6 Surefire Ways To Maximize B2B Influencer Marketing
You're missing out on a potentially large chunk of money as well as a valuable resource if you haven't used B2B influencer marketing in your B2B plan. Before making a purchasing decision, B2B buyers are well-educated and frequently seek suggestions from industry colleagues.
Most B2B buyers will overlook you if you're the only one promoting your brand. At the very least, you'll have to put in a lot of effort to persuade them. When you use influencer marketing, you're not only enhancing your credibility, but you're also broadening your reach to increase brand exposure and lead generation.
Let's look at six actionable measures to help you launch your own B2B influencer marketing campaign.
Consumers trust earned media, such as recommendations from people they know, over all other forms of marketing, according to a Nielsen survey. This implies you should pick an influencer who your prospects already know and trust.
Even if you like Robert Scoble, he might not be the right fit for your CRM software. An industry leader who writes about marketing in trade magazines, on the other hand, might be the perfect match!
Is there anyone else who has a lot of clout?
The following are some instances of potential influencers:
- Working in disciplines that compliment your own as an industry leader
- At trade shows, there are a variety of speakers to choose from.
- Customers and team members admire your professionals.
- Customers who are currently using our services
- Thought leaders who are active on social media
- Bloggers in the industry
As one startup's success demonstrates, having the proper voice behind your B2B brand can make the difference between anonymity and widespread awareness.
You can't influence someone unless you first figure out who they are. Buyer personas are a fancy word used by marketers. These are data-driven and market-research-based portrayals of your ideal consumer.
To acquire a clear image of who your target buyer is, ask yourself the following questions...
- What words would you use to characterize your customers?
- Do you have certain buyers who are more concerned with price, while others are more concerned with quality?
- What websites do your customers frequent?
- Is it a young or an elderly person?
- Are they in the city or in the suburbs?
- Are they nerds, traditionalists, or hipsters?
- How much research do they conduct prior to making a purchase?
- Are you targeting CFOs, entrepreneurs, marketing execs, or anybody else with a marketing budget?
The answers to these questions will help you identify the best influencers for your brand.
It's tempting to use the influencer as a stooge for your company. That, however, is not the function of an influencer. The objective of an influencer is to provide credibility to your company by acting as a third-party advocate.
Don't try to persuade influencers to say what you want. Instead, have a discussion about your objectives and how you might collaborate to achieve them. Inquire about the best strategy to reach out to their target market, and have an open mind. After all, there's a reason they're specialists in their field.
You already have a thorough understanding of your field. Build on this by engaging with other industry thought leaders to create a data powerhouse that drives customer decisions.
Having a library of information that demonstrates your expertise helps speed up the buying process.
Bloggers appear to be in plentiful supply. It's also a good thing, because readers want a steady stream of information.
When looking for a blogger to collaborate with, don't only go with the individual who has the most readers in your field. Influencer marketing's ultimate goal is to increase credibility while generating credible leads.
Take a look at who is interacting with the blogger. Reader comments should be used to assess the blogger's industry knowledge and awareness. When you locate this, you'll know you've found a good match.
As with any program, you'll want to see proof that it's working, and measurement provides that proof. Set benchmarks to track before you start a campaign. This could be in the form of click-throughs, social shares, or other metrics that indicate success.
You can also track non-tangible outcomes such as social shares and views. You may keep an eye on your brand's image to see if there are any positive talks about it on social or conventional media. Is your co-created work being used by others in the business as a resource? These are encouraging outcomes that should not be overlooked.
This information can then be used to fine-tune future influencer marketing campaigns.
How do you contact and engage your influencers once you've chosen them? Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Don't put a muzzle on them. Allow them to express themselves in their own words.
- Keep in mind that they're busy folks. A simple email isn't going to cut it. Meet them in person, at trade exhibitions, conferences, or simply over a cup of coffee.
- Develop a relationship with influencers on social media. If you already have a relationship with them, they are more willing to collaborate with you.
- Don't brag about your company's or product's success. You're not attempting to sell anything. Instead, ask them relevant questions about your business.
Now it's time to take a hands-on approach. Let's look at two B2B influencer marketing examples that showcase the impact that influencer marketing has -- and how you can do the same.
SAP is a master at promoting its brand and goods through B2B influencer marketing. They masterfully employ influencers in a variety of methods, including guest posting and content development.
SAP is a mentor in the field of influencer marketing.
Consider SAP's mentor program, which is an advocacy program that enlists the help of bloggers, consultants, and other powerful people to speak out on SAP's behalf. These mentors are SAP customers or partners who work with the company in a collaborative manner.
SAP has also leveraged influencers in conjunction with its Sapphire Annual Conference to create buzz and reach out to new audiences. SAP was able to reach a new, virtual audience through its influencers, who were interested in the event but unable to attend in person. With video interviews and other elements, this project reached nearly 80,000 individuals, giving fans and newcomers a new perspective on the event.
SAP has also recruited someone to handle its influencer marketing initiatives and develop connections with the influencers with whom they collaborate.
This is a video interview with Amisha Gandhi, the head of SAP's influencer marketing, which was recorded during Content Marketing World 2017. It explains how SAP came up with its influencer marketing strategy and why it's so crucial.
While not everyone operates on SAP's size, having a committed individual to manage and organize your influencer marketing plan is an excellent idea. This can help you keep on track with your goal and provide your influencers a great experience working with you.
What do you do when you have a fantastic tool that isn't exactly sexy? That was the situation HP found himself in. In terms of marketing, the software company had hit a stalemate. Its laptops were adequate, affordable, and available almost anywhere. They lacked, though, the cachet of Apple's clean appearance and the fashionable lifestyle it evokes. As a result, wooing tech bloggers to promote support for HP's products was challenging.
To address this, HP reached out to some of the most powerful influencers who may have an impact on the purchasing power of the target demographic. HP's X360 Convertible PC was given to these Vine, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter personalities to film a behind-the-scenes look at Meghan Trainor's Video.
HP reached out to customers on all of the main social media platforms, many of whom they had never contacted previously. They also targeted the commercial world by demonstrating how bloggers and others who operate in the virtual world use their product effectively. What's the end result? The thread was picked up by bloggers and other influencers, who sung HP's praises.
Although this example focuses on the impact of influencer marketing on B2C audiences, you can easily understand how it can have a similar impact on B2B audiences.
Having the correct tools in your marketing toolbox and employing them at the right moment is unquestionably crucial to success. Are you prepared to plan out your strategy? The first step is to organize yourself. To get started, download our FREE editorial calendar.
Then use our Storypress Technique to learn how to create a powerful PR plan that can propel you from obscurity to industry icon status.
In the B2B buying cycle, a B2B influencer is someone who clients trust to lead them. These could be industry analysts, specialists from trade associations, opinion leaders, or even other consumers who have encountered a similar scenario and have shared their experiences.
- Co-create and amplify your content
- Recruit brand ambassadors
- Moderate events or podcasts
- Secure product and service endorsement
- Turn your employees into in-house influencers
Business-to-business marketing, as the name implies, is the selling of products or services to other businesses and organizations. This is because, in contrast to consumer purchases, company purchases are driven by bottom-line revenue impact.