Influencer marketing is a rapidly growing industry that has gone from a niche marketing strategy to a pivotal component of social media outreach used by Fortune 500 businesses and small brands alike. There isn’t just one type of company that should be using influencer marketing to improve social media performance and boost sales. It should be just about every company out there.
The primary use of influencer marketing tends to be in brands selling consumer goods. That means B2C companies tend to be the ones that are leveraging influencers to work on their behalf. From fashion brands to food brands, using Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok influencer marketing is a staple of B2C outreach. But just because influencer marketing is primarily used in B2C industries doesn’t mean that B2B marketers should ignore it.
Influencer marketing can help any business reach more prospects on social channels, including businesses that sell products or services geared to other businesses. A B2B influencer marketing strategy will differ from B2C, but the idea remains the same. B2B businesses will utilize influencers’ reach and connection with a target audience to either boost sales or form a stronger brand connection.
First, let’s look at the viability of B2B influencer marketing, then dive into some of the different ways to improve B2B marketing results through the use of influencers.
Viability of B2B Influencer Marketing
Social media marketing is something many B2B companies focus on, but not all have learned of the upside of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing to B2B companies means utilizing the platform of industry experts trusted by the target audience you are trying to reach. According to Top Rank Blog, this works because 78% of B2B marketers believe their prospects rely on advice from industry influencers.
This means that many people in business are just as susceptible to the appeals of influencers as people outside of business. They just rely on different kinds of influencers for their advice. Many marketers have harnessed this reliance on B2B influencers, leading to successful results. The same report by Top Rank Blog showed that 63% of marketers agree that marketing has better results with an influencer marketing program.
Influencer Marketing Hub lists some of the several benefits of this. B2B influencer marketing gives businesses authentic professional credibility, helps businesses reach invaluable new networks, and provides a unique point of view that resonates with target audiences.
Let’s look at how B2B businesses should proceed with their influencer outreach.
Do Market Research
To start, one of the most important things in marketing is audience identification. To successfully reach a target audience, you have to be fully aware of who that target audience is. Creating buyer personas is one of the best ways to find a specific audience for your product or service and can help you structure your influencer marketing campaign. These are comprehensive, hypothetical personalities for your ideal buyer. It includes their job, pain points, organization details, and more. With influencer marketing, try and include details on their social media and entertainment usage. What platforms do they interact with? Who are their favorite business leaders? This can give you a springboard to launch high-performing B2B influencer marketing campaigns.
Leverage the Right Platforms
Once you have a good idea of who your audience is, it will become time to try and reach them. You don’t necessarily need to concentrate your marketing efforts on social media. Many industry experts have podcasts that are closely followed by people in the same business, and this is a great place to market for B2B companies. However, if you focus on social media channels, you’ll have options. One rising one is influencer marketing through LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media platform specifically created to help businesses and people within business connect to others. It is the perfect place to reach B2B customers through social media content.
Utilize the Right Influencers
Once you’ve zeroed in on a platform for your influencer marketing, it is time to find the right people on it. Not every podcaster or person that uses social media will be valuable for your digital marketing. There are many content creators with a business audience, from Neil Patel to Tim Ferriss. The best practice is to go hyper-specific. If you are in the SaaS industry and are trying to sell a product marketed towards start-ups, find a creator that talks to tech start-up founders. Even if they are a micro-influencer, having someone who connects with the specific audiences your business is geared towards has a ton of value. Connecting with these influencers may be a process, but you could always utilize a micro-influencer marketing agency to streamline the process.
If you want to take your influencer marketing strategy into the stratosphere, partnering with a top influencer marketing agency is the way to do this. Influence Hunter is an influencer marketing firm with years of top-notch social media marketing experience. We’ve helped brands across industries develop customizable, high-impact campaigns that yield major results. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.