The industry of influencer marketing has experienced significant growth in recent times, with marketers, agencies, and brands of various scales putting in significant resources to execute successful influencer campaigns. Effective execution of these campaigns can yield considerable profits and have a powerful impact.
Influencer marketing is often associated with B2C (business-to-customers) marketing, as evident from the numerous sponsored posts for beauty products, clothing, tech reviews, and services on social media platforms like Instagram. However, is there room for B2B (business-to-business) companies to leverage influencer marketing? And if so, how can B2B enterprises navigate the distinct tactics needed for successful influencer marketing in their domain?
1. Set Realistic Expectations🌟
The primary disparity between B2C and B2B lies in their purchasing processes, which are closely tied to the buying decisions.Consumer brands can leverage influencer marketing by including a link in the influencer's Instagram story or offering a discount code in a Youtube video.These links can direct followers and subscribers straight to the product or service page, where the buying decision typically takes only a few seconds or minutes
When it comes to B2B sales, don't expect customers to click and buy on your website right away. The purchasing process is often a team effort, which can drag on for months. So, set your expectations accordingly and buckle up for the long haul! According to analysts at Convince andConvert, B2C results can be expected as quickly as 30 days, while B2B results can take at least 6 months.
2. Launch Yourself from Within🚀
Good news, B2B influencer marketing isn't as different fromB2C as you might think! Our advice is to begin with influencers who already adore and use your products - just like in B2C. Ask yourself: who are your current clients? Do you have a strong relationship with them? Would they be willing to join a referral program and shout-out your brand? Or maybe even team up for a game-changing partnership?
Most importantly, these clients are already familiar and most likely in love with your products and services. Do your clients have a blog on their business website? Who are the key decision-makers in your clients’ companies? There are many ways you could collaborate with your clients: have them write authentic, thoughtful reviews on your website, a mention on their blog, or even case studies, and many more.
3. Choose the Right Influencer🤩
Of course, however, a big part of influencer marketing is reaching out to influencers who can advocate for your product – even when they are not yet your clients. In order to know which kind of influencers your company needs to look for, you need to take a step back and inspect this word: “advocate.”
Who would be the person to advocate for your product and brand? Here are some ideas:
What kind of influencers would your typical client follow? From there, you can search for thought leaders within your industry, organizations that frequently publish the latest industry news, related businesses whose clients most likely benefit from your product, etc.
After that, consider whether they have promoted this kind of product in the past. It is most ideal if they are an advocate for the general industry news and information.However, if they have promoted your competitor in the past, you might want to skip.
What is their reach? This includes both their following size and the engaged audience on their platform. Is your budget suitable for a well-known opinion leader with hundreds of thousands of followers? Or should you go for mid-size and micro-influencers, who have a closer relationship with their communities?
What about their audience? We don’t expect nor suggest you go through every single follower these influencers have. With that said, understanding the general audience demographics can remarkably help in determining an ideal influencer. For example, what is the ideal age range for the nature of your company? How about the audience’s location data?
4. Content is Key📑
While it may be tempting to have influencers share every aspect of your product and company on their Instagram, such an approach is unlikely to be effective on social media. To engage with their audience, influencers need to create content that is both informative and entertaining, and which speaks directly to the interests and concerns of their followers. This means crafting posts that are engaging, interactive, and relevant to their audience, rather than simply sharing dry or technical information about your product or company.
Influencers can help to create content that is credible and relatable to your targeted audience.Unlike an ad, influencers can provide your brand with a human voice, which is not only authentic but also much more memorable – which is extremely valuable to a B2B company.
In order to achieve this, you should let the influencer have the creative freedom(while, of course, set up a basic guideline for them to base their publication on.) The influencer is a thought leader and excellent content creator because they know how to deliver information to the public – and that’s exactly why you chose to work with them in the first place.
The bottom line is that B2B brands shouldn’t shy away from influencer marketing. In fact, with the right influencers and campaigns, your business can reach just the right audience to exponentially drive up your ROI. WithAI-powered technology, Apvertise can take your influencer marketing campaigns to the next level by helping you find the right influencers, reach out and nourish influencer relationships, as well as track and manage your campaigns. Are you ready to explore what influencer marketing can offer?