Influencer Marketing for B2B – Everything you need to know!
People trust referrals, and reviews, and experts of course. So do B2B consumers. In a market with a never-ending sales cycle and complexity in product-pitching, buyers generally tend to look towards industry key-leaders to know their opinion and also value their perception overall.
This brings an edge to influencer marketing over the other lines of action, as influencers are the combination of expertise and trustworthy references. They can promote and reach out to a large number of people, associate your firm with their own authenticity, and create an unbelievably impressive image for your brand.
Influencer marketing drives the maximum ROI and is hence widely used as a part of the digital marketing strategy of any firm. After all, it’s no less feat to make $6.5 for every dollar invested!
Before we dig into the details, let’s sort out the basics.
What is B2B Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is a strategy, where a firm uses influential figures to endorse the message of the firm to its target audience. In B2B marketing, the influencers are usually key people from the industry itself who have a high level of respect and are known to be the best in their fields.
They have an active media presence and command attention whenever they have any insights to offer. Influencers improve your visibility and provide you with a larger platform to generate leads.
How does influencer marketing benefit B2Bs?
1. Builds trust
In the B2B sector, where marketers look for brands that could be potential partners for long-term business, it is imperative that you establish a relationship of trust with them. You have to ensure that you are worth their capital as well as their faith.
Influencer marketing requires you to co-create content with a distinguished member of your industry or community. Influencers have a following of their own and are specialists in their skill.
When you get an influencer to promote your label, they not only provide you with their side of the audience but also gain more attention and endorse their authority and credibility as your own. 95% of B2B marketers say they prefer credible content from industry influencers, there is no chance that it is going to fail!
2. Humanizes the brand
When consumer confidence is on the decrease and cut-throat competition on the increase, it is difficult for a B2B marketer to differentiate between brands, now that almost the whole industry is employing the same tactics to get themselves discovered.
In this situation, when they see an industry expert associating with your brand, it gives them a face to remember. Stats reveal that 78% of consumers buy when recommended by someone they feel they know and trust.
Your collaboration with influencers adds a degree of authenticity and respect to your firm as well as gives them the impression that you are more of an understanding partner than an organization looking to boost their sales. With the pandemic coming in, this is now more required than ever.
3. Garners relevant reach
Content marketing holds a high priority in the marketing strategy of B2B firms, as it helps them build a relationship with their audience. When you are already spending your budget on this scheme, you might as well want it to reach that segment of your spectators that are relevant to your brand.
Through a partnership with influencers that align with your products, you will be able to reach out to prospects who are already interested in your metier. The renowned person that you are working with has already gathered a following that finds your products pertinent to their needs, bringing you high ROI and better rates of conversion.
Finding the right person can be a tough deal and whooping 61% of marketers admit to that
4. Taps audience pain points
Times are not very pleasant, and at the moment no B2B prospect will give attention to your pushy sales attempts. If your products and services are unable to give them a solution to their problems, you wouldn’t be able to survive the B2B drill.
Working with B2B influencers at this stage is a beneficial plan as they keep a constant check with decision-makers and are well-aware of the pain points and issues faced by the different firms.
By creating content together, you as a firm can provide value to your prospects. If you share a futuristic vision with the influencer, they can even give you valuable insights for your strategy, overall improving your content and credibility.
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Great examples of B2B influencer marketing
SAP, a global leader in software development can proudly boast of a successful influencer campaign. The giant cleverly chooses its third-party influencers for most of its promotions, right from their consumer conference – Sapphire, to their product launches and content promotion. Whether it is an event they host or give glimpses from their own firm, they get it endorsed so well, that it becomes trend-worthy on social media.
AmericanExpress is the playboy of advertising – it has mastered every trick. The best example of influencer marketing from this leading financial services firm is their promotional campaign for their platinum card. They collaborated with mega-influencers of Instagram to promote an extravagant lifestyle as well as micro-influencers to showcase budding start-ups. They went all out with treating their influencers as partners, who in turn boosted their endorsement campaign.
VideoFruit, a software company that helps businesses grow their email lists, was just a start-up when its founder ‘experimentally’ caused an influencer marketing scenario. He wrote guest blogs at a leading website, and the followers went bonkers over the invaluable post. From that very day, VideoFruit saw an enormous jump in their website visitors and consequently their business. Hear it from the man himself, who brought in a gigantic 523% increase in traffic from his guest post.
How to find influencers for your campaign?
Though influencer marketing is the shiny new paint for your campaigning wall, you still need to choose the right color. Otherwise, it won’t grab as many eyeballs as you would have liked.
To carry out an effective campaign, you need to first know your audience and build a buyer persona with their interests, preferences, and pain points. This will help you segregate the firms you want to prospect. Next, look up their profiles, be mindful of every detail regarding their buying behavior, and then begin your searching for industry experts who are willing to collaborate.
You can also take help from the myriad of analytical tools available online to give you an extra edge in influencer marketing. But if it still seems daunting, you can also contact expert B2B sales and marketing consultancy firms that can help you make the most of influencer programs.
Remember, influencer marketing done right can make you an overnight star but if done wrong, it can also make you an overnight flop. So be careful and channelize its power for your benefit!