Founder and CEO of Sway Group, an agency that specializes in influencer marketing, branded content and digital advertising.
In the ever-expanding world of influencer marketing, the sheer number of potential partners and topic niches can seem overwhelming. With one recent report estimating that there are over 200 million creators of various kinds, the main question brands may be wrestling with is who to partner with instead of where.
While finding the right influencer is obviously a critical element of the influencer marketing process, today’s platform technologies offer targeting capabilities that many brands simply aren’t taking advantage of.
Geotargeting allows brands to be even more successful with their influencer campaigns by making branded content more relevant and personalized to its target audience. Brand outreach that’s been tailored to audience locality and behavior has a better chance of reaching the right people at the right time with the right message.
What Is Geotargeted Influencer Marketing?
In a nutshell, geotargeting is a way for businesses to tailor their advertising to potential customers based on specific geographic locations. Geotargeted influencer marketing incorporates the influencer’s location (and their associated influence within that location) into the campaign as a whole.
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For example, let’s say a national fast-casual restaurant chain is opening a new location in a specific town. Geotargeting would allow brands to activate area influencers who can raise awareness and drive sales for the new restaurant, connecting with the brand’s intended audience with localized messaging that resonates.
The same campaign could include regional influencers, adding to local-level outreach with bigger-picture messaging that’s still targeted to specific locales as well as national influencers.
Better Results With A Local Approach
Local influencers are ideal partners for local businesses since it’s likely that many of their followers are also in the same area. Partnering with local creators allows local businesses to connect with target audiences that are close in proximity, sharing brand benefits and differentiators through a local’s lens.
This strategy can also be leveraged to support larger brands: Local influencers can help establish and promote regional or national brands with a local presence. Creators with local ties offer brands a built-in community connection, and they often have the local credibility and influence that can help shape a brand’s message.
A few examples of partnering with local creators:
• National clothing brand partnering with a local Pacific Northwest weather reporter to promote their new line of rainwear.
• Rising college basketball player promoting a local restaurant with a new menu item named after her.
• National beauty store partnering with a local makeup influencer to promote a new retail location in the area.
• Southern restaurant chain partnering with local influencers to promote nearby locations that offer regional favorite foods.
• Member of a local dance team promoting a new sparkling water flavor from a national beverage brand.
• Local nutritionist sharing her excitement over the new opening of a specialty grocery store.
People are more likely to try out a new restaurant or product in their area if someone in their social circle recommends it. Additionally, influencers are often able to share brand messaging in a way that doesn’t feel like a traditional ad or sales gimmick.
Increased Authenticity & Brand Impact
Influencer marketing is a way to tap into the genuine consumer needs and interests of the moment, which offers an effective strategy for dealing with ongoing consumer uncertainty.
By partnering with creators who authentically represent their target audience, brands don’t have to rely on spray-and-pray advertising. Instead, they can share incredibly personalized messaging that’s been shaped by influential local personalities.
Geotargeted influencer marketing can contribute to the larger brand story by including relevant local perspectives. Consider the branding upsides of partnering with genuine people who genuinely care about their locality, are known for their local/regional expertise and/or are strongly associated with the area.
The right kinds of geotargeted campaigns can spark authentic reviews and recommendations that drive specific kinds of consumer action. And they can also add to a brand’s overall presence by encouraging genuine consumer connections and points of engagement.
Geotargeted Brand Spend Boosts ROI
Every influencer marketing campaign will inevitably reach some people who aren’t interested in the promoted brand. However, without careful campaign targeting, brands may be wasting their budget reaching out to consumers who don’t even live where they can buy a brand’s products or services.
With geotargeting, brands can deliver content to potential consumers within a specific location, with messaging that’s shaped by locals and relevant to the area. Whether it’s for a local business or a local franchise from a large national brand, geotargeted influencer marketing can work alone or supplement national outreach efforts.
Not only does the spectrum of influencer marketing include the affordable (and surprisingly effective)nano-influencer, but also influencer campaigns can be stopped, started and adjusted on the fly. This offers an enormous benefit to brands adjusting to Covid-19’s “new normal.” Shifting consumer behaviors can be quickly addressed within the campaign. (For instance, if a new store is opening in an area with rising infection rates, campaign messaging can be quickly changed to promote online shopping instead of in-person.)
The Local Mindset
Brands know how important personalization has become for reaching today’s consumers. Local market strategies are increasingly necessary to drive traffic and sales, as well as to strengthen the overall brand.
Location is an important aspect when it comes to marketing personalization, and technological targeting advancements have changed the game for both creators and audiences. Today’s platform tools offer deep-dive demographic insights that simply weren’t available even a few years ago.
Research shows that consumers’ attitudes and behaviors remain highly localized, even in a global context. Adopting a local mindset through geotargeted influencer marketing can help brands foster the kinds of meaningful audience connections that drive real results.
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Author: Danielle Wiley, Forbes Councils Member