Are you struggling to find effective ways to grow your B2B brand? Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels, trying everything, and seeing little results?
You're not alone. Many experienced marketing professionals struggle to make an impact in the crowded B2B space. Is B2B influencer marketing the answer to all your struggles?
If you’ve been pouring your time, energy, and budget into B2B marketing campaigns that don’t pay off or produce only lackluster results, you might be ready to think outside the box and try something different.
This post will dive into five actionable tips that can help you leverage B2B influencer marketing for your business.
Does B2B Influencer Marketing Work?
Influencer marketing is a staple in the B2C space these days, but you may be wondering, can this method really work in B2B? The answer is… it depends.
B2B influencer marketing can be a great way to build brand awareness and establish credibility for your business. It can also be a colossal waste of time. Which of those two outcomes you get will depend on your planning, execution, and research.
Let’s take a step back and define influencer marketing. This marketing approach requires your business to partner with individuals who have a large and/or targeted following on social media. These individuals can then help your brand promote your products or services.
In the B2C world, influencers are often celebrities or social media personalities, while in B2B, influencers are typically industry experts, thought leaders, or analysts.
B2B influencer marketing differs from B2C in that it focuses more on establishing credibility and building relationships with industry professionals rather than reaching a mass audience. This approach is targeted and strategic, requiring careful consideration to select influencers who can reach the right target audience for your business.
When done right, B2B influencer marketing can lead to valuable partnerships and collaborations with industry leaders. Partnering with the right influencers can help you position your brand as a thought leader in the industry and build trust with potential customers. Now, let’s take a closer look at how you can use B2B influencer marketing to grow your business!
1. Identify the Right Influencers
The first (and arguably most important) step in your B2B influencer marketing journey is to identify the right influencers for your brand. Explore influencers who are active in your industry. Which of these influencers have followings that overlap with your target audience? Which have messaging that supports your brand’s vision, tone, and identity?
Related Read: Brand Identity Questionnaire: 20 Questions to Consider
Once you’ve identified these influencers, it’s time to start building a relationship with them. Engage with them on social media. Share their content to boost their platform and introduce them to your existing audience. Provide insights on their posts to give them value and show them you are a thought leader in their industry as well.
After you’ve done all of that, partnering with them will be a much easier ask.
You’ll want to ensure you’re following best practices for influencer marketing. Be transparent about every aspect of the relationship, including your needs and expectations. When you set things up for success from the beginning, you can give rise to a successful partnership that benefits your brand and the influencer.
2. Set Clear Goals
Setting clear goals is crucial for any marketing campaign, and influencer marketing efforts are no different. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, you’ll have a hard time identifying whether or not your efforts have paid off.
Do you want to generate more leads through these efforts, or just stir up some more brand awareness? Set specific KPIs and metrics to define success and ensure you have measurement processes in place to check on your progress toward those goals regularly.
Pro Tip: Don’t focus on vanity metrics such as Likes or Shares on social media for your key metrics. Instead, focus on metrics that will help grow your business, like website traffic or conversions.
3. Create and Promote Valuable Content
Another name for “influencers” is “content creators.” Like any other marketing campaign, the success of your B2B influencer marketing hinges on your ability to provide valuable content to your target audience.
Work closely with your influencers to craft messaging and posts that resonate with your audience. This content can take multiple forms, depending on the platform and your audience’s preferences. LinkedIn influencers may craft social posts or blog-like content, whereas YouTube influencers will be creating video content for your audience.
Related Read: 3 B2B Content Marketing Examples Worthy of Stealing
Once the content is live, ensure your brand cross-promotes the influencer’s posts on its own social channels. This cross-promotion can help posts reach a wider audience and drive more traffic to your website.
4. Measure and Analyze Results
Once your influencer puts the post up, your job is done, right?
I’m sure you know the answer already: Nope! Your job is only just beginning.
Measuring and analyzing your results is critical for any successful influencer marketing campaign. What worked well? What messaging didn’t land? Did the influencer’s audience respond to your offer, or did it fall flat?
The answers to these questions and more are vital in crafting future campaigns. You can also see if B2B influencer marketing is worth it for your brand or if perhaps you can find greener grass in another outreach method.
5. Craft a Long-Term Strategy
Lastly, remember: B2B influencer marketing isn’t a silver bullet to marketing success for any brand. For your marketing efforts to succeed, you need to have a long-term strategy designed to drive consistent, profitable growth for your brand.
Build lasting relationships with influencers and thought leaders, of course, but you should also look beyond influencer marketing and create a holistic marketing strategy. If you want to grow your brand, you need to think beyond awareness and acquisition and support potential customers all the way through your acquisition funnel — from the awareness stage to retention and beyond.
Our free resource, the Growth Playbook, can help you leverage all six levers of growth that help 10X your brand and ensure you get a great ROI from all your marketing efforts.
Beyond B2B Influencer Marketing: How To Grow Your Brand
Using these tips, you’ll be able to get the most out of your B2B influencer marketing efforts. Will these tips and influencer marketing make or break your business this year? Probably not.
If you want sustainable, profitable growth for your business, you need more than just influencer marketing — you need a holistic marketing approach that looks at the full funnel, bringing in the right audience, converting them into customers, and then delighting those customers and turning them into raving fans.
You’ll need a formula for success to create an engine that achieves all this and more. Check out our free resource, the Growth Playbook, for actionable tips and tactics that will help you get the most out of all six levers of growth for your business.
July 18, 2023