Influencers in the magic middle are way underrated.
There you are, finalising your influencer mapping, only to hear your colleagues’ voices echoing in the back of your head, “Oh, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get [insert mega-popular A‑list influencer here] to cover our new line of products?”
“Yeah, totally,” everyone agrees. And your boss says, “Yeah, we should make that happen!”
We, as in you, that is.
And now you’re struggling with getting an A‑list influencer to cover your brand.
Maybe there’s another way to go about this?
If so, it could save you from the humiliation of pitching even when you know beforehand that it won’t work.
The Nash Equilibrium of Influencer Outreach
Some of you might have seen the movie A Beautiful Mind (2001), starring Russell Crowe. In that movie, if you saw it, you might remember this scene (starts at 1:20):
Regarding influencer marketing, everyone loves to go for the hottest names with the most significant followings — “the prettiest blonde in the room.” But, of course, this violates the Nash Equilibrium by not taking into account the actions of others.
Big-name influencers are courted by tons of other brands at any given moment.
And from there, it trickles down.
Let’s talk about the “Magic Middle”. What does it mean?
Influencers in the Magic Middle
David Sifry, the founder of Technorati, coined the term “Magic Middle” for bloggers with 20−1,000 active inbound links.
The term was made famous mainly by Brian Solis, who discussed magic middle influencers in Putting The Public Back Into Public Relations.
These magic middle influencers carry much more influence than one might think; many top influencers are today professionals, meaning they can make a living off their digital impact. The same can not be said for the magic middle influencers.
So why do magic middle influencers keep pushing through?
The answer is passion and ambition.
And that counts for something. Now, their influence might be narrow. Especially compared to the A‑listers and their massive online entourage.
But how many influential brand ambassadors does it take for your company to do significantly better?
An Online Army of Tastemakers
Referral traffic volume often has very little to do with conversion rates.
Traffic from magic middle influencers usually converts better; their community trusts them, and when they send traffic your way, they do it out of passion and not for acclaim.
Such influencers tend to be passionate about their niche subjects, sharing and learning from each other in a circle based on trust and dialogue; they are the tastemakers of modern-day society.
Leveraging the Trickle-Up Effect
Getting top influencer publicity isn’t by any means impossible:
Lots of times, it makes complete sense to go big.
However, unless you also pay ‘big’, you can’t expect the most prominent names to stay loyal to your brand over time.
But if your company appreciated and acknowledged a magic middle influencer, you might earn a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship.
And who knows, with your help, they might make it into the big leagues themselves — and your emails will be among the few that reach them.
PR Resource: Different Types of Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing vs Influencer Relations
There are two main types of influencer marketing and two main types of influencer relations:
Influencer advertising = the influencer will publish the brand’s pre-made content in their channels.
Influencer sponsorship = the influencer will read a script to convey an offering following the brand’s instructions.
Influencer collaboration = the influencer showcases the brand’s offering by creating content similar to the influencer’s regular content.
Influencer outreach = the influencer receives invitations, demos, or exclusive material without strings attached.
Advertising and sponsorships are what we typically refer to as influencer marketing. Collaborations and outreach are typically referred to as influencer relations.
Organisations looking to utilise the potential reach of relevant influencers will be wise to pay attention to these distinctions. 1Silfwer, J. (2020, January 15). The Influencers in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://doctorspin.net/influencers-in-public-relations/
Learn more: Influencer Relations Is Not Influencer Marketing
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|Silfwer, J. (2020, January 15). The Influencers in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://doctorspin.net/influencers-in-public-relations/|