09 Feb Thought Leadership on a Local Scale: The next trend
Much like a newspaper has its local authorities and columnists, thought leaders and influencers can have regional/local appeal. So what’s better: going for the national thought leader – a heavy hitter with a huge audience? Or, choosing local thought leaders with focused influence on a market-by-market basis?
There are advantages to both, of course, and it depends on the nature of your business and your marketing objectives, but trends are leaning toward local and regional options. How do we know this? The numbers say so. Here are some advantages that may apply, no matter the nature of your business.
As social media has grown and matured, so have the methods used to maximize the medium. Partnering with thought leaders and influencers helped establish the unique engagement nature of social media. As companies began to understand the value of these relationships, cost structures have emerged and, frankly, gotten more expensive over time. That has lead to considerations for scalability.
Local market influencers can be very effective because people relate to them as familiar members of their community (even if they may never have heard of them before.) Local tagging on Instagram, for example, has been shown to raise engagement as much as 70 percent in markets where influencers originate. Those kinds of numbers have a huge affect on ROI. Local/ regional thought leaders can be particularly effective for certain industries, like health care because of the unique issues that can be addressed.
Be Cost Effective:
Engaging thought leaders on a national scale can be expensive. It’s important to gauge if national exposure is really what fits your brand and your budget. We’ve worked with Fortune 100 companies that have target markets where a mix of national marketing efforts is combined with local market thought leaders to create brand strength. As with any well-planned campaign, each component serves its purpose. In this case, the national effort helped solidify the magnitude of the brand, while local market thought leaders kept engagement personal and relatable.
This is an obvious advantage that becomes more so if a campaign expands over time. Proximity begets opportunity when working on a local level. Appearances, speaking engagements, media interviews, company functions, etc., are all easier when you stay local. In some cases, we have worked with clients who started out working with local influencers and, through their partnership and other factors, the business and the influencer grew to national prominence.
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