In a nutshell, B2B influencer marketing is working with people and third parties who have the power to sway the decisions your key audiences make about your brand. This can be through paid commercial arrangements or by inspiring influencers to be positive about your business.
PRWeek recently said, “B2B influence is the sleeping giant that’s set to be next year’s defining disruption.” So if you’re in B2B PR or marketing and don’t know much about B2B influencers, now is the time to learn!
B2B influencer marketing is growing because we’re all seeing through the flood of direct digital marketing approaches swamping our inboxes and social feeds. Not to mention the pop up ads constantly distracting us online.
Think how much business is done based on personal recommendation. B2B is not a ‘stack em high and sell em cheap’ world. Buyers make discerning choices after lots of consideration. They actively want recommendations and seek peer and expert advice to confirm they are making the right decision.
B2B influencer marketing examples
Here are some of the things you might do in a B2B influencer marketing programme:
- Inviting influential people to speak at and attend your customer events or user groups, so that they become part of your inner circle.
- Commercial arrangements with writers who contribute to relevant media.
- Becoming an active participant of independent industry groups and forums such as professional associations.
- Following and engaging intellectually with influencers via social media – putting your own subject matter experts in a position to get into dialogue with them.
- Asking influential figures to guest blog on your website.
- Providing your product or service to influencers to test and give feedback on.
How to get your B2B influencer programme started
Here are some of the things you need to think about when deciding on your approach:
- What’s in it for them? B2B influencers need a reason to get involved with your brand so it’s crucial you understand what value they want from the relationship – whether it’s financial, knowledge or something else.
- What’s in it for you? It can be tempting to jump in with both feet but you need to know what value specific influencers are going to offer you. After all, you’ll want to measure the performance of your programme.
- Who matters? Think first about who your key audiences are and who matters to them. It may seem obvious but it is essential you work with influencers your customers care about.
- What channels? Where do your audiences get their information and what do they use when making purchase decisions? There’s little point engaging social media influencers if your buyers tend to attend events and conferences.
- Where in the journey? Thinking about where and when you need the influence is key. Is it about helping you gain wider awareness for your brand or more about supporting the consideration phase with specific prospects?
- What are the rules of engagement? Influencers are individuals and each one will have a different approach. It’s important you engage B2B communications experts to help you navigate the market.
If you’re looking to get started with B2B influencer marketing please get in touch with us!