We’ve heard a lot about influencer campaigns, but what about B2B influencer marketing? Here is everything you need to know about a B2B influencer marketing strategy!
Influencer marketing is a digital marketing strategy that consists in collaborating with social media content creators to promote your brand, services, and products. This method has gained popularity throughout the years as the number of individuals on social media is constantly increasing. Thus social networks have become a common communication channel for brands to reach their target market through niche audiences.
Influencer marketing is more commonly used by B2C enterprises, yet B2B brands have followed this approach and achieved great results. Thus, you will find in this article a few best practices, steps, and tips to plan the right influencer marketing for your B2B business.
B2B influencers are creators with high authority, authenticity, and expertise in a specific field. Thus they are specialised in a domain and provide information to their audience. This means sharing advice, best practices, and tips, but also products and services overviews, tutorials, and so on. All in all B2B influencers address their content to experts as their content targets a specialised audience.
Careful, a B2B influencer isn't a brand employee selling its products and services on social media! They are creators that provide added value to their audience by promoting different products and services that are useful in their daily work routines and other content mentioned above.
B2B influencers are usually present on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Finally, most of them also work on additional content such as podcasts, talks, blogs, etc.
Brand credibility. There are all kinds of content creator categories on social media, thus you can find professionals and experts in each category. For instance, if your brand is either a tech company, a financial service, or any other kind of business, there are high chances you can find a creator that is an expert in your sector. Thus collaborating with such influencers will bring credibility to your brand as it is associated with a personality known by thousands of individuals for their skills and knowledge in your sector.
Reach new audiences. Your marketing strategy will always revolve around one objective: awareness, consideration, or conversion. Thus, for businesses that are working on the awareness stage, they are targeting visibility, and to do so finding new prospects, and boosting word-of-mouth are essential. That is when influencer marketing comes into play. By having an expert promote your products and services, you are reaching their community, and in other words, new niche audiences! Thus influencer marketing can help your business reach new target markets!
Loyal customers. Influencers have solid relationships with their followers, as they are based on trust and closeness. This quality plays a great role in your marketing campaign! By working with influencers who have a trusting community, you are reaching an audience that will show the same loyalty to your brand as the one they show to the content creators they follow.
Become a leading figure. This part closely joins the previous “brand credibility” points. By appearing on the account of an expert in your field you are strengthening your brand image. As your brand will be seen as legitimate and users will link your brand name to the field of activity. For instance, if a bank appears on an influencer profile that is specialized in finance, venture capital, and so on, followers will perceive the company as a reference in the financial sector. Thus, the company is becoming a leading figure, which provides a competitive advantage.
Whether it is a B2C or B2B influencer marketing strategy, you always have to start by defining your objectives. What are you willing to achieve with this influencer campaign? Are you targeting visibility, engagement, return on investment, brand image..?
This will help you define the different goals to achieve throughout the influencer partnerships: to know who, what, when, and how you should plan your campaign. By going through this step, your business can define the right influencer, best approach, message, and budget.
On social media, every single influencer fits into a category. Whether it is SEO, tech, marketing, entrepreneurship, crypto, research, etc. So first things first, find the influencers your target market is following. Who are your target companies looking up to? Are you looking for an entrepreneur, a business owner, a business developer, a software developer, a public speaker..?
Once you have settled the domain, Favikon will make the next step a piece of cake with the Discovery feature. This tool allows you to search your influencers by category. Thus with a few filters such as the category keyword, hashtag, number of followers, country, language spoken and so on you can find the perfect influencer in just a few clicks.
Most B2C brands collaborate with influencers by posting short and efficient content. A picture, a short video, maybe a carousel… However, for a B2B influencer campaign, you might want to extend your range of possibilities. A B2B influencer marketing campaign can be more complex to plan simply because reaching your target audience can be more challenging. The content’s purpose is the same: awareness, consideration, and conversion, yet the way of achieving it can differ.
Depending on the objective you have set in the first step you’ll know which type of influencer corresponds to your expectations.
All in all, finding the right influencer depends on your budget and objectives. However, regardless of the latter, one point remains: look for influencers that can provide additional content. This means partnering with creators that are working on social media, as well as other content. And for that, you can partner with influencers that are also Podcasters, Bloggers, Entrepreneurs, Speakers, Authors, etc.
These supports allow influencers to talk about various topics in depth. By collaborating with them, you are associating your brand with a professional image and providing enough information to your audience for decision-making.
The best influencers for your brand are your customers! Okay hear me out: as the influencers you’ll be looking for are professionals in your field, they are already using services, tools, products, and so on. Thus there are chances that some of these influencers are using products and services such as your own.
Providing free access to let them test it and give their feedback to their followers is a win-win for both of you. They try new services, are aware of the advances in the market, and get visibility from their public overview. Moreover, if you find influencers that are already in your customer base, don’t wait any longer to collaborate with them. They are current customers that can provide spot-on and positive reviews to their audience.
Here are some examples of B2B influencer marketing campaigns that showed great results:
This company worked on a very specific campaign, Marketing Social Business Program. They made their employees their brand advocates! Who better than your own employees to sell your business? Their Employee Advocacy worked like a charm with more than “50,000 new registrations in the first two weeks of the IBM Verse launch”.
This company used content marketing as its main strategy for its influencer marketing campaign. They worked with many influencers to promote the 2014 Content Marketing World Conference. As said earlier, providing additional content in your partnerships is an important added value. That is exactly what Top Rank Marketing did. They asked their influencers to provide tips and best practices, which resulted in the creation of blog posts, interviews, e-books, etc. This content was useful for aspiring content marketers and motivated them to learn more from the brand.
Finally, this software company worked on a video marketing approach for its campaign. To promote their Sapphire Conference they combined video marketing and influencers. This amazing strategy resulted in more than 80,000 guests at the conference. But how did they reach their target audience? In the videos, industry influencers shared best practices, advice, and important insights on different topics. Then they share the video content on their social media accounts. Lastly, SAP shared these videos on their blog, which resulted in greater engagement.
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