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Using Micro Influencers on Your Site to Capture Enterprises

November 10, 2020

Influencer marketing and enterprise client acquisition are two topics you might not often think readily correlate with one another. 

Similarly, it may appear even more foreign to consider using micro influencers for the task. However, not only are micro influencers an ideal addition to your enterprise account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, they can be used in conjunction with your own website to do so. 

Read further to get a better understanding about what micro influencers are, who they are, why you should invest in using them in influencer marketing campaigns, how and where to find them, and how to put them to work. Along the way you'll learn some tricks on how to make minor tweaks to your landing pages to maximize efficacy.

What are micro influencers?

Before diving into the world of micro influencers, it’s important first to establish why you should be using influencer marketing in the first place. In order to do this, you need to understand the large variance that exists within the influencer world between the major influencer types. 

3 major categories of influencers

Influencers can generally be lumped into three categories for targeting purposes. When you are seeking out individuals to assist with your enterprise ABM campaigns, you have the added advantage of already having determined buyer personas given the targets are specific contacts within an organization. This buyer persona determination makes influencer choice easier based on the following categorical breakouts. 

Aspirational and macro influencers

The allure of the aspirational macro influencer is in the name; macro influencers are often celebrities with giant social followings and perceived aspirational status in the several million. What does this mean? 

Consumers of the content from these social feeds do so with the goal of being like the celebrity in some small way. As it is probabilistically unlikely for a random member of the audience to achieve the same fame-like status of the celebrity, the influence is instead imparted more on what the celebrity does, says, and consumes. 

Aspirational influencers are more useful for mass consumption products than for enterprise level ABM plans for several reasons:

  • Macro influencers are expensive. Audience size and amounts that an influencer can charge for their posts are not quite linear; rather there is a curvature in the pricing power as the audience size crosses the 10s of millions, making macro influencers comparatively more expensive. 

macro influencersInfluencer audience reach comparison with corresponding compensation values. 

  • Macro influencers are usually untargeted. What this means is that categorical focus is very broad amongst most celebrities. Category fit and focus are important features when targeting narrow message recipients, so non-experts without a clear category fit are less than ideal, no matter how large the audience might be.

Authoritative influencers

What separates authoritative influencers from the aspirational influencers is perceived expertise. Authorities convey trust within their realm of expertise and are oft sought after for that expertise. While authoritative influencers can occasionally amass audience sizes comparative to their aspirational counterparts, they tend to be smaller in nature, constrained by the size of an industry or field of study. In more rare cases, such as extremely small niches, authoritative influencers can be viewed as experts while holding a small enough audience to classify as a micro influencer.

Peer influencers

Your neighbor. Your co-worker. Your mom. All three could be classified as peer influencers as they are somehow connected to you in your everyday activities and social life. A peer influencer is generally one that an individual can relate to strongly due to overlapping social status, work history, or familial interaction. As their name implies, peers are generally smaller influencer audiences by nature, but receive the highest scores for perceived trust and categorical relevance.

Which influencer types can you find examples of micro influencers in?

Examining the three major categories, only aspirational influencers need be excluded when searching for micro influencers. Expert-level influencers are split among macro and micro status depending on the industry, making them useful to consider especially for enterprise marketing strategies, however only peer influencers are consistently overlapping in micro influencer status. 

Why should you invest in micro influencers for your brand?

With an understanding of what micro influencers are, why use them? The simple answer is cost. From an ROI perspective, testing micro influencers comes with a low barrier to entry which allows for easier A/B testing for messaging, social network selection, and categorical focus. Micro influencers aid in word of mouth marketing, have fantastic engagement, and are especially useful in targeting those that might be using ad blockers.

Importance of word-of-mouth marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is the original marketing, predating everything printed, let alone everything digital. Of all forms of marketing, it is thought of as the most trusted as it is conveyed primarily through trusted sources, allowing for greater mindshare to take root for products and services. You trust the recommendations from your peers and perceived experts, as a proxy for your own experience, and as these are frequently micro influencers, they are worth invested in for the word of mouth benefit alone.

Engagement rates of micro influencers and efficacy 

Another critical factor in deciding to rely on micro influencers is their engagement rates and efficacy. Engagement rates are typically a function of audience fit to an influencer’s content; the worst rates occur with aspirational influencers, where it is more difficult to achieve a high percentage of constant engagement over millions upon millions of followers. With micro influencers, the engagement is more readily achieved since the topics often match what the audience is specifically looking for.

