Advertising has come a long way from the routine ads on TV and print media. Influencer marketing is a new format of advertising and promises to be the most-sought tool of advertising for the next decade.
Social media platforms are where influencers thrive. But for B2B businesses, it doesn’t work the same. Their need is to reach their clients and not the public consumers. They have to look beyond social media accounts to find influencers for product endorsements.
B2B influencers are not those easily found on Instagram or TikTok. They are experienced and experts in their specific field. Mostly, you will find them writing guest posts for famous columns. You may find them on Twitter or LinkedIn. And, yes, they are not the influencers with millions of followers. They have a niche audience who engage with their role model more often than with a B2C influencer.
Collaborating with a B2B influencer is not easy as partnering with a fashion influencer for a product giveaway. These influencers are authoritative figures in their fields of expertise. You will find them as-
- Thought leaders
- Opinion experts
- Keynote speakers
- Honorary leaders
If you need to collaborate with these influencers, you have to first build a rapport with them and then talk about product promotion.
What is the benefit of B2B influencer marketing?
B2B influencer marketing involves reaching your clients using experts to promote your products and brand. The main aim of influencer marketing is to reach newer audiences and redirect traffic. The benefits of B2B influencer marketing are-
- Reach a newer audience
- Increase website traffic
- For brand awareness
- Trust building
- Generate leads
- Increase sales
B2B influencers spend time researching the topics that interest them. They educate their followers on these topics. Their intention is not to increase followers but to share their knowledge with the world. Of course, increased followers is a byproduct. They are regarded as influential people in their field of work, and people consider them as role models. One of the essential factors in B2B influencer marketing is the high engagement rate and conversion. They share a unique bond with their followers, and any brand endorsement builds trust and loyalty instantly.
Here are 10 ways to benefit from B2B influencer marketing-
1. Hire B2B influencers for better engagement
Influencer marketing is a rather unconventional way of B2B advertising. The main benefit is the engagement they bring to your brand. Forget the impressions, but count the likes, shares, and comments. You will see genuine comments on their posts inquiring about your product and its benefits. And the B2B influencers respond well to the queries of their followers, building a community around your brand. One thing is for sure, B2B influencer marketing is more about engagement rather than impressions.
2. Gain the trust of the audience
These B2B followers have an authentic audience, and they do not care to buy followers. They are more than happy with the limited followers they have and constantly strive to produce better content. Thus, they develop a strong bonding of loyalty and trust with their followers. When you endorse your products through influencers, you leverage them to gain the loyalty of the audience.
3. Build instant brand awareness
Brands struggle to make their products visible to specific audiences. The problem with TV and print advertising is that it reaches a general audience, and you cannot target it to whom you want. But with B2B influencer marketing, you make your brand visible to a target audience in a relatively lesser time. You gain new followers for your brand when you involve influencers for brand promotion.
4. Reach your target audience effectively
For B2B businesses, their ads must be target-specific. Not all are interested in their products. For example, not everyone is interested in buying automobile spares or door locks. These have to be sold to clients dealing in them. Here, B2B influencer marketing works like a charm helping brands reach out to clients in that specific industry. Promoting products through them increase your brand value and loyalty.
5. Fill in the gaps for content creation
The B2B influencers are masters in their field with extensive knowledge and expertise. Brands must give content creation freedom to these influencers. Since they have already built a rapport with their audience, they know the best content for their followers. Moreover, you can reuse their content by sharing emails or newsletters with your audience. This way, you unburden yourself of content creation while passing on this onus to the influencers.
6. Create authentic user-generated content
The audiences today are wise and rely more on referrals and reviews. They use these and influencer content to verify the authenticity of the brand and its products. Using B2B influencer marketing helps you to gain client trust by building a reputation. When your products are endorsed by influencers, people start believing in the genuineness of your brand.
7. Provide value content to the audience
You provide good content to your audience by partnering with B2B influencers. They create content and share it on their account. You re-share it on your social media account. Thus, not only do their followers benefit from the content, you pass it on to your followers too. It ensures that your brand followers are engaged with the rich and informative content created by the influencers.
8. Build a community around your brand
While promoting products, the B2B influencers start to have conversations with their followers by sharing their experiences and ideas. They act as brand advocates creating a community of their followers around your brand and products. They initiate curiosity resulting in engagement, gradual brand liking, and sales.
9. Partner with B2B influencers for the long-term
The B2B influencers do not collaborate with just any other brand. For them, it is not just about money. It is about the brand and its products. They wholeheartedly promote your product to their followers if they find your product to be good. When you collaborate with a B2B influencer, you partner with them for the long term. They promote your products in a way that is beneficial to you as well as their audiences.
10. Get lead generation and customer acquisition
The B2B influencers, for sure, build a community around your brand. The next step for you is to work on the middle part of the sales funnel. Have the influencers do consistent brand endorsements so that you gradually start getting inquiries about your products. Nurture your influencers and make them your brand advocates. When influencers speak of their real-life experiences and the benefits of your products, you successfully take your customers through the final stage of the sales funnel. B2B influencer marketing will help you in lead generation and subsequent customer acquisition.
Influencer marketing platform for B2B advertising
All said and done, it is not easy for companies to find B2B influencers to partner with for brand endorsements. But, an influencer marketing platform easily resolves this challenge. The companies have to register on the platform to find influencers for their audience. The platform acts as a mediator and facilitates the easy collaboration of influencers with brands.
Now, when we are entering 2022, don’t ask, “why B2B influencer marketing?” Instead, focus on hiring B2B influencers to attract new customers for brand growth.
Remember, you have an answer in the form of an influencer marketing platform. It is time for the show to begin!