With the passage of time, the trend of marketing has been changed dramatically. In this competitive era, many brands are moving towards influencer marketing. This concept of marketing is in full swing these days and just like in B2C marketing, it is gaining great popularity in B2B marketing. However, the ratio of using influencer marketing in the B2C business is still higher.
Using the concept of influencer marketing in the B2C business is simple because we know who our targeted customers are. However, it is much difficult when it comes to B2B. The ones we are dealing with are not sometimes the actual decision-makers of the firm. The gatekeepers of complex decision making are different. Thus, we have to work hard so that these decision-makers might look at our content by chance.
Let us see how we can use influencer marketing effectively in B2B business by using these four smart strategies:
1. Co-creating Content with top-notch Experts
Like many other strategies, this strategy of co-creating content is a win-win strategy for both parties. It also helps in saving a lot of budget. Now, we have to pick the right influencers here. It is ideal to select the ones who have already used our brand. Convincing these influencers is easier than the new ones.
We can search for them by looking at people who tweeted about our brand, who recommended it and who talked about it a few months back. We can also use a tool called Followerwonk for getting a list of influencers.
We can use case studies since influencers will love to share their success stories. In these case studies, we can tag the influencers. Similarly, we can go for video content. Though it requires a good budget, it is one of the best ways of marketing these days. Research shows that 80% of people prefer watching videos rather than reading content.
We can also do research collaborations with a B2B influencer. If we have compiled our data, we can ask the influencer of the B2B market to post it on their blog. For instance, you have collected all the data and statistics about the best pdf converters available online, you can then ask a relevant but top-notch blogger to post it on their website. There is a great tool called BuzzSumo that can provide us ideas regarding the type of data for B2B marketing. We can also look into B2B content marketing strategies for selecting unique topics.
2. Selecting a brand ambassador from your loyal customer group
Although there is a huge list of influencers, persuading them to collaborate with you is not a simple task. You should get ready to be ignored by hundreds of them. However, there is a solution to it and that is using your own loyal customers as brand ambassadors. These loyal customers are easier to convince since they already have experience with your brand and we do not need to sell our brand from scratch.
We can use a few tactics for turning our B2B customers into supporters. Arranging programs like giving some extra points for commenting on your blog post is a great idea. This will increase customer engagement and you will be able to identify the champions.
Similarly, you can make some exclusive groups and add our loyal B2B customers into it. You need to make sure that these groups are highly formal since we are dealing with B2B clients. Adding loyal customers into this group will give them a special feeling and a chance for better interaction. Thus, you will get to know who your loyal customer actually is. You will be able to build a strong bond and ask them for becoming a brand ambassador in return.
3. Always research for new Influencers
Although you have a big group of influencers to work with, you have no guarantee when they will switch to other brands. Thus, you need to keep hunting for potential influencers so that your marketing strategy is not be affected.
You can look for the influencers used by your competitors and try to reach them. Since they are working with your niche, they can switch brands if they get convinced by you. You can also use links to their site to show your interest.
Influencers love it when you share their content. You can use new and creative ways of sharing their content on different social media channels. Opt for some unique ways which they have not used. When they will see that you are putting efforts into this content then they will definitely get in touch with you. However, you should make efforts for the influencers who actually need your content sharing.
For instance, if someone writes a post on Moz, he does not need you to share his content. His post will do well in any case. Thus, you need to see which influencers will actually become happy when you share their content with them and then try to build a relationship with them. Similarly, you can send some corporate gifts to the new influencers. This is a great way of getting in touch with them.
4. Arranging offline events for relationship building
We always have a list of influencers whom we want to meet but have never met so far. Arranging some offline events is a great way of inviting them and having a face-to-face conversation. The old-school thinking that eye-to-eye contact cannot beat any other form of conversation is true.
We can arrange some events only for VIPs. When you invite your influencers on the list of VIPs, they will get a great feeling. Similarly, we can arrange some award functions. Since award functions are arranged in grand events, they require a lot of budget, time and dedication. If you are short of budget, going for a pre or post-event party is also ideal.
In short, B2B influencer marketing has made its unique way of success after looking at the outcomes of B2C influencer marketing. We have to keep searching for new influencers, use different tactics and make smart strategies to keep the needle moving. Since in B2B marketing, we deal in large purchases that do not happen on a daily basis, we need to come out of our comfort zone and make use of the best influencers.