While there are distinctions between the B2B and B2C decision-making processes, digital influence remains a powerful tool for both. Influencers can bring your brand’s values and core messages to life and create stronger connections with your audience, moving your brand from supplier to ‘friend.’
B2B Versus B2C Influencer Marketing
Although the core principles of influencer marketing are almost the same for B2C and B2B, there are some differences that warrant a distinct B2B approach.
- B2B sales processes are often more complex and require more information on both sides
- The sales funnel consists of multiple, distinguished stages
- Numerous people are typically involved in the decision-making process
- The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision-makers
- Building a trusting relationship with the vendor’s representative is much more important
1. B2B Influencer Marketing is Impactful for Business and Will Move the Needle
B2B influencers deliver credibility, focus, and purpose. Multiplying these key attributes delivers real impact for your business, making it an important addition to your toolkit.
- Credibility: B2B content creators and thought leaders have recognized expertise in their field. Their opinions are highly valued by their peers.
- Relevance: When a professional decides to follow a B2B influencer, there is usually a very high interest in that influencer’s content and opinions, so followers are attentive (often higher than B2C).
- Focus: Their content is often very focused on a specific topic, with the aim of providing guidance to fellow professionals.
- Reach: B2B influencers can connect with your target audience, particularly at crucial times when they’re actively seeking info about the solutions you offer.
Understanding the important role of content creators, the Amazon Web Services Heroes Program “recognizes a vibrant, worldwide group of AWS experts whose enthusiasm for knowledge-sharing has a real impact within the community.” As the Marketing Director at a serverless security startup, Kingfluencers’ writer Megan Bozman reached out to several Heroes, including Yan Cui and Forrest Brazeal, who participated in our podcast.
Named a LinkedIn Top Voice in 2020 and 2022, Zurich-based Selma Kuyas also works as a resume coach and LinkedIn learning instructor. Also based in Zurich, Bertrand Blancheton, currently works as Head of Marketing at Braavos Crypto Asset Management, and writes about the metaverse, Web 3.0, crypto, decentralized finance (DeFi), and NFTs, including participating in LinkedIn Audio.
B2B brand ambassadors bring a lot to the table, including a unique point of view that can resonate strongly with your target audience. Original thought leadership makes your brand more visible and more desirable, positively impacting your target customers’ decision-making process.
94% of B2B marketers who’ve tried influencer marketing feel it’s highly effective. Swiss B2B marketers indicate that B2B IM is higher on the agenda for 2023 than webinars (55%).
2. B2B Influencer Marketing Audiences are Highly Engaged
Marketers need to not only reach their target audience but engage so their messages are received and understood.
Professionals decide to follow a B2B influencer due to an interest in that person’s opinions, making followers very attentive. This increases the impact of B2B IM content, making it particularly effective. This is especially the case when the thought leader’s content is sought after as part of the research phase in a decision-making process. You can overcome even more difficulties by working with an agency. 9 out of 10 B2B companies prefer to let an agency manage their B2B IM efforts with a main focus being on content creation (55%).
3. B2B Influencer Marketing Integrates Very Well With Your Existing Marketing Initiatives
62% of Swiss B2B marketers say IM is high on the agenda for coming years, higher than webinars for example. 57% of marketers plan to fully integrate influencer relations into their activities by 2023.
B2B influencers are also relatively more likely to have in-person contact with their communities by speaking at conferences, trade shows, and local business and networking events. Their authentic professional credibility can help provide answers to your audience’s pain points and boost consideration and conversion.
B2B IM can even result in synergies, boosting other marketing initiatives such as SEO. You can repurpose content you’ve already created with various storytellers to amplify outcomes. For example, the content generated by influencers from IM campaigns can provide additional value with secondary or tertiary goals, such as increasing awareness.
IM content can enrich traditional content across various channels, such as owned communities or other advertising platforms such as webinars. Repurposing existing content enables you to achieve your goals while also saving money. 74% of B2B marketers agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand. Kingfluencers can help you tie it all together with a holistic approach.
4. B2B Influencer Marketing Can Generate Competitive Advantages
B2B IM may be on your agenda as a hypothetical future possibility, but now is a great time to start. As the leading full-service social influence agency in Switzerland, Kingfluencers has established the tools, processes, and resources to do B2B IM efficiently.
Partnering with influencers is a marketing tactic many of your competitors may not be leveraging yet. Getting started now can generate unique competitive advantages for early movers. Most B2B organizations (85% of respondents to a study with TopRank Marketing) are planning influencer marketing campaigns. Additionally, the professionals, platforms, tools, and processes for IM are already well-established, lowering barriers to entry for B2B brands. B2B brands should capitalize on this opportunity and take a page from the well-established B2C playbooks in order to achieve similar successes.
Kingfluencers Delivers a Hassle-Free, Full-Service Approach
Our services guide B2B IM in a synchronized way, from strategy to ongoing community management. We help you develop your true potential social influence, building on every element that defines the true impact of your brand and message. Contact us and we’ll take a holistic approach to develop your brand voice and give that voice a positive impact, generating digital influence that goes beyond (B2B) influencer marketing.
Author: Megan Bozman, Owner @Boz Content Marketing