Recently, we’ve been talking about the growing power of influencer marketing. Most brands now realise it’s an effective B2C content strategy. However, while many B2B marketers would agree; a lack of content in their marketing plan is detrimental to a product or service. Too few cultivate influencer relationships beyond their client’s social channels. In a recent article by Forbes; possessing a good influencer marketing plan is the goal for 84% of professional marketers. Therefore, implemented correctly, the use of B2B influencer marketing could be highly beneficial to businesses.
Defining B2B influencer marketing
In simple terms, an influencer is an individual with the ability to create a movement or change perceptions within an audience. Some influencers do this on mass to audiences of millions, others are smaller, niche and just as valuable. In recent times, macro-influencers (10-100k) have become the most popular choice for brands, due to the high-engagement relationship with their audience.
In terms of B2B influencer marketing, the concept is the same. Building relationships with personalities who are perceived as having an impact and influence on the business’ purchasing client base. For example, members of the professional blogging community, industrial analysts, prominent consultants, even trade association leaders. The total list, of course, is next to endless.
Delivery is just as important as content
While influencers are very much the key to far-reaching content marketing and insightful campaigns. The biggest challenge is finding a compatible match. The key is pairing the Yin of a recognised influencer, with the Yang of the product of service they can brand in an engaging way. Ultimately, to understand the influencer, you must first have a deep understanding of the audience. Ask questions like: Which channels do the target audience trust? Who is thought-leading within those channels? Then, which of those though-leaders are right for the brand? Most importantly, will the audience listen to what they have to say?
Make your message short and sweet
The biggest mistake B2B marketers make is being too wordy with their key messages. Remember, it’s likely you’ll be targeting senior management and above. So, get your influencer on board with the ‘elevator pitch’ concept. Ensure they can explain, in three sentences or less, how the brand works and how it is relevant to the customers.
Niche vs Mass marketing
When looking at B2B influencer marketing, it’s good to get granular. Ask yourself, would you rather have 10,000 people simply see your message, or 10 people actually listen? Successfully increasing your organic reach means engaging new audiences beyond the bounds of you/your client’s in-house channels. Ultimately, this will likely mean pay-outs or a quid pro quo approach for the influencer(s) involved. However, proving ROI and successfully gaining the trust of the new target market is far more likely when using this method. To succeed, ensure a contract is put in place with set deliverables, to be completed on-brief and in a timely manner.