Why are micro-influencers important?

Each one of us reading this blog has a community. A group of people we can influence, a group of people who ask or listen to our advice. This community could be our own family members, people who we went to school with, members of a charity we sometimes contribute to, or close friends. These people follow you, take your advice, and utilize it when making purchases. Also each one of us might be a part of multiple communities. You might ask a different friend when you need advice on cars while another friend if you need advice on food. You could be an influencer for food, but might not be too much into cars.

Almost all brands wish to capture this community, and that’s how we were able to coin the term “community-led growth”. We tap into communities of smaller(micro/nano) influencers, and when those people talk to their peer group about your brand, the chances of them accepting their advice is higher.

Let’s look at this entire scenario from a different perspective. (especially from a marketer’s perspective). Organic CTRs are going down and have reached almost 0.5%, and email click-to-open rates have moved to an all-time low of 11% for the SaaS industry. But your lead targets are growing. So how do you achieve those targets? People are still purchasing products, but how are they deciding which products to buy? They are still looking at advertisements as a source of entertainment instead of a source of infotainment; they are slowly becoming immune to all traditional forms of marketing, over and above conventional forms of digital marketing too. So how do you stay in touch with them? How do you convince them to buy your product instead of your competitors? → Answer → Community. Let influencers around them tell them which product to purchase, why to buy it and when to buy it.

But is this logic working?

The success of product hunt in the recent era proves community-led growth is working. (at least for the SaaS industry). Many micro-influencers, or as we call them, product hunters, are helping audiences find the most appropriate software for them.

This article from Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulinaguditch/2018/11/29/why-building-community-is-critical-to-your-brands-success/?sh=174318363458) tells us that many brands are using their communities to do these 4 things.

  1. Increase brand awareness – 84% of the population trusts a recommendation coming from their known community or from micro-influencers within the community

  2. Improve product discovery – Considering that 97% of online buyers read reviews before they make a purchase, communities/micro-influencers in the community must be actively engaging and creating content around a company’s product.

  3. Leads to customer success

  4. Improves brand loyalty

Then Why am I not able to build a community of my own brand?

Generally, these communities are fragmented. Hence you purchased social media listening software, but would it be enough? No. You need more; you wish to know what kind of content they are creating and how you should connect with them. What content can they produce for your brand, and who can they influence further? Social Media listening tools just give you a list of tweets around a specific Keyword or trends of how the keyword is being used, but communities are more extensive than that. Sometimes a community might never be talking about your brand but might be talking about problems they face (for which your software is an ideal solution).

Hence based on our understanding, we came up with 5 rules by which you can identify communities and, within communities, identify micro-influencers (and a lot of them)

  1. Either they follow a particular influencer in the space

  2. They have specific terms written in their bio

  3. They use specific terms in their tweets

  4. They follow your competitions account

  5. They follow certain people who use specific hashtags in their tweets.

Here comes eCairn, a software that helps you quickly find such people.

All you have to do is sign up for eCairn, start building a project and create a project with a list of people you would have filtered based on any of the above criteria. Here is an example.

Let’s say my project is to find product hunters and approach them to launch my product on product hunt. I will create a project with the following conditions.

  1. People who follow “product hunt”

  2. Or

  3. People who use the hashtag “#producthunt” in their tweets

  4. Or

  5. People who write “product hunt” in their bio

This will give me an initial list of people. Looking at these people and the people they follow/are followed by we can come up with the entire list of product hunt community.

This next screen shows how my project would look.

Next, I will find influencers within this ecosystem of people talking about product hunt.

I will find people based on 3 parameters

  1. Their influence score

  2. Their reach score

  3. Their niche

Now let’s say I have a software which eCommerce developers use; hence now I need a filter for finding people within my project who are product hunters but also talk about Shopify/Magento. So I add a filter of people who tweeted about Shopify.

Now I can go to their conversation map showing me the words they use in their social media conversations and/or bio links. This explains what points make these people converse or what other topics this community mainly discusses.

Now I can arrange/sort them based on their influence score or reach score, depending on what I want them to help me achieve. For example, let’s say I want more customers to try my product; in that case, I would sort them using their influence score, or if I wish more and more people to know about my product (or if brand awareness is my main KPI) I will arrange them based on their reach score.

Easy -Pisey, so here is now the list of your micro-influencers and also the topics they talk about

When should you use it?

  1. To run a brand awareness campaign – You launched a new product or a new version of your old product and need your community/ecosystem to know about it.

  2. To increase product trials – Want people within your community to try the software and get feedback? You could use this army of micro-influencers.

  3. To improve customer success – Let’s say you break into an ecosystem; many people are talking about a specific problem within the ecosystem; you can get your army of influencers to show the solution and refer your product for success.

Who can use it?

  1. SaaS marketing managers

  2. DOA entrepreneurs

  3. SaaS marketing agency heads

  4. Open-source software marketing heads

  5. Developer relationship managers

  6. Developer advocates

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