B2B, or Business to Business, tends to have different marketing strategies than B2C (Business to Consumer), and both have changed dramatically in recent years. This is because audiences have changed as a result of the wide availability of information on the internet. Nowadays, audiences tend to be a little distrustful of traditional adverts and are relying more on social media networks and recommendations when it comes to making purchase decisions. This has had an impact on PR software tools as well as it means that more companies working in the B2B space are looking to find influencers to work with to help influence their target audience's purchase decisions.
What are 'influencers'?
Today the term 'influencers' tends to refer to individuals who have a loyal audience on social media, and so have a key role to play within a particular industry. Their sphere of influence means that they have a large number of people following them who rely on their expertise to help them make decisions, and so they also have an impact on the buying process as well.
Brands can therefore use influencers to help shape the views of their target audience and positively impact on their buying decisions. Many brands have used influencer marketing to boost their credibility, increase brand awareness, extend their reach and improve their SEO.
So, what is the best way to ensure you are going about things the right way in order to build a successful B2B influencer marketing campaign?
Do Plenty of Research
There are thousands of people on all the social media platforms who have thousands, if not millions of followers. But how do you find the right influencer for your business, in the right industry? Research, research, research. There are plenty of online pr tools out there which you can use to help you to narrow down exactly which influencers will be right for your brand, and who are the ones who will make the most difference. Tools such as BuzzSumo can help you to narrow down your list, and kred can help you to identify each influencers level of influence more accurately. These tools are just some of the ones that you can use to make an accurate judgement of how influential your chosen influencer actually is.
Set Clear Goals
As with any campaign, you should have a clear idea of what success looks like when it comes to influencer marketing. Is it a certain number of product purchases or a certain number of website visits? The easiest way to track metrics like this is to set up a landing page and use this to measure number of purchases or number of website visits. If your aim is less quantifiable, such as increasing brand awareness, then there are still ways you can measure this, such as the number of brand mentions you receive on social media. Whatever type of goal you set for your campaign, make sure you have a clear idea of metrics and record them thoroughly, so that you can prove to your boss or investors that the campaign was worthwhile.
Make Sure it is Authentic
The problem with influencer marketing, is that it is sometimes abused and can come across as being not authentic. Audiences are finding it easier and easier to identify influencers who are only promoting a product because they have been paid to do so. This can backfire on brands spectacularly. What you need to so in the research stage, as mentioned above, is zero in on influencers who already have an affinity to your brand, is enthusiastic about your product and can maybe benefit from your products or services.
Don't be Blinded by Numbers
Many brands make the mistake of targeting influencers in their sphere who have the most followers, and this can turn out to be not only costly but may be a waste of time. It is not just about follower number, the more important thing to look at is engagement. Someone may have thousands of followers but if nobody is liking or commenting on their post then there is no point spending the time to woo them. What you need is someone who not only has a good level of following, but followers who comment and engage with them as it shows that they listen to what they say and really care about them.
Create a Plan
Don't expect your chosen influencer to welcome you with open arms and a nine-page document outlining their plan for your brand. Instead, do all the hard work for them and make sure you have an action plan firmly in place before you even approach them. For example, you could approach them firstly about publishing some co-created content to attract their followers to your website and get their audience a little more familiar with your brand.
There are lots of ways that brands can use influencers in their B2B marketing but getting them to notice you in the first place is one of the hardest things to do. If you want to add an influencer campaign to your brand marketing then why not contact the team at PRInABox today? We are online pr software which can get your brand in front of thousands of influencers and bloggers easily. Contact us today on 0208 720 6914 or by email at email@example.com