According to a research study by Tomoson, the quality of customers acquired through influencer channels was also perceived as better vs non-segmented traffic.

tomson

This perceived quality may be thought of as a function of the higher engagement rates, as the relational affiliation between the audience and the content creator is higher, resulting in more intimate social reactions.

Modern day ad blockers and influencers

Not only is the perceived traffic from micro influencers better, but because the totality of influencers cannot easily be lumped into generalized ad units, their usage allows for brand messaging to circumvent most modern ad blockers. The reasoning behind this circumvention has to do with audiences opting in to consume content from the influencers, which allows for the display of what are effectively in-stream advertisements, wholly relevant to the audience’s desires, in a FTC-compliant manner.

Which social networks are ideal for micro influencers?

Social network selection is an important consideration when determining which influencers to work with, whether B2C, B2B, or even the B2E use case you’re currently reading about. Each network has different pros and cons that you need to evaluate prior to determining network focus for your ABM strategy.

social media matrix

As you can see from the above matrix, not all social networks are considered equal, especially when it comes to the need to provide a professional experience. From that perspective, networks like Instagram and Pinterest may be excluded for the purposes of the enterprise ABM use case. Beyond that, the use case specifics become more granular:

  • Is the enterprise product or service one that requires a significant amount of detail?
  • Is the enterprise product or service one that requires a high degree of visual content?
  • Does the enterprise product or service for some reason require a wide content accessibility (open reach)?

Using just the above sampling of social networks and excluding blogs for simplicity, you could select micro influencers to likely meet the needed criteria on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

How can you use micro influencers on Twitter to capture enterprise clients?

Twitter is the internet’s megaphone. Many social networks use some aspect of commenting, sharing, and liking, however what makes Twitter fairly unique in attracting attention is their methodology behind injecting likes, comments, and retweets into the content feed for mass consumption.

One method in which this can be used to your advantage when attempting to capture enterprise clients is by paying for the propagation of positive content associated with your product or service, in a fashion most closely associated with public relations.

Taken a step further, since account-based marketing strategies are inherently targeting specific people within a very specific company, the positive content being shared could be tailored to solve the exact need the ABM target has, with your company as the solution. Taken even further, Twitter allows for tagging. This means decision makers can even be asked to comment or weigh in on the content shared, psychologically investing them in your potential solution.

This technique can be used up and downstream to the intended ABM target due to Twitter’s versatility. Chances are, micro influencers already exist in the followers of the enterprise persona being targeted, but also are probable as accounts being followed by the enterprise persona. By getting the content shared and positively commented upon by both the targeted enterprise client’s audience as well as their perceived peers, a compulsion to review the content is created.

How do you find micro influencers on Twitter?

Setting aside using an influencer network which may have already vetted Twitter users and their willingness to engage in influencer activities, Twitter is one of the easiest to discover potential micro influencers. 

There are two methods to consider:

  • Search for the social accounts associated with individuals in the ABM target using people search. Once these accounts are found, explore the accounts being followed by your targets and those following your target. Secondarily, explore the comments of your target accounts to determine highest value audience members that are already engaging with your target.
  • Search for hashtags and phrases associated with the industry your product and ABM target are in.

How can you use LinkedIn micro influencers for account based marketing?

LinkedIn is a wonderful social network choice for you in targeting enterprise-level ABM targets. Much has already been written on how to leverage the authority of LinkedIn influencers for B2B purposes. Since your KPI is already known as ultimately making the sale to the ABM target, you can approach LinkedIn with that goal in mind.

Using LinkedIn is somewhat different than Twitter above, as the content feed is not particularly useful for getting in front of an intended target due to its noisiness and lack of professional relevancy. Instead, the best use of LinkedIn from an influencer perspective is via post and comment mentions of intended targets.

While LinkedIn comments are somewhat more ego centric than that of Twitter, both in part due to how individuals are engaged in conversations on the network as well as how notifications of mentions are provided separate to normal LinkedIn activity notifications, there is a bit more risk in low quality mentions of your ABM targets being viewed as undesirable.

