Influencer marketing is the new black. In any case, among companies that turn to consumers. But is it something for B2B companies as well?
Lately, a lot has been written and talked about influencer marketing. Almost everything is about how the influence of bloggers, instagrammers and youtubers on their audience can be used to market B2C companies’ goods and services.
But what about B2B companies? Can they also make use of influencer marketing?
And that is exactly what many people seem to have opened their eyes to this year. If you search for “B2B influencer marketing” then almost all search results are from this year.
Content scouts don’t want to be any worse. So that’s why influencer marketing for B2B companies is the subject of our third search.
What logic does influencer marketing follow?
Value break: Someone else creates a context that attracts an audience. You pay to cancel the experience and convey your message. Example: a tv channel makes a broad entertainment program that attracts many people. a company pays to get its message out in a commercial break.
Product placement: Someone else creates a context that attracts an audience. You pay to get visible in that context. Example: a tv channel shows a popular show. A company pays for the show to include the product
Value creation: You create a context that attracts an audience. You can then both appear in the context and convey your message.
Influencer marketing follows the value-supporting logic: Someone else has for a long time created and shared content that slowly but surely has attracted an audience that shares its content. You pay to be seen in their context.
This leads us to the core
Marketing aimed at an influencer
Just as the name says, influencer marketing is about marketing aimed at an influencer. Not to his or her audience. The goal is to influence the influencer so that he or she in turn influences his audience in a way that leads to business benefit. Influencer marketing is thus a two-stage rocket:
You influence the influencer to like your brand or product.
The influencer influences his audience to like your brand or your product.
So this was the poodle’s core.
You can’t “buy” influencers
So how should you influence an influencer to influence his audience in a way that benefits your interests?
Offering payment is of course a way to influence the influencer. It is highly reasonable if the influencer lives on its content. But if the collaboration is to be good for both you and the influencer, then they must also feel for, and believe in, what she or he is going to convey to her audience. Therefore, you cannot “buy” the influencer.
The main prerequisite for your success with influence marketing is a close and good relationship with the influencer. He or she simply needs to like you. And that requires investment in relationship building.
Meet the influencer. Not just once, but regularly. Invite her or him to small and large events. Show the influencer that he or she is important to you and your company; not only as a channel, but also for what they do and stand for. Show it by responding to the influencer that VIP is for your company. And of course, give her or him free access to what you want them to talk about.
Influencer marketing for B2B companies
Finally, is influence marketing something for B2B companies? I have already answered “absolutely”, so the question is really: How?
- Start by deciding what you want to accomplish with influencer marketing.
- Then think about what change is needed for what you want to achieve.
- Identify a target group that needs to change their behavior in order for this change to occur.
- Think about what can motivate the target audience to change their behavior as you wish.
- Formulate your thoughts as an engaging story.
Search for one or a few people that the target group makes a big impression on questions that connect to the story and that you think can sympathize with your story.
- Contact them and start the relationship building. Be super transparent with what you are looking for.
- Find collaboration opportunities.