say you're a skincare brand looking to launch a physical store in Illinois. Here's how you could use Modash to search for Instagram influencers who have followers in Illinois.
Modash has a database of every creator on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. It allows you to apply filters based on the influencer, or their audience, to narrow it down.
To start with, I can filter based on:
- Where the influencer is based (Illinois)
- Their follower count (e.g. 1-5k)
- The influencer's gender
- Keywords used in bio, posts, or hashtags
Now, to make it more targeted, I can add audience filters like their location, age, interests, etc. With percentage granularity, Modash also allows me to specify the percentage of followers in Illinois, the percentage of followers who are female, and the percentage of followers in the age range I am looking for.
After applying these filters, I get 32 profiles of Illinois-based skincare influencers. Modash also tells you the percentage of their audience that's in Illinois.
To get more influencers, I can simply edit the filters (e.g. increase follower range, reduce minimum percentage of followers in Illinois) and rerun the search as many times as needed.
You can bulk save these influencers to a list and get their contact info to reach out to them (more on this later).
Some other ways you can find local influencers are:
- Google search: Type in your industry + Illinois-based influencers, and you might see a list of relevant local influencers
- Influencer lookalike tool: If you have worked with past influencers in Illinois, you can find similar influencers through the lookalike tool in Modash.
- Search hashtags: With location-specific hashtags, you can see content posted by influencers in that region.
- Network: Engage with online profiles or visit community events and see people interested in your brand.
3, Reach out to influencers
Now that you have shortlisted a few influencers for your campaign, the next step is to reach out to them.
Start by collecting their contact details. With Modash, you can quickly get the contact details of all your influencers in a list and export their contact details within a few seconds.
The next step is to write a personalized pitch explaining who you are, what your business is, and why you want to collaborate with them.
To make sure they say yes, add social proof, share the benefit they will get from this collaboration, and focus on the email subject line.
To make this process easy for you, we have created free influencer outreach templates. Make a copy, personalize the templates, and nail your outreach.
4. Have a solid system in place
Okay, this might be the most crucial part of your influencer campaign.
To ensure your campaign is a success, you need to have a solid system, including influencer briefs, payments, and contracts. Let's discuss these quickly below:
Influencer briefs have all the necessary details like company and product/service overview, campaign specifics, the type of content required, timelines, visual and content guidelines, and payment details.
Check out our free influencer brief template, that is easy to customize, so you don't have to spend a lot of time preparing a brief.
Having a solid contract in place protects both marketers and creators. It ensures everyone knows what is expected of them and prevents disagreements.
Here are a few things that must be in your influencer contracts:
- Content requirements
- Goals and KPIs
- Payment method and compensation
- Ownership and licensing
Get access to completely customizable free influencer contracts that our team has created to make the process easy for you.
Before moving ahead, you and the creator should be on the same page regarding payment methods and compensation.
Payment depends on multiple factors like the number of followers, quality of content, engagement rate, campaign performance, sign-ups or sales, and ROI.
There are various payment methods, including:
- Performance-based pay: Percentage of sales, for instance, between 5 and 30%, depending on margins.
- Fixed-rate + performance-based pay: A set fee per post or campaign and a percentage of sales.
- Gifts: Includes gifting your products to the influencer in exchange for a post
- Comped travel: Offers a free trip in exchange for a promotion
5. Measure influencer performance
Tracking your campaigns to see which content is performing well and where you need to improve is critical to your success.
Your campaign objectives (as discussed in the first step) can be to increase brand awareness, reach new audiences, or increase sales.
And you can measure your influencer marketing campaign's performance through various methods, like:
- You can provide personalized promo codes to each influencer that will help you track the number of sales, revenue generated, average order value (AOV), etc.
- You can use UTM codes to capture info like the source of traffic, medium, campaign, and content. You can then track the campaign by these categories.
- With monitoring tools like Modash, you get automated content tracking, helping you measure the reach and engagement each post generates.
- Each social media provides its own analytics tool to capture a post's views, impressions, reach, and engagement rates.
We have created the following sheet to give you a better understanding of the various goals and the metrics to track those goals to ensure you are measuring your influencer marketing campaigns.
6. Manage relationships with local influencers
So, after a campaign is completed, do you discard the relationship you have built with your influencers?
Managing influencer relationships is critical to scale your influencer marketing and having a proper well-built system in place helps you develop mutually profitable long-term relationships.
Here are some ways you can take your influencer management to the next level:
- Newsletter: Have a dedicated newsletter to communicate key messages, share tips and advice on how to promote your brand, and highlight the most successful posts of the month
- Landing page: A specific landing page with content guidelines, payment methods, application criteria, points of contact, terms, and other benefits, is helpful to keep the process transparent.
- Influencer activation: To speed up the process for new influencers, prepare contracts, briefs, brand guidelines, FAQs, the unique selling point of your business, etc.
- Personalize your relationship: Congratulate influencers on their milestones, wish them a happy birthday, and put in some extra thought when engaging with their content.
3 examples of local influencer marketing campaigns
Let's look at three local influencer marketing campaign examples to see what they have done well.
When Sony launched its PlayStation VR in Canada, the team decided to partner with multiple local nano and micro-influencers to get the word out.
PlayStation collaborated with five local influencers, with followers ranging from 10,000 to 72,000. The influencers posted images and videos with the VR headset and tagged @PlayStationCA with hashtags #PlayStationVR, #ITriedPSVR, and #PSVR.
Check out the following Instagram post by Justin Tse, sharing his experience with PlayStation VR on Instagram.
The campaign targeted 941,882 YouTube subscribers and 200,894 Instagram followers. The average engagement rate on Instagram was 3.64%, with 12,728 likes, and the average engagement rate on YouTube was 3.19%, with 28,322 views.
Häagen-Dazs partnered with New York City's local influencers to promote their BOGO (buy one get one) promotions while highlighting the sampling events at Duane Reade and Walgreens New York stores.
With a highly New York-centric feel, the influencers incorporated Häagen-Dazs in rooftop parties and other fun activities. The campaign also local targeted people on their phones in close proximity to the stores. Other local influencers shared visuals and videos featuring an NYC vibe on social channels and neighborhood sites like Nextdoor.
Influencer Katelyn Calautti shared a sponsored blog encouraging followers to buy the ice cream and throw their own summer parties.
Häagen-Dazs doubled down on audience segmentation to reach their target audience. They segmented the audience into digital zips and targeted people on their phones around Walgreens' location. They then showed them the content created by the influencers, which drove high click-through rates and huge traffic at the sampling events.
The Häagen-Dazs Open Container campaign generated 14.3 million impressions and 27,400 social engagements (a staggering 400% above the average engagement rate). The campaign resulted in a 148% lift in the share of voice for Walgreens and Häagen-Dazs.
Mysa is a smart thermostat company with a mission to fight climate change through energy efficiency.
When the company decided to launch in the Quebec market, the cultural and language differences in the province provided some challenges.
The brand collaborated with local interior designer influencers, and the campaigns were strategically designed to target women.
Lara, a home stylist, based in Montreal, shared her love for Mysa with her followers in an Instagram post shared below:
Within two weeks, the team saw exponential increases in their organic search traffic. The campaign also resulted in an increase in sales by 50%.
Start reaching a local audience today!
Whether you are a local business or a multi-national company looking to launch in a specific region, local influencer marketing is your go-to to reach your ideal target audience.
To make your campaigns a sure-fire success, make sure the influencers you are collaborating with have a good percentage of local followers.
And Modash lets you do this and more to help you find the perfect influencers to collaborate with, manage your campaigns, and track your performance.
Sign up for your 14-day free trial today!