Possibilities and at the same time apprehensions regarding B2B influencer marketing are many. However, a lot of B2B marketers, in particular, consider influencer marketing not a fit for their business-to-business model, and this is where they go wrong with their calculations.
The reach and influence of industry influencers are way more effective in getting brand recognition and customer attention than traditional marketing techniques.
That is why even leading brands across various industries are partnering or associating with top industry influencers on digital as well as offline platforms as part of their brand marketing.
Are you still in a fix thinking how influencer marketing can benefit your B2B Company?
If yes, then this article will help.
Exploring the future potential of influencer marketing for the B2B industry, we give you a detailed and informative insight into the world of influencers and how they contributed to the marketing success of many top brands globally.
An influencer is a person who has the power to motivate consumers to purchase specific products or services, through endorsements on their various platforms. Their status and often in-depth knowledge on a particular niche mean that their audience is inclined to accept their suggestions and recommendations.
They are actively seen participating on social media platforms, especially on Instagram, providing their views and opinions on various topics convincing the followers of their expertise and positions as thought-leaders in a specialized industry.
A study even found that two-thirds of the North-American retailers have used influencer marketing in some form.
Summary: An Influencer Is:
An influencer is a person who can influence the buying choices made by others, due to their authority, social status, or relationships with an audience that falls within their ‘circle of influence’.
In marketing, an influencer is anyone who can recommend, endorse, review or showcase a brand or product, to their audience, and influence their purchasing decisions. Influencers are usually social media personalities, with a dedicated following on one or more social media platforms.
One of the recent phenomena, which have been seen in the B2B industry is that the buyers are taking more time in making a decision.
It is due to the involvement of different decision-makers in the process, and the majority of the buyers are executing their own research. This time frame is the fertile period where an influencer shows his prowess.
He talks about the subject in seminars, conferences, events, then posts it on social media for making his followers aware of the subject. In the process of imparting the knowledge, he subtly promotes the services or product of a specific brand.
As his followers trust and admire him, there are high chances that they will value the information provided by him.
Business Insider recently published a detailed report about the industry. Here are the key takeaways:
A few years back, paid advertising was a popular strategy but with the increase in expense and, in many cases, the decreasing positive results led many companies both mid-sized and large enterprises to turn their focus on influencer marketing. ֿ
As of now, it is able to generate beneficial results for the organization.
Most of the Consumers trust the other fellow being, the one who is an influencer than the direct message from a specific brand.
Not only, it helps in cutting down the costs, but also the level of persuasiveness shoots up to a great extent.
Influencer marketing is more crucial for B2B organizations than B2C as the average purchase by a buyer in B2B is huge when compared to B2C. The profit is also massive in B2B. The referrals and word of mouth publicity are critical for the success of any organization, and influencer marketing facilitates in getting into the good books of a potential customer.
You have to understand that the majority of the US economy (whether it is B2B and B2C) is driven by the word-of-mouth publicity.
Some of the important challenges with this type of marketing include disclosure, scalability, and the organization’s dilemma to choose the best influencers, aligned with their services and outreach, but this is not a deterrent for a B2B marketer.
With so many influencer marketing firms in the market, companies are able to solve this to a great extent.
The major step in engaging with B2B influencer marketing is to analyze and evaluate your fans carefully, including employees, customers both existing, new ones, and partners, to understand the extent of advocacy which they can execute.
There are top influencers in every industry, who have specialized knowledge in boosting the brand sentiment.
Some of the famous ones, for example in the health industry, are Massy Arias, Kenneth Galarzo, Eddie Hall, amongst others.
Then you have the niche influencers, also known as the micro-influencer. They do not have a big following (under 100,000) as they focus mainly on a single or maximum two areas.
Businesses who worked with the niche influencers found that it helped them to generate 11 x better ROI.
In the above examples, you would have seen a piece of important information, that most of these influencers are active on Instagram.
Instagram has been the fastest growing social networking platform in the year 2019.
Check out the below graph (by Statista):
As per a Hubspot report, Instagram influencer marketing will hit $8 billion this year.
This is because Instagram engagement rates are higher even much higher than Twitter, nano-influencers with less than 1000 followers have an engagement percentage of around 7.2 on Instagram when compared to Twitter which has a rate of 1.4%.
The Tech Titan SAP organizes a famous event known as Sapphire every year. The event usually attracts more than 20,000 attendees. SAP which has worked with around 11 influencers to create creative video content of the conference, reaches out to more than 80,000 people who cannot make it to the event. The company, with the help of influencers, shared the material via Facebook.
It coordinated with the influencers and planned meetings based on the expertise of the influencer. The influencers were also given a chance to meet the executives and give feedback.
It’s not the only event where SAP has worked with the high-profile influencer, the company even worked with them, when there was an IoT launch event. They interacted with each of the influencers to promote the launch and hashtag the event.
Another example is that of the American Express, which executed a campaign for promoting its platinum card. The company targeted the higher-income group, such as the business class people, high-class executives, and others.
For this, they picked influencers, who were leading a luxury lifestyle as these people were regular travelers with the privilege to enjoy the benefits which come with the card.
All these influencers later posted on how they enjoyed the benefits associated with the card. The exclusive photos displaying the events, places they attended were a perfect tactic to arise curiosity amongst other potential users.
It was a huge investment as the organization worked with more than a hundred influencers, including micro-influencer, celebrities, amongst others.
Motorola’s unique influencer marketing tactic also worked to a great extent. The company, when decided to launch its new range of phones called as Moto Mods and Moto Z, made a plan to target the young audience.
They were aware that most of their target audience are available on YouTube, so they hired the YouTube influencer. The company’s agency partner developed a program for driving awareness around its Motorola products.
They utilized the opportunity to work with around 13 influencers for reaching a broader range of customers. Each of the influencers made one “partnership announcement post” and the YouTube video of “hero” featuring a use case for Moto-mods and extra special posts. The videos were a great hit and generated 38.1 million impressions and 11.6 million views.
From the past three years, as per the statistics searches for influencer marketing in Google has increased by 1500%, which is the evidence that people want to educate themselves on influencer marketing. B2B marketers should be quick to spot this opportunity as it will be a trend for the next future.
It will also be one of the fastest-growing customer acquisition methods, with 28% naming it as the number one source. Working with credible influencers in a business context can provide significant opportunities, for promoting to the interested buyers.
Author Bio: My name is Lauren Williams, currently working as a SMM at MedicoReach. I have been working in the B2B healthcare industry for a decade now. Through my blogs, I keep the industry updated on latest trends, development, and advances across the various segments.
Influencer Marketing is a form of online marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers – individuals who have some sort of influence over the average consumer. View the complete guide for details.
An influencer is a person who has the power to motivate consumers to purchase specific products or services, through endorsements on their various platforms. Check out the guide for more details.
Not only does Influencer Marketing help in cutting down advertising costs, but also the level of persuasiveness shoots up a lot since most consumers trust the influencer more than the direct message from a specific brand. Read the full guide for more details.