Influencer marketing is not something new. In fact, it is one among the hottest trends of the marketing world. Like B2C, many B2B marketers around the world are jumping on the bandwagon of influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing wherein marketers build relationships with industry leaders and leverage their influence to deliver their brand’s messages to the broader market.
In other words, to target a message or marketing campaign to a large number of audiences, many marketers connect with key leaders who have significant social influence. When these influential people share their messages, it gives a high brand value to the brand of the marketers which, in turn, helps in establishing brand identity and achieving better engagement rate.
How does an Influencer help a B2B marketer?
- They share your content which gives credibility to your brand.
- Credibility builds trust in the buyers that brings better engagement rate
- Better engagement lets you reach your business goals effectively
- Influencers can become your guest authors
- They can speak at your customer event or a conference
But, engaging with the influencers is a task somewhat daunting.
Let’s accept that not everyone that seems influential to your target audience is willing to be a part of your marketing strategy until and unless you do it right. Here are 4 steps that can help you do influencer marketing the right way:
1. Ask yourself the ‘Why’?
Many marketers rush into the race of influencer marketing without deciding their business goals, challenges, and requirements. But, how can someone else convey your brand story when you yourself are not clear about it??
So, before you ask an influencer to tell your brand story, ask yourself these questions?
- Why do you need an influencer for your brand?
- What are your business goals and challenges?
- What is the story that you want the influencer to convey?
Make sure the story that you build revolves around the needs of your target prospects.
- Do proper research about the pain-points of your prospects
- See what the best solutions to their problems are and how can you align your offerings with their needs
2. Identify who influences your target audience
The more than often confused metric about the impact of the influencers is the number of likes, followers, or shares on their profiles.
However, the truth is, it’s not just the fan following that makes an influencer the right fit for you. Many other factors need to be considered while selecting the influencers. Here are a few steps to choosing an influencer:
Step 1: Make a list of key leaders –
This list may include the names of thought leaders, industry specialists, market analysts, eminent bloggers or speakers at conferences.
Step 2: Figure out whose voice aligns with the voice of your brand –
Before you select an influencer, do sufficient research about them. For instance, if the influencer is a blogger, make sure you know about their professional background – the tone of their messaging, their content type, and their audiences. If you find alignment in the interests of the influencer and the message of your brand, you have got the right one – the perfect influencer!
3. Leverage mutual connections
Once you have identified who influences your target audience the most, try to find the best ways to connect with them.
Mutual connections in the industry can help you reach the influencers better. These mutual connections can be the analysts from your industry or the speakers at specific conferences or any professional from your niche.
Here’s the 3-step way of doing it:
Step 1: List-out the professionals you know in the industry –
Make a list of the important people in your industry. They can be industry leaders, your clients or even your employees.
Step 2: Identify the mutual connections –
See if they have any links with any of the influencers that you wish to reach.
Step 3: Ask for an introduction –
Ask the people with mutual connections to introduce you to those influencers. When you are introduced to the influencers by someone they already know, you get better opportunities to connect with them easily.
4. Build relationships with the influencers via social media
One great way of getting yourself noticed by the influencer that you have chosen is via social media. Especially when it comes to content, social media can play a huge role in the success of your marketing strategy. Here, you can easily find, select, know, and try to build relationships with an influencer. Below are the steps:
Step 1: Know which social media channels the influencer uses –
You can find ample of information about your influencers on various social channels such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (to name a few). Learning more about the platforms they use will help you know them better. It will give you better insights on how to connect with them efficiently.
Step 2: Create social presence –
Once you have identified the channels that they use, focus on building your profile on those channels. Creating your social presence will give them an idea that your brand is established and owns a high brand value which is necessary to convince them to include them in your marketing strategies.
Step 3: Share their content pieces –
Let your influencers know that you are their devoted fan and that you adore their content or whatever they share. For example, you can share any of their blogs. You can quote their interviews in your content pieces. And yes, never forget to tag them.
Some other ways of doing it:
- Join the groups they are active in – on Facebook, LinkedIn, e.g.
- Comment on their blog posts
- Feature them in your blog post.