Influencer marketing is big these days, but not everyone can afford to pay celebrities and online megastars with millions of followers. For some brands, micro influencers will be much more realistic and even powerful than big names.
The key to influencer marketing is authenticity. I covered this here: Word-of-Mouth Marketing: The Land that Strategy Forgot
This is true for celebrity endorsements but it is even more true for influencers with a smaller following. Marketers usually refer to digital presences of around 50’000 followers and below as “micro influencers”.
While they may not move the needle when it comes to mass-market products, they are hugely influential if their audience is well focused.
Focus is the Key
That’s because micro influencers usually do not have a following with a very broad interest, but they may have exactly the fanbase you need. In particular, B2B influencers can really make a difference.
One example is healthcare. There are thousands of doctors and medical professionals really engaging with their audience and subject matter. If you have a product that fits in that niche, you will see immediate returns. Make sure that the influencers posts have the right links, and offer a window to engage with potential customers.
Another industry predestined for micro-influencers is machinery and electronic equipment. Brands like Huawei, AT&T, Siemens, Kuka, and many more work with hundreds of industry specialists around the world to get the word out about new products or services. Brands which ignore the power of influencer will be left behind. They already are, as the success of Huawei and Samsung shows.
Another sector where micro-influencers dominate is the financial sector, in particular for innovative services, apps, or SaaS payment solutions.
The reason is simple: we believe people we trust more than we believe brand. If all your marketing is about your product specs, you will not be successful. The key to successful brand marketing is more about your clients’ reaction than your product’s potential.
Events – the Micro-Influencers Paradise
Local events are another perfect application for micro-influencers. Most influencers have a following in a particular country or language. Promoting events like industry conferences, trade shows or an annual congress through micro influencers with regional audiences is both effective and authentic.
Whereas the conference schedule may appeal to real aficionados, and the list of keynote speakers may attract another segment of visitors, micro-influencers in the target market may help you fill the remaining seats by targeting special interests or industries.
What’s more, not everyone has the time or budget to attend every conference. Well-selected influencers can fill this information gap and keep a wider audience up-to-date which what’s going in your industry.
Regional Influencers Rule!
Local businesses, in general, are a great case for micro-influencers. If your brand or product is limited to a specific region, such as a hotel, restaurant, or local shop, regional influencers may be working in your favor. They charge considerably less and actually speak to an audience that is within driving or walking distance of your business. This allows you to focus your marketing efforts and spend money only on that segment of the digital audience that actually has the potential to become customers.
This kind of grass-roots marketing has the advantage of sounding more authentic, and binding potential clients to things, regions, and topics they know and care about. If done right, it can cut down your advertising business significantly.
Special Interest Influencers
People turn to the internet for information and help. When it comes to specialist subjects, nothing beats micro-influencers. In a recent case, I signed on 5 blockchain specialists to promote a startup, and each one of them had fewer than 5000 followers. This tactic got us better results than the press release the client had tried a month earlier.
The reason why press releases are becoming more and more useless is generational. GenZ consumers do not believe anything that looks like advertising
The Magic of Youtube
Apart from the obvious Instagram and Twitter, one of the most popular platforms for micro-influencers is YouTube.
As a brand, you want to find an individual with a niche interest and loyal following, someone who offers real value, whether its woodworking tips or the latest developments in artificial intelligence. For almost every subject imaginable, there is an influencer in any region in the world.
Youtube is particularly useful for younger generations and in-depth content, such as broadcasts from conferences, product demonstrations, how-to guides and so on.
The Law of Increasing Returns
One aspect of micro-influencers is that they usually work in an ecosystem of other influencers, people who retweet and share each other’s content, meaning that by paying one influencer, you can get exposure over a whole network of connected individuals.
Some of these individuals may cover the same niche and region but very likely they will come from all over the world, covering different countries, markets, and consumer segments.
What Not To Do
One of the biggest mistakes brands make is bombarding influencers with demands. If you are paying the minimum, or not paying at all, you have no right to demand that the influencer present your product in a certain way.
This practice by brands is more common than you would believe. Do not annoy the influencers with copyright agreements and a list of demands. Influencers can be very efficient and engaging, but as a brand, do not ruin the relationship with a straight-jacket of do’s and don’ts. Not only does it harm the willingness of other influencers to engage, but it also destroys the authentic appeal influencers have.
Influencers have their own style, their own rules, and their own brand. Don’t let the bureaucracy of brand management destroy their potential.
B2B influencers on Twitter you may want to check out: