Influencer marketing is a type of marketing which focuses on a few key social media influencers rather than a group of consumers.
While traditional marketing is more about creating promotional campaigns in order to influence consumers and their decision-making process, influencer marketing offers a competitive edge since it gives credence to your products/services.
When a business adopts influencer marketing, it essentially identifies individuals carrying a great deal of influence over their followers, i.e., potential buyers. It’s important to note that influencer marketing works in tandem with other forms of marketing such as content marketing and social media marketing.
Many businesses have benefited from influencer marketing to propel their social media campaigns. In 2016, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) roped in social media influencer DJ Khaled to launch their social network campaign, which brought them over 350,000 views in the first two days alone. Indeed, influencer marketing can help your business succeed, offering a wealth of potential benefits including enhanced customer awareness and outreach.
Influencer Marketing for Enterprise Companies
Even as Influencer Marketing has caught on with businesses, a recent survey by Traackr and Top Rank Marketing revealed that only five percent of enterprises had adopted Influencer Marketing as part of their outreach campaign. According to Top Rank Blog, the survey conducted on 102 brand strategists and marketers from leading enterprise companies such as American Express and Microsoft, found there were several significant challenges enterprise companies faced when implementing influencer marketing.
Here are some tips for B2B businesses to get the most out of their influencer marketing efforts.
Identify Industry Experts: Influencer Marketing works effectively only when you choose the right people for your campaigns. To start with, you must identify the prominent personalities your potential customers engage with on social media channels. Your prospective influencers could include professionals from a wide range of fields such as journalism, blogging, consulting and so on.
Traackr, LittleBird, BuzzSumo, FollowerWonk, and KeyHole are some of the popular tools which can help you identify prospects that fit the bill. Many B2B businesses also use LinkedIn to track their prospective influencers and their engagement metrics. Regardless of the tools you use, make sure your influencers are active and engage with their followers frequently. Don’t simply go by their follower count.
Bonding with Industry Influencers: Even though you have identified your prospective influencers, you can’t simply get them to promote your content right away. As a matter of fact, influencer marketing starts with nurturing an emotional bond with your prospects across social media channels over a period of time. There are several ways to connect with your potential industry influencer and the methods could vary a bit depending on the platform.
According to Chris Horton, one needs to be subtle, interactive and empathetic while bonding with their chosen influencers on Twitter. Remember, establishing a healthy relationship can take a while - therefore, you must exercise patience and demonstrate discretion.
Here are a couple of best practices you should follow in order to nurture a long-lasting relationship with influencers on Twitter.
#1 - Engaging with your influencers is key to building a healthy relationship with them. Whether you’re using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, be sure to mention them appropriately. This will bring you their valuable attention and, if you’re sharing quality content with your followers, they are likely to respond to your updates sooner or later.
#2 - Retweeting your influencers’ tweets frequently is another great way to connect with them, although it works only when other engagement best practices are followed.
#3 - Another great way to connect with your influencers is to add something positive and worthwhile to their tweets. This also allows you an opportunity to stand out from other followers and catch their attention. Likewise, you could ask them meaningful questions, helping them make their engagement more meaningful and insightful.
#4 - Creating great content, e.g, blog posts, infographics, which highlight the advice of your industry influencers, and then sharing it with them on Twitter has proved to be one of the most successful tactics for many businesses. However, influencers with a larger number of followers may engage with the content unless it offers a great deal of value.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more tips on how to connect with your desired influencers across social platforms, here are some great tips.
Collaborating with Influencers: Active collaboration with industry influencers is the most effective way to amplify your influencer marketing campaigns. In fact, this is the ultimate objective of every B2B business. However, depending on the popularity of the influence, it may be extremely challenging to get them onboard with you. This is where your long-term relationship with your influencers becomes handy.
One of the more common ways to collaborate with your prospective influencers is to have them write a guest post on your blog. Alternatively, you could request them to co-author a blog post or participate in a survey to share their advice on a trending topic related to your industry. These opportunities help you get great amplification and brand exposure on social media.
With the significant rise of social media consumption and engagement in the recent years, consumers tend to trust their influencers, which greatly impacts their belief (or lack of it) in the brand they wish to associate with. With a robust Influencer Marketing strategy, B2B businesses can leverage this potential and gain a competitive edge in their respective industries.