With the growing spate of A-list celebrities and reality stars taking the Instagram influencer market by a storm, little doubt is left over the effectivity of these marketing tactics among industry professionals. While this trend is all the rage for companies operating in the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) environment, how does this fare in the Business-to-Business (B2B) space?
With recent research showing that 49% of B2B marketers are considering or beginning to experiment with influencer marketing, this is clearly positioned to be the next big B2B trend. The article below will further explore this emerging practice and its effects, ultimately proving that you can make people invest in just about anything, if you get the right person to back it.
How do I pick the right influencer?
In the B2B world, choosing influencers is of the utmost importance. Unlike the consumer market, which has a little more of a margin of error so to speak, the business community is not one likely to be easily convinced by what you’re selling. Identifying thought leaders and influencers within the scope of your business activity is best done by examining blogs, social media followings, conference speaker lists and insider publications, among others.
Fortunately, business experts tend to be more accessible, making reaching out to them an easier affair compared to contacting A-list celebrities. While this is sure to incur you a certain amount of expenditure given the expertise and experience such influencers bring to the table, it most certainly costs less than in the B2C context.
According to the creator of The Influencer Economy, Ryan Williams, influencers are people who are able to create a movement around their ideas through “collaboration, community passion and a shared vision”. With B2B buyers reportedly 60% more likely to consider, purchase or even pay a premium if they feel a high brand connection, it is important that your influencer is one that your target market can relate to, and on whom high value is placed.
Why is influencer marketing so effective?
Across both the business and consumer target market communities, the key factor that remains the same is the demand for proof that your product or service works. The magic of influencer marketing is that it gives your customers the assurance that what you’re selling really works, simply because an industry leader has endorsed your product. This often reduces the pressure on customers to actively seek out reviews and other opinions, given that more weight is placed on what your influencer is promoting, over anything else.
With 57% of marketers indicating that influencer campaigns will soon be fully integrated into marketing strategies over the next few years, it’s clear that the time to strike is now. Influencer marketing is a sure fire method of increasing your reach and boosting your brand awareness almost overnight, given that influencers take your products and push it onto their communities of followers and peers. It also gives your SEO ranking a nudge forward through cross-promotions, where you’ll have more high-traffic inbound links from other websites. Influencer promotions also increase customer engagement, with more and more people guaranteed to flock to your website and social media channels, keen to see why industry experts are so enthralled with your products or services.
Tips for success
- Before you begin this journey, identify what your brand values are and create your messaging. If influencer marketing is to be successful, your company narrative and ethos needs to be one which both your influencer and target market can identify with.
- Once you’ve locked in your influencer, create product messaging that appeals to them and corresponds to their own values and ideals. Make sure these hold value to your customers too.
- To make the process of engaging with your influencer easier, make sure you’re frequently sharing their posts, commenting on their videos and re-tweeting their comments and quotes. This way, it’s easier for them to appreciate areas of commonality with your brand and build rapport.
- The secret to success is…you guessed it, oversharing. SHARE all your influencer related content so that it reaches a wider audience and created more engagement, ensuring you get the most out of your investment.
You can see influencer marketing almost everywhere these days. If you’re an active user of popular social media platform Instagram, your feed is likely to be inundated with posts of celebrities pushing products ranging from candy vitamins for your hair to fat burning teas that supposedly guarantees instant results. Within the B2B community, this occurs perhaps in a more controlled manner with less of the glitz and glamour present in the B2C space. Either way, the key to success undeniably lies in picking the perfect influencer for your market.