Partnering with influencers can serve as an important strategy for getting any brand noticed. According to a recent survey by Collective Bias, 70% of millennial consumers are now most influenced by the recommendations of their peers when making buying decisions. The same survey also found that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.
So, if influencers are disrupting traditional consumer PR and marketing strategies in such a big way, shouldn’t we also be incorporating them into B2B campaigns targeting the C-suite?
In short: yes, B2B campaigns should be utilising influencers.
The difference with B2B
B2B sales journeys tend to occur over a much longer time than in the consumer sphere. It usually involves many people in the process. There are many opportunities for PR teams willing to utilise influencers effectively. From identifying the aim of the campaign, to research, and then finally implementation, trusted third-party sources of information that are influential can shorten the sales cycle. This will lead to an increase in leads and revenue.
By developing relationships with industry influencers, as well as internal subject matter experts, influential community members and clients, B2B companies can tap into resources that provide numerous benefits, especially when it comes to collaborations on content and events.
Why invest in influencers?
Collaborating with the right influencers can help to build long-term relationships and increase advertising ROI. Businesses can lower acquisition costs and, instead, gain more authentic engagement. This will boost credibility and save on time and resources. Influencers add an authentic “non-marketing” voice to content. This comes across as more trusted to other businesses – much like receiving a restaurant recommendation from a friend.
A benefit of using influencers is the increase in subject matter expertise – another string added to the brand’s bow. Use this to develop new interesting content while also giving you the opportunity to pitch your content to trade publications in different verticals. It improves the likelihood of your content being of interest to other businesses, and not just consumers or those with only a top-level industry knowledge. Similarly, a limited marketing staff is only able to create so much content on its own, and by allowing influencers to write that content on behalf of your company gives you extra exposure that an over-stretched marketing department might be unable to ease.
The greatest advantage to using influencers in a B2B campaign is that they increase the reach of your brand’s content to other influencers within their network. It can also reach communities of influencers at events or via LinkedIn groups. This can prove invaluable when creating relationships with other businesses that will use your brand.
When it comes to creating B2B influencer campaigns, be picky with who you’re giving your brand to. Collaborate with someone who represents your business and has a following with your desired community. Give them creative freedom while still being clear about what your brand needs from them. This will lead to authentic endorsements and content from your influencer to reuse.
After that, it depends how creative you want to be and how much you’re willing to invest in your influencer.