Over the last couple of years, many companies have been integrating with influencers for their marketing campaigns. With the number of tech-savvy people rising, you would have already discovered that people are no longer susceptible to advertising, whether traditional or digital. Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report has shown that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands and businesses.
Influencers are people who have a wide following on their social media pages as well as a very loyal audience who listens to them. Influencer marketing involves reaching out to these “influential people” to help you promote your products and services. This trend has shown no signs of stopping. As far as stats go, the future of influencer marketing looks bright.
While B2C influencer marketing is almost as simple as getting any influencer to talk about your brand, the same is not the case for B2B influencer marketing. With thousands of companies taking over the internet by storm every day, you need to stand out from your competitors. So the question here is, how can you get the best out of influencer marketing for your B2B company? Let’s get straight to it.
Use your existing customers
Businesses trust the opinion of people working in their similar fields or industries. If you can use testimonials from your existing or past customers to promote your brand, it will add credibility. Your potential customers will value the reviews of your existing customers which will help you create a bigger market for your brand.
For example, Okta, an identity management company uses this style of influencer marketing by making videos on their existing customers. They have created many compelling videos where their customers talk about the satisfaction of their service. In this video, you will see News Corp talk about how Okta helped them solve their business challenges.
Choose influencers with the right profile
Before you start blindly reaching out to influencers, you need to understand which businesses you want to target your product or service to. Finding influencers who have an impact over these businesses you want to target is the important factor. You need to do your research on what the influencer usually promotes and which type of content their followers engage with more. This is crucial for your business because you’d be wasting your money without getting anything in return.
American Express uses the hashtag #AmexAmbassador on Instagram to promote its platinum card. Amex targets high spending people like businessmen, CEOs, managers and the like. Their goal is to emphasize luxury. So, they deliberately pick people who live luxurious lifestyles.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there might be a lot of influencers who have millions of followers. But do not be swayed by this. Some influencers buy followers because more followers means they can charge the company more money. You can usually figure it out by the ratio of their engagements to the number of followers. Although you can check this manually, you can also use a number of tools to help you save your time. InstaCheck is a good tool designed to detect fake accounts by analysing engagements and overall activity.
Choose the right medium
There are a number of social media platforms to choose from, the most popular for influencer marketing being Instagram. Marketing Profs found that 92% of influencers prefer Instagram as their platform. But this doesn’t mean that you limit your marketing to Instagram. You should choose your medium depending on the message you want to promote. A general rule is to use the medium where you think your target audience usually hang out.
YouTube is usually used by influencers who want to give a detailed review of a product or service. Look at this example of Linus Tech Tips promoting Pulseway’s remote PC control service on YouTube.
Start using influencer marketing tools
With influencer marketing, as fun as it sounds, there are two challenges that you are will soon be faced with: finding the right influencers and maintaining a steady relationship with them.
Let’s first see how the manual process goes:
This might help you out the first few times, but imagine doing this over and over again every time you want to promote something. While this manual process may still work, there are a growing number of tools which will help you to easily handle all these. We suggest looking at these tools to help you manage your workflow.
Measure you influencer marketing ROI
So you somehow managed to catch one of the best influencers in the world, and you even paid a hefty sum to them to promote your business. Now, how do you know if you made the right choice? Is your influencer really successful in helping you reach your goals?
You need to track your influencers and see how much profit each one of them is bringing in for you. One of the best ways is to use Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters http://blog.rafflecopter.com/2014/04/utm-parameters-best-practices/. Assign specific UTM parameters to your influencers so you can track how much traffic they are bringing to your site.
Another option which is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays is using discount or promo codes. You could assign a special discount code to your influencers and that way, you can keep track of people who use that code.
B2B influencer marketing can be tremendously beneficial for your brand, but it is also not always about what your company wants. It’s imperative that you ensure your goals, the benefit to the influencer and their audience are all well aligned for a successful marketing campaign. You must drive home how your business can help clients overcome challenges and deliver real value for their organisation.