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The influencer marketing machine that now has a role to play in B2B

Love Island: love it or hate it, its impact on our screens, both television and mobile are undeniable. It’s a B2C influencer machine and social media wouldn’t be the same without it. With the influencer strategy working so well, are there lessons to be learnt for the B2B world? When looking at B2B vs B2C influencer marketing, there are some considerable differences to learn. Georgia Harris, Influencer Engagement Specialist, IBA International, takes a deeper look into the rise of B2B influencer marketing, magnifying how its effectiveness can take your PR and marketing campaigns to the next level.

Love Island returned to our screens after the pandemic gave it a one-year hiatus. With all the confessions, shock-recoupling’s and the infamous Casa Amor, most contestants are now more interested in their future influencer career than finding love. The B2C influencer club is seemingly over-flowing and now starting to trickle into the B2B industry.

With everyone locked up with nothing to do due to the pandemic, active social media users soared to 3.6 billion worldwide. From this B2C influence sky-rocketed, but what about the B2B sectors? Well, the B2B industry works a little differently. Let me clarify.

The process of B2B influencer is notably longer than that of B2C – the process can take as long as months or even years, with the prospect pool much smaller. Having a credible source, word of mouth and trusted opinions is what gives B2B influencing its values. B2B influencing is paid through reputation and trust in a service or product and thought leadership is a sure way to achieve this.

Let the numbers do the talking!

You can’t ignore the figures when it comes to B2B marketing – 74% of marketers agree implementing a B2B influencer marketing strategy will increase business prospects and customer experience. A further 63% agree it enhances marketing results. Overall, 96% of B2B marketers who said they implemented the strategy, said they felt it benefited them in their other marketing efforts.

Look here at the four key benefits of implementing a B2B influencer campaign into your marketing strategy to set you above the rest:

1. Think thought leadership to get things started: B2B influencing is partly built on the credibility of well-respected industry experts, to increase sales and company reputation. Having an influencer position thought leadership also cultivates trust within your audience. Positioning thought-leadership from your influencer, is an important way to answer any issues and questions your target audience may have for you.

2. Brand influencing benefits working both ways: Brand influencing is a win-win for all involved – not only is it cost-effective, but it also helps build a relationship between the brand and influencer. To foster this relationship, offering exclusive events and pre-launch products to the influencer could help to set these foundations without breaking the bank. But more B2C vs B2B contrast here, instead of skincare products or the latest fashion items, these B2B influencers will be highlighting the benefits of a new industry software solution or functionality.

3. Internal and external strategy can bring together a world of opportunity: But when it comes to selecting an influencer, using what you have can sometimes be the best option rather than sourcing an external influencer. Employees not only understand your brand and product but also the company’s ethos. That doesn’t mean discounting a third-party voice, external contractors also allow for exciting insight which may not have been thought of without their involvement – so why not have both. Combining existing knowledge with outsider knowledge offers a well-rounded, more holistic approach to influencer campaigning.

4. Let social media become your strategic influencer platform: B2B influencer marketing can also benefit from social media the same way as B2C. But mainly using specific business platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter rather than Instagram or TikTok. Having respected voices and titles on social platforms and interactive events such as webinars and roundtables can provide a springboard for a B2B organization to catapult its influencer campaign.

Implement the strategy, and let the results follow!

B2B influencing isn’t just a quick overnight success – it can take a few months to generate the traction needed which could mean six months or more, research suggests. The long-term benefits however are worth it, with stats showing 93% of B2B buyers saying they are influenced by social media when it comes to their buying decisions. A further 83% say they even actively look on social media before they purchase to gather more information before making the final decision.

Having a B2B influencer marketing strategy by partnering with credible influencers will reflect in marketing results. Having an influencer who has the same values, services, products and who wants to achieve the same things in your industry or technology area, is what will set your next marketing campaign head and shoulders above the rest.

The long-established strategic market communications consultancy division of Special Interest Publications Limited was originally founded in 1966 as a pioneering publisher of leading technology and management publications. IBA’s experienced writing and engagement team offers clients a complete strategic consultancy for all aspects of international public relations. Working from a unique central delivery hub with its own global database of 180,000 media and influencers, IBA has developed a unique capability to conduct highly effective communications campaigns at a fraction of the cost of traditional 'bricks and mortar' PR organisations. IBA clients range from leading communications and network organisations, global enterprise software vendors to advanced fintech and agritech organisations.

The influencer marketing machine that now has a role to play in B2B Reviewed by Mili Ponce on Friday, November 26, 2021 Rating: 5
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