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Influencer marketing has been around long enough to generate great case studies—and skepticism. That’s especially true for B2B marketers. An Instagram model gushing over a new fashion product seems infinitely remote from strategies they might deploy.
Still, about 65% of brands planned to increase their investment in influencer marketing in 2018, which puts the strategy on track to top $10 billion by 2020. Yet, according to another study, only 11% of B2B companies have ongoing influencer marketing programs, compared to 48% of B2C brands.
B2B brands shouldn’t feel left out, even if they lag behind. Professional communities on social media are strong. We’ve all given and received one-off recommendations in Slack groups or via email. Those under-the-radar endorsements can influence purchasing decisions for cloud-based CRMs as much as cleansing teas.
But too many case studies tout the strategies of SAP, Salesforce, and other behemoths who have resources and networks that dwarf most companies. This post offers four B2B influencer marketing strategies that move the needle in any industry and for companies of all sizes.
1. Partner with industry experts to co-create content.
- What this strategy achieves: Adds instant credibility to your content and provides a natural distribution network.
Like every good influencer strategy, this one is a win-win. Ross Simmonds, Digital Strategist at Foundation, explains why:
When you collaborate with an expert in your field [. . .] the expert/influencer has a chance to connect with a new audience and you have the opportunity to bring new value/perspective to your existing audience.
This strategy is also flexible: You can select the right type of content based on your resources.
Here are several ways to co-create content with B2B influencers:
Even if you don’t have a roster of influencer-users, reach out for a quote about your product or brand. Co-created “content” can be as simple as a few lines to add social proof to your offer.
A pop-up on the cognitiveSEO blog has a quote from Bill Sebald:
Start with influencers who are already connected to your brand; the chances of getting a reply are much higher. Who follows your brand account on Twitter? Who shared your content in the past?
If manually culling a list is too much effort, use a tool like Followerwonk. With just a few clicks, you can identify the most influential users among your followers.
Similarly, Buzzsumo allows you to see who on Twitter shared your content:
Involving experts in case studies can help win more likes and shares—promoting the content is in influencers’ self-interest because they get to share their success stories.
You can catalyze that sharing, something Ann Smarty of Viral Content Bee does regularly:
Any time I feature influencers in my content, I tag them on Twitter, not just in my own tweets but also in updates from everyone else. This …read more
Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider