But what about B2B marketers?
What if you’re a business or NGO whose target audiences are other businesses (B2B)?
B2B businesses are generally selling a high value product or service, their pool of decision makers is easily defined and finite and there are often more than one person or organisation influencing the buying decision. In contrast with lifestyle influencers who promote restaurants or clothes, B2B influencers are entrepreneurs and experts that other decision-makers will look to. We all know the big ones - Elon Musk, Bill Gates - but they can also be business owners in your network with a strong personal brand, that can influence attitudes and behaviours - both digitally and in real life. An example from closer to home is Michael O' Leary.
There’s that word again - ‘influence’.
For B2B marketing, word of mouth and recommendations are key to influencing the decision making process. 56% of business-to-business purchases are impacted by direct word of mouth, and 88% from online word of mouth (Business Journal). So, whether you are selling to businesses or consumers, influencer marketing may be a good strategy for you.
Any B2B communication strategy should comprise an influencer plan, as the cost of advertising and consumer behaviour is changing. In 2021, 53% of B2B marketers increased lead generation by working with influencers and 34% increased sales (TopRankMarketing).
Okay, but how do we do it?
Influencer marketing, like all forms of permission marketing, is a long-term marketing strategy. It requires a dedicated plan of content creation over time to nurture (and influence) people towards your organisation where they can be converted to a lead. You will need to pay attention to:
The influencer’s relevance; if you’re in construction and engineering for example, selling innovation and sustainability, you want an influencer whose audience has similar interests than him.
The personal reputation; make sure they are who they say they are, meaning experts in their domain.
The quality of the reach; the number of followers doesn’t matter, followers’ quality and engagement rate does.
The reputation of partnered organisations; take a look at other partnerships they engaged in and their outcomes, or his own business.
The objectives of your influencer strategy will dictate the specific content to be created. If you want to know more about making content such as videos for LinkedIn, Instagram Reels, blogs or podcasts, or if you simply want to chat through some ideas, get in touch!