Influencer marketing for B2B
We have already talked about Influencer Marketing in this blog. Today we are going to deepen the branch of this discipline dedicated to B2B communication.
We know that Influencers are people who can catalyze a certain type of audience around their person thanks to specific topics, such as beauty, lifestyle, decoration and furnishing, hobbies, DIY, etc. And these common themes related to a brand are those that make possible a collaboration between influencers and companies.
How to choose the right influencer?
We have already explored much of this issue in our free eBook Nano Influencers, the future of marketing. In short, the brand approaches the community no longer from above – from company to consumer – but on an equal footing. The consumer is advised by someone he or she considers as his or her equal. In this way, the web user feels safer to buy, because the influencer’ word acts as a guarantee of quality.
But how does it work when the recipient of the brand is no longer the consumer, but another company?
First of all, we need to note that most brands rely on word of mouth to assess the value of another company. In terms of Influencer Marketing, if a social guru, with a trusted community afterward, gives credibility to a brand, I – company owner – will be inclined to consider that brand valid for my business operations. In short, it’s all about affinity and ‘good reputation’.
Now, here is some advice for you on how to implement a good Influencer Marketing strategy.
As you can imagine, it is not that easy to implement it in a B2B dynamic, not as it is in B2C. B2B products are much more complex and require a highly specialized audience. The company cannot send an industrial kneading machine to the influencer’s home and then see it promoted on Instagram. The dynamics are quite different.
1. First of all, we need to think in the long term.
It is necessary to build a collaboration that goes through several steps and lasts at least three months. You shouldn’t even expect results before six months. It’s a long process that requires a substantial investment and much patience. This is one of the very first differences from the B2C dynamic, where collaboration can last even just 30 days.
2. The number of followers does not necessarily determine the value of the influencer..
At least, not in B2B strategy: sometimes less public figures, but with established credibility, can be more effective in promoting the product to other companies. On the contrary, if the product is talked about by an expert on the subject – for example, a mountain veteran with proven integrity who promotes sports equipment – his word will be worth twice as much as a less specialized influencer.
3. Communication no longer starts immediately with the product..
To have a productive strategy, you must first educate yourself about the company’s history and values. And then, slowly, to get to the product you want to promote. Thus, thanks to the concepts previously absorbed, the target brands will have the perception it already know the merits and qualities of the product. And to be able to trust them.
4. The interest of the influencer is primary.
When choosing an influencer, it is important to first look at those who already follow our brand or may be interested in our product.
5. Never undervalue the importance of a fulfilled customer.
The customer himself can be a relevant influencer. His reviews, on your website or social media, can help as an echo for future purchases by other customers.
It is a long and complex path, which must be studied in all its parts. But if you do it properly, it will bring long-term benefits to the company. Because even if the collaboration with a particular influencer may break down – it is prudent not to do it before a year – other companies in the sector will not easily forget who promoted the features of a certain service or product, and then neither the concerning service or product.