In today’s digital age, where attention is fleeting and trust is paramount, traditional advertising alone is not enough to attract B2B audiences. Like most people, B2B buyers are influenced by the opinions and recommendations of those around them. And that’s why we think it is time for businesses to take advantage of B2B influencer marketing.
As such, influencers have become essential partners in helping brands spread their message, shape industry conversations, and foster meaningful connections in the B2B space.
In this blog, we dive into the fascinating world of B2B influencer marketing, revealing its benefits, best practices, and secrets to success.
It’s time to revolutionize your B2B business with the power of influence!
Understanding B2B Influencer Marketing
B2B influencer marketing is a strategic approach to leveraging industry experts, thought leaders and influencers to promote your B2B product, service, or brand message. It’s about partnering with influential individuals who have established credibility and a strong following in your industry or niche.
Here are some B2B influencer marketing stats that show its growing importance and effectiveness. (Source: The Social Media Hat)
- 78% of B2B marketers say influencer marketing is effective even with small campaigns.
- B2B influencer marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.
- B2B influencer marketing boasts a high average conversion rate of approximately 13%, surpassing other marketing tactics.
Key Differences between B2B and B2C Influencer Marketing
If you also thought that B2B and B2C influencer marketing are the same, it’s time to consider some key differences.
1. Buying Process
In B2B, the buying process is typically longer and more complex compared to B2C. It often involves multiple decision-makers, ranging from 7 to 8 or even more in some cases. This requires influencers to focus on building trust, demonstrating expertise and providing value. B2C buyers, on the other hand, are usually more impulsive and made by individuals. Thus B2C influencers need to capture attention, evoke emotions, and create relatable content.
2. Relationship Building
B2B influencer marketing typically involves building deep and longer-term relationships between influencers and brands. In B2B influencer marketing, the goal of a campaign is to influence a group of individuals (usually 7-8 people) rather than just one person in B2C. This is because the B2B sales cycle often involves multiple decision-makers, including mid to senior executives. Therefore, a successful B2B influencer campaign should aim to engage and persuade this key group of stakeholders throughout the buying process.
3. Content Complexity
B2B products and services can be complex, involving intricate technical specifications, industry-specific terminology, and differentiated solutions. As such, B2B influencer marketing campaigns often require influencers with deep industry knowledge and the ability to communicate technical information to their target audience effectively. This experience in the domain will allow B2B influencers to provide valuable insights, build credibility, and resonate with the target audience, increasing the effectiveness of the entire campaign.
Benefits of B2B Influencer Marketing
Here are some benefits of B2B influencer marketing that can help you scale your business:
1. Increased Credibility
Partnering with influencers who are industry experts and thought leaders will result in increased credibility and trust. It is because your audience already perceives them as trustworthy sources of information, making your brand message more convincing and reliable.
2. Increased Reach
B2B influencers already have dedicated followers and networks, helping your brand reach new audiences, particularly in niche markets, and gain exposure to new audiences, which otherwise might be difficult with traditional forms of marketing. Studies show that 70% companies have seen an increase in brand awareness after using B2B influencer marketing and 33% say it was a direct revenue generator.
3. Content Amplification
What makes B2B influencers popular in their niche or industry? Ability to create quality content that resonates with your audience. So when working with these influencers, leverage their creativity, expertise, and unique perspectives to create content that drives engagement and brand awareness.
4. Thought Leadership
B2B influencer marketing enables you to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. How? When you partner with respected influencers, you can establish authority, showcase your expertise, and shape industry conversations.
How to Find the Right B2B Influencers
Now that we have learned the importance of B2B influencer marketing, it’s time to learn how to find the right B2B influencers.
However, finding the right B2B influencers who match your brand values, serve your niche market, and have the right knowledge and skills can take time and effort.
It’s where you need to follow a strategic approach.
1. Define your objectives
The first step in B2B influencer marketing is to have clear goals and what you want to achieve. Want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and increase conversions? This clarity will help you identify the best influencers for your campaigns.
2. Research and identify right influencers
The next step is to conduct intensive research to identify influencers who align with your industry, audience, and brand values. Here you can use social listening tools such as Radarr and influencer databases or the services of influencer marketing agencies to discover potential influencers. The easiest way to get started is by looking for influencers that companies similar to you or your competitors have worked with.
