[Estimated reading time: 4 minutes]
Part 1 of this series discussed how influencer marketing is a powerful way to promote B2B companies’ brands and products. This post discusses the types of content to promote, and perhaps more importantly, how to promote it to a relevant audience.
The difference between B2C and B2B blogs
B2C blogs are huge. Independently run lifestyle blogs, food blogs, travel blogs, and corporate B2C platforms (see Chobani) have massive reach. B2B blogs, by their nature, have a smaller audience than their B2C counterparts. These B2B blogs also cannot guarantee that their audiences are 100% businesses. This opens up opportunities for influencer marketing for businesses through B2C blogs, which are cheaper conduits for spreading a message than investing in sponsored content.
An overview of Chobani‘s instagram account.
B2B influencer marketing through B2C channels
Influencer marketing is a severely undervalued way to establish a B2B company’s expertise, and as a means of generating leads and demonstrating trustworthiness. Customer-facing Influencers have established rapport with their audiences, and this is vital when trust drives loyalty. When a B2C or independent blog “endorses” a product or solution, it adds credibility to a B2B’s trustworthiness.
When businesses research a company, these influencer posts build the company’s reputation. Businesses value others’ opinions when selecting businesses to work with, whether through LinkedIn posts, word of mouth, or content shared in email signatures. Influencer marketing through blog channels helps spread brand awareness, but more importantly, it builds a solid online reputation.
Perhaps the most obvious return on investment achieved through influencer marketing is volume of direct leads that B2B organizations gather. When a decision maker sees a business’ content on a trusted channel, they make contact. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Traditional content for influencer marketing
B2Bs that want to amplify their current marketing efforts through influencer marketing should start with content. Content is king. There are two main ways for B2Bs to amplify their message.
- Publish content on an influencer’s website, blog, and social network. The business then amplifies these posts via ‘traditional’ digital marketing channels.
- Native advertising, or “disguised content” is a great way to amplify some content on the internet. These native posts should read like a traditional article, and not an advertisement or PR piece. This will ensure that the native content is actually read by the largest audience possible.
KOL – Key opinion leaders and disruptive strategies
Now we look at disruptive strategies. For instance, instead of convincing a potential client to use its solution, a B2B company can simply convince the potential client’s final customers. Upfluence recently ran a campaign with Javaplus, a healthcare company specialized in the design and production of compact and wireless motorized devices, such as medical devices for Botulinum Toxin (‘Botox’) injections. In this Juvaplus campaign, it was the end user that created demand for Juvaplus’ product. Upfluence contacted prominent fashion, cosmetics, and healthcare bloggers that influence the beauty industry. These bloggers then featured and created content centering around the idea that Botox injections are not painful, they are not taboo anymore, they are not obsolete or exclusively for old people. By speaking to the end user for botox, Juvaplus saw both increased awareness and sales.
Another important technique includes directly contacting key opinion leaders. These people are industry experts and tastemakers, and their opinion means something. Key opinion leaders are especially prevalent in medicine, where a large community of professionals move according to a few respected professionals. For example, a prominent surgeon may be privy to the latest research, drugs, or equipment from a pharmaceutical company or medical devices manufacturer. This early access allows him to form a strong basis for advocating the device or drug in general practice. The surgeon would then share his respected views with colleagues, and may publish an academic article advocating for his newfound perspective.
Key opinion leaders enjoy the status that comes with receiving a “sneak peak” of new information. They also enjoy sharing their views, which become industry-wide topics for discussion upon release. The idea of KOLs also works on a smaller scale and across many industries. The trick is in finding industry influencers and developing relationships that create results.
B2B influencer marketing speaks to those “above” and “below” the intended audience. Businesses are reluctant to change based on a business pitch alone. This is why having customers and industry experts act on a business’ behalf is beneficial.
B2B influencer marketing strategies have to be tailored to the company, and adapted to its community, customers, and brand culture. Because of this, automated solutions are insufficient to do much else than identify influencers – which is merely the starting point of influencer marketing. The real work comes in building relationships with influencers, whether they are key opinion leaders, or final customer influencers.
Building relationships with influencers is a long-term process – one that is not easily done on a large scale, and quickly. Upfluence has these connections. From identifying influencers to developing content that will speak to your ultimate B2B buyer, Upfluence can take your B2B marketing strategy to the next level.
Need to step up your B2B marketing strategy? We can help:
- Send an email to Jérôme Cossavella, our B2B Marketing Expert
- Use our Contact form and we will answer within the next 24 hours.