Is Influencer Marketing Effective for B2B Companies?
Over the past decade, influencer marketing (IM) has been gaining momentum for both B2C and B2B companies. However, many B2B leaders shy away from using this tactic, mistakenly believing that it’s only effective for B2C brands.
91 percent of B2B buyers are influenced by WOMM (Word-of-Mouth Marketing)
With the right approach, IM can become an integral part of a B2B marketing strategy, helping you attract high-paying clients and secure their loyalty. While finding the right influencer can be a challenge, the results of the tactic can have a tremendous ROI.
Let’s take a closer look at why IM should be implemented into your B2B marketing strategy.
B2B Vs. B2C Influencer Marketing?
The key reason why many B2B marketers ignore IM is that they don’t analyze the differences between B2C and B2B influencer marketing. The main differences include:
- Goals — B2C IM is usually aimed to achieve numerous goals (lead generation, brand awareness, large-scale reach) while B2B IM is tailored to deliver a specific message to a fairly small target audience.
- Influencers — B2C influencers are usually consumers that customers can relate to while B2B influencers are journalists, entrepreneurs, experts, and analysts.
- Approach — B2C IM is transactional, which means you pay a person money to promote your brand based on the number of people they can reach. Meanwhile, B2B IM is relationship-based, which means you need to build a close relationship with the influencer to help them understand the benefits of your brand well enough to endorse it.
While eventually achieving similar goals, B2B IM is more complex than B2C IM. B2B clients don’t click Instagram posts to buy products or make impulse purchases. They need access to high-quality content from a reliable expert to help them make a decision.
Since B2B decision-makers aren’t swayed by such things as a large social media following, an influencer needs to build significant credibility for their endorsement to be effective.
Targeting these individuals can be complicated. However, once you secure their trust, B2B IM demonstrates a high ROI. In some cases, influencers don’t even charge B2B companies for recommendations. Reach.Dog’s platform is designed to help both B2B and B2C companies find their perfect IM match.
Why Don’t All B2B Companies Use IM?
IM delivers 11x higher ROI than other forms of marketing. So why do B2B companies avoid it? Besides viewing IM as a B2C tactic, many B2B marketers don’t take full advantage of it for the following reasons:
- B2B marketers have trouble understanding who the right influencers are.
- B2B marketers don’t understand how to engage influencers.
Another challenge B2B marketers face is maintaining ongoing relationships with influencers. B2B marketers often lack time and resources to maintain such a partnership. Only about 11 percent of B2B brands manage to do it.
Unfortunately, working with B2B influencers on a one-time basis is rarely effective. If you want to reap the benefits, it’s imperative to nurture an ongoing partnership.
As soon as you can figure out the right approach to the IM campaign, it’s easy to start enjoying the benefits and stealing market share. At Reach.Dog, we can help you find the best influencer candidates to establish strong and effective partnerships.
B2B IM comes with numerous advantages. Some of them include:
A Human Element
While the latest ABM (Account-Based Marketing) tactics involve significant personalization, B2B campaigns still lack a certain human element. More and more companies start to realize that a personal approach to decision-makers can benefit their campaign much better than traditional B2B marketing tactics.
Working with influencers allows you to add a human element to an otherwise formal marketing strategy. Influencers humanize the brand, helping decision-makers see the personality behind the logo.
Influencers help you gain access to companies you’ve never been able to reach before. They don’t just endorse your brand to potential clients. Influencers initiate the chain of word-of-mouth marketing.
Eventually, you’ll have a bigger number of prospects to aim the rest of your marketing campaign at. These leads already trust your brand, thanks to the credibility of the influencer, so you can easily secure their loyalty down the road.
“Working with B2B influencers allows our brand to have a constant pulse check with purchase decision-makers,” Dr. Konstanze Alex, Head of Corporate Influencer Relations at Dell.
Working with the influencer creates impressive opportunities for analysis. While they are endorsing your brand, you can monitor the needs and pain points of your potential clients. By studying the audience the influencer works with, you can create the foundation for your entire marketing strategy.
Gaining access to the influencer’s audience allows you to find a new perspective on your potential clients and personalize your approach to decision-makers.
Content marketing in the B2B sector can be complicated. Reaching decision-makers with content is much harder than reaching consumers. Influencers can help you with your content projects since they know exactly what their audience expects to see or read.
When an influencer is genuinely interested in your brand, they provide assistance with content creation and distribution. This collaborative content effort benefits both the influencer and your company.
Additionally, content created and distributed by credible influencers is likely to appear on top of the search results, streamlining your SEO efforts. Reach.Dog works with influencers who collaborate with brands to create top-notch content for their target audience.
Influencers are aware of the market trends in their niche. By collaborating with them, you can gain valuable market insights to adjust your marketing strategy or even your offer. They can provide data for analytics and keep you up-to-date with market changes.
A B2B influencer is a highly beneficial partner to obtain for your sales and marketing strategy. Once you build a genuine relationship, you can discover an impressive variety of benefits.
To stay competitive, B2B brands can no longer ignore the importance of influencer marketing. While it may be challenging to find the right influencer and maintain an ongoing relationship, the ROI of such an effort is tremendous.
With personalization at the helm of 21st-century B2B marketing, humanizing your effort and gaining direct access to decision-makers is a must-have. By implementing B2B IM into your marketing strategy, you are gaining a competitive edge and boosting your company’s profitability.
Do you need help designing an effective B2B influencer marketing campaign? Reach.Dog is here to help. Reach.Dog is a free influencer marketing platform, developed by James Cashiola. Learn more about influencer marketing by visiting our blog page today!
By James Cashiola