Influencer marketing is a growing strategy many organizations take advantage of, but for B2B companies, micro-influencer marketing is the way to go.
Micro-Influencers are people with a following of less than 30,000 people and focus on a specific niche market or audience. Your typical influencer, or “mega-influencer,” is a public figure, such as a celebrity, who could have millions of followers. But there are distinct advantages for B2B companies to use micro-influencers in their marketing strategy instead, as long as they do it the right way.
B2B companies have a more narrow target market than consumer brands. This is why it’s less important to a B2B company how many followers their influencer has and more important who their followers are. Your influencer needs to have a following in your company’s target audience. If an influencer has 20,000 followers all in your target market, that’s more valuable than an influencer with 20 million followers outside of your target market.
The Benefits Of Micro-Influencers
By having less followers than more prominent public figures, it's much easier for people to interact with micro-influencers and have a real back-and-forth conversation with them. Micro-influencers have a 60% higher engagement rate on average than larger influencers, according to HelloSociety.
Because of this, micro-influencers have a closer relationship with their following than larger public figures, such as celebrities, and have more influence over their niche markets. They can have a more engaging conversation regarding specific trends, challenges and products than a larger public figure normally would, which resonates better with their audience.
This allows micro-influencers to be more direct in encouraging their followers to buy specific products and services. In fact, micro-influencers generate 22.2x more weekly conversations around what products to buy than the average social media user, according ExpertVoice.
Because micro-influencers are more engaging with their niche followings, they are more cost effective for companies paying them to promote their products and services. Additionally, the total cost of service of a micro-influencer is typically much less than that of a larger public figure.
How To Find A Micro-Influencer
The benefits of micro-influencers are great for companies going after niche markets, which is why B2B organizations pursue them. The biggest challenge companies have is finding the right micro-influencer for them.
There are different methods to use and several factors to consider in finding the right influencer.
Hashtag research helps find people already posting to a specific audience and promoting themselves towards that niche audience you are going after. Bloggers who consistently write about specific trends and challenges in your industry may have followings that find them credible, and could make for good micro-influencers because of this. Of course, be sure their followers are people in your target market, and look at how much engagement they get on their posts.
You want your micro-influencer to have credibility and to know what they’re talking about. It’s also good if they are already familiar with your brand. If they’ve posted positive things about your products or services before, it will look more natural for them to post more frequently about your company in the future rather than appearing as an obvious paid endorsement. It will also make them more likely to agree to be your micro-influencer.
Get Their Attention
A micro-influencer will endorse your products and services if they believe in what you do, and if the price is right. However, there are other factors to consider as well.
You can get the attention of micro-influencers with the help of your employee advocates. If they notice that any content or initiative you support gets a great amount of engagement, that’s intriguing to them. They want to promote themselves the same way you want to promote your brand.
If you have a strong employee advocacy program in place, have your employees follow the influencer, and like and share their posts. The influencer will notice all this activity coming from one company, and they’ll know they’ll continue to get new followers and engagement from your employees if they promote your brand. They’ll know it guarantees them a new large audience.
Nurture Your Internal Influencers
Over time, some of the more active employees in your employee advocacy program can become micro-influencers themselves. By being active on social media, engaging with people in your industry, sharing content in your industry, and sharing their professional insights, their prominence and recognition grows over time.
Your company has employees that are experts of your industry. Their knowledge is incredibly valuable to others in your industry. By guiding them in the right direction on social media, it’ll get easier for them to share their insight themselves, and they’ll become a micro-influencer that already works for you.
B2B companies can greatly benefit from micro-influencers and get more bang for their buck. If you make sure they have all the right qualities in audience, engagement and credibility, you can find a micro-influencer that’s right for you. It’s also ideal if they already say positive things about your brand. Lastly, you can attract them towards your company through a strong employee advocacy program.