Can influencers actually prove effective in B2B marketing strategies?

On August 1, 2018

The ubiquitous nature of social media has transformed society in the last 10 years. At the same time it has been a catalyst for new marketing strategies that build brand loyalty and awareness, often on a 24/7 basis. Brands now expect social media to do a lot of the grunt work for them, a task that is made much easier if influencers are giving the brand a digital thumbs-up. 

B2B influencer marketing can play a key role in a campaign, and while the world of influencers may not emulate celebrity endorsements in traditional media, the power of an influencer can be a useful tool to have in your marketing toolbox. 

Right influencer, right time

The growing consensus among media watchers is that the influencers rule. As you might expect from a connected society that feeds on the number of shares, likes and followers that an individual or piece of content gets, then the onus is on brands to make certain that the right influencer is used at the right time. As a result, any company that wants to increase B2B awareness or drive traffic to its website should be very aware that influencers can make the difference, even more so if that person is mentioning a brand on a regular basis.

Sounds simple, right? Find the right influencer, get them on board with your product or marketing strategy, monitor their social media activity to see how influential they really are and engage with the rush of people who now want to know about what your company does. An effective and efficient way to spread your brand message … maybe.

Influencer endorsement can be key to success.
Influencer endorsement can be key to success.

The caveat to this B2B marketing strategy utopia is that a campaign based on influencers can be hit-and-miss.

Most influencers rely heavily on their social media footprint to advocate for a product or content, communication channels that can vary dramatically depending on the individual influencer. The theory is that B2B influencers can deliver actionable data to companies about the popularity of a product or service, which can then can be shaped to form the basis of a marketing strategy. In addition, an influencer-led campaign can draw on the expertise of the individual themselves while tapping into both audience reach and target demographic. That is the good news.

On the flip side, certain social media platforms are more successful than others. Instagram, for instance, is widely acknowledged as the most popular platform for influencer marketing with nine out of 10 global influencers using the Facebook-owned image sharing app as the basis for marketing campaigns, according to eMarketer.

At the same time, leading social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have steadily dropped down the influencer marketing rankings, with the latter in particular trying its best to regain the levels of (no pun intended) influence it once had. Add into the mix that certain people may seem a good fit during the conceptual state, but are unsuited to be the B2B voice of a brand in the real world. 

Ticking the boxes

With that in mind, decision makers need to think long and hard about why a B2B influencer marketing strategy is the best path to follow as opposed to, say, targeted mailing lists.

An influencer's impact is predicated on their audience size and engagement, two metrics that can vary dramatically depending on both the campaign and the person itself. And that is where the fun really starts.

To find out more about how to develop an effective marketing strategy that hits all the right buttons, contact the Prospect Shop today.

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