This form of marketing strategy is very popular in the B2C world, and for a good reason. Companies of all shapes and sizes use influencers for marketing their products because they understand that people tend to trust other people more than faceless advertising. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are scattered with successful influencers with many likes, views, and a steady number of followers that cannot be ignored. B2C companies see the immense potential that such influencers can achieve marketing-wise; thus, the demand for influencer marketing is stronger than ever. Looking at the success rates of this marketing sub-genre, it would be beyond foolish of B2B companies to dismiss it. Influencer marketing can benefit B2B companies as much as B2C companies, if not more. This article will highlight the importance of influencer marketing in social media campaigns and guide you through the many benefits.
Why Is Influencer Marketing Valuable for B2B Businesses?
There is a need to point out the significant difference between an influencer that works for B2C companies and an influencer that works for B2B companies. The latter is not an Instagram model but a podcaster, a researcher, a keynote speaker, or an author; all in all, a respected authority figure in their field. Of course, taking a pretty picture of a product is not enough in B2B settings and is not even possible for the most part. The marketing process is far longer and much more complex than that, and it requires a lot of hard work and patience. That is why an authority figure by your side is key in making this complicated process much easier. By using an influencer’s rapport and reputation, you can better the chances of your marketing campaign.
Influencers are an essential part of the B2B market, mainly because of their word-of-mouth approach. WOM marketing is one of the most potent forms of advertising, as 92% of consumers trust recommendations from individuals over brands or businesses. Influencers have the power of credibility, especially in a B2B landscape, where influencers are critical leaders who can gain others trust and build lasting professional relationships. Influencer marketing can help you achieve these:
- Access to a new target audience familiar with the influencer’s content.
- Making an influencer the spokesperson and the face of your brand can help your company secure its popularity and reputation.
- Access to new networks and professional venues that an influencer knows in their respective field.
- More leads and business opportunities, as well as better audience engagement.
- An influencer’s professional help and advice can be valuable in many ways that go beyond marketing.
B2B Influencer Marketing- How to Do It Right?
The first step in every marketing campaign is to determine your initial goal; thus, an influencer marketing campaign should be no different. In a B2B setting, there is a greater need than in a B2C environment to pinpoint your target market and make your marketing campaign far more focused. Having a goal would help you stay on track and easily measure your campaign’s success. After establishing a specific goal in mind, deciding on your budget, and assigning suitable key performance indicators (KPIs) to each goal, seek the influencer who would put your brand on the map.
A suitable influencer could be easily found on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, but you should not limit your search there. Instead, identify established thinkers, authors, speakers, entrepreneurs, and podcasters relevant to your niche and someone that your customers can relate to. You could also look up influencers that are already mentioning your brand and ask for an official collaboration. The bottom line is that no matter how or where you search for an influencer, it is important to pick the one that suits your brand best. Failing to engage with the ‘right’ influencer could bring more harm than good to your company’s reputation.
What should you look for in a potential influencer? There is a need to pay attention to the following points before initiating a collaboration:
- Reach on social media.
- Audience engagement rates; how often do they engage with their fans/followers?
- History of brand collaborations in the industry or apart from it.
- Presence on digital channels other than social media such as books or podcasts.
- Top-performing content.
- Media coverage.
- References from other influencers.
- Relevance to your products and services; how well could they fit with your brand?
B2B Marketing- Boring to Boring?
One of the greatest benefits of influencer marketing is that it could never be boring. Unfortunately, the B2B landscape suffers from an unsavory reputation, and in this time and age of creativity and fast-paced content, it is high time to change that perception. A B2B marketing campaign can and should be fun to watch, and collaborating with an influencer could easily make that happen. This kind of marketing strategy has worked wonders for B2C companies, so there is no reason it would not work great for your company, too. Use social media platforms to your advantage (especially TikTok) and notice how thinking outside of the box can take you much further in the industry. Influencers can help you reach that creative mindset, and together you can brainstorm some great ideas to make your marketing campaign the opposite of boring.
B2B marketing is much more complex than B2C marketing, as it is way harder to attract potential clients in such a small and competitive environment. Obtaining new customers takes time and effort; thus, it is crucial to have a strategic, top-notch marketing campaign to increase the chances of its success. Choosing to go for an influencer marketing strategy is an excellent idea to ensure profitable results. Many B2B companies have already realized the benefits and advantages of collaborating with an influencer- there is no need for you to stay behind.