B2B influencer marketing can help your business to be discovered by the right audience and help to grow website traffic. It can also convert that traffic into new customers. Influencer marketing campaigns involve a lot more than having a celebrity brand ambassador endorse your brand. With the rise of social media channels, influencers today have changed and finding the right ones to represent your brand is essential for success. So, let’s look at what influencer marketing means today and how you can leverage this for your B2B brand.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is the process of getting an influencer to promote your business and products/services. While previously, influencers were mainstream celebrities, today, with social media, blogs and podcasts, the definition of an influencer has changed. Influencers today can be anyone with a significant following and someone who shares a personal connection with their followers.
Businesses can leverage their connection with influencers to help their audience expand their reach and brand credibility. The success of influencer marketing rides on the fact that consumers are more likely to trust recommendations from other people rather than self-promotional advertising. According to the latest data, 61% of consumers are likely to trust social media recommendations from their family, friends and favourite influencers as opposed to 38% who trust recommendations from brands on social media.
B2B Influencer Marketing
B2B influencer marketing is a little different from B2C influencer marketing. It isn’t as easy because B2B influencers are not restricted to social media platforms or blogs. B2B influencers include entrepreneurs, podcasters, keynote speakers, authors, thought leaders and researchers. The best way to work with B2B influencers is by creating a personal connection with them. Inviting them for business events hosted by your company and sending them media kits or free products can also help to create a connection with them.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
For those wanting to create their own B2B influencer marketing campaign, here is how you can get started:
Set Your Goals
Before you start any influencer campaign, it is best to set your goals and decide on the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the campaign. This will help you make your decisions along the way, help you choose the direction of the campaign and help you to measure the success of the campaign. The more defined your goals are, the better it will be for your campaign. Be as specific as you like: are you creating the campaign for brand awareness? Or do you want to generate leads? Based on your objective, you will be able to monitor the campaign success and return on investment.
Define your Budget
Next, you need to set up a budget for your campaign. While influencer marketing is not as expensive as advertising on mainstream media channels, it does require a significant budget as influencers charge for the visibility they provide for your brand. You may also require to allocate some of your budget to create and promote the content for the campaign. Make sure you do your research and allocate resources for various promotional and equipment costs that could arise.
Identify Influencers in Your Niche
After you’ve done the budgeting, you can start researching different influencers in your niche. Check various industry events and see who the keynote speakers are or look at your competitors and identify what kind of influencers they have worked with. Doing research will help you create a list of potential influencers you could contact for your influencer marketing campaigns. It is best to make a list and update it regularly so you have it ready for all your future influencer marketing campaigns.
Analyse and Select the Right Influencers for Your Brand
Once you have built a significant list of industry influencers in your niche, it is time to analyse them and see who will fit your brand best. Based on your budget, you can choose to work with one or multiple influencers at the same time. Select the influencers that you feel align best with your brand values and campaign goals.
Build a Relationship with the Influencer and Inform Them About Your Brand
After you have shortlisted the influencers you would like to work with, next you will need to contact them and start discussions with them. You want to tell them about your brand, your company values and give them an overview of your campaign. You should also discuss deliverables and pricing at this stage and have a contract in place to protect the interests of both parties involved.
Allow them to be Creative
Once the details have been decided upon and the influencer has been briefed about your campaign and brand values, give them the space to brainstorm and create content for your brand. It is best if they add their unique spin to the content that they put out, as they know their audience best. Remember to ask them to run it by you for final approval before they publish any content on your brand.
Monitor and Measure the Success
After your campaign is over, you should monitor and measure the success of it. You can ask the influencer to share their insights and analytics so that you have a better idea of the reach and visibility they provided for your brand. Through that data you will be able to understand the ROI of the campaign and understand how to improve it in the future.