You’ve probably seen how explosive influencer marketing can be for your average B2C brand. From fashion to tech gadgets, putting your product in the hands of social media stars can result in a quick turnaround in exposure, engagement, and, ultimately, sales.
However, what a lot of businesses don’t always realize is that the shift to a B2B campaign isn’t really that different. People are simply people when they’re making a purchase: they research, they compare, and, most of all, they ask their trusted friends and respected experts in the field what they think. More and more the opinions of others, often sourced online, directly determine buying decisions. With a few subtle differences, using this type of marketing for your B2B campaign can be just as effective.
What is an Influencer?
Let’s make a distinctive point here. Many of the successful B2C influencer campaigns are based around flashy celebrities, eccentric YouTube personalities, and sultry fashion mavens on Instagram. That said, in the business realm, it’s really not that different. An influencer, basically, is a person who has a degree of power over potential purchases through experience, authority, or a mutual trust with their followers. That applies to a lot of folks in a myriad of various genres. In fact, one of the defining successes in these campaigns is the ability to target content creators in their particular niche…pretty much a marketer’s dream. Believe it or not, there’s thousands of bloggers that specialize in your niche; the trick is to locate, vet, and hire the right fit for you.
Make It Clear
The Internet is a fairly apt microcosm of human nature. Every post, social piece, and shout out expresses one’s emotion and opinion on every imaginable subject. You name it, it’s there; you want information on raising pygmy goats, crocheting for social causes, or how to convert your lawn mower into a hot rod? It’s there. Aand, likely, with multiple differing opinions on how to do it best.
From a home-based situation, this is an incredible resource for people who might be unsure on how to proceed with whatever endeavor they are embarking on. Now, just convert and adjust that standpoint to your specific business niche. Find an expert in that field, whatever it is, and let them review and vouch for your product, software, office supplies, whatever…businesses do all their due diligence when making an informed decision, and that includes checking expert opinions. Make sure they’re out there.
Find Your Fit
There are many ways to employ influencers to promote your brand but doing it in the professional world takes a few adjustments. Always consider your audience. Posting content on LinkedIn is a great idea, but interviews on Snapchat will likely miss you mark. Likewise, having experts and authors speak at your conference while other influencers live-stream and share content is an ideal use of influencer marketing but trying to squeeze your brand into a music festival just doesn’t fit.
Now, this doesn’t mean these campaigns can’t have a light-hearted or humorous tone. Most clever writing and funny content will give a campaign visibility and increase the likelihood that it will be shared. Whatever the tone, just get it placed in the right spot. These content creators are professionals, and it’s probable that they know when and where to promote your brand, and who to target it to.
Don’t Forget the Other Departments
Many successful marketing endeavors tend to utilize other departments. A smart influencer marketing campaign can impact several areas of the sales funnel, from lead generation to customer experience. Any time trusted voices can tell their thousands of readers how your brand impressed them, you should use it. When you see 4 stars in a review section on Amazon or how many people booked the same hotel you are considering on TripAdvisor, you’ll tend to feel better about your potential purchase. That’s social proof and having a team of influencers weave your messaging in their own words is a very effective way to get that same effect. Check in with your sales and customer experience departments and see how it can help them, also. After all, you’re all on the same team.
In short, B2B marketing isn’t that different than any other marketing. Give yourself an extra edge by specifically targeting your desired audience with expert content from authorities in your field, and your brand can benefit from influencer marketing like everyone else.
Do you have any influencer marketing tips for the B2B world? We’d love to hear from you!