7 Reasons Why B2B Influencer Marketing is Essential for Your Business
Influencer marketing is not just for B2C brands. B2B companies can also benefit from working with influencers who have the trust and authority of their target audience. In fact, according to a report by TopRank Marketing, 77% of B2B marketers say they have used influencer marketing in the past year, and 96% of them consider it to be an effective strategy.
But what is B2B influencer marketing, and how can you use it to grow your business? In this article, we will answer these questions and show you seven reasons why B2B influencer marketing is essential for your success.
What is B2B Influencer Marketing?
B2B influencer marketing is the process of collaborating with influential people in your industry or niche to promote your products or services to their followers. Unlike B2C influencers, who often have large and diverse audiences, B2B influencers tend to have smaller but more focused and engaged followers who are interested in their specific topic or expertise.
B2B influencers can be industry experts, thought leaders, analysts, consultants, journalists, bloggers, podcasters, speakers, or even your own customers or employees. They can help you create and distribute valuable content, generate leads, increase brand awareness, build trust and credibility, and drive sales.
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How to Use B2B Influencer Marketing for Your Business
To use B2B influencer marketing effectively, you need to follow these steps:
- Define your goals and metrics. What do you want to achieve with influencer marketing? How will you measure your success? Some common goals are increasing website traffic, generating leads, boosting social media engagement, improving SEO ranking, or driving sales.
- Identify and research your influencers. Who are the people that your target audience listens to and trusts? What platforms do they use? What topics do they cover? How do they communicate with their followers? You can use tools like BuzzSumo, Traackr, or Upfluence to find and analyze potential influencers in your niche.
- Reach out and build relationships. Once you have a list of influencers that match your criteria, you need to contact them and pitch your collaboration idea. Be respectful, personalized, and transparent. Explain why you think they are a good fit for your brand and what value you can offer them in return. Don’t expect them to work for free or promote your products without disclosing the partnership.
- Co-create and distribute content. Work with your influencers to create engaging and relevant content for their audience. This can be a blog post, a video, a podcast episode, a webinar, a case study, a testimonial, or any other format that suits your goals and platforms. Make sure the content is informative, authentic, and aligned with your brand message and values. Also, help your influencers distribute the content to their followers and amplify it on your own channels.
- Track and measure your results. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics, HubSpot, or Sprout Social to monitor and evaluate the performance of your influencer marketing campaigns. Track metrics like impressions, clicks, shares, comments, leads, conversions, or revenue. Compare them with your initial goals and see what worked well and what can be improved.
7 Reasons Why B2B Influencer Marketing is Essential for Your Business
Now that you know what B2B influencer marketing is and how to use it, let’s look at some of the benefits it can bring to your business.
Increase Brand Awareness
One of the main advantages of B2B influencer marketing is that it can help you reach new and relevant audiences that might not be aware of your brand or products. By partnering with influencers who have a loyal and engaged following in your industry or niche, you can expose your brand to potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer. This can increase your brand awareness and recognition among your target market.
Build Trust and Credibility
Another benefit of B2B influencer marketing is that it can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. People tend to trust recommendations from people they know and respect more than ads or other forms of marketing. According to a study by Edelman, 92% of B2B buyers trust word-of-mouth recommendations from their peers more than any other source of information. By collaborating with influencers who are experts and authorities in their field, you can leverage their reputation and influence to establish yourself as a trustworthy and credible brand in your industry.
Generate High-Quality Leads
B2B influencer marketing can also help you generate high-quality leads for your business. Unlike B2C consumers who often make impulse purchases based on emotions or trends, B2B buyers are more rational and research-oriented. They need more information and proof before making a purchase decision. By working with influencers who can provide valuable content and insights to their audience, you can educate and nurture your prospects and guide them through the buyer’s journey. You can also use influencers to generate leads by offering incentives like free trials, discounts, or exclusive access to your products or services.
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Improve SEO Ranking
B2B influencer marketing can also have a positive impact on your SEO ranking. SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher on search engines like Google or Bing. One of the factors that affect your SEO ranking is the number and quality of backlinks you have. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. They signal to search engines that your website is relevant and authoritative for a certain topic or keyword. By collaborating with influencers who have high-domain-authority websites or blogs, you can generate more backlinks to your website and improve your SEO ranking.
