So, you’ve developed an app or the latest software-as-a-service startup company. Congratulations! But now, because you are a fresh new startup, you need to find some people to get your amazing innovation in front of…the right people and it all falls on you to find them. How do you do it most effectively?
Consider b2b influencers espeically micro-influencers. They may not have as well-known names as celebrities or macro-influencers, but micro-influencers—influential social media personalities with high engagement but modest-sized followings—increase your chances of hitting a marketing bullseye.
The Magic of B2B Influencers & Micro-Influencer Marketing
A b2b influencer marketing strategy with micro-influencers does the job of impacting smaller audiences, typically with less than a million followers, but they garner more trust and have much higher engagement rates.
This means that if their following mirrors your target audience, then you just found someone who can convincingly convey the features and benefits of your creation to the right people.
No need to hire Kloe Kardashian (216 million followers) to low-key praise your mind-blowing innovation, just maybe a woman named Alissa, aka Joyful Goldens with 33k highly engaged number of followers on her feed about dogs, or Kim Kessler, aka Vegan Travelista, with just under 10k followers, who is a plant-based world traveler with a high engagement rate. They have engaged audiences and you have a much higher chance of getting them to high-key endorse you, especially if they truly like your product.
Micro-influencers tend to be less expensive and easier to work with than their counterparts with larger audiences.
The Data Behind Micro-Influencer Marketing Strategy
The old adage, “good things come in small packages,” rings true for micro-influencers. Take a look at these eyebrow-raising statistics:
Micro-influencers have 2-3 times higher engagement rates than celebrity influencers on the three main social media channels (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube), according to a 2021 report by Upfluencer an Influencer Marketing Hub
Micro-influencers cost a lot less than celebrity influencers. We’ll get into pricing later, but according to Influencer Marketing Hub, it’s different for each of the social media networks. you can expect to pay between $100-$500 per Instagram or TikTok post, up to about $1000 for a YouTube video. Celebrities can charge up to $20k for a YouTube video and believe that people have paid $1+ million for Instagram. When you think about it, it can be cheaper and less invasive than paying for lead generation efforts with Facebook or LinkedIn Ads.
Micro-influencers have over a 20% conversion rate.
77% of digital marketers prefer working with micro-influencers compared to 64% macro-influencers and 22% with celebrity influencers, according to a 2021 report by Influencer marketing platform Linqua.
Today, 63% of consumers trust influencers more than brands, and they even trust influencers 33% compared to 17% of their own friends.
When digital marketers like a strategy, it’s because it works.
As you can see, a micro-influencer target market strategy doesn’t take a million dollars, and the results pay for themselves.
But if you really want to make sure it’s for you, take a quick look for other brands in your industry with long-term relationships with micro-influencers. They wouldn’t keep those relationships alive if they weren’t mutually beneficial for both of them.
Don’t see anyone else doing it? Incredible, because one of the oldest rules of marketing is to be the first to do something.
What Are Micro-Influencers, Exactly?
About half of all influencers are considered micro-influencers, but the other half aren’t celebrity influencers, either. There are a few tiers of influencer status and micro-influencers are the largest one of them.
In numbers, micro-influencers have between 5,000 and 750,000 followers and have high engagement rates for the industry.
Influencer Marketing Tiers and Rates
- Nano-influencers (1,000-10,000 followers): $10–$100 per post
- Micro-influencers (10,001-50,000 followers): $100–$500 per post
- Mid-tier influencers (50,001-500,000 followers): $500–$5,000 per post
- Macro-influencers (500,001-1,000,000 followers): $5,000–$10,000 per post
- Mega-influencers (1,000,001 plus followers): $10,000+ per post
Micro-influencers are the social influencers who dominate the online conversations within their platform. A regular person with lots of fans vested in their feed. They’re astute social media users, publishing content that has a singular focus or theme and flows naturally.
Macro and Mega influencers are like micro-influencers with larger audiences. Nano influencers have much smaller networks, but can be useful for extreme targeting, especially within a geographic or niche area.
B2b influencers are the digital era’s answer to word-of-mouth b2b marketing, and micro-influencers work the best.
Why B2B Business Should Use Micro-Influencers
This part is short because the statistic is so to the point. 91% of the B2B economy is driven by word of mouth according to digital marketing research platforms. That’s a staggering number and if you are ignoring micro-influencer marketing, you’re leaving potential customers out in the cold.
Working with micro-influencers is a marketing strategy with many b2b benefits:
Establish Trust for Your Brand
Social media users have the most trust in micro-influencers.
Grow Customer Community
Micro-influencers are great at keeping the conversation about your product going. They delight and retain current customers and draw in new ones.
Boost Website Traffic
Everyone wants to know where the fabulous people show so if you’re trying to get more people to visit your e-commerce store, consider asking a micro-influencer to talk about it.
Increase Social Following
Co-marketing partners and influencer campaigns can be used to organically drive your target audience to click the follow button on your own page. A targeted marketing campaign can be a great way to, build brand awareness, draw attention to your site just as you launch a new product and increase your number of followers.
Better Targeting and Lead Generation Efforts
Micro-influencers have niche followings. B2b usually targets niche markets. That’s not to say macro-influencers can’t work for b2b companies, but you don’t have to pay for the widespread name recognition if you don’t have to. Driving on sales on the micro-influencer highway is more direct and has fewer tolls.
