Want to promote local businesses, without spending a small fortune?
Here is an idea how far some small business marketers go to promote their content marketing. Consider that at least one marketing guru admonishes his followers to put four or five times as much work into promoting a post as they did into writing it. Yikes!
While that might well work, it’s a bit extreme. However, many successful small business content marketers do spend as much time promoting their posts as they did writing them. These bloggers advise a 50/50 split between content creation and promotion.
If you just rolled your eyes and thought “Great. Now I have twice as much work to do,” I hear that. It is a problem. But consider this:
You could also be getting two, three or even four times as much results from the posts you write.
Some of that promotion work can be automated.
With a little experimentation and some Google Analytics tracking, you can figure out what works best for your audience. Then pare down your promotion tactics to only the most super-effective.
So here is a thought for you. Have you considered partnering with less famous influencers?
Highly targeted micro-influencers can help your small business gain visibility, engage an audience, and promote your products.
In this article, you’ll discover how to find and connect with micro-influencers who can help promote a local small business.
Find local micro-influencers
If you look through your social media followers, chances are you’ll find micro-influencers who are already interested in your business or brand. Promoting your business through micro-influential fans can be much more effective for these reasons:
It will take less effort to convince them to work with you.
Your partnership will be more authentic.
If you approach influencers who have never heard of your business, it will take some time and effort to win them over. They might be hesitant to partner with a business they’re not familiar with and might even reject the proposal altogether.
When you approach influencers who are already fans of your business, however, you won’t have to waste your breath selling your business to them. They already know and trust you. Many of them might even jump at the opportunity.
To find micro-influential fans from your existing followers, employ your social media profiles and display all of the followers you have. Here, we’ll use Grange Restaurant & Bar in Sacramento as an example.
Look at profiles
Now go through your list of followers and check out the profiles of users who intrigue you. The goal is to find people who have somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.
Let’s take a look at one example, the restaurant Grange. Examine one of the restaurant’s followers: @boozehoundcc. The username is intriguing and relevant because it relates to alcohol, which is part of Grange’s business.
If you check out this user’s profile, you’ll see that he’s a bartender with more than 7,000 followers, which means he has significant reach. If you go through his posts, you can see that he regularly posts images of food and drinks from different bars and restaurants.
This is a sign that he might be interested in partnering with the restaurant and promoting their menu items.
To engage with this micro-influencer, Grange could offer him free meals and discounts. In return, he would post images of his experience at their establishment. Note that you can also use this technique on most social media platforms.
Research hashtags for influential users
Some micro-influencers may have never heard of your business, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in your products or services. Hashtag research can help you identify influential users who are already interested in products or services similar to what you offer.
These influencers are more likely to be interested in a partnership with your business. They’re also more likely to reach the right audience, making your campaign more effective.
When you choose a hashtag to research, make sure it’s specific, not generic. For example, if you’re marketing organic food products or organic meals, #organicfood is a much more effective hashtag to research than simply #food.
After you pick a relevant hashtag, search for it on Google. You’ll get results from many social media platforms. You can conduct your research on any of these platforms.
Local businesses … use Google search to research hashtags
If you check out the Instagram results, you’ll get a list of top photos using the hashtag #organicfood. The top posts are usually the ones with the most likes. So choose any one of them and see who posted the image.
The idea is to find out if that user would make an ideal micro-influencer for your business.
Look for relevant posts with a specific hashtag
Some of these posts may be from top influencers, and some may be from micro-influencers. All you have to do is click on them and check out the users. Find out how many followers they have and what kind of posts they usually publish.
Check out the level of engagement
As an example, the post was made by @restoring_radiance, so the next step is to check out the user’s profile. You can see that this user has 65.8k followers, a highly impressive number. The user has massive reach and still falls within the micro-influencer category.
Judging from the user’s bio and other posts, it’s clear that she is an ideal partner for businesses that sell healthy organic foods.
For an organic food business, you could engage with this influencer by sending some freebies and gift baskets of your products. The user would then review your product and promote it through her profile. She could also show her followers how to use your products to prepare certain meals.
