Influencer marketing has evolved from being a mere trend of subtly promoting B2C products on social media channels to a full-fledged marketing tactic that is being enthusiastically adopted across B2B industries. According to a Statista report, the global influencer marketing value grew(and is still growing fast) to $13.8 billion from $6.5 billion between 2019 and 2021. The market is expanding and brands from every sector and industry are exploring influencer marketing to reach their target audience. So what does influencer marketing look like in B2B? Let us find out.
B2B Influencer Marketing
Much like the plot of B2C influencer marketing, B2B influencer marketing uses someone like a thought leader or an influential person—whose popularity is not necessarily measured as followers on social media, but also in key business circles— to market a B2B product or service. B2B marketing however differs from B2C in time, price and channel. An influencer is more real as they can be anyone and be anywhere on social media with a decent following and engaged audience. What makes them connect to their audience is the fact that they are much like them or the way they aspire to be.
B2B influencer marketing thrives on the aspect of trust and credibility that is unique only to humans who are not advertising the product in a traditional sense. A brand marketed by industry experts, recognised professionals and executives— all of them having their own set of followers— has a much greater authority than an ad copy. Influencers can reach an audience via multiple channels according to preference and relevancy, such as social media, vlogs, blogs, podcasts, webinars, and live shows. Of late, LinkedIn has emerged as a thriving B2B influencer platform with a perfect ecosystem of corporate employees holding varying positions. Twitter could be the next best.
What makes a high-value B2B influencer?
A common inquiry in the B2B influencer marketing game pertains to the question – what defines a successful business influencer? It’s widely acknowledged that sheer popularity doesn’t equate to influence; while popularity is undoubtedly significant, it doesn’t stand alone.
As B2B marketers gain deeper insights into the impact of influence and the interplay between brand content co-crafted with industry authorities in the eyes of their customers, they come to recognize the significance of additional factors. Naturally, the pertinence of the subject matter holds weight, as does the alignment of the topic with the influencer’s community.
Notably, smaller influencers having <15,000 followers perform significantly better in terms of engagement rates than mega-influencers with 1M+ followers.
You can find B2B influencers for your campaigns on channels such as social media, online communities. your own customer lists, Industry news sites.
Why does B2B influencer marketing work wonders for your business?
B2B influencer marketing stands out as an effective strategy due to its ability to:
- Elevate brand visibility and reputation.
- Generate fresh leads.
- Directly contribute to revenue growth.
While B2C influencer marketing can achieve similar outcomes, B2B influencer marketing possesses a unique power: it humanizes the B2B purchasing journey. This humanization is achieved by leveraging influential thought leaders within specific industries.
What’s fascinating is that B2B influencer marketing doesn’t necessarily rely on individuals alone to thrive. It can effectively reach critical decision-makers, even in unexpected places such as sporting events. It taps into various channels for B2B marketing—events, content, and social media—making it ideally suited for the extensive, omnichannel research process typically undertaken by B2B buying committees. These versatile avenues enable businesses to connect with their B2B customers at every stage of the sales funnel.
Craft a Sustainable B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy
In a landscape dominated by digital-first marketing, revenue teams must adapt to the evolving landscape to remain competitive. In the realm of B2B marketing, influencer marketing offers a powerful tool to enhance brand visibility, ignite demand, and boost sales. To replicate the level of success seen in B2C influencer campaigns, consider the following steps:
Pinpoint the Ideal Influencers: Identify influencers who align with your target accounts, ensuring a relevant and impactful reach.
Nurture Diverse Influencer Relationships: Cultivate relationships with a varied group of influencers, tapping into a broad spectrum of expertise and reach.
Leverage Your Customer Base: Harness the potential of your current and past customers as a valuable resource. They can be transformed into effective micro-influencers who already understand and advocate for your brand.
This positions you to harness the influence of these advocates effectively in your B2B influencer marketing strategy.
Using influencers as a part of your B2B marketing strategy has significant benefits that can greatly impact the success of your campaigns. Banking on the credibility of industry experts and thought leaders will improve your brand’s credibility, increase your reach, foster authentic content creation, facilitate relationship building, improve online visibility, and render measurable results.