“… about 65% of brands planned to increase their investment in influencer marketing in 2018, which puts the strategy on track to top $10 billion by 2020. Yet, according to another study, only 11% of B2B companies have ongoing influencer marketing programs, compared to 48% of B2C brands.” Conversionxl
As influencer marketing has taken a staunch hold on social marketing, specifically in the b2c realm, b2b is, finally, beginning to take its role too.
It’s easy to attribute an entire marketing movement to one sector and write-off its value and capability elsewhere…but that’s a HUGE mistake.
B2B marketing, moreover, b2b influencer marketing is often seen as a repository for business insight and not just from within, but without.
Those men and women in the tech sector have known the value of influencer marketing and thought leadership for some time, but it’s the start-ups and the companies that are simply too busy to market themselves that can benefit from influencer marketing and advocacy the best.
It’s all relationship building, at the end of the day.
You may not have time during the day, but 15–10 mins on twitter, following and ‘liking’ a few relevant accounts can see traction on your channels begin and sharing of another’s insights, their research and thoughts add increased value to your account/business persona.
Speak to those b2b accounts that talk on subjects that matter to you and your company — sustainability, manufacturing, mentorship, mental health…all topics that have a bearing on you and your staff in some way or another.
Business relationships can come from the most unlikely of sources and while they don’t all result in sales or contracts, there is other value to be taken — a friendship for one.
Example: I spend more time on LinkedIn than I should, but I love it. It’s a space where you can connect with like-minded, but not traditionally competitive people, ask questions and expect honest, insightful responses that may make a big difference to your company’s approach.
I randomly saw a post regarding a LinkedIn member’s interest in Whisky. Having spent over 7 years in Edinburgh, I developed a taste and appreciation for whisky too. A casual comment here, a joke there and I wound-up in said contact’s office — BIG office. He had more whisky on his shelf than you’d believe and while he didn’t offer me a bottle, a friendship was formed and who knows…maybe a working relationship will follow?
B2B influencer marketing asks a question…what can I do for you?
B2B influencers rarely charge. Surprised? Why?
They provide insight, you share said insight.
They develop a relationship with you, you share contacts and opportunities with them.
Ultimately, you’re networking…with like-minded, real, open people…and who doesn’t like to make friends with potential financial benefits?