3. Analyze engagement and reach
Assess the engagement and reach of potential influencers by analyzing their social media following, likes, comments, and shares. Pay attention if the audience interaction is genuine because high engagement signals a more influential presence.
Types of Influencers in B2B Marketing
When conducting research for B2B influencers make sure you look for the following influencers:
- Industry Experts
These influencers are prominent experts and thought leaders in their respective industries. They have deep knowledge, experience, and expertise and are highly influential in their niche.
This type of B2B influencer marketing examples would be Neil Patel, Ann Handley, Rand Fishkin.
- Content Creators
These influencers are great at creating valuable and engaging content. They run a popular blog, host webinars, podcasts, and produce educational videos for specific B2B audiences.
This type of B2B influencer marketing examples would be Brian Dean, Marcus Sheridan, Amy Porterfield.
- Social Media Influencers
These influencers have large followings on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. They share industry insights, foster conversations, and connect with their audience.
This type of B2B influencer marketing examples would be Gary Vaynerchuk, Dharmesh Shah, Melinda Emerson.
- Customer Advocates
These influencers are happy customers who are passionate about your brand. By leveraging their positive experiences, you can promote your product or service within their network.
Qualities to Look for in B2B Influencers
When considering B2B influencers here are some qualities to look for:
Look for B2B influencers who are transparent, trustworthy, and consistently provide valuable insights. See if they have a track record of delivering authentic content that resonates with their audience.
The influencers you choose should be relevant to your industry and the specific audience you are trying to reach. Their expertise and subject matter focus should match your brand offering.
Look for influencers with a strong reputation, recognized achievements, and a history of being respected in their industry. They should be regarded as reliable sources of information.
4. Engagement Rate
Evaluate influencer engagement metrics such as comments, likes, and shares to ensure their audience actively engages with their content. This would demonstrate their ability to connect and influence followers effectively.
Creating a B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy
Creating a successful B2B influencer marketing strategy involves careful planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you develop an effective strategy:
1. Set Clear Goals
Start by defining the goals of your influencer marketing campaign. Common goals include increasing brand awareness, generating leads, increasing website traffic, and increasing conversions. A clear goal helps you measure the success of your campaign.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Determine your target audience for the B2B space. Understand their pain points, interests, and platforms they use. This will help you find the right influencers to reach and engage your target audience.
3. Creating a Budget and Timeline
Determine your B2B influencer marketing campaign budget and timeline. Consider factors such as influencer fees, content creation costs, and campaign duration. Make sure your budget matches your goals and allocate resources accordingly. The average cost of a B2B influencer marketing campaign can range from $5,000 to over $50,000, depending on influencer fees and campaign complexity. The average duration of a B2B influencer marketing campaign is usually around 2-6 months.
4. Find Relevant Influencers
Look for influencers with authority and expertise in your industry. They should have significant followers and actively interact with their audience. Tools such as social media listening platforms, influencer marketplaces, and manual surveys can help identify the right influencers.
5. Build Authentic Relationships
Approach influencers with genuine interest and build relationships. Create engaging content, share posts, and provide meaningful comments. This creates strong connections and makes outreach more effective.
6. Develop a Collaboration Strategy
Decide how you want to work with influencers. B2B influencer marketing tactics include guest blogging, co-creating content, co-hosting webinars and podcasts, attending industry events, endorsing products/services, etc. Be sure to align your collaboration strategy with your goals and add value to your influencer and target audience.
7. Create Compelling Content
Work with influencers to develop quality content that resonates with your target audience. It should be informative, educational, and consistent with your brand message. Leverage the expertise of influencers to create content that adds value and establishes authority in your industry.
8. Amplify Your Reach
Once your content is created, leverage your brand and influencer social media channels to extend the reach of your content. Promote your content through email marketing, social media promotion, and other digital marketing channels. Encourage influencers to share content with their audience as well.
9. Measuring campaign success
Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns. Track metrics like engagement rates, website traffic, lead conversions, campaign sales, and more. Use analytics tools and tracking links to monitor campaign performance and change strategies.
