10 Things You Must Know About B2B Influencer Marketing

Journey through a decade of B2B influence marketing – from celebrity endorsements to the emergence of content creators shaping industries.

August 22, 2023
Margot Daugieras

Hold on to your marketing hats because we're about to take a wild ride through the last ten years of influence marketing that'll leave you saying, "Who knew B2B could be this cool?" As we step back and peek into the history and evolution of B2B influence marketing, get ready to witness a transformation that's juicier than a plot twist in your favorite TV show.

The Influence Marketing Journey

A decade ago, when TikTok was just a twinkle in its developer's eye, influence marketing was all about the glitz and glamour of B2C. Think celebs, social media divas, and product endorsements that could make heads spin faster than a Beyoncé dance move. B2C brands were living it up, partnering with these powerhouses to ride the wave of likes and shares. They were like the cool kids at the marketing party, making everyone swoon over their products.

As the digital landscape evolved, social media platforms transformed into more than just avenues for personal expression; they turned into thriving hubs of connections, opinions, and recommendations. B2C brands were quick to capitalize on this shift, recognizing the immense potential of influencer collaborations. It was during this time that the concept of influencers as brand ambassadors took center stage. These partnerships often led to a surge in brand visibility and, in some cases, instant popularity due to the influencers' massive reach and relatable appeal.

But hey, guess what? B2B businesses weren't just sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They were watching the B2C crowd hog the spotlight and thinking, "Hold up, we can get in on this action too!" As the digital world grew more social, B2B brands saw the domino effect of influence marketing's success and decided to join the party. The shift was propelled by the understanding that the B2B audience was looking for more than just celebrity endorsements; they sought expertise, credibility, and a deep understanding of industry-specific challenges.

B2B businesses have discovered that they're no less cool than B2C

The evolving digital landscape paved the way for the emergence of B2B content creators – individuals with specialized knowledge, insights, and a dedicated following within specific industries. These creators became the bridge between brands and the target B2B audience. Unlike traditional influencers, who often focused on lifestyle content, B2B content creators positioned themselves as experts, sharing valuable insights, offering solutions to industry challenges, and fostering meaningful dialogues.

As B2B businesses recognized the potential of these content creators, they realized that influence marketing could be more than just an endorsement; it could be a gateway to building thought leadership, driving industry discussions, and establishing a unique brand identity. Thus, the journey from traditional B2C influence marketing to the realm of B2B content creators was set in motion.

These creators don't just pose with products; they dive deep into industry conversations, offering valuable insights and sparking discussions hotter than a trending Twitter thread. They're like your favorite podcast host who makes you feel smarter just by listening. Brands saw this and thought, "Hey, partnering with these folks makes us look pretty darn smart too!"

The transition from traditional B2C influence marketing to the world of B2B content creators was like trading in your neon windbreaker for a tailored suit – still eye-catching but with a dash of sophistication. B2B businesses realized that the key to the heart of their audience was authenticity and expertise, and content creators held the key to that door.

The Rise of B2B Content Creators Since 2020

Fasten your seatbelts because around 2020, the B2B marketing landscape witnessed a meteoric rise – the dawn of B2B content creators. But this wasn't just another fad; it was like a revolution led by the LinkedIn crusaders, armed with insightful posts and industry expertise. 🚀

Content Creators on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, often dubbed the professional playground, became a hub for these B2B content creators. Forget the old days when LinkedIn was all about dry CVs and connection requests. Suddenly, it was alive with vibrant discussions, quick-witted takes on industry trends, and content that felt like grabbing coffee with a mentor.

Imagine scrolling through your LinkedIn feed and stumbling upon a post that not only explains complex B2B concepts but also does it with a sprinkle of humor – like turning a math lesson into stand-up comedy. That's the magic these creators brought. They took the mundane and made it engaging, like a TED Talk that leaves you both enlightened and entertained.

But here's the kicker: while LinkedIn became their stage, B2B content creators weren't just one-hit wonders. They were like the Avengers of the business world, assembling from various industries to create content that was equal parts informative and relatable. And it wasn't just about getting likes and comments; it was about sparking conversations that could reshape entire industries.

Content Creators on X (ex-Twitter)

Now, if that wasn't exciting enough, X (formerly known as Twitter) entered the ring, throwing in a wildcard that could shake things up even more. With its acquisition of a platform that rhymes with "Mews," X hinted at a future where B2B content creators might find an even more tailored home for their bite-sized wisdom.

Think about it: a platform renowned for its brevity and real-time engagement, combined with the expertise of B2B content creators. It's like pairing up a top chef with a state-of-the-art kitchen. Suddenly, creating engaging, concise content that packs a punch becomes second nature.

So, while LinkedIn remains the heart of B2B content creation, the horizon holds promise, as new avenues open up for creators to showcase their expertise. The era of B2B content creators isn't just a trend; it's a movement that's rewriting the playbook of influence marketing. It's like watching a classic movie with an unexpected plot twist – you can't help but be captivated by what comes next.

10 Noteworthy Insights about B2B Influence Marketing

  • A Paradigm Shift in Trust: B2B buyers trust peer recommendations and credible industry experts over traditional advertising. Influence marketing taps into this trust, providing an authentic connection that resonates.
  • Quality Over Quantity: In the B2B realm, influencer partnerships prioritize quality engagement over massive follower counts. It's about aligning with creators who genuinely resonate with the brand's values.
  • Thought Leadership Amplification: B2B content creators function as conduits of thought leadership. They analyze trends, share insights, and contribute to industry discussions, positioning brands as authoritative voices.
  • Targeted Audience Reach: B2B influence marketing allows brands to precisely target niche audiences. These audiences are more likely to engage and convert due to the tailored messaging.
  • Humanizing Brands: B2B companies often struggle with appearing overly corporate. Content creators inject personality and authenticity, humanizing the brand and making it relatable.
  • Long-Lasting Relationships: B2B influence marketing thrives on building lasting partnerships. Content creators become brand advocates, fostering a sense of loyalty among their audience.
  • Educational Content: B2B content creators excel in producing educational content. This aligns perfectly with B2B buyers' quest for knowledge before making decisions.
  • Engagement Through Storytelling: Storytelling is a powerful tool in B2B influence marketing. Content creators weave narratives that resonate with audiences on an emotional and intellectual level.
  • Measuring Impact: B2B influence marketing metrics go beyond likes and shares. Metrics like lead generation, conversion rates, and engagement on targeted content take precedence.
  • The Shift Towards Authenticity: Authenticity is the cornerstone of B2B influence marketing. Creators must genuinely believe in the products or services they endorse, ensuring credibility and integrity.

From traditional influencers to industry-specific content creators, the landscape has shifted towards authenticity, community-building, and value-driven engagement. As B2B businesses continue to recognize the power of influence marketing, the journey towards building meaningful relationships is only getting more exciting.

About the author

Margot Daugieras

Passionate about social networks and digital illustration, please welcome our Head of Marketing! She has traveled around the world, but her ultimate dream is to settle in Montreal 🇨🇦 As a dance🕺 and animal lover you can follow her cat's adventures on TikTok 🐱 (whom we suspect she idolises a bit too much 🤫) #MultiSkilled #CatLover