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The Unavoidable Shift to Influencer Marketing for Local Businesses

2023-07-27– The last couple of years have seen a seismic shift in how businesses market themselves - from conventional ads to using influencers as the main vehicle of their campaigns.

Just like artists readjusting their approach because of AI, local businesses too, are experiencing a revolutionary change, the echoes of which are bound to be felt for decades to come.

T.D.T Entertainment & Media’s recent findings show a major shift in how local businesses are marketing themselves. We've found that in an era where personal touch takes precedence over mass marketing, influencers are coming out on top as the preferred mode of branding for local businesses. And this shift isn't just for the big guns - small local businesses are making their mark too.

Some local businesses are facing some roadblocks however. While many have told us that they want to embrace the influencer marketing revolution, they say they’re grappling with high costs and vague metrics to gauge the success of their campaigns.

One of the store owners we talked to said, "sometimes I’ll use an influencer and everything looks great, but then when the campaign is done I’m left asking if anything changed. Did customers buy more? Did new ones come? I don’t know. I’m just left looking at some social media analytics showing that a few posts did well, but I have nothing that shows me if my money was put to good use."

While many problems are still unaddressed, the wheel has undoubtedly begun turning, and there's no turning back. If you think that these challenges might turn local businesses away from influencer marketing, brace yourself for what lies ahead. Global influencer marketing spending is increasing extremely fast and we shouldn't expect it to slow down for a long time.

The key lies not in abandoning the boat but in finding a new course. Some platforms have attempted to better utilize micro-influencers or tried to implement performance-based payment models to make influencer marketing more cost-efficient for local businesses. Still, there has been no major outcome in this space. While many solutions today are inadequate, we’re confident that more innovative solutions will emerge as time progresses, breaking down these barriers and making influencer marketing a more accessible reality for businesses of all sizes.

In our view, the real question isn't if local businesses should use influencer marketing, but how they can effectively implement it. Just as the music industry continues to evolve, so does the business landscape. And those who adapt are the ones who survive.

It's clear that the future of local business success is intertwined with the rise of influencers. This will ring especially true as Gen-Zers and Millennials - who have grown up with technology and use social media frequently - continue to take over society’s purchasing power. Despite the hiccups along the way, the advantages of utilizing influencers to attract customers are abundant. The local businesses who hesitate to hit the gas pedal will only be further behind as this new race gets underway.

Remember, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs. Embracing the innovations of today is what will put many in the lead tomorrow.


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