We've talked about micro-influencers before, and how we really like their potential for regional, B2B branding and sales. But we wanted to dive deeper into just how you can find micro-influencers – and why you should start looking among your own customers! Feeling hesitant about recruiting long-term customers into a marketing role? Here's why it's a surprisingly effective strategy:
You Already Have the Right Opening
One of the more annoying, schedule-filling parts of finding any type of influencer is making first contact and trying to find a way to say, "I really need your audience." You don't have that problem with customers. In fact, the opening into the marketing influencer discussion is right there, because they're already your customers. You don't have to wait, or go out and search for people you've never heard of before – you just have to talk to the customers you're already speaking to!
Personal Relationships are Very Powerful
Research has shown that around 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations (only 33% trust ads, by the way). So, who are your buyers' peers? Other potential buyers! The customers you already have are the best representatives of your products because their peers will listen to them. It can be far more effective to recruit customers as influencers than to use content from people that your local buyers haven't even heard about before. Never underestimate the trust factor!
Influencing and Purchasing Can Go Hand in Hand
On the technical side, you are probably already creating the content to recruit customers as micro-influencers – you just aren't using it the right way yet. Think about the thank you emails that you send, the pop-up contact forms you use for conversions, the follow-up messages with other suggestions or new product announcements: Those are all vehicles that can be used to talk about the possibility of micro-influencing. Happy customers are more likely to agree to help out – after all, it's only a small step above giving testimonials – but you need to ask them at the right time. Try incorporating influencer messaging in the communication options you already use.
They Probably Know Things About Your Local Market That You Don't
Remember, your customers represent a valuable side of the industry and may be able to help far more than you realize. They may hear about changes before you, especially when it comes to the local level. A great way to tap into this knowledge resource is to establish influencer marketing relationships with your most capable customers. We don't suggest trying this with every customer, but the right buyers can do a lot more than just guest blog for you or mention you on their social media feeds – they can provide valuable insight into the industry!
There are Plenty of Ways to Use Them
You already have plenty of data to help you reach large numbers of customer influencers! Now you just need to use that data in the right way. Fortunately, plenty of online tools can help out. Social Media Today has a great little story about how Shoes of Prey worked with micro-influencers to create a product giveaway, which in turn increased sales by 300%. You may not be a show design company, but you can still work with your micro-influencers to create giveaways and events specifically designed to appeal to your target audience. After all, who knows them better than your current customers?