B2B brands worldwide understand influencer marketing as one of the most cost-effective and time-efficient, yet effective marketing strategies.
Although influencer marketing was previously thought of as a B2C game, B2B brands can also achieve increased brand awareness and increased sales growth by running influencer marketing campaigns. According to Nielsen’s Consumer Trust Index, 92% of consumers trust influencer marketing over traditional advertising.
So how can B2B marketers work with influencers to dramatically increase their brand’s credibility and authority in the eyes of the buyer?
This article provides five guidelines for planning a B2B influencer marketing campaign.
1. Understand how B2B brands can benefit from influencer marketing
Working with experts who have social influence in a particular market sector gives brands instant credibility, only through association. Such partnerships also mean B2B brands are exposed to the network of influencers, opening up new connectivity opportunities that can translate into business development opportunities.
In addition, influencers often have a strong media presence and public profile and mention brand partners in media interviews, contributions and lectures. This can have a huge impact on the development of a brand’s profile, regardless of whether it is B2B or B2C.
2. Identify the right influencer for your brand (integrity matters)
As the number of influencers continues to grow, transparency is vital. To find the right match for your brand, you need to validate the authenticity and effectiveness of all the influencers you are considering. Fortunately, the technology enables advanced influencer discovery, audience insights, and quality reviews.
Before you begin, clearly state your brand’s values, personality, audience, and campaign goals. The optimal influencer should be able to educate your target audience about your company and your market opportunities, while providing credibility, building trust and increasing brand awareness.
Review and analyze key metrics – especially the influencer’s engagement rate, like the number of likes and comments – and compare them to the influencer’s number of followers. Also, check out the rate at which the influencer is gaining new followers. A common warning sign of suspicious activity is a sudden increase or decrease in the number of followers. Abnormal growth or negative trends are indicators that an audience has been won (or lost) through unnatural methods.
The authenticity of comments on an influencer’s posts is also a tell-tale sign of their methods, including suspicious behavior. Using common words like “super” or posting a single emoji multiple times is spam-like behavior. These are also signals that an influencer is part of an “Instagram pod” – he works with other influencers to post comments on a network and artificially increase their engagement figures.
3. Choose the platform that leads to the greatest interaction with your target audience
Deciding which platform is best for your brand is a big decision. First, you need to understand the characteristics of each platform, such as: B. their primary target group and functions, and then compare them with the influencer research that has already been carried out.
While they don’t seem like the obvious choice, consumer-dominated platforms shouldn’t be ruled out. For example, Instagram is a great channel to promote your company culture – helpful in recruiting, increasing employee morale, and promoting real-time interaction.
Companies are even starting to use TikTok as a powerful tool to showcase humor and generate engagement. Even if your target audience is not (yet) very active on TikTok, you can reinforce these assets on your other social media channels and on your website or blog.
4. Be aware of the competition to develop your own B2B influencer strategy
Almost a third of marketers (31%) do not know the influencers their competitors work with, while almost half (45%) do not know the audience that their competitors are targeting through influencer marketing. Even so, 87% of marketers find it helpful to get a list of Instagram posts with mentions from their competitors.
Before your brand begins its own B2B influencer marketing strategy, you need to start evaluating your competitors. Find out which social media influencers they use to promote their brands. Knowing how your brand is doing against the competition is the first step in gaining an edge over them.
The teams should also evaluate the performance of the competitors’ influencer marketing campaigns by analyzing criteria such as engagement rate, audience quality, influencer quality, cost per engagement and reach.
5. Learn how to measure the ROI of your B2B influencer marketing campaign
Tracking and measuring the success of an influencer marketing campaign is critical to determining its effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). Without specific metrics to benchmark your relevant achievements, it’s impossible to assess whether the influencer and the resulting ROI are in line with your campaign goals.
Findings from the evaluation of the five above-mentioned metrics – interaction rate, target group quality, influencer quality, cost-per-engagement and reach – can help you to optimize or refine your own strategy. Use the same metrics that you used when analyzing your competitors.
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B2B companies can undoubtedly benefit immensely from the use of influencer marketing. From increasing the number of visitors to your website and the number of engagements on social media platforms to creating trust, notoriety, thought leadership and authority, influencer marketing is a proven and effective strategy to keep on the trail of B2B marketing to win.
More resources on B2B influencer marketing
Influencer marketing isn’t broken, you’re just doing it wrong
Your B2B Influencer Strategy: How To Get It Right
Five best practices for B2B social media influencer marketing