Many rural businesses in Scotland do not have big budgets for their PR and marketing and so are always looking for cost-effective ways to gain exposure for their products or services that can reach their target audience without costing hundreds (or indeed thousands) of pounds.
There are a number of clever tricks for doing this but one that Scene & Herd has used a great deal over recent weeks, on behalf of a number of clients, is what we’ve coined the ‘you scratch my back…’ technique!
What on earth is that I hear you say? Quite simply, it’s the idea that if you give somebody something that might add a little something to their lives, they are likely to be more than happy to reciprocate, sometimes without you even having to ask! I genuinely believe that most people are inherently kind and if we are kind to others it is so often contagious (this is scientifically proven – if you haven’t read it, I highly recommending The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, a truly great book!).
If we can use kindness and happiness to cheer our friends and family, to throw a party or to help a stranger in the street, why can’t we use it to grow our own businesses? In fact, Shawn Achor’s book insists that it’s happiness which leads to business success and not the other way around.
Using this idea that a little bit of reciprocal kindness goes a long way, we’ve collaborated recently with some really super social media influencers who, because they are lovely people and because they too are building a brand, were more than happy to work with us in exchange for a small gift from our clients, a discount on certain products or a reciprocal post or two.
The important thing to remember is to work with the right people, with brands which compliment your own, and with those who will be interested in what you can offer them. If you are a butchery, there is no point in trying to forge an alliance with a vegan influencer! Think about who their audience is and who your followers are and how your relationship might we welcomed by followers. Are they likely to like the same things and get on board?
Remember also to be realistic. What’s known as micro or nano influencers are more likely to be able to work with you on some kind of reciprocal, quid pro quo, promotion than the larger influencers who charge a great deal for posts or exposure. There has been quite a bit published lately about the rise of the micro-influencer, with even some of the very largest brands working with influencers who have fewer followers but who work in a specific niche market. Micro-influencers are seen, by their followers, as genuine and authentic when promoting a brand or a product, and are therefore perceived as people to trust – hence their influence. Micro-influencers, as well as being niche, tend to have higher engagement and conversation rates than some of the larger influencers, giving more clout to their messaging. They are also, as discussed, much more affordable and will often be willing to work with you without money having to change hands – as long as you have something you can offer them which will appeal.
As always, we’re at the end of the phone or on email if you feel that we might be able to help you to work with influencers to build your brand and business.