Study micro-influencers follower rate and types of posts
If you run a restaurant serving healthy meals, you could invite the influencer for a special dinner or an event. They would then showcase her experience at your restaurant and promote it to her followers.
When you market your business through influencers who are relevant to your business, there’s a higher chance you’ll be able to reach your target audience.
How to promote your business locally … find local bloggers
If your small business serves a specific geographic area, searching for bloggers in your vicinity can help you find relevant micro-influencers.
Local bloggers often engage readers from a specific area. They have a significant readership and can be classified as micro-influencers.
To do a Google search for bloggers in your area, use the term “bloggers” and your city/neighborhood name. For example, searching for “bloggers in bay area” turns up results for articles and lists that mention top bloggers in that area.
Search posts by local bloggers
For a more relevant search, add a keyword related to your business. If you’re a restaurant or a food-related business, for example, search for “food blogs in bay area” to find local bloggers who write about topics related to your business.
Go through these articles and check out the blogs mentioned in the list. You should be able to find popular local bloggers who can help you engage with your target audience. Look through their blogs and see if their content matches what you’re looking for.
You can then reach out to them and engage them in a partnership.
Local businesses … filter Google search with keywords
If your business serves only certain geographic areas, working with micro-influencers from a different city won’t be helpful because their audiences will likely be located in cities you don’t serve. So your efforts would be wasted.
But when you reach out to micro-influencers and bloggers in geographic areas where you do business, you should be able to engage an audience in your target locations.
This makes for a much more effective campaign than simply targeting any micro-influencer you can find. It does for me, anyway.
Employ third-party tools
Manually looking through different user profiles on social media can be time-consuming and may not provide you with essential stats like retweet and reply ratios. You’ll be relying on observation alone, which can be unreliable at times.
Using influencer research tools like BuzzSumo, Klear, and Ninja Outreach makes it easier to find micro-influencers to engage with. You’ll get accurate results while freeing up valuable time to work on other aspects of your marketing.
BuzzSumo lets you search for influencers using specific keywords. In the search results, you can easily view the stats of each influencer. The number of followers gives you an idea of the influencer’s reach, and the retweet and reply ratios inform you about his or her engagement rate.
On the Twitter Influencers tab, enter your keyword (“gaming,” for example) and click Search. You can take it from there.
BuzzSumo capabilities displays list of influencers
To find micro-influencers from the BuzzSumo tool, filter the influencers by type, and look for only regular people.
BuzzSumo offers several types of filters to sort your search results.The filtered lis
t will display influencers with several thousand followers on Twitter who are relevant to the keyword, as shown below. You can filter the results further and look for journalists or bloggers in your niche. I have found this very effective.
You can sort BuzzSumo search results based on the type of influencer. The tool also lets you sort the results according to what you’re looking for.
For example, if you’re focusing mainly on reach, sort the results based on the number of followers the influencer has. Or if you’re focusing on engagement, sort based on retweet and reply ratios.
To get a good mix of both reach and engagement, sort the results based on page authority. There are a good chance users with a high page authority are seen as experts in their niche.
They have significant followings with decent retweet and reply ratios, making them the perfect choice of micro-influencers for small businesses.
We suggest you sort the BuzzSumo results by page authority to find ideal influencers. Once you compile a list of potential micro-influencers, check out their profiles and determine whether they’re well suited to promote your business.
If so, reach out to them and propose a partnership.
The other third-party tools mentioned earlier (Klear and Ninja Outreach) will also help you find relevant micro-influencers for your small business.
The bottom line
The best part about micro-influencer campaigns is that you’ll be spending a lot less on them compared to top influencers, as 84% of them charge less than $250 for one branded post on Instagram. These benefits make micro-influencers ideal for small businesses and startups.
The tips above should help you find some of the best micro-influencers to partner with. You can thoroughly research the most relevant influencers with significant followings to raise awareness about your business.
These influencers will also help you engage more effectively with your target audience while you cut down on your marketing costs.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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Awesome Tips on How to Promote Local Businesses