Did you know that between 2016 and 2017, searches for the term “influencer marketing” increased 200%? And even before half of 2018 is over, it has already increased another 60% from 2017.
This clearly demonstrates the popularity and demand for influencer marketing over the last few years.
According to a report by Linqia, 85% of marketers already use influencer marketing. And 90% of them have found it truly effective. So it’s not surprising that companies are willing to increase their budgets for influencer marketing.
Although influencer marketing gained popularity mostly among B2C brands initially, in recent times, B2B brands have also started leveraging it. In this post, we’ll take a look at some effective ways of using influencer marketing for the growth of your B2B company.
How to Identify the Right Influencers
According to a LinkedIn report, expert opinions are the second most persuasive factor for B2B customers in making purchases. However, only 15% of B2B brands are known to use influencer marketing for the growth of their business.
Considering the effectiveness of influencer marketing, B2B brands have a lot of scope to leverage it for marketing. However, the major challenge for B2B brands lies in finding the most relevant influencers for their campaigns.
These are some crucial aspects you need to consider when looking for a relevant influencer:
- Reach: Defined as the number of followers of an influencer. Reach can be calculated by the number of social media followers, blog subscribers, or the number of visitors to an influencer’s website.
- Relevance: If you want to make an impact on your target audiences, you must ensure that your influencers are relevant to your industry. Make sure their niche is aligned with your brand, product, or industry.
- Engagement: A large number of followers doesn’t necessarily mean that an influencer possesses a high engagement rate. So make sure to check their engagement rates and how they interact with their followers.
1. Write Guest Blog Posts
A simple way to leverage B2B influencer marketing for your business growth is to write guest blog posts for influencers. Guest posts on the websites of influencers who have high domain authority can do wonders for your business.
When you link back to your own website from the guest post, it will aid your SEO and drive high quality traffic to your website. A guest post on the website or blog of an influencer will also give your brand greater visibility among the influencer’s audience.
You need to ensure that the influencer belongs to the same industry as yours, and that their website has a high Domain Authority. When you approach them about guest blogging, explain how such a collaboration can help both of you. Also, choose a topic that is likely to resonate with both of your audiences.
Share your guest post on all your social media profiles. You should also ask the influencer to share it on their social channels. The more you share your guest post, the greater your chances of increasing your brand awareness.
For example, the founder of VideoFruit, Bryan Harris, wrote a guest post for a popular blog called OkDork. After this guest post was published, there was a drastic increase in the number of visitors to his website.
Usually, the average number of visitors to his website in a day was 285. But after the publication of his guest post, the number shot up to 1086. Even a few days later, the number of visitors went up to 686.
This clearly indicates the power of guest blogging.
2. Find Experts Who Reach Your Target Audiences
It’s difficult to win people’s trust without showing any proof that your products or services are valuable. Also, consumers may never even know about your existence unless you’re a really big fish in the pond.
In such a scenario, content marketing can help you provide social proof to your potential customers. However, what good is your content if it fails to reach your target audiences? To increase the visibility of your content, you need to team up with someone who reach audiences relevant to you.
Influencers have a large number of followers and long lists of email subscribers. So all you need to do is find a relevant influencer from your industry and ask them to disseminate your content and ideas. Of course, you can also ask them to create content for your products and services.
They can help you widen the reach of your brand by focusing on customers who are willing to buy your products. This can drive high volumes of traffic to your website. However, simply getting a lot of traffic will not help your business grow. For the success of a B2B brand, you need to have a steady flow of quality leads.
This is where lead generation software can help you. Visitor Queue, for example, uses advanced analytics to collect useful data and information about your website visitors. Your sales teams can get access to their company names or contact information, which makes reaching out much easier.
3. Leverage Testimonials
According to a study by Influitive, the purchase decisions of 90% of prospects are affected by testimonials. Nearly 60% of B2B companies prefer to use testimonials for their influencer marketing strategy.
So, ask your influencers to review your products and write testimonials mentioning their first-hand experience of using your products. The best way to create impact in the form of social proof is to display these testimonials on your website.
You can also leverage testimonials from your happy customers. The simple reason being that they are trustworthy and reliable as they are first-hand experiences. You can also create case studies about the positive experiences they’ve had using your products. Such content will encourage your prospects to go ahead and make the purchase.
LinkedIn’s Business Solutions help B2B companies sell, market, or hire talent. Their homepage displays testimonials from some of their happy customers.
They also have a dedicated page for displaying the success stories from their customers.
4. Leverage Product Reviews
Genuine reviews from influencers can have a deep impact on your target audiences and influence their purchase decisions. They can also generate quality traffic to your website.
However, the catch here is to make sure that the influencer is an expert from the same niche. So, leverage influencers to review your products or services and share them on your social media profiles. You can even display them on your website.
Don’t shy away from asking influencers to share the reviews on their social networks. Their voices and opinions about your products or services can help you win the trust of your potential customers.
Drift is a leading marketing and sales platform that helps B2B companies increase leads and sales. The image below shows Joshua Stenhouse sharing his review and experience using the platform on LinkedIn. He is a technologist, so his voice is authoritative enough to attract relevant audiences.
For B2B companies, it may be difficult to find relevant influencers, but not impossible. You might need to be a little creative in your approach. When used effectively, influencer marketing can truly take your B2B brand places.
Can you think of any other ways to leverage influencer marketing for the growth of a B2B company? Please let us know in the comments below.