Table of contents
  1. 1. Definition
  2. 2. Overview and development
  3. 3. Advantages
  4. 4. Disadvantages
  5. 5. Relevance
  6. 6. Best practices

Definition

Influencer B2B marketing is influence marketing involving B2B (business-to-business) businesses rather than B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses. Similar to how different approaches are taken in B2B marketing compared to B2C marketing, influence B2B marketing is slightly different. Just as it sounds, business-to-business companies have other businesses as their clientele. Business-to-consumer companies sell to consumers. 

Businesses can be more difficult to sell to because they are typically more skeptical of marketing. The average sales cycle is six months for enterprise software. However, using influencer marketing is still beneficial for B2B companies as long as they approach it in the right way. An influencer management agency or an influencer marketing platform can help business-to-business brands effectively use B2B influencers. Examples of types of influencers that B2B brands work with are authors, academics, consultants, analysts, researchers, and journalists. 

 

Overview and development

Some of the first B2B brands to try influencer marketing are SAP, American Express, Time Warner Business Class, G.E., and Video Fruit. All of these brands experienced success with influence marketing, showing that it can work for B2B. SAP took a video marketing strategy with their influencers and later repurposed the interviews into blog posts to get even more out of the influencer content. They had 11 influencers video stream their annual conference Sapphire, which allowed them to reach 80,000 people in addition to the 20,000 attendees. 

Video Fruit, a company that offers online courses and tools for email marketing, found success by writing a guest blog post on an influencer's website. This is one of the least expensive ways of using influencer B2B marketing. After publishing a guest blog post on an influencer's website, Video Fruit saw unique page views increase over 600%. Around 20% of the new visitors subscribed to Video Fruit. 

Business-to-business influence marketing has been successful on Instagram too. American Express found success by using a branded hashtag on this social media network. To promote their Platinum card geared at executives and managers, they connected with influencers that lead luxurious lifestyles with the hashtag #AmexAmbassadors added to their Instagram posts. Influencers posted pictures of their travels and mentioned the benefits they enjoy from the Platinum card. 

 

Advantages

  • Increase Sales: Whether it's B2C or B2B, influence marketing can significantly increase sales. B2B businesses, in general, can struggle with making sales because businesses take more time during the research phase. Influence marketing is an excellent way of capturing the attention of businesses during the research phase and persuading them to choose one's brand over the others. 
  • Incorporate Several Types of Marketing: Strategies that work well in influence B2B marketing often incorporate several types of marketing, such as content, video, and social media in addition to influence. Businesses can repurpose marketing content from their influencers to keep the results rolling. 
  • Greater Reach: Working with influencers gives the B2B business greater reach with ease. As long as relevant influencers are chosen, the audience the brand reaches are part of their target audience. Reaching those individuals on one's own is a difficult, time-consuming task. Because they trust the influencer they follow, some of that trust transfers to the brand promoted. 

 

Disadvantages

  • Finding the Right Influencers Takes Time: Not everyone who has a lot of followers on social media is an influencer. Some influencer networks don't screen their influencers before allowing them on the network, which can result in brands choosing “fake” influencers. Before embarking on an influence marketing campaign, brands must ensure they choose the right influencers. 

 

Relevance

B2B businesses should consider influencer marketing because it helps generate sales, increase brand awareness, and gives access to an audience they may not have otherwise. Influence marketing is a great way for B2B businesses to combine the power of multiple types of marketing like social media, content, influence, and video. All of these types of marketing are beneficial for B2B companies. Creating the perfect content for influencers is especially important because business customers spend more time on research than consumers. B2B brands want to ensure their entity is visible on the post and will appear in the audience's mind as soon as they start interacting with influencers. 

 

Best practices

  • Guest Blog Posts: An inexpensive way of using B2B influence marketing is to write guest posts for relevant influencers. Some influencers have a section on their website for submitting guest blog posts. If an influencer doesn't have any information on guest blogs, then brands can contact them with a pitch. 
  • Use an Influencer Management Platform: Brands that don't have the resources to dedicate toward managing influencers on their own may want to use an influencer management platform to find the perfect-fit influencer as well as to analyze the influencer's profile using suitable metrics. Failure to do so can result in failed campaigns or weaker results. 
  • Disclosures: Whenever a brand compensates an influencer for a post or mentioning the brand, the influencer must include a disclosure as per U.S. regulations.