Consumers trust people they’re familiar with, even if they don’t know them personally. According to Adweek, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from others—even from people they don’t know—over content direct from the brand.
This is the essence of YouTube influencer marketing.
A video sponsored by Lagavulin™ featuring actor Nick Offerman silently sitting in front of a fire for 45 minutes drinking whisky brought in 3,167,354+ views.
A video sponsored by Tide featuring YouTube star Andrew Hales intentionally bumping into people and spilling blueberry smoothie on himself brought in 47,191,088+ views.
That’s a serious bump in these companies’ brand awareness.
Capitalizing on the reach of long-standing influencers can help you push the needle on brand awareness, ultimately benefiting your revenue streams.
Influencer Marketing for Small Businesses
This is all fine and good for big businesses like Tide and Lagavulin™, but what does influencer marketing mean for small, local businesses like yours?
Because your market is so specific due to the local nature of your small business, you may feel like using a YouTube influencer isn’t a targeted-enough approach to give any positive ROI.
But guess what. It is.
Increasing brand awareness of your local business through influencer marketing is possible.
Check out some the following tips and examples of how local brands can build brand awareness through YouTube influencers:
Location, Location, Location
The location of your influencer when marketing your local brand is key. Here’s an example:
Honey Pig is a Korean barbeque located in Duluth, Georgia. They’ve been serving their unique style of Korean barbeque since 2007, and have attracted customers from all over the southern United States.
In 2015 Honey Pig partnered with YouTube channel Atlanta Eats to increase their exposure. In a short video, Atlanta Eats goes through the unique dining experience that is Korean barbeque.
How successful was this campaign? Atlanta Eats has roughly 3,000 subscribers, but the video has attracted in more than 45,000 views in the 2 years it has been available.
Talk about exposure
For your local brand, you want to make sure your influencer focuses on your specific geographic location. Honey Pig did a great job of identifying an influencer that not only had reach, but had relevant reach within Honey Pig’s market: the Atlanta area. When deciding on who you want your influencer to be, make sure their subscribers and viewers are most likely going to be coming from your local area and participating in your local culture.
Target Your Demographic
Finding influencers that appeal to your market demographics is key. Here’s an example:
GLAMSQUAD is an on-demand salon, providing in-home services for women in need of makeup and hair stylists at their home, work or office. They’re currently based in four major cities, and are partnering with YouTubers of varying levels of influence to put their brand in the public eye.
In May 2015, GLAMSQUAD put out a video with Samantha Schacher on Pop Trigger, an “unfiltered talk show” discussing pop culture, social issues, interviews, and real life. Samantha Schacher is a female talk-show host and thought leader. With more than 400,000 subscribers, the video put out by GLAMSQUAD reached a massive audience, including many women. Total views were more than 15,000.
Later that same year, GLAMSQUAD also partnered with Alex Wehrley, a small-time vlogger dedicated to empowering women with her messages. With only 200 subscribers, Alex’s video brought in more than 1,000 views.
GLAMSQUAD made sure to work with influencers who best fit into the culture and demographic of who they wished to market to: women. And they didn’t just work with high-profile, well-established YouTube influencers, but also up-and-coming YouTubing hustlers. While small-time YouTubers may not have as large of a reach, sometimes they have higher relevance and engagement, as can be seen in the case of Alex Wehrley.
Making sure your content is relevant to your influencer’s message and viewership is key to promoting a positive brand image, both for your company and for the influencer.
Provide Local Value
Like your local boutique, restaurant, or other small business, your market is local. You want to put your brand out there for potential customers to view. Influencer marketing will help you increase exposure and strengthen brand awareness.