Given the uncertain economy of today, most businesses cannot afford to invest in a B2B product without being absolutely certain that they are receiving an essential service. With this in mind, many brands are now leveraging B2B influencers to enhance brand sentiment and build trust long before a prospect has any direct interaction with a team member. When executed correctly, B2B influencer marketing can increase awareness and generate leads, providing your sales team with a head start when a prospect reaches out about your services.
In this blog post, we will explore the B2B influencer marketing landscape, examine a few brands that are doing it right, and provide you with a step-by-step guide for launching your first campaign with B2B creators.
B2B influencer marketing is when a business utilizes online content creators to help promote its products or services to other businesses. Salesforce, HubSpot, and Okta are just a few examples of B2B companies that have successfully implemented influencer marketing strategies.
Typically, when we think of influencer marketing, we associate it with B2C target, which often involves social media creators encouraging us to click the link in their bio or use a promo code to purchase their favorite products.
The concept of B2B influencer marketing is similar, but it often requires targeting corporate buyers and high-level decision-makers. This means that the creators your brand collaborates with for B2B influencer marketing must possess deep industry knowledge and a reputable influence over key stakeholders.
Some common B2B influencers include:
Here are a couple of points to consider:
Many B2B marketers are already experimenting with influencer marketing. We have all witnessed how influencers promote brands on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and other popular social media platforms. They introduce us to new products, authentically showcase them, and demonstrate how they can add value to our lives. You may even follow a few of these influencers yourself and can attest to the effectiveness of their endorsements.
While B2B influencer marketing is not yet as common as its B2C counterpart, it is equally effective, and B2B brands are starting to take notice.
In a recent survey, approximately 26% of B2B marketers stated that they planned to explore influencer marketing for the first time in 2022. Another 17% believed that this strategy would be the main driver of business growth.
Overall, research shows that influencer marketing can provide an 11x greater return on investment (ROI) compared to other forms of digital marketing. Now, B2B companies are beginning to realize that they too can join in on the fun.
Building brand awareness is a top goal in B2B marketing and Influencer marketing can help achieve nearly any B2B marketing goal, but building brand awareness sits at the top. Here are the top five goals that B2B companies leverage influencer marketing to accomplish:
B2B influencer marketing happens across all major social media platforms, but most chief marketing officers (CMOs) seem to prefer LinkedIn over Instagram, TikTok, and other dominant B2C channels.
Here is a breakdown of the social media platforms predominantly used by CMOs to execute their influencer marketing strategies in 2022:
So, should LinkedIn be your platform for B2B influencer marketing?
Well, it really depends on who your target is and where they engage. Let's suppose your targeting restaurants owners, or pharmacists, psychologists, fitness trainers, farmers and similars. Which social media channel do they spend time on and engage with their professional community? In this case is usually not LinkedIn but actually Instagram and TikTok.
You will be surprised to discover the communities of professionals that were born in the last year and how strong is the cohesion of the network.
GlossGenius is an app specifically designed for salon and studio professionals who want to provide their clients with a seamless and customizable booking experience. The company collaborates with entrepreneurs and other industry creators to showcase how they use the app to improve their businesses. The user-generated content (UGC) produced by these creators offers testimonials from real users, which clients and prospects can trust.
Copy.ai is an artificial intelligence content generator built for marketing professionals. In this example, the company partners with a UCLA Venture Fellow to share the company's origin story and provide details about its services. By leveraging content creators on TikTok, copy.ai can expand its reach and build awareness among a young and engaged audience.
For more B2B influencer marketing case studies, check out our resource page. Here is Modyf's success story.
What do you hope to achieve with your B2B influencer marketing campaign? This strategy is ideal for generating brand awareness and leads for your sales team. Alternatively, you could leverage it to build trust in your brand and establish yourself as a major player in your industry.
The goals you set at the beginning of your campaign will guide your approach, the platforms you choose, and the creators you collaborate with to effectively reach your target audience. This step is crucial, so take your time to develop a solid roadmap.
Now that you have set your goals, it's time to decide which platforms to focus on. We have already mentioned that LinkedIn is not the only possible platform for reaching a professional audience with a significant number of qualified decision-makers.
Short-form videos have become highly popular in B2C influencer marketing, and B2B brands should take note. TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts can be used to leverage industry experts from any demographic who can create engaging and informative content to share your brand story and generate leads.
Similar to B2C influencer marketing, B2B brands should utilize multiple platforms rather than relying solely on one. However, the platforms you choose will largely depend on the type of creators you plan to partner with.
One of the best places to find B2B influencer marketing creators to promote your brand is by checking your list of current customers. Chances are, companies using your product or service have at least one executive team member or employee with a presence on social media. Reach out to them and explore potential collaboration that would benefit both parties.
If you have exhausted your current customer list, you can always reach out to relevant creators and thought leaders in your industry. However, don't forget to provide them with a free trial of your product or service and sufficient background information to help them create authentic content that resonates with their audience.
To ensure a successful influencer marketing campaign, it's important to establish clear guidelines and expectations from the start. Create a partnership agreement that outlines the campaign goals, deliverables, timeline, compensation, and any other relevant details. This agreement will protect both parties and prevent any potential misunderstandings or disputes.
After launching your B2B influencer marketing campaign, it's crucial to regularly monitor and measure its performance. Track key metrics such as engagement, reach, lead generation, and conversion rates to assess the success of your campaign. Use this data to optimize your strategy and make any necessary adjustments for future campaigns.
B2B influencer marketing is a powerful strategy that can help your brand increase awareness, build trust, and generate leads. By partnering with industry experts and thought leaders, you can reach your target audience effectively and establish your brand as an authority in your field. Remember to set clear goals, choose the right platforms, find the right creators, and continuously measure and optimize your campaigns for success.