When you don’t plan your content marketing for your product or service, you then plan the failure of your entire marketing strategy. B2B Influencer Marketing is important for Business and must be part of a content marketing plan is actively cultivating a strong influencer relationship strategy. This helps in making the most out of the content you have instead of just using your personal channels.
People no longer want to be fed fake promises. They demand real insights from real people who understand the market and know their stuff. They are far more likely to take the desired action based on the recommendations of their peers or someone they look at as an expert.
That is what B2B influencer marketing is all about.
When it comes to generating new leads and winning customer loyalty, around 75% of professionals consider B2B influencer engagement very effective.
But who is an influencer and what makes them so powerful?
An influencer is an individual who has a large following that look up to them for the key role they play in their industry. This individual has earned their respect and loyalty on social media by becoming a one stop shop for all expertise and insight on issues that impact their industry.
Once you incorporate an influencer’s large and active network into your inbound marketing strategy, it is most probably going to result in a growth of your own social audience as the Influencer’s audience will see the value in your input and decide to follow you as well. Building a large but targeted audience on social channels is a vital first step on the road to becoming influential in the B2B environment
Apart from a huge and valuable network, influencers also offer a whole gamut of benefits.
- Your target B2B audience is constantly on the lookout for a unique point of view that has the power to resonate with them. Influencers have that view point.
- Influencers can help by shining a light on your existing content. This will help make your brand more visible as well as more desirable.
- Influencers help you get access to invaluable networks and professional contacts you would otherwise not be able to reach.
- Your target audience needs information, and an influencer can be of help here by using their authentic professional credibility to address their pain points.
Experiencing so many benefits from just tying up with an individual in your industry sounds extremely tempting but before you get in touch with a preferred influencer; there are three important components that you need to work on for an effective B2B influencer marketing strategy.
- You need to first and foremost, capture the attention of your influencer via a content campaign directed at the one you’re targeting.
- Once you have captured the attention of the influencer, you need to provide a secondary marketing campaign to them. This marketing campaign will serve the sole purpose of driving greater awareness to a larger set of target buyers.
- As with all marketing strategies, you need to track key metrics relating to reach, sales, and brand awareness. This will help you measure the ongoing success of your campaign.
Every B2B marketer follows the AIDA strategy when planning their content marketing. The same applies when enforcing B2B Influencer Marketing Strategies as well. In the customers’ journey, the marketer focuses their efforts at different points through different influencers, content channels and strategies. Here is a brief breakdown of how Influencers can be beneficial at the different stages.
At this stage, through storytelling, influencers introduce new products and feature capabilities to followers. This will result in an instant elevation of the brand’s image and will foster strong brand affinity among their fans.
At this stage, Influencers open the floor to their fans, answering common questions about the product and services. This means providing interesting, educational and valuable content for the influencers to build an interest in the prospects.
As interest increases, businesses can plan offers or promotions that will be exclusively available for the influencers’ followers or subscribers. Brands can demonstrate that they satisfy desired needs.
For the prospect to complete their purchase or further evaluate options, influencers direct them to the correct paths and channels. Measuring how many people converted to customers through influencers is quite tricky. One method is to use ‘promo-codes’ to better track the conversions of every individual influencer marketer.
The core of B2B influencer marketing is the solid relationship that is built between the brand and the B2B influencer which ensures a mutual value creation, as long as the influencer’s independence and voice is preserved during the entirety of the content marketing strategy.
Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing, an influencer in the influencer marketing space, laid out an excellent explanation about the effectiveness of the B2B Influencer Marketing strategy in today’s digital environment;
“Influencer marketing is becoming more popular because there are now more obstacles for brands to reach customers including the rise of ad blocking and changing behaviors for content discovery and consumption. The new breeds of consumers trust their peers and industry experts over brands. So, if a brand can identify and engage with relevant influencers, who have authority and an engaged network as well as shared values and/or common interests, it works to the advantage of everyone involved.”