Influencer marketing is often cheaper than paid advertising and is creates more buzz thanks to the equity of the high profile recommendation to your target audience. It’s one of the best testimonials a brand can have.
How Do You Find the Micro-Influencers With The Right Target Audience?
It can feel like a daunting task to find influencers. There’s an entire influencer marketing industry, like a 21st century Hollywood, and often it’s the quickest route to industry experts and the right influencer. But sometimes b2b influencer marketing success just takes a little investigating.
- Start finding the right influencer by looking at your followers. They already like you!
- You can also check out the accounts your fans are following. Look for commonalities and make note of any potential accounts.
- Do a quick keyword and hashtag search relating to your brand and industry. The results will be a chicken noodle soup of target influencers.
- Sometimes the best way to find influencers is to just ask your customers who they like. Ask who they follow, which blogs they read, TikTok accounts they love, or even more indirect things like their favorite music and food. Use any clues you can to find micro-influencers whose community will be receptive to your products.
- You can also simply ask existing customers! They already like your product and will be able to provide valuable insight about it, straight from the heart.
- Leverage your current business network. If you already have brand ambassadors who are also online influencers, take the relationship to one of your social media channels. If they’re speaking on your behalf in advertisements or pr promotions, then social media is the next logical step.
- Sometimes, the influencer is right under your nose. Employee advocacy is a great mid-way point between b2b influencer marketing and brand advertising, and if one of your employees has above average engagement, marketing content via their feed could reach extremely valuable potential customers.
If you’ve done your own research but are still having trouble, consult with a social media marketing professional. Not everyone is cut out to be an influencer and working with new or inexperienced people can be challenging.
Influencer marketing efforts have become a huge part of b2b social media marketing in the 2020s and agencies have developed deep benches of professional micro-influencers.
10 Ways To Leverage an Influencer to Boost Your B2B Business
B2b marketing strategies and marketing campaigns that involve influencers are inherently more complex because they involve more people. But it is worth the investment.
Running these influencer marketing campaigns takes more than just an agreement. It takes creativity, alignment, and planning. It takes high-quality content marketing skills on top of personality management.
To make it easier, here are a few tried and true b2b influencer marketing strategy template styles.
1) Platform Takeover
Give the keys to your social media accounts to someone else? As scary as that sounds, not only can it be done, but it can be done well.
It’s not a simple marketing campaign. You will need a solid strategy with clear expectations, guidelines, and an influencer you have established an authentic relationship with.
A very straightforward marketing campaign a shoutout is when you pay an influencer to promote your brand.
The best influencers will work with you to place your product but work on brand alignment first, so it feels real.
Seeding products to the right people in the hopes of a mention. For example, you send a beauty influencer your face cream as a gift to enjoy, (along with lots of information). It’s a lower investment than a shoutout but it’s not guaranteed. However, when influencers truly love a product, gifting is the seed to strong relationships.
4) Brand Ambassador
Brand ambassadors and influencers can perform the same role. It works best when the influencer has sincere feelings towards your brand. Some influencers are more transactional than others, but this type of marketing is more mutually beneficial when the shoutout comes naturally and weaves in and out of their feed at a regular rhythm.
5) Sponsored Content
Your brand is going to change the world, and sometimes that means just paying to make people happy instead of talking about yourself. Sponsored b2b influencer marketing content is when you pay to have your name support an effort, such as a hotel funding a travel influencer’s vacation, and ensuring they use their signature hashtag throughout the experience.
Microsoft famously teamed up with National Geographic for a b2b influencer marketing campaign to encourage young women to work in STEM disciplines, called the Make What’s Next Campaign. Microsoft got 91 million impressions.
Promote a hashtag campaign with the help of a micro-influencer. The chocolate bar Cadbury, a chocolate bar company likes to launch new products this way.
Great for launches and new releases, give your influencer a product to give away to their audience.
8) Tutorials and How-To Videos
What better way to educate target audiences than by having a recognizable face explain it to them. If your product takes some explaining, and most do, a micro-influencer can be just the right person to get the message through.
9) Affiliate Marketing
Old-school affiliate marketing is an effective influencer marketing campaign. When the influencer promotes your product and makes a percentage of sales.
10) Product Reviews
Some influencers make a living off of reviews. If there’s one in your industry, it’s a good idea to establish a relationship and ask for a review at just the right time.
But not every influencer is accustomed to reviews. Feel things out and when you’re sure the review will be good, just ask.
Drawbacks of Micro-Influencer Marketing Campaign
Marketing strategies that involve other humans are inherently going to have some difficulties. The problems that arise with b2b influencer marketing campaigns can be evaluated before signing on the dotted line.
They Have Other Work
Even though it can seem like some of them live a life of luxury, they often have day jobs and other businesses to attend to.
This means they may not always be available when you need them. Just don’t forget that their job as an influencer might be their 2nd or 3rd source of income.
If influencing isn’t their primary source of income, they may not be as professional as higher profile influencers who do make a living from their Instagram feed. Usually, this can be avoided by working through an agency.
Surprises are part of any b2b influencer marketing campaign including relevant influencers with under 100k followers. There’s always a chance they say something that could make your brand look bad b proxy, or say something out of context that does the same thing.
Start Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Now
The tide of influencer marketing has been rising for a few years now, but we still haven’t reached saturation point. Start with a strategy, bring on the right people, and set a course for breakthrough advertising.