Drive Sales and Revenue
The ultimate goal of B2B influencer marketing is to drive sales and revenue for your business. By increasing your brand awareness, building trust and credibility, generating leads, and improving SEO ranking, you can ultimately influence your audience’s purchase decisions and convert them into customers. According to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub, the average return on investment (ROI) for influencer marketing is $5.78 for every $1 spent. This means that for every dollar you invest in influencer marketing, you can expect to get almost six dollars back in revenue.
Enhance Customer Loyalty and Retention
B2B influencer marketing can also help you enhance customer loyalty and retention. Customer loyalty is the degree to which customers are satisfied with your brand and products and are willing to repeat purchases and recommend you to others. Customer retention is the ability to keep your existing customers and prevent them from switching to competitors. By working with influencers who can provide ongoing support and value to your customers, you can increase their satisfaction and loyalty. You can also use influencers to upsell or cross-sell your products or services to your customers and increase their lifetime value.
Gain Competitive Advantage
Finally, B2B influencer marketing can help you gain a competitive advantage in your industry or niche. Influencer marketing is still a relatively new and underutilized strategy in the B2B space, compared to the B2C space. This means that there are still many opportunities and untapped potential for B2B brands to leverage influencers to grow their business. By being one of the first movers in your industry or niche, you can gain an edge over your competitors and establish yourself as a leader and innovator in your field.
B2B Influencer Marketing: A Growing Trend for 2023
Influencer marketing is not just for B2C brands anymore. More and more B2B marketers are realizing the benefits of partnering with influencers who have authority, credibility and reach in their niche. Influencer marketing can help B2B brands improve customer experience, generate leads, increase brand awareness and drive sales. Here are some statistics that show the current state and future potential of B2B influencer marketing.
The Benefits of B2B Influencer Marketing
According to a report by TopRank Marketing, 74% of B2B marketers agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand . Influencers can provide valuable and trusted perspectives to buyers who are looking for information and solutions online. By co-creating content with influencers, B2B brands can also leverage their expertise, network and audience to reach new markets and segments.
Another report by TrueList shows that 89% of marketers say that ROI from influencer marketing is comparable or better than other marketing channels . Influencer marketing can help B2B brands generate high-quality leads, increase conversions and boost sales. For example, SAP partnered with influencers to create a video series called “SAP Tech Unknown” that showcased how SAP solutions can solve real-world business challenges. The campaign resulted in over 21 million impressions, 186,000 video views and 11,500 landing page visits .
The Future of B2B Influencer Marketing
B2B influencer marketing is not a fad, but a long-term strategy that requires planning, investment and measurement. According to a survey by Top Rank, 78% of B2B marketers say that influencer marketing is effective, even with small campaigns . However, only 19% of them have an ongoing influencer marketing program, while 60% run periodic campaigns . This shows that there is still room for improvement and growth in the B2B influencer marketing space.
One of the key challenges that B2B marketers face is finding and managing the right influencers for their brand. According to the same survey, 39% of marketers say that their top challenge with influencer marketing is the process is too manual . To overcome this, B2B marketers need to use technology and tools that can help them identify, engage and measure influencers effectively. They also need to build long-term relationships with influencers based on mutual value and trust.
Another challenge that B2B marketers face is measuring the impact and ROI of influencer marketing. According to the survey, only 12% of marketers are very successful at tracking the ROI of their influencer marketing programs . To address this, B2B marketers need to set clear goals and KPIs for their influencer marketing campaigns, and use analytics and attribution tools to track the performance and outcomes of their influencer activities.
B2B influencer marketing is a powerful way to connect with buyers who are increasingly relying on digital channels for information and decision-making. By working with influencers who can provide relevant, authentic and engaging content to their audience, B2B brands can enhance their reputation, reach and results. However, B2B influencer marketing also requires a strategic approach, a dedicated budget and a reliable measurement system to ensure its success.
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