As the less glamorous brother to it’s b2c sister, b2b influencer marketing has long been seen as somewhat grey, as apposed to b2c’s technicolour rainbow…but is that still true?
A brief look back on the history of influencer marketing shows an industry littered with travel, beauty, lifestyle and more recently, gaming campaigns, whereas b2b has often been the resting place of beige suits, overly convoluted buzzwords and conferences. So, what has changed?
Simply put, Covid.
The advent of this global crisis has turned industries upside down, with some failing en masse, whereas others have pivoted and pivoted well.
The tech businesses, those that used to reply upon experienced practitioners to up their brand value through conference attendeeship and the occasional blog post have seen their strategies cut in half over night and it’s for the better.
Influencer marketing, as with any marketing division (and trust me, influencers are marketers) have altered their approach to their profession with more agility than many and this is, in part due to (at least on the side of the b2c-ers) the generation gap. A very large percentage of B2C influencers are members of the Gen Z fraternity, but that isn’t to say that the b2b set haven’t understood the needs to alter their directions also.
B2B influencer marketing relies upon an individuals’ expertise, experience gained over decades of hard work and staunch dedication to sectors that might not sound as sexy as ‘lifestyle’ and ‘beauty’, yes, I’m talking about ‘Big Data’, ‘Blockchain’ and ‘cybersec’, to name but a few.
But while these hashtag heavy buzzwords might not appear as glamorous as it’s b2c counterparts, the value to be gained from entertainging a hugely experienced and insightful expert can be in the the hundreds of thousands of dollars and more.
It’s all about the long-term investment.
The alignment between these independent practiontioners and the ambassadorship that these programs create.
B2B sales, derived from influencer efforts can take months or years to appear, but that’s all part of the process. Building these alliances over the years, the investment, the friendships that brands and individuals can create…influencer marketing is nothing short of relationship marketing and a healthy relationship takes time.
Not to give all the milk away for free, but here is the first step you must take on your road to b2b influencer marketing…
Evaluate what you have first and foremost. And this is just as relevant for b2c as b2b influencer marketing. You might have a gem in your garden.
Your 18 year-old intern might be a tech aficionado, with a followership in the thousands – a new blog series?
Another staff member might have a confidence hidden under stacks of accounting paperwork – podcast?
Know the resources you already have, before you look outside…and build from there.
Oh, and remember, this influencer marketing stuff doesn’t always cost the Earth, you can do a lot, with a little.
Just ask us how.
If you wish to speak with us, visit Wing Digital Marketing and let´s make productive and successful changes together.