Home » Content marketing » The Reasons Why Influencers Are So Important In B2B Marketing
28 Mar 2017 / by Marine / in Community Management, Content marketing, Social media
The Reasons Why Influencers Are So Important In B2B Marketing
Businesses are usually careful when it comes to purchasing a service or product from a B2B company. To seem especially credible, it is important to have a strong online presence by appearing prominently on search engines and remaining active on social media. Influencers can be a very useful aid when it comes to gaining this online pedigree.
1. Identify Target and Influencers
First of all, it is really important to understand who your potential buyers are and what they want to see on their newsfeed. Secondly, you’ll want to identify the influencers best suited to your target market. Don’t simply focus on the most famous ones, as they are of course the most in demand. Some specialist websites, such as BuzzSumo or GroupHigh, are really useful to find out who is currently being followed in your industry. Such sites summarise data like total numbers of shares, reach, followers and other variables, which be useful for deciding who’s important to you and who isn’t. You can also take a look at your followers and connections on Twitter and LinkedIn to see who they tend to follow and seek out those who use relevant hashtags (on Twitter) in order to analyse their clout and influence.
There are different ways to encourage influencers to collaborate with you. You can pay them, share lead acquisition data with them or even give their followers the chance to buy your products or services at a reduced rate.
2. Helping You Gain Credibility
If you choose influencers with a good reputation that subsequently send out positive messaging regarding your brand, your services and/or your products it will automatically enhance your brand image, your credibility and further engage your audience.
In marketing, word-of-mouth is really important and, as the name would suggest, a lot of people listen to influencers. Before reaching out to them, you need to ensure that you will deliver the best possible quality. If an influencer gives your product or service a subpar review, this can greatly discredit your brand vis-a-vis a potential audience.
3. Raising Your Brand’s Profile
Influencers’ greatest asset is that they know a lot about the topic they cover. People generally follow them for their expertise on a particular subject. In this way, influencers have already created their own wide network of followers and a niche audience that place their trust in them. There are often companies out there who are purchasing from your competitors, but who are not entirely satisfied. That being said, changing service provider can often seem more hassle than it’s worth. However, if professionals see that the person they are used to taking advice from promotes a new brand or a product they may be interested in, it could bear a strong influence on their purchasing decision. This is where pairing yourself with an influencer can really bear fruit.
4. Rules of Engagement
From the very get-go, you have to determine your objectives and the frequency of your posts so as not to overwhelm your followers and disengage them. With influencers, you can discuss strategies to determine which frequency is the most suited to their audience. Once you’ve created this strategy, the influencer can start covering your brand.
The role of the influencer is important in terms of audience engagement because their followers know them particularly well and they are not shy about interacting with them. They can ask their advice candidly and are likely to listen to their recommendations. Today, with the help of social media, it is possible to create a dialogue and even a lasting relationship through these means.
5. Creating Content
The fundamental rule in content creation is knowing the topic you’re covering. When it comes to sponsored content, it is important to exchange with the influencers you’ve joined forces with and inform them to what they home in on when it comes to reviewing your product or service. Obviously, you need to tread lightly here. Their followers trust them, so they’re committed to giving as objective a viewpoint as possible so as not to jeopardise this relationship. Don’t tell them what to say. Don’t give them a ready-made review to regurgitate, as this is at odds with their role. They would run the risk of sounding unnatural to their audience, and this is likely not a risk they’d be willing to take.
If influencers lose their identity while working for brands, their audience will likely stop following them because they will no longer have this impression of reviews being objective. They’ll feel they’ve just signed up for advertising. Honesty is one of the pillars of the relationship between influencers and their audience, so they have to retain at least this impression of objectivity. If you ask influencers to recite a pre-written discourse, they will most likely refuse your proposition to collaborate, as they won’t wish to alienate their audience. They too will prove discerning when it comes to such partnerships, so this needs to be kept in mind when it comes to alliances with influencers.
6. Public Relations
Maintaining relationships with people working in newspapers, magazines and industry websites can be a really good opportunity for your company. If your influencers work in a media specialised in the B2B sector and in your industry more specifically, you’re really in good stead. Indeed, companies that look for services from other companies tend to do a lot of prospecting before making a final decision, and seeing a flattering article in a newspaper or a website can be a highly influential factor for them.
You can contact all manner of media outlets to ask them to relay information in the form of articles. In addition, it is important to invite your industry’s influencers to your events so that they have something to talk about with regard to your company.
Influence is Bliss
It is important to keep your blog updated and to regularly produce content for it. The goal of drafting articles for a blog or similar support is not to sell directly but to demonstrate your expertise with regard to your industry and create a certain sense of credibility around your brand. There are different forms of content marketing to explore. You can publish ebooks, white papers, articles, business cases and much more. With this kind of content, your blog will no longer be a static showcase, but a living, breathing place of knowledge transmission. Not simply a repository of dead articles, but a source of inspiration for those who consult it, brim full of useful advice and instructions. If you turn your blog into a magazine, you yourself will have the chance to become an influencer in your industry. This will give your company a real voice in the industry.
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