Apr 30, 2022

B2B Marketers on How They Can Embrace the Future of Influencer Marketing? – Here’s Everything You Need to Know with FAQs & More   

b2b marketers on how they can embrace the future of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is an extremely powerful form of social media marketing in the current digital age. 

While it’s true that influencers are typically utilized by B2C brands, it’s true that many B2B influencers exist as well. 

Quick Summary

In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between B2C and B2B brands. 

Once that’s cleared out, we aim to determine whether the latter can utilize influencer marketing in the same way the former does or not. 

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What’s the Difference Between B2B and B2C Brands? 

To start off, B2B stands for Business to Business and B2C stands for Business to Consumer. 

Hence, B2B brands are ones that typically sell products and/or services to other businesses. On the other hand, B2C brands are ones that sell their products and/or services directly to consumers. 

As you can probably imagine, influencer marketing strategies work extremely well when B2C brands work with social media influencers. This is because these influencers are directly in contact with the consumers that B2C brands want to target. 

Clients for B2B brands typically have much longer sales funnels. This is due to the fact that other businesses that want to buy products or services tend to research them for a much longer period of time. 

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Their purchasing decisions are not motivated by spontaneity or an emotional response. Rather they like to take a data-driven approach to things so they only invest in products or services that can truly benefit them. 

With B2B companies, websites like LinkedIn are a lot more useful than social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Tiktok, etc. 

You might think influencer content and marketing is something that doesn’t have a lot of utility when it comes to B2B brands. However, you would be dead wrong.

B2B influencer marketing is something that is being actively discussed among digital marketing circles. It’s something that’s still relatively new and its limitations and uses are still being defined today. 

However, there are tons of B2B influencers and marketers out there that you can contact and collaborate with if you are a B2B brand. 

Who are Influencers for B2B brands? 

It may be confusing for you to think of a “business influencer” that could do influencer-style marketing for your B2B brand. However, there are a ton of individuals you can collaborate with to push your B2B company to new heights. 

Individuals that could be B2B influencers for your brand include: 

  • Industry analysts and specialists 
  • Retired prominent figures from your specific niche 
  • Industry experts from trade associations 
  • Opinion leaders
  • Regular social media influencers who are experts in your specific niche 

As you can see, you definitely have more than a few options when it comes to influencers for your B2B brand. 

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We’ve discussed B2B brands, how they work and what type of influencers they usually collaborate with. Now, let’s look at how you can set up an influencer marketing channel for your particular B2B company. 

How to Utilize Influencer Marketing Strategies for Your B2B Brand?

So now you know that B2B brands can benefit from influencers and you also know what type of individuals to reach out to for collaborations. 

However, there are certain ways you can adopt to ensure that your efforts are fruitful. Remember that B2B influencer marketing is still relatively new and nobody really knows the rules. 

However, there are definitely some guidelines you can consider to ensure that you reach your business goals within the time you want.

1. Consider How B2B Brands Benefit From Influencers 

We mentioned above how clients for B2B brands value credibility. They will only buy from a B2B brand if they are sure that they will get their money’s worth.

Hence, the goal for you as a B2B brand is to find some way to develop that trust among your potential clients. 

Industry experts and analysts are definitely individuals that can help you earn the trust of potential customers. After all, they are well-respected in their fields and their opinions are valued by other members of the industry. 

If you can enter into a collaboration with such an analyst, the credibility of your company will go up exponentially. This will simply be through association. 

“Since a well-respected member of the community is endorsing you, buying from you should be worthwhile.”

Also, of course, your brand would be exposed to the analyst’s community and their following. From there, many individuals that are interested in what you have to offer would find out about you. 

It goes without saying that this would result in many new business opportunities such as an increase in sales, the growth of your customer base as well as new collaborations.

2. Take the Time to Find the Right Influencer for Your B2B Brand

With the presence of the internet and the rising number of major influencers and digital marketers, you have a lot to choose from. It can actually get overwhelming since there are so many options you actually have. 

As a B2B brand, it’s extremely important that you take the time to do your research on any influencers you consider. Make sure that you perform all types of checks to ensure your collaboration with them will be fruitful for you. 

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In today’s digital age, this has become quite easy as you can simply utilize auditing tools and analytics to perform quality checks and find audience metrics. This will make it clear how much you can gain through a collaboration with a particular influencer. 

Make sure that you sit down and list all of the values, goals, and aspirations of your B2B brand before you choose an influencer to represent it. 

Remember that when they endorse your brand, they are speaking for it. Hence, their goals, values, beliefs, and aspirations should also match yours as much as possible. 

The ideal influencer should be able to communicate your brand’s goals and vision effectively while also providing trust and credibility.

Whenever you consider an influencer for your brand, it’s a good idea to use analytics tools to verify their audience. This isn’t as important if you want to collaborate with a known and prominent figure in your industry. 

However, if it’s someone that has made a name for themselves in your niche purely through social media, then it’s an important check to run. 

Analyze their engagement rate in comparison to their number of followers.  

If they have an extremely low engagement rate compared to their number of followers, then this is a red flag. It means they might have bought a majority of their followers and that their numbers are bloated. 

Also check the rate at which an influencer gains or loses followers, the thing you should look out for is a sharp spike or a dip in their number of followers. 

If somebody gains or loses a ton of followers within the span of a short time, this is typically an indication that they didn’t get them through organic means. 

