In this episode, Dan Sanchez chats with James Carbary about a super effective alternative to events for your ABM campaign (it’s what we use).
The best things come in small packages. Take this kitten for instance.
What if one of your most rewarding ABM tactics was this tiny and cute? Ours is.
And to be honest, the ABM tactic we’re discussing today looks more like this. 👇
Each kitten in this basket represents a micro-community.
What’s a micro-community? A micro-community for ABM purposes is an intimate group of around five professional peers dedicated to learning more about their field together. Facilitating micro-communities allows you to build long-lasting relationships with your ideal buyersas they build relationships with each other.
There’s the pithy answer. Keep reading to get a better idea of…
There are droves of people in B2B talking about community right now. They’re just talking about the wrong kind of community.
Community > Audience
Micro-communities are the antidote to audience growth disguised as “community” building. You know when a company starts a Slack channel or Facebook group, adding as many of their target accounts as possible? Then, excessive amounts of content start flooding in from the facilitator?
Soon, the “community” feels inundated with content that they don’t necessarily find value in. The group’s engagement starts to fizzle out.
The problem is that the facilitator of the group maybe has intentions to build a community, but is forgetting to foster connections between the members. As it is, there’s only a relationship between the company and the members (aka, audience).
An Extension of ABM
All of this isn’t to say that audience-building is a bad thing. It’s not. We’re all about growing audiences!
There’s just a better way to build meaningful relationships with your ideal account-based buyers. Enter, micro-communities.
As the facilitator of micro-communities, you should view this tactic as an extension of your ABM campaign. It can actually take the place of events your company used to host in order to connect with target accounts (thanks, COVID).
Groups of Your Ideal Customers
The main premise of a micro-community is to bring together around five of your #1 target accounts. The people in those accounts should match your ICP pretty perfectly.
Your ideal customers will want to be in the micro-community because they get to connect and learn from their peers on an intimate basis. As the facilitator, you’ll schedule the meeting times and make sure there’s always something to talk about. (We’ll cover facilitation more in a second.)
As your micro-community meets more, insights are shared, solutions are found, careers are advanced, and relationships are made.
“Relationships are the lifeblood of everything whether you’re trying to win new business or advance in your career.”
The Benefits of Micro-Communities
There are benefits of micro-communities that we haven’t even realized yet. Still, here are a few that we’ve found so far.
More intimacy: With fewer people offering their two cents, it’s easier for members to feel connected. An intimate group allows each person to feel more comfortable voicing their opinions, which is a very powerful thing.
More humanity: It seems like everyone in B2B is pushing for more human interactions. In a micro-community, you get to know each other as humans, not just professionals.
More diversity: Instead of one entity feeding content to an audience, micro-communities encourage each member to share their unique perspectives. This way, you’re not consuming just one person’s experiences and insights.
Less expensive: Events used to be the best way for marketers to connect with their target accounts. Micro-communities permit way more connection opportunities at less cost because they can be hosted online.
A web of connections: Relationships are fostered between the members, as well as between the members and the facilitator. And if your micro-communities rotate like ours do, the facilitator and members connect with even more of their peers.
Lastly, if you’re in it for the long-game, micro-communities make it more likely that your target accounts become customers. Of course, not everyone is going to end up buying from you. The other benefits, however, outweigh the chance that someone doesn’t become your customer.
At least, we think so.
How to Facilitate Micro-Communities
Now for the how-to. At Sweet Fish, we’ve been facilitating micro-communities long enough to share a solid structure with you. So, here’s how we do it.
Sweet Fish’s main buyer persona is the VP of Marketing at a B2B SaaS company with 50-100 employees. Those are the exact individuals we want in what we call mastermind groups.
Why mastermind? Because the members are at the top of their fields. But they also know that they can learn a lot from others in the industry.
Micro-communities are the way B2B companies will have to build communities (or, what they call “communities”). People are catching on to what happens in audience growth groups disguised as communities.
Again, audience growth is 👏 not 👏 bad. 👏
It’s just different from community.
We’re so certain that micro-communities pay off in the long-run that we hired a full-time person to facilitate them. This is gonna be BIG, people.
If your mind hasn’t already been blown by this revolutionary ABM tactic yet, let me help:
Community means intimacy — not audience growth.
Facilitating micro-communities can replace events in your ABM campaign.
Micro-communities are meant for the members, not your product pitches!