Since 92 percent of customers trust recommendations from individuals over businesses, influencer marketing has become a unique strategy for B2B marketers to share their products and business solutions. But what is influencer marketing exactly?
In its most common form, influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing utilizing endorsements and product mentions from individuals who have a purported expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field.
Finding the right influencer can seem like a daunting task. Here are six things to consider when developing a B2B influencer marketing strategy:
Tip 1: Especially valuable for B2B, think “industry expert”. While some businesses search outside the organization for that person, it’s important to consider that the perfect influencer may be within your own network, including an employee, customer, or business partner already talking favorably about your company or product online. Partnering with experts in your field who can more deftly incorporate your company’s products/capabilities into their content is a winning strategy.
Tip 2: Look beyond vanity metrics. While that paints a picture, their content and style should align with what your audience is looking for. Many companies are seeing the value in partnering with micro-influencers – social content creators with 5,000-100,000 followers. Micro-influencers are typically viewed as experts in their respective areas (engineering, hydraulic repair and maintenance, financial investment, to name a few). Their “smaller” following tends to generate higher engagement with their audience, as they connect more personally and provide value to their followers, whether through social posts, podcasts, blogs and more.
Tip 3: Lean into your company values. It’s important to fully vet possible influencers for possible conflicts of interest. Consider what kind of “personal” content they may be posting (think politics, social awareness, etc.). You’ll want to consider individuals whose values align with your company.
Tip 4: Identify where your content should live. If your brand is trying to grow its presence in a specific demographic or audience segment, consider the best platforms for that demo and find influencers there. But remember that it’s not as simple as “young people are on TikTok.”
Tip 5: Be transparent. Be clear about your goals and what you hope to accomplish with the partnership. Selecting the right partner should include honest conversations to be sure you are like-minded with similar audiences and goals.
Tip 6: Have fun and be creative. Working with an influencer means strategically working with your partner to identify mutually beneficial content. Influencers want to bring quality information to their followers. Together, focus on compelling visual content to hold followers’ attention. Creativity isn’t exclusive to B2C marketing!
Developing and executing a B2B influencer marketing strategy involves many steps. Finding influencers, vetting them, researching their endorsement history, arranging contact and initial introductory meetings can be a lot of work. Your agency partner can be a critical resource to identify content and ways it can be produced, strategize about smart ways to align your brand’s goals with those of the influencer and navigate important process steps like expectation alignments, contract negotiations, follow through and results reporting.
Ultimately, the cost of working with influencers is expensive – and it should take a lot of time and effort to make sure you’re aligning with the right partner to provide value to the right audience. Working with the right agency with expertise in developing a B2B influencer marketing strategy can make a big difference in the success of your campaign outcomes.
If you’re looking to add an influencer strategy to your B2B marketing mix, we’d like to talk. Check out our portfolio page about a recent brand awareness campaign featuring industry influencers and then fill out our contact form on this page or reach out via phone or email. A Stifel Marcin team member will be in touch soon.
Unlike many advertising and marketing agencies, B2B isn’t just something that we do, it’s all we do. We’ll work to help your brand achieve its goals through the strategic combination of creativity, communication and technology. Our focused client intake processes give us the ability to thoroughly understand your business, products and objectives, working to identify the competitive advantages and opportunities that will grow awareness, leads and sales. We develop innovative marketing plans with strategic, data-driven processes, presenting complex ideas and compelling messages that position your business ahead of the competition. As your cooperative partner, our integrated B2B marketing agency is dedicated to your success. If you want to learn more about the benefits of influencer marketing, we can help. Contact us today.
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