Companies from all sectors – whether B2B or B2C – are now relying on influencer marketing. They benefit from the trust that followers place in bloggers, instagrammers or YouTubers. Of course, the more fans an influencer has, the more effective the influencer campaign will be. Or maybe not. In fact, reach alone is not decisive. Micro-influencers with a smaller number of followers are often characterised by a particularly loyal fan community, which is intensively involved with the contents of the sometimes niche special fields and thus also with the posts of micro-influencers.
Less reach, better results
Micro-influencers are primarily characterized by two features: their smaller reach and narrower thematic focus. However, no fixed number of followers applies to the classification as micro-influencer. Figures vary here from 250 to 5,000 followers, but 1,000 to 10,000 followers are not uncommon either. Because their fan base is so small, these influencers also manage to remain closer to their followers. This pays off in every way: micro-influencer campaigns deliver on average 60 percent more engagement, are 6.7 times less expensive and lead to 22.2 percent higher conversion rates.
The right target group delivered on a silver plate
A particular advantage of micro-influencers is that they have more precisely defined fan communities. Advertisers benefit from the greater probability that their brand messages will reach the right people. Here’s just one example: if a tyre manufacturer uses a Formula 1 star with millions of followers as its influencer, but only a small proportion of them are interested in tyres, it will achieve a lower advertising effect than with a micro-influencer who has dedicated themselves to the special topic of tyres and whose 5,000 followers are passionate about this topic in particular.
Seeking and approaching the right micro-influencers
A starting point for companies can be to find micro-influencers, who are already speaking about their own company and related topics in their content. Useful tools for this include Talkwater Alerts and Google Alerts – or a simple search via hashtags in the various social media channels. The same also applies to the names of competitors. The fastest and easiest way to approach micro-influencers is to contact them by e-mail, in which companies can outline a possible partnership or collaboration. It is important to present your own brand, product or service honestly and passionately. After all, micro-influencers themselves have usually invested a lot of time in setting up and curating their social media accounts. On initial contact, companies can also request the influencer’s pricing model without obligation to be able to assess whether it fits the budget as well as the topic. It may well be that micro-influencers are satisfied with being paid with products. However, this only works in exceptional cases. However, asking for their pricing model shows the influencer that a certain budget may be available for the partnership. If the first contact attempt via e-mail remains unanswered, companies should try to contact the social media account via direct message.
If the feedback is positive, the partnership must be defined and planned. The approaches to this do not differ much for influencers with different numbers of followers. We have already presented what you need to know to set up a successful influencer campaign in the blog post “Successful influencer marketing for B2B customers”.
Employees as micro-influencers
Many companies forget that their own employees can also act as ambassadors for the brand. After all, they are industry experts in certain positions and functions. In this respect, their knowledge is valuable for other industry representatives. These employees often already show the corresponding dedication on social media – and already act as influencers. Companies can further promote this by identifying suitable individuals and supporting their social media activities. It is beneficial to give colleagues a certain amount of freedom for this.
The IT company IBM is very successful in this approach. IBM provides its employees with prepared social media content about products and services that the employees can then distribute on a voluntary basis. Cisco is another example. The company in the B2B communications and network technology sector relies on a special approach for influencer marketing and has developed the Cisco Champions programme. As part of this program, IT experts who talk about their expertise become micro-influencers – of course always with reference to Cisco products.
Micro-influencer marketing should never be just an add-on
B2B companies with special topics in particular should deal with the topic of micro-influencers in campaigns – and benefit from their interested and stable fan base. In addition to this, the financial expenditure is usually very manageable. But even here, the search for a suitable partner is extremely important and ultimately determines the success of the campaign. Therefore, companies should exercise the same care in research, planning and implementation as they do when working with mega-influencers. You can read how influencer marketing works here.