To alleviate risks of over using mentions of specific persona targets on an ABM strategy on individual level posts, consider the following tweaks:

  •  Use the same groups as your ABM targets, as a means to inject positive content in a segmented manner. Posts within industry-specific groups also impart an air of expertise, so the micro influencers chosen for this task may be perceived as authoritative.
  • Directly share out material written or contributed by your persona targets, mentioning in an ego bait or award bait process. The goal here is to highlight your target’s contributions on or off LinkedIn, calling them out in front of their professional peers.
  • Consider engaging with higher up executives in your ABM target than your buyer persona, in order to generate an internal referral. This method is similar to that of engaging with the people the target is following, except now it comes with a clear chain of command. The strategy can be time consuming insofar as executives often need careful cultivation before providing a referral, but the results can be fantastic.

How do you find micro influencers on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn makes it very easy to search for a name when hunting for specific ABM targets, allowing for searches by company, geography, title and more via their Sales Navigator product. Gaining access to the targets’ professional peers is more difficult given LinkedIn’s restrictions on displaying both contact information and specific people connected to your target.

Instead, you’ll need to rely more on the displayed information elsewhere on your target’s profile page to find appropriate micro influencers, which should reside in Groups associated with education and corporate alumni associations, as well as interest-level groups and as current or previous employees in the companies associated with your target via Sales Navigator searches.

A trick would be to use a tool to guess probable email contacts for all these potential micro influencers, making it easier to perform outreach rather than directly connecting or sending an InMail.

Facebook micro influencers for message propagation

If you follow politics in nearly any country on the planet, you know that Facebook can be a dangerously effective tool in message propagation. What sets it apart from LinkedIn is the nature of which an enterprise message may exhibit virality. The downside to this is the bleeding line between the buyer persona’s personal life and professional life, which varies significantly among Facebook users.

One carryover from the previous methods employed for LinkedIn is the usage of groups. It’s not always easy to determine which groups a Facebook user is in, however the sheer number of possible groups that exist surrounding industry specific and company-centric topics makes it easy to use possible groups as an initial point of a campaign to influence your ABM target.

Once the positive material is created and shared in the various groups, a second set of influencers that might be connected professionally to your target can share the posts out from the groups and as a public post on their personal profiles. Done with frequency, this multiple touch approach to content can help to get in front of the target.

As a final trick, if the influencer is listed in the Facebook Collabs marketplace, the shared material can be amplified for maximum propagation as a sponsored or promoted post. What is unique here is that with intelligent audience targeting, you can go so far as to create a large audience and then exclude down to only your intended ABM targets, frequently showing that post until such time a desired action is taken.

How do you find micro influencers on Facebook?

Mentioned above, there are several areas to find micro influencers on Facebook. Their collabs marketplace is where Facebook would prefer you interact with influencers, however you may find as much if not more success in recruiting micro influencers directly via messaging specific group members for the share campaign.

Another way to find micro influencers, which you may wish to do if your target uses their persona for professional connections is by connecting with friends of friends. This can act as an additional vector to showing in your target’s feed.

YouTube micro influencer creators and the importance of long format content

Everyone knows that YouTube is the current king of music videos and bootleg movies, but YouTube is also the top source for professional video content. What makes YouTube especially useful as a mechanism to attract ABM targets to you is its own discoverability features. YouTube videos can rank very well in organic search and are easily embedded within blog posts, making it the premier starting point for an ABM campaign.

With the ability to create extremely detailed and informative content, one of the best micro influencer strategies involves the creation of ‘how to’ content using your product or service as the solution to a litany of problems, with each problem getting its own video.

By itself, this strategy can be useful in getting in front of your ABM targets provided they are performing queries on YouTube related to the problems you’re creating videos for – the more aligned those videos are with the perceived problems the target is aware of, the more likely the YouTubers will assist in your pull marketing.

Don’t stop at simply creating the content via your influencers. As a secondary step, consider pushing out this video and transcribed textual content to the other networks mentioned above. YouTube videos pointing to you as the solution to be shared into relevant Facebook groups, into relevant LinkedIn groups, by up and downstream Twitter micro influencers, and into relevant blogs will only help you both catch the eye of your ABM targets and ultimately close your deals given the transference of perceived authority.

How do you find micro influencers on YouTube?

YouTube works most similarly to Twitter when it comes to being able to find accounts and content on a tagged basis for relevant micro influencers. Unfortunately, determining the actual subscribers of a channel is more akin to LinkedIn’s protective nature of social contacts. 

Many micro influencing YouTubers do list their contact information for collaborations on the About tab of their profile, making outreach relatively easy. Expect to pay the most for your YouTube content comparative to the other networks as long format video content is the most difficult to produce at a high level.

Use micro influencers to increase enterprise funnel starts

Now that you’ve successfully targeted your enterprise ABM contacts, it’s time to consider how you are going to best interact with them when they arrive at your website. This is where using your own website comes into play for an enterprise funnel strategy, all with the help of a little referrer magic on your ABM specific landing pages.

Understanding referral traffic

Since you’re targeting enterprises and selling an enterprise-worthy product or service, you almost certainly have some sort of analytics setup to measure the success of your efforts on the web. Given Google Analytics is the most common platform used for basic analytical efforts, you can use the referral traffic approach with this in mind.

In a typical Google Analytics reporting view, you can quickly see all referral traffic by selecting Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Referrals. In your view you might see some amount of traffic coming in from Facebook.com, some from LinkedIn.com, Twitter.com, and YouTube.com. It is within this section that you can conceptualize what is about to happen. 

In order to psychologically establish common ground with your ABM prospective target, you’ll want to display imagery most closely associated with the previous page experience as possible. What this means is if the enterprise contact was interacting with a piece of micro influencer content on YouTube on how to solve a very specific problem, the best possible things you could show on your landing page for that enterprise is a combination of YouTube, the problem being faced that you’re solving, and then if possible, the enterprise itself.

You can skip the specific logic associated with informing the web visitor that you’re aware of the enterprise they are associated with based on the IP range used in the header request. Instead, let’s focus on swapping out imagery for common ground.

There are two major web hosts that power the majority of the Internet where you can apply this logic: Apache and Nginx. You will need to be very careful when modifying the logic for referrers, as it is very easy to break a website at this level.

JavaScript page-level logic

Whether you’re using Apache, Nginx, or any other web server, you can relax knowing that it isn’t necessary to modify htaccess or set ngx_http_referrer_module logic to handle referrer logic. Instead, the referrer information and image swapping for your landing pages can be handled entirely with on-page JavaScript, allowing you to treat each landing page differently if you’re so inclined.

In this below code example, the referrer source is determined and then if that source is coming from youtube.com, the imagery changes to reflect that. It’s a very simple and powerful method to establish common ground. If you have multiple sources to check for changing imagery, that can all be done in the If else statements.

//Only run once the document is ready

$(document).ready(function() {

  // this sets the value to '' if referrer is somehow empty

  var ref = document.referrer || '';

  // since you'll be searching for this node multiple times, just store it in a variable:

  var logoImg = $("#hero-logo");

  if (ref.includes("youtube.com")) {

logoImg.attr("src", "//img/hero_image_yt.jpg");

  } else {

logoImg.attr("src", "//img/hero_image.jpg");

  }

})

Why is it important to provide such customization to traffic sources?

When creating that level of image swapping at the referral level for the enterprise ABM you’re targeting, the common ground being established is helping the enterprise to lower their guard. The micro influencer content was designed as a hook to get the individual to your website and your dynamic landing page is being used to further influence the prospect to enter your sales funnel. 

The method works best when the landing page is not setup as a hard sell strategy, but rather when it is designed as a soft funnel acquisition approach. In other words, the goal of the landing page is to gently suggest the ABM prospect register for a free demo or request a hassle-free phone consultation, as a couple examples. 

Now do you see why micro influencers are so important for your enterprise marketing needs? By utilizing the flow of hyper-targeted micro influencers across multiple social networks, hopefully you can now see how vital these voices can be when targeting enterprise prospects on an ABM basis.

ROI and efficacy of attention and traffic

The micro influencers in the use case for enterprise ABM likely provided a stellar ROI due to the low cost nature of the influencer, were effective due to their very specific targeting of upstream and downstream audience, captured the attention of the targets due to intelligent tagging and mentions, and (provided the posts themselves were effective) yielded the right traffic.

Website capture and conversion

Once the ABM traffic from the micro influencer hits the intended landing page, by using simple referrer logic to dynamically swap out imagery, a psychological connection is made to enhance perceived trust as a solution to a known problem, with a soft conversion being possible as a sales funnel entry.

Conclusion 

By targeting micro influencers based on ABM goals and tying those creatives to the correct imagery on your landing pages, lead capture will ensure funnel starts to keep your sales team happy.

As a final note, consider using your ‘won’ account contacts with this campaign strategy as possible influencers in your future ABM target campaigns by cycling having them share their own successes to encountered problems via case studies as you attempt to take over an even greater share of the enterprise market. 

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