More and more brands integrate influencer marketing techniques in their B2B marketing strategy and aim to reach the clients through carefully selected content. Long gone are the days that brand uses a generic stock photo of a coffee cup or sunset…
But does influencer marketing really work in the B2B field, and if it does, what is the best approach for companies to take?
Personal Opinion or Knowledge and Expertise?
Typical B2C influencer marketing is based on an influencer sharing their personal experience. The reviews or endorsements of products are based on the influencer’s own experience, which is why people, in general, find influencers more credible. However, when talking to a business customer, the main focus should be on the influencer’s knowledge of the matter.
In a nutshell, an influencer should offer deep and meaningful insights to their followers.
To put it simply, an influencer that is representing your business should be well established in their niche; they should possess knowledge and expertise that brings credibility to your business.
Yes, they might not have a massive following in the hundreds of thousands, but they are experts in the field, know the subject well and therefore generate more trust.
The bottom line is that the influencer for B2B businesses should offer their expertise and knowledge instead of their own personal experience of how well a dress sits, or how good a milkshake tastes.
B2B influencer is not limited by simple posts on Instagram. To attract a business-focused audience and earn their trust, the influencers should offer a little more. Their posts have to be more substantial, offering video reviews, infographics, eBooks and more. A smart video discussion about a product, or a useful infographic explaining a complicated process will gain more engagement from the correct audience. And engagement is key!
If an influencer who simply endorses a business without giving deeper insights on why the business deserved to be endorsed will lose their trust, and any future reviews might become harder to gain engagement.
Your Perfect Buyer Persona
B2B marketing sometimes seems vague and faceless. Buyer personas are harder to build, while outreach techniques can be tricky to nail down. However, we should not forget that for each B2B sale there is a person who makes the purchase. And that person is as subjective to influencer marketing as a B2C consumer.
If the strategy implemented towards your B2B buyer persona carefully acts on their pain points and the influencer endorsing a B2B product offers a way to solve the problem, then the buyer is as likely to become a potential conversion as any B2C.
To drive greater conversion and engagement, small businesses and large entrepreneurs alike should focus on creating and distributing engaging and highly valuable content. The influencers can become precious partners for content creation. If the content is credible and delivers value, and if the influencer brings trust and expertise to it, then the leads generated will be more likely to convert.
The bottom line is that B2B influencer marketing requires thoughtful planning and more in-depth analysis, but when implemented correctly, it can be a very useful marketing tool delivering the right leads to your business.