How to succeed at Influencer Marketing as a B2B company

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The big picture

by Nathalie Van Kenhove

Influencer marketing has become a staple in the modern marketing mix for consumer brands, with 85% of marketers already embracing influencer marketing.
It’s a no-brainer that B2B companies want to get in on the success of influencer marketing. However, they often struggle with how, exactly, they can execute a successful B2B influencer campaign, from identifying the right B2B influencers to which channels to activate the influencers on.
At IMA - Influencer Marketing Agency, we work with B2B brands that are leaders in their field, from computer software to health tech companies, and have developed the formula for success when it comes to running a successful B2B influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer marketing is all about word of mouth, brand endorsements, and increasing credibility. With longer decision-making processes, word of mouth from a trusted source is especially important for a B2B brand.
Did you know that 91% of B2B transactions are influenced by word of mouth? In fact, 87% of B2B buyers say they give more credence to industry influencer content over media-, vendor- and sales content.
Unlike direct to consumer influencer marketing, which can reach audiences on a massive scale, B2B influencer strategies should be optimized for a niche audience, and focus on sharing expert advice. The B2B industry thrives on industry-specific educational materials, such as LinkedIn posts, Tweets, e-books and podcasts, live appearances, lectures, and testimonial videos.

At IMA, we have perfected B2B influencer marketing strategies that are guaranteed to increase your credibility. Every B2B company already has access to three groups of advocates, who are influencers in their professional environment:

1. Customers as influencers

There is nothing that potential customers value more than reviews from existing clients. Your clients’ experiences can be transformed into influential customer success stories.
IMA’s in-house team of designers specialize in video content production and can transform your customer testimonials into high-end assets for a variety of social channels.

2. Employees as influencers

Your employees are experts on your products and/or services. They are the most credible spokespersons for your company, as this is where they spend the majority of their time. Did you know that the reach of your brand messages can increase by 561% when shared by your employees? This group of advocates cannot be ignored, and, even better, is easily activated through and employee advocacy program.
IMA recently won an award at the Employer Brand Management Awards 2019, for our successful Philips employer branding campaign.

3. Experts as influencers

Experts and thought leaders in a specific field hold enormous credibility. An endorsement from an expert related to your products and/or services transfers that credibility onto your business. These B2B experts can range from niche industry experts to CEOs of global companies, from local podcast hosts to TED talk speakers.
It is not the number of followers that makes these influencers relevant, but the strength of their authority. In our latest B2B campaign, an expert influencer’s LinkedIn article reached over 790% of her followers, because it was quickly shared by members in her network and went viral.
IMA’s expertise in developing and executing influencer marketing campaigns means we can connect you with the relevant influencers who get people talking, and acting, thus creating the perfect brand match.

It is important to remember that influencer marketing strategies are all about authenticity. There needs to be a true match between your chosen influencers and your brand, to truly create an impactful campaign. B2B influencer marketing campaigns should value storytelling and personal connection. They should be informative and educational, targeting a specific, niche audience. A successful B2B influencer marketing campaign needs to generate new leads for your business, and thus needs to prioritize quality over large influencer reach.

Excited to develop your first B2B influencer marketing campaign? Get in touch!