When it comes to influencer marketing, most people think this strategy applies to B2C brands only. Influencer marketing is far more important for B2B than for B2C brands.
After all, the average buy size in B2B is typically smaller than in B2C, and the impact of referrals and word of mouth is critical to the success of the B2B community.
B2B influencers are just as effective, if not more, than B2C influencers. The type of content they provide is professionally credible as their audience is made up of professionals who follow the tools and techniques that they promote as thought leaders in their industry.
Perhaps you have a campaign that you want to promote or a product that you want to bring to market. Use a B2B influencer to jump-start your marketing. Today I’m going to show you five professional tips on using B2B influencers to increase sales and booking.
1. Use influencers for affiliate programs
If your company has an affiliate program, invite B2B influencers to join that program and promote it. If you have influencers on your affiliate program, they can do the heavy lifting for you.
We know there are tons of affiliate programs out there. However, so many people are concerned about participating in affiliate programs because they may not earn enough, have too many provisions to earn, or may not be legal or creditworthy.
B2B influencers have years of credibility that will instantly help you convince your target audience that your affiliate program is credible, profitable, and accountable.
For example, YouTube influencers like Aurelius Tjin are part of Canva’s affiliate program. By certifying certified creatives in the B2B industry to show them how to effectively use Canva to grow their business and share the benefits of their partner group, the reach of Canva’s partner program expands.
2. Use B2B influencers to promote your product launches
This tip is a no-brainer, but giving influencers exclusive access to your newly launched product will increase sales and product awareness.
Around 63% of respondents said they trust influencers more than what a brand says about themselves. Using a B2B influencer will help your target audience trust the features and uses of your new product far more than you can even advertise or say yourself.
Around 82% of U.S. consumers believe influencers should disclose their history of personal use of a product or service.
When you launch a new product, use influencers to post teasers when they get VIP access to your tool. Or, you can use influencers to share your product launch’s social media post and encourage others to do the same.
? Since it’s Friday I want to tell you a story that has nothing to do with COVID or lockdowns or anything. A story of human ingenuity that confuses the mind. It starts with the latest product launch from @ apple this week https://t.co/fBDE7MaWuy pic.twitter.com/0d717HXCU4
– Ed Conway (@EdConwaySky) September 18, 2020
3. Use B2B influencers to host a webinar
73% of B2B marketers say a webinar is the best way to generate high quality leads.
Add this to the promising ROI that influencer marketing offers and you are sure to see a surge in registrations and attendees. For example, check out VaynerMedia, which is partnering with B2B influencer Brad Anderson to promote the #MarketingForTheNow summit.
4. Use B2B influencers for social media acquisitions
A social media takeover is when brand partners with a person take over their social media for a specific time or day. You share live updates via video or picture. Instagram and Twitter takeovers are the most popular among brands, but Instagram is especially popular.
Social B found that B2B companies are also realizing the value of working with influential experts on Instagram.
When it comes to B2B influencer marketing stats, it’s probably no surprise that 93% of all influencer marketing happens on Instagram. Hootsuite is running an IGTv acquisition series called “Ask the Expert,” inviting influencers to answer questions that Hootsuite followers have questions about
5. Use B2B influencers to brainstorm and create content for you
Don’t limit your interactions with an influencer to just selling one product. They offer far more insight than you are used to seeing from the security of your desk.
Your influencer can take a look at what’s missing from your content marketing resources and connect you with other influencers or train staff if you need help executing this plan.
They can even provide you with the content that you might not have known your audience always needed. Inc regularly works with influencers to get content ideas and how to implement them so that their marketing stays up to date, educational, and fun.
PS: You don’t have to focus on your B2B influencer. Sometimes you can partner with B2B influencers to create new and exciting content that your audience will love.
5 quick tips for working with a B2B influencer
Now that we have an idea of the type of content your B2B influencer can provide to add credibility and exposure to your product, here are some helpful tips to consider before choosing your influencer
1. Start with B2B influencer outreach
B2B influencer strategies for good networking and partnerships. Finding the right influencer can be difficult. Media Mix found that 61% of marketers think it is difficult to find the right influencers to run a campaign.
So make sure the influencer you are investigating has:
- Shares your brand values and mission
- Connects well with your current target audience
- Has a story that has a strong impact on her followers
- Has a professional demeanor and work ethic
Once you’ve found the influencer that fits the bill, it’s time to get in touch. Since you’re dealing with someone who works in the B2B industry, they won’t expect a branding message to see them as a fan in their busy DM.
Instead, find the website or official email address so they can email your offer out to show your influencer that you mean business. Here is a detailed guide on how to write the perfect influencer outreach email template
2. Set clear goals and objections
If you don’t set clear expectations when communicating with your B2B influencer, leave room for misunderstandings, mistakes, and undesirable results. To clearly state what your goals and objectives are for this partnership and your project.
Try to be as specific as possible. Just saying that you want to increase sales is a bit vague. Instead, add a number or percentage that you want to see, be it in followers, views, sales, or an open email rate.
3. What type of content is being created or advertised?
Don’t assume that your B2B influencer knows what type of content to produce. So, create content guidelines in advance so that your influencer can do their best job.
For example, if you need a video from your B2B influencer, let them know exactly what you want (not) to include in your video, including branding and what products you want to promote. You want your partnership to be as seamless as possible without any issues.
4. Create an oral or legal contract
Over the years, both influencers and brands have had to take legal action to protect themselves from both parties when there is fraud and unfulfilled obligations.
It is important that you protect your data and intellectual rights before proceeding with your influencer partnership. Simply sending an email may not be enough to protect you from legal repercussions that could result from using the wrong influencer or if your influencer decides not to pursue your project any further.
Based on your project or needs, you can decide what type of contracts to present to your influencer before starting work. One of the most common contracts is an NDA contract.
The NDAs create a secure space for the exchange of this information by preventing the recipient of this information from using it to the detriment of the disclosing party, by imposing restrictions on the use of this information or not.
NDAs are also used in the pre-outreach phase of the partnership agreement to prevent the influencer from disclosing potential unauthorized leaks to the public (and possibly competitors).
Read Convince and Convert’s Guide to 9 Best Practices for Influencer Marketing Agreements.
5. Maintain your B2B influencer partnership
After the project is complete, you need to thank and contact your B2B influencer. Influencers are bombarded with brands every day. Once you have completed a project or a sale with them, it is important that you keep the relationship going for the future.
It’s a good idea to create a project that your influencer can be invited to on a quarterly basis. Waiting to reach out to your influencer for a longer or longer period of time may encourage them to work with another brand or competitor.
Remember that when working with influencers, the quality of the content or results is far more important than the followers of the influencer on their profile. Over time, as you start working with more and more B2B influencers, you can achieve better results by cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Use influencers for affiliate programs
- Use B2B influencers to promote your product launches
- Use B2B influencers to host a webinar
- Use B2B influencers for social media acquisitions
- Use B2B influencers to brainstorm and create content for you
For more help on mastering influencer marketing, check out these top guides: