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  • Writer's pictureShrinati Ghosh

Micro-Influencers and Inbound Marketing: The New Wave of Authenticity

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

As consumer demands evolve, so does their preference for different modes of brand awareness. While outbound marketing techniques like billboard advertisements, print ads and promotional e-mails are still relevant for older audiences, the same is not true for the younger generation.

36% of Gen Z and 22% of Millennials favour social media over search engines when looking for brands. The increasing relevance of social media as a marketing platform has given rise to influencer campaigns — a new-age behemoth in inbound marketing.


The What and Why of Influencer Marketing


Influencers are social media users who create content in 1-3 specific niches. Based on the size of their audience, influencers are categorised as –

  • Nano-influencers – 1K to 10K followers

  • Micro-influencers – 10K to 100K followers

  • Macro-influencers – 100K to 1M followers

  • Mega-influencers – over 1M followers

Influencer marketing is the perfect solution for companies looking to connect with their target demographic and improve their brand reputation.


According to the HubSpot State of Marketing Report 2023, influencer marketing is among the top 5 marketing trends, with an ROI of 7%. It is more effective than SEO marketing (6% ROI) and content showcasing social responsibility (4% ROI).

Got it. Influencer campaigns work. That means we should contact the biggest influencers with the largest follower bases to endorse our product, right?

Wrong. And here’s why.

Less Is More


Be it B2B or B2C marketing, micro-influencers consistently show greater engagement rates when compared to macro-influencers. According to a report by Adsamurai, micro-influencers offer an average engagement rate of 4-8%. That is 4 times the 1.7% engagement rate of macro-influencers.


Tried and Trusted


While engagement rates are useful, they do not confirm better business. Sometimes, companies do not get high-quality leads despite having high engagement rates.

This is where authenticity, a micro-influencer’s best tool, comes in handy.

In a survey, 82% of consumers stated they are “highly likely” to follow micro-influencer recommendations. When asked what makes micro-influencers so impactful, 94% replied that they perceive micro-influencers as more credible and believable.

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Big Things Come In Small Packages

This saying by former NBA athlete Stacey King surprisingly rings true for micro-influencer marketing.

TrueLook, a B2B surveillance camera company, had two clear goals for the product launch of their newest commercial cameras — improve brand awareness and gain new leads.

However, that’s easier said than done.

Their audience consisted of site managers, security staff and project management specialists. Simply put, their target audience was tiny and outbound marketing was unlikely to work well. So, they decided to give influencer marketing a try.

TrueLook collaborated with two B2B micro-influencers with followers across Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook to make the most of their niche audience. They engaged a YouTuber in the construction niche with 23.8K subscribers. While YouTube is not considered a mainstream social media platform, its unique algorithm allows videos to gain impressions long after posting.

The results were astounding. TrueLook’s Instagram account gathered over 500 thousand impressions and received 548 high-intent leads through their product request page. Their YouTube campaign was mutually beneficial, with the influencer gaining an additional 8.9K subscribers.

This proves that no matter the scale, micro-influencers are an effective inbound marketing strategy for any business.


The Buzz Factor


One of the biggest strengths of B2B micro-influencer marketing is its scalability.


Partnerships with influencers are not limited to long-term collaborations alone — they are also excellent for generating buzz for events and conventions on behalf of your company. It is known as event influencing.


SAP, a leader in business application software, took advantage of this gimmick to promote one of its events in Germany. SAP brought five influencers to speak about IoT, data analytics, ML and innovation.


The result? The event was trending in Germany for two days, with 50% of all its mentions on social media courtesy of the influencers.


How To Engage Micro-influencers - And Do It Right


Want to try out influencer marketing but are unsure how to do it right? Here’s how to include micro-influencers in your inbound marketing strategy:


Step 1 – Define your niche


Having a well-defined niche and identifying associated microniches helps narrow your search for micro-influencers.


Step 2 – Count your coins


Calculate your budget and decide on a compensation plan. These include pay-per-post, commission-based pay, free products or social media mentions. Remember, it is essential to customise your offers to cater to the influencer and their audience.


Step 3 – Research


Manually browse through social media platforms and compile a list of authentic micro-influencers. Bookmark influencers who:

  • Comment on your posts regularly

  • Already talk about your brand and love your products

  • Are in your specific microniche

Step 4 – Choose wisely


After preparing your list, go through each profile and check the following:

  • Do their posts show high interaction and engagement rates?

  • Do their values, voice, and style resonate with your brand image?

  • Does their audience include your target demographic?

Answering these questions will pinpoint influencers that align with your brand values.


Step 5 – Reach out


Contact your desired influencers, and be as transparent as possible about your terms. Outline the compensation they will receive in return for promoting your product.


Step 6 – Seal the deal


Discuss and negotiate terms and payments and draw up a contract you and the influencer agree on. Be sure to include every minor detail you have discussed with them. Sign your contract, and you’re ready to go!


Calculating The ROI of Influencer Campaigns


Influencer marketing sounds great, but how do I know that the campaign is working?


Simple metrics like engagement or impressions are not the ultimate surety of your influencer marketing campaign’s success. Thankfully, there are better ways to measure the ROI of influencer campaigns, which include:


1. Assigning unique URLs to each influencer and monitoring their click-through rates (CTRs).

2. Offering discount codes for an influencer’s social media followers.

3. Analysing comments to identify your target audience’s reactions.

4. Creating affiliate links and limited-period offers.

Overcoming Challenges and Mitigating Risks


Like any other marketing strategy, influencer marketing comes with its risks. Watch out for the following challenges that hamper the efficacy of your influencer program.


Transparency and disclosure


Complete transparency is essential for maintaining the credibility of influencer campaigns. Communicate all promotional guidelines to the influencers you work with, and encourage them to disclose sponsored content.


Finding credible influencers


Some influencers inflate their follower counts using bots. Hiring such influencers results in insufficient ROI and a negative brand image. Double-check their credibility by monitoring their social media interactions or hiring them from verified influencer marketing platforms.


Control Your Campaign


When approaching influencers, be sure to communicate your expectations from them while respecting their creative freedom. Periodically review the content produced by influencers and swiftly address negative publicity.


Have more questions about Inbound Marketing? Yarn Owls is at your service!


Collaborating with micro-influencers is a gift that keeps giving. Besides increasing brand awareness, it generates traffic for your websites and social media, improves brand visibility and expands your horizons.


Does creating the perfect inbound marketing strategy have to be complicated? Nay, we say. Reach out to us at Yarn Owls to learn how we help you power up your digital presence.


Oh, and while you’re at it, check out our web design and development services.


FAQs


1. What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing focuses on attracting and retaining clients using blogs, webinars, podcasts and other curated content. They aim to solve their client’s problems and personalise their experience with the brand.

2. Can small businesses benefit from influencer marketing?

Yes! No matter your niche, you will find an influencer to collaborate with. Small businesses can expand their audience and improve conversions with the help of influencer marketing.


3. Why is influencer authenticity important?

To see if the content and values of the influencer align with the company’s values. The more trust an influencer builds with their audience, the more likely they will buy your product.


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