When your business is brand new, it can be hard to get your name out there.
No one knows who you are, and even if you've managed to get some followers on social media, it can still feel like an uphill battle.
What if you could “growth hack” your way into widespread local brand awareness?
Believe it or not, there's a way to do that: influencer marketing.
It used to be that getting someone famous or well-known to promote your product was something only massive corporations could afford to do.
Remember those Pepsi commercials with Britney Spears?
The rise of social media has radically changed the game.
It's created a class of public figure that's not quite a mainstream celebrity, but that has a lot of influence and klout within a certain smaller niche.
These people tend to have anywhere from 10,000 to over 100,000 followers on Instagram.
They can reach a lot of people, and if their audience overlaps with yours, you can pay them to promote your product.
This can work just as well for local businesses as it does for national brands.
There are always people in your city who know a lot of people, and have a relatively large sphere of social influence.
If you can find these people and reach out to them, your business can get a lot of much-needed traction.
In a recent article, Social Media Examiner explains how to find these “micro-influencers” on Instagram.
Find Micro-influencers Among Your Fans
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, go to your Instagram profile and display all of the followers you have.
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.
Research Hashtags to Find 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.
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.
You can learn more about finding local influencers over at Social Media Examiner.