24 May B2B Influencer Marketing
The expertise and reach of a B2B influencer can prove very valuable beyond the immediate return of a campaign. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have large followings; some don’t. Others have a significant amount of influence while others, less so.
Here’s a look at some ways that B2B brands can benefit from relationships with B2B influencers.
Expanding Your Reach
Your reach is limited by the size of your immediate audience. To expand a brand’s reach, you must look outward.
For example, OpenView features content from a number of influencers, each with a significant audience in their field. This content gets shared with an audience that normally would not be exposed to this material, resulting in new visitors to their site on a regular basis.
As Kevin Cain, OpenView’s Director of Content Strategy explains, “By virtue of the fact that these influencers are choosing to publish content on our site, they are effectively signaling their approval of OpenView.”
Improved Content Quality
While many companies produce in-house content or outsource its generation as a money-saving tactic, Lee Odden suggests working with B2B influencers that already have established authority and status within your target market.
Think about it. These people have built a reputation in part through their proven ability to create high-quality content. So why compete when you can co-operate to achieve your goals?
Conversations going on in your market between B2B influencers and prospects on a regular basis. They are looking for help and data to make informed buying decisions. According to Traackr,
brands that engage with these influencers and add value to the conversation can attract the attention of prospects who are already listening. An added benefit is that authentic discussions like this bring credibility to your brand, that no amount of money can buy.
Bill Sussman defines advocates as “super fans and brand loyalists who engage with the brand because they truly love it and will take action if asked.” They don’t necessarily have a sphere of influence. However, brands often obtain access to these advocates through other influencers.
Turning advocates with influence into brand ambassadors can bring about even greater advocacy. These people are delighted with their ambassadorship and display it proudly across all their channels, resulting in yet even more reach.
In essence, brand ambassadors are influencers who have been hired by a brand under a long-term arrangement, extending beyond a campaign. Usually, they are paid on a retainer basis and as such are highly sought after by influencers.
Conventional wisdom focuses solely on the online component of influence. Yet notable marketers agree, “influence happens offline far more frequently than it does online.” Given the situation, it makes sense to use online influencers and their social media following to amplify offline influence.
In fact, events and ambassador programs are the two most promising tactics for creating offline influence. It’s conceivable that the same benefits that B2B brands receive online can be found offline as well.
Influencer marketing offers many advantages for B2B brands. Understanding the impact of these benefits can help formulate a viable strategy that extends beyond the immediacy of a campaign. Forging equitable relationships with relevant influencers and incorporating them into your marketing efforts is a long-term activity that will reap future dividends.