Potential Challenges and Solution for B2B Influencer Marketing
B2B influencer marketing, like any other marketing strategy, has its challenges. Here are some common challenges you may encounter in B2B influencer marketing and possible solutions to overcome them:
Problem 1. Finding the Right Influencers
It can be difficult to identify influencers who are not only relevant to your industry but also aligned with your brand values and audience.
Working with an influencer discovery platform or an influencer marketing agency with access to a wide network of influencers. Also, invest time researching and screening potential influencers to see if they are a good fit for your campaign.
Problem 2. Building Genuine Relationships
Building a genuine relationship with an influencer can be difficult, especially when you receive many partnership requests.
Focus on building relationships before proposing collaborations. Engage with their content, share your work, and start meaningful conversations.
Problem 3. Maintaining Brand Consistency
Ensuring that content created by influencers adheres to brand guidelines and remains consistent can be challenging.
Provide influencers with clear instructions and guidelines for brand messaging, visuals, and tone. Regular communication and feedback help align your content with your brand identity.
Problem 4. Measuring Campaign RO
Determining your influencer marketing campaign’s return on investment (ROI) can be complicated.
Define clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) before launching a campaign. Measure the impact of your campaigns on website traffic, lead conversions, sales, and other metrics using tracking links, unique promo codes, and analytics tools.
Problem 5. Compliance and Disclosure
Complying with legal and ethical guidelines, such as disclosure requirements, can be difficult.
Educate influencers on the importance of disclosure and give them clear instructions on disclosing their brand partnerships.
Problem 6. Long Term Partnerships
One-time campaigns are effective, but maintaining long-term relationships with B2B influencers and ensuring ongoing engagement can be difficult.
Provide ongoing support, grant exclusive access to resources and information, and collaborate on multiple campaigns to foster relationships and loyalty.
Successful B2B Influencer Marketing Examples
Here are some examples of successful B2B influencer marketing campaigns and the factors that have contributed to their success.
1. IBM’s #NewWayToWork Campaign
IBM worked with influencers to spread the vision of the modern workplace using the hashtag #NewWayToWork. In line with IBM’s message, influencers shared their insights on topics such as remote work, collaboration, and innovation.
What made the campaign successful? The trusted voices of influencers and the campaign’s relevance to current workplace trends.
2. Microsoft’s “Get on 2021” Campaign
Microsoft collaborated with industry experts and influencers to drive digital transformation solutions. Influencers shared their best practices and insights, highlighting the value of Microsoft products in driving digital transformation. The campaign successfully leveraged influencers’ credibility and thought leadership in their target industries, building trust and demonstrating the viability of Microsoft services.
Supercharge Your B2B Marketing Strategy with Influencer Collaboration
Incorporating influencer marketing into your B2B strategy can make a big difference for your brand. Harness the power of industry experts, thought leaders and social media influencers to reach new audiences, build credibility, and drive meaningful engagement.
Remember, B2B influencer marketing is not just a fad. It’s a proven approach that has delivered great results for countless companies. Take advantage of the opportunity to establish your brand as a trusted authority within your industry.
Contact us today to learn how our experts at Contensify can help you create documented strategies and guidelines for B2B influencer marketing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can you use Influencer Marketing for B2B?
Yes, influencer marketing can be effectively used for B2B purposes to reach and engage your target audience, build brand credibility, and generate leads.
- What is the best influencer marketing platform for B2B?
The best influencer marketing platform for B2B depends on your specific needs and goals. LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry-specific platforms like G2, Clutch, and TechTarget are popular options.
- How will you target influencers for B2B products?
To target B2B product influencers, identify industry experts, thought leaders, and professionals with relevant audiences. Leverage social media listening tools, participate in their content, and build mutually beneficial partnerships.
- How much does B2B influencer marketing cost?
B2B influencer marketing costs vary greatly depending on influencer reach, engagement rate, campaign length, and content requirements. Setting a budget that fits your goals and negotiating the price is important.
- Is influencer marketing effective for B2B?
Yes, influencer marketing is very effective for B2B. This helps build trust, extend brand reach, and facilitate interaction with decision-makers in the target industry. However, selecting relevant influencers and developing authentic, value-based collaborations are critical to achieving desired results.