There’s very little else that has dominated the world of marketing over the last few years in the way that influencer marketing has.
Whilst consumer brands have been quick to pick up on influencers and use them to promote everything from evening wear to vitamins, many B2B brands are yet to dip their toes into the water. With many products now moving from print and television advertising to the digital world with the hope of being perceived as less of an advert, more and more influencers are being bought.
Why use influencer marketing for B2B?
Anyone with an interest in a certain topic follows people on social media who are particularly familiar with it. If these experts share their opinions and assessments with their followers, then they can influence opinion and even purchasing decisions. These sorts of campaigns rely on achieving the maximum reach possible.
However, reach based influencers are little use to a B2B campaign. To maximise spend on a B2B campaign needs very specific information giving directly to the target groups so that they can make decisions. This is where the influencers who have expert status in the relevant target group, based on their shared knowledge, come into play.
Getting the right people
Finding the right influencers is essential to either a B2B or B2C influencer campaign. They need to have a decisive influence on online discussions. For B2B this will happen more on platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn than Instagram or YouTube.
Aside from the platforms that B2B influencers operate on, the other significant difference between them and those who work in B2C is that they will rarely refer to themselves as an influencer. They often look for more knowledge over reach and want to make valuable contacts. Also, a B2B influencer will look to share knowledge, not their race and reach.
If your business is looking to engage with B2B influencers you must be prepared to share as much knowledge as possible and engage in conversation. This is partly down to B2B influencers being more sceptical about marketing and sales. With that in mind, it is often best to let the marketing aspect be very much secondary to the knowledge share element. If you are solely looking for advertising, then you will struggle to find success. This is more akin to networking, you are looking to build strong relationships with industry experts. You could refer to it as influencer relations rather than influencer marketing.
Is it relevant to B2B?
In short, yes. Recommendations play an important part in the B2B sector. For example, anyone requiring a sophisticated piece of software can either rely on the promises of the supplier, or they can follow the in-depth knowledge of independent experts who have knowledge of the application. With this in mind, it is safe to say that B2B influencer relations is very much worth it.
Are you wanting to engage an audience through influencer marketing? At Tailor-Made Media we have extensive experience with both B2C and B2C campaigns. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you reach more people.