Influencer marketing is an inseparable part of digital marketing. Although the use of influencer marketing for B2B is not very common in practice, it’s growing into a new trend. Partnering with influencers on B2B is a much more complicated process. For B2C seeing the results of working with influencers is immediate while for B2B evaluating the effectiveness of collaboration takes a long time, as influencers cannot make a story or a video post about taste, style of the product.
Finding the relevant influencer for B2B is also different from B2C. For effective marketing strategy industry experts, and real influencers are needed. There are several factors that business need to consider once they are willing to collaborate with influencers:
- Active use of social media. There should not be a long pause between influencers’ posts.
- Finding on topic influencers. The ones that rarely post about related business may not give high ROI.
- Focusing on the right social media channel. Instagram may not be an effective platform for marketing tech products.
So what is the right strategy to collaborate with influencers on B2B? Here are several strategies that will move the needle in any industry and for companies of all sizes.
Look for existing advocates
To find their “fresh” advocates companies should look nowhere but inside their existing ecosystems. Often, relevant influencers are already somehow associated with your brand. After identifying why you want to carry out B2B Influencer Marketing the next step is to carefully analyze and asses your current customers, business partners, fans and employees for proof of influence and advocacy. With the help of online tools, you can examine the influence of everyone around your brand on social channels that can generate exceptional insights.
Collaboration with micro and nano influencers
Brands usually tend to partner with influencers that are more famous and have a larger audience. Instead of working with mega-influencers, business needs to consider micro and nano influencers, as they are more engaged in social media. Their small but engaged audience creates credibility and more in touch relations between followers and other influencers. Apart from this, micro-influencers are cost-effective from a marketing perspective.
Co-create content with industry experts
Expertise from the influencers to create and launch new products. Word-of-mouth does not work all the time. For big business decisions, you need more in-depth research and real users. Industry experts are one way to increase awareness about the product or service. Working with influencers not only for advertising but also during the production process, guest-posting on influencers’ blogs, showing real-life experience over promoted product. This approach provides a natural distribution channel for your content and builds credibility.
Leverage employee advocacy
Social media is the main assistant for employee advocacy. In fact, employees are more active on social media users than the corporate accounts and they have more followers than their employers. Resharing the company posts get more click than the original post. Employees are internal influencers for your company. They have an organic audience and real connections for your business. Because employees work on the given product, they can effectively share their knowledge and experience in real life as well.
While companies still face difficulties in finding the right influencer campaigns, we can mention a few of the successful influencer campaigns.
Dell Influencer Marketing Programs
This one is a good example of B2B Influencer Marketing. But instead of partnering with influencers, Dell works with industry experts for increasing brand leadership such as guest blog posts, podcast interviews and inviting influencers to Dell events. Dell launched the “Dell Luminaries” podcast which worldwide tech experts share their views over different topics from technology to Formula One. Through the program, the business can see and analyze the importance of technology for every business which in turn, will help Dell to reach more business partners. Outside expert views on innovative technology bring new audiences for both, Dell and influencers. The shared value of influencer programs are vital for Dell’s partnership, said Dell marketing expert.
Prophix – Adapt & Innovate: AI and the Next Evolution of Finance
As a global corporate performance management software, Prophix intended to build leadership in the tech applied finance industry. The company intended to make business analyze the role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to amplify its future position. Prophix created microsite called Adapt & Innovate: AI and the Next Level of Finance where expert influencers and AI personality Penny answering customers’ questions. The site included blog posts, insight infographics, promotional emailing for influencers to share. Virtual Financial Analyst eliminates time spent on repetitive and manual tasks, gives quick analysis for finance professionals.
3M Science Champions
3M has done the biggest science research, the State of Science Index to increase everyone’s access to the depth and complexities of science. Featuring twenty-one experts and influencers “Science Champions” podcast launched in relation to the research.
For successful B2B experience on influencer marketing, detailed market research and expert comments are vital. The key factor here is, creating credibility in customers’ eyes. Instead of traditional marketing, expanding business networks with internal experts as brand advocates and outside experts is more viable. If you want to give Influencer Marketing a try with us just click the “Register” button below with the respective category.