Another sign to look out for is the authenticity of the comments on their posts. Generic one-word comments and emojis could mean that they have purchased bots to do those comments for them. 

It could also mean that they are part of a “network” of people that comment on each other’s posts to artificially boost their engagement. 

Conflict of interest is another major aspect that you need to watch out for. Micro-influencers are typically individuals that may have gained a major following by being associated with a certain brand or organization. 

Make sure that their past associations and collaborations do not have a conflict of interest with the values and beliefs that your brand stands for.

3. Choose the Correct Distribution Channel 

Another part of your influencer research would include which distribution channel or platform you would use to collaborate. 

Remember that different influencers have different platforms that they specialize in. Some can have multiple while others tend to focus on only one platform. 

The platform you choose will depend on several factors. 

First of all, it will depend on the influencer(s) you are currently considering. Suppose there’s an industry expert that you want to collaborate with. They might only be highly active on Facebook. 

A problem that can arise here in some cases is that your target market might not be on Facebook. Although, in most cases, this does not happen since you’ll choose an expert that’s within your specific niche. 

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For most cases in the same niche, you usually have overlapping audiences that would be on similar social media platforms. 

It’s all about combining your influencer research with the target market research you have done to find the perfect option.

4. Provide Influencers with the Right Direction 

It doesn’t matter how influential the person you choose to collaborate with is if you don’t put in the effort from your end as well. 

Quick tip: While it’s true that the influencer will come up with the content for your collaboration, it’s up to you to give the right input. 

Thoroughly review the content of the influencer you collaborate with and make sure to be decently involved with the influencer process. 

You want to ensure that their messaging aligns with yours and there are no contradictory opinions being thrown around.

If you’d like to include your own branding within their content, make sure to provide them with the visual assets they might need to get the job done. 

The easier you make it for them, the quicker they will pump out content that will be beneficial to both of you. 

Another example of how you can make things easier for influencers is to provide them with links to significant pages of yours. They could include these links within the descriptions of the collaboration posts they make as part of their campaign(s). 

These links could be: 

  • To engage the content of your own
  • To your landing page
  • To your online store or anything else you think might engage your target audience 

The options really are endless. Sit down with your marketing team to discuss what could be most effective.

Speaking of including links within content, another thing you can do to help out your influencer is to provide them with shortened links. 

Shortened links can be very handy when you perform content marketing on social media platforms. This is because many social media platforms have character limits that make things quite difficult. 

It can be quite frustrating to include your entire message when you also have to cram in a lengthy link. If you shorten it, this can help solve this problem to an extent. 

You can use any link shorteners available on the internet to shorten URLs to your B2B influencer marketing pages. 

To shorten your link through Pixelfy, go to the home page, register an account for yourself and log in.

Step 1: Once you log in, you’ll be at the main dashboard page for Pixelfy. 

From this page, you can check out past analytics of your previously shortened links as well as access settings and other features. 

You also have access to the Fast shortener box at the top of the dashboard page. 

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Step 2: If you’d like to have a shortened link for influencer partnerships, copy the original link for the page. Next, paste it into the Fast shortener box as shown in the screenshot below. 

Once you paste the link into the Fast shortener box, it should automatically redirect you to the next page. 

If you do not get redirected, click on the “Shorten” box.

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Step 3: Once you are on the next page, you will receive your shortened URL. 

You can copy this URL and save it for yourself. 

The next time you enter into a collaboration with an influencer, you can provide them with a shortened link. 

They can include the link in the description of their influencer content so that their audience can check out what your brand has to offer.

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5. Develop a Team Strictly for Influencer Marketing 

This is something that might not be possible if you are a small business with not many people on your team. 

However, if you do have the resources for it, it can be highly beneficial for you to form a team that strictly focuses on influencer marketing strategies. 

Always remember that the most effective influencer marketing typically comes from long-term relationships and credible content. 

If you’d like an influencer to truly work hard on your collaboration and provide genuine value, they truly must respect and trust your brand. 

This can only be achieved when you have a person from your brand who is in constant communication with them.

This is why it can be highly useful to have a team of individuals that focus on the relationships you have with influencers for your brand.

Not only will they nurture these relationships but they will also monitor influencer content to ensure it stays on the same page with your brand. 

6. Stay in Touch with the Latest Technological Trends

In the digital age, customers quickly become aware of any new fads or trends that emerge in paid sponsorships, advertisements, and sponsored posts.

Traditional methods have grown extremely old and they are something that isn’t nearly as effective as they used to be. 

Soon, the methods we use today will be replaced as well. It is your responsibility to be in touch with upcoming trends to ensure you don’t become irrelevant as a brand.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself every once in a while: 

  • Are there any new emerging social media platforms you should look into? 
  • What types of posts seem to get the most engagement on your current social media platforms? Text posts? Videos? Images? Polls? 
  • What analytics tools are currently popular to monitor influencer insights and metrics? 
  • What are the latest policies regarding influencer content on the social media platform(s) you use? 

Make sure that you are aware of any and all changes that occur so that you can stay ahead of the curve at all times.

Wrapping Things Up…

Consumer brands take advantage of influencer marketing heavily but now you know that B2B brands can benefit from it as well. 

We’ve only provided a few tips to help you get started but in the end, we must stress that you should put as much time into research as possible. Sit back and ensure that you have all the information you need before you take any actionable steps for influencer marketing.

If you have any more questions, please contact us through the comments section below.