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How Business Brands Can Excel At Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing continues to prove itself to be successful time and time again for many different brands. From fashion to travel, tech to pets, influencer marketing has provided consumer facing brands with a pathway to authentically interact with a highly targeted and engaged audience. But, can this same strategy be used for those that aren’t consumer facing? For the brands that don’t have elaborate public marketing campaigns? Yes, indeed it can. By keeping one thing in mind.
That the types of influencers used for a B2B campaign may be slightly different than those of a B2C campaign. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores which influencers to use for a B2B influencer campaign and how to leverage those relationships.
Who Are We Looking To Target
To start, let’s break it down to marketing’s core level -- any marketing campaign ultimately goes after a brand’s decision makers, or purchasers. For consumer facing brands, the general public encompasses the subgroups that make up a brand’s purchasers. Marketing to these groups of people can be straightforward and fun for a brand, hence the amazingly creative marketing campaigns that we see brands launch each and everyday.
Now, on the other hand, B2B purchasers are a little harder to know and a little less sexy to reach. B2B campaigns don’t always encompass the level of creativity and artistry that B2C campaigns have. So with that said, in a world where influencer marketing seems to be only incredibly beautiful photo and video content, how is it possible to make this work in the less sexy world of B2B> Especially in the more complex industries like manufacturing, law or banking. Well, the key to B2B influencer marketing is shifting your focus from influencers that have glitzy online personas to those that have business influence in your respective industry.
Who Are The Right Influencers
Like B2C influencer marketing, finding the right influencers for the campaign at hand is one of the most important aspects of a successful B2B marketing strategy. The only difference with B2B influencers from B2C influencers is that B2B influencers typically aren't the influencers that everyone knows.
B2B influencers are a bit more shielded, or hidden, yet still carry much of the same influence, if not more influence, than your everyday social media stars. Remember, all an influencer is is someone that has the ability to influence a brand’s decision makers. So, when deciding who to choose as an influencer for your B2B campaign, think about those that have the most influence with your industry’s respective decision makers.
In the B2B world, some of these influencers may be attorneys, accountants, consultants, key vendors, the media, etc. Even journalists. At first thought, we may not consider these to be influencers because they’re not creating beautiful viral content like we’re so used to seeing from a traditional influencer, but, when it comes to their respective industries, never doubt their ability to influence the major decision makers.
How To Leverage These Relationships
This is where a brand marketer needs to be methodical in his or her approach. Gaining and maintaining these key relationships is no easy feat but when done tastefully, brands can surely reap the great benefits that come from these long term relationships.
One way to go about leveraging these relationships is by collaborating on a project that’ll make both parties look good. For example, a company that manufactures energy efficient systems for corporate offices might partner with a well respected energy consultant to put out an energy saving plan that tries to effectively target major corporate clients. In doing this, corporate clients will see that the manufacturing company worked together with this highly respected consultant and in turn, may reach out to the manufacturing company to have them come in and present different options on how they can make their energy consumption more efficient.
Of course, this is just one example but like traditional influencer marketing, the creative opportunities that a B2B company has in influencer marketing are endless.
In the world of influencer marketing, patience and diligence always wins; this is no different for B2B influencer marketing. As a brand marketer, take the time to really figure out who the influencers are in your respective industry, then figure out how to reach those influencers in a way that ultimately helps you reach your major decision makers.
If you are unsure of how to do this, we are more than happy to help your team figure out who the influencers are in your industry and how you can best go about leveraging those relationships. Remember, B2B influencer marketing may seem less sexy than B2C, but there is absolutely still a need for influencers in the B2B world, and whoever amongst your competition figures out how to best leverage those relationships will surely end up winning in the long run.
To learn more about influencer marketing, check out these six blogs we've written that dive more deeply into how you can successfully create an influencer marketing campaign:
Hollywood Branded's Influencer Marketing & Brand Partnerships report is an in-depth report for brands and their agencies. This report is chock full of statistics, graphs, analytics, insights and over 300 bite sized direct influencer suggestions for brands to make campaigns run better. Get it now!!
AJ graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in entrepreneurship. Following his four year stint in college, AJ went on to launch his own marketing agency whose focus was to help brands better engage with multicultural consumers. It was during this time that AJ’s love for marketing and working with brands really began to blossom. Although quite elusive, this lovely bearded man can be spotted in any country in the world at any point in time, having already visited over 25 countries by the ripe age of 22. When not jet setting to the next location, AJ can be found eating weird foods (most recently a scorpion in Thailand), watching Chelsea FC win the English Premier League or sitting down with a bucket of kale watching an overly cheesy romance film.