Manufacturers Discover Micro Influencers Drive Brand Awareness and Sales

by T.R. Cutler

The following article appears in this month’s issue of Manufacturing Outlook eZine. For a limited time, we’re offering Manufacturing Talk Radio listeners a FREE subscription. Visit Manufacturingoutlook.com to subscribe today!

Creating solutions that set the standard in the influencer marketing industry is still a new concept. No longer are celebrity infomercials cost-effective or viable as a way to market industrial products and services. That approach is simply too expensive and consumes all the margins of products. One of the trending solutions is partnering brands with micro influencers for content creation. Influencer marketing is not a linear exercise and there are many ways that brands and influencers work together (often because the target customer is identical). Many industrial marketers have traditionally used Influencers to amplify or socialize initiatives. This was commonplace during the height of COVID; a content production solution. B2B industrial brand leaders recognized that influencers have sway over sizeable audiences as well as being highly skilled at conceiving, shooting, and editing photo and video material. They are quasi-ad agencies. Micro influencers have more power in the D2C (direct to consumer) and B2B (business to business) fast-growing creator economy. Micro influencers are categorized as having 50,000 or less followers and are known for having a particular area of interest and very high engagement rates.

Manufacturers are building full-scale influencer marketing campaigns. Industrial brands want to both improve their owned social media channels as well as create dynamic website images; using content for paid media and working with micro influencers ensures high-quality content and savvy appropriate messaging. Instead of the obsession with search engine optimization (SEO), PR firms working with manufacturers in forming partnerships test many segmented strategies. Members of the 9000+ member Manufacturing Media Consortium are segmenting their messaging among their audience by age, gender, title, and sector nuance, to generate appropriate and impactful content that converts to inquiry and sales.

Statistically, this highly targeted content out-performs the brand’s internal content and solidifies influencers as an invaluable source of content. Willingness to test and desire to be an early adopter of whitelisting micro influencer’s content results in a remarkable response rate and sales strategy. User-generated content (UGC) The pandemic has forced more people online than ever before and industrial brands are seeing that the authenticity shown in the influencer-produced content yields high engagement. Until recently, most UGC has been produced for licensing purposes and sold on libraries, which makes the content hard to customize on a brand-to-brand basis.

Leveraging micro influencers to custom produce content solves a lot of problems. As native, digital entertainers, influencers know how to draw on the same authenticity that makes UGC so engaging. However, more and more Creators can also customize content for “polish,” equal to most commercial productions, and yet still seem native where consumers are likely to view that content: social platforms. The terms “influencer” and “creator” are interchangeable. Great creators are aware that influence over their audience is a distinguishing factor over traditional production. Crea-tors often promote content on their accounts and channels for a fraction of what they might typically charge for a standard campaign. Combined with dramatic savings in production costs, promotion means the return on investment (ROI) between production and awareness.

 

Author Profile:
Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Flori-da-based, TR Cutler, Inc., celebrating its 23rd year. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 9000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. TR Cutler, Inc. recently launched three new divisions focusing on Gen Z, the African manufacturing sector, and manufacturing in the entertainment sector. Cutler authors more than 1000 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. Over 5000 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at @ ThomasRCutler. Contact Cutler at trcutler@trcut-lerinc.com.

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