Did you know that influencers are making a massive impact on driving leads among B2B companies? The truth is that influencers are just as important to B2B industries as they are to B2C areas, yet many B2Bs are not taking advantage of this underpriced method of garnering attention. In this article, we are going to discuss influencers and provide you with a solution to master this digital craft and get ahead of your competitors.
Background on Influencers
Influencer marketing on digital platforms started in China. Because of the government ban on various social media platforms, multinational brands were struggling to get their message across to the world's largest market. What the smart marketers did was figure out who was the most influential in their space on the Chinese social media services, such as WeChat. Since this inception in 2015 brands have caught on in markets around the world.
Even though the first tests with digital Influencers were used in China quite recently key opinion leaders (KOLs) are surprisingly not new; brands have been utilizing them since the dawn of advertising. It is simply that the internet has enabled KOLs to range from traditional celebrity endorsers to anyone on social media, blogs, and vlogs. Although marketers have been using celebrities for years, online influencers are now easier to connect and work with. Many influencers are unsure of how to price themselves, meaning many are underpriced for the amount of traction they can provide. One of the mindsets that we have been preaching in our articles is "go to where the attention is, and where it is cost effective".
Mentioned in articles before many B2Bs have a myriad of misconceptions about digital marketing in their particular industries, believing that most tactics are for B2C subjectively. Many internal employees who have realised this mistake are those who are said to be “intrapreneurs”, and they are confused or frustrated by the fact that their employers are failing to innovate. Employees in large organisations only want to see the business grow as opposed to falling to the fate of inaction. Innovation in how you present yourself and how you tell your story online is just as important as innovation in products or services.
A further issue is that many leaders within B2Bs are unsure how to integrate the perspective of millennials; meaning they do not understand what the majority of decision-makers are thinking. This is a highly critical issue for many industries, as it is essential for sales, and it is the marketing teams job to get into their mind first.
B2B influencers do not come in the shape or form of traditional celebrities; they come in the form of sites with thousands of users per month. There is enough traffic to be spread around the internet which means that each industry has websites with a fair share of viewers. The power of an influencer is that they can introduce you to an entirely new audience within your target market, expand your brand awareness to their 100K monthly active users. What a KOL is most likely to do is add an immense amount of value to your company at a low cost (if any).
To connect with the right KOL and to engage with them, your company first needs to ask, are their followers committed, is the influencer engaged in the community, what type of content does their audience react to the most? The biggest mistake that companies, big and small, make when they approach an influencer is that they ask for too much or for too little. To have the KOLs approval to have a post on their site you have to make sure that you have the proper outreach strategy.
There are a variety of ways to find influencers, but my favourite by far is Buzzstream as it is quick and effective. Just type in keywords related to your niche and influencers with thousands of Twitter followers will appear. Usually, Twitter followers identify with thought leaders. Therefore, you can click on their Twitter profile and go to the website that they run and determine if it is appropriate for you to outreach to them.
Another outreach strategy consists of social practitionership; you will have to identify at least 100 sites within your industry that have a significant amount of monthly users. You can figure out almost any websites stats by using a free service called SimilarWeb (there is a plug-in for Google Chrome). Here is a repeatable, simple method that can lead to agreements for collaborations with influencers.
“Hello [Website Name] Team,
I’m reaching out because I enjoy reading your blog. We would like to provide you with an article for your blog about (OUR CLIENT or INDUSTRY), which we believe your audience will be interested in. These are a few of the TOPICS we would like to cover:
X, Y, Z
After our first collaboration, if you enjoy the article, we would like to keep a long-term partnership with you.
Let me know this is in your interest,
Delivery is mportant
To understand who should be your influencer, you have to first understand your target market in depth and determine which channels deliver the best possibility to find them. Once that is accomplished, you can then engage with them, but you have to make sure that your product/service is being presented in the right manner. Selecting an influencer that is too broad in your market space because of the number of followers they have does not mean that you will be the most successful. Finding the right influencer where the attention of your prospective customers is held will produce the highest ROI.
Sum Up: Go out there and find some influencers and embrace the digital world because it's only going to get bigger. Build your foundation now. Facebook and Google were the underpriced attention five years ago; now they are becoming more and more expensive because of more prominent brands and budgets buying up the attention, Influencers are a marketer’s next frontier for underpriced attention. Utilise it!
Contact US at email@example.com or WhatsApp +1(416)6592775 to learn more about how your business can use influencers. Talk soon!