Why You Need a B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy—And How to Build One

Business-to-business (B2B) influencer marketing is an old strategy that has been used for a very long time.

Business-to-business (B2B) influencer marketing is an old strategy that has been used for a very long time. It happens when one business tells other businesses about a product or service that they should buy. This type of marketing is beneficial because it helps businesses learn about new products and services. Additionally, it allows businesses to build relationships with other businesses. So, how can you make this marketing strategy work for your business, and why should you want to?

Why is it important for businesses to use influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing where you use key people to promote your brand to a larger group of people. You don't sell directly to them, but you can inspire, hire, or pay influencers to help promote your product or service.

In the business world, we see B2B influencers help businesses have a better experience with other businesses. While ad campaigns and spending money on ads may bring traffic, it is still the word-of-mouth influence that helps businesses find each other.

A guide to B2B influencer marketing

How to find people with a lot of influence

Who are your current advocates? Who speaks highly of you to their friends and family? Who refers business to you?

Advocates can be anyone, including clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, or even other professionals in your industry. They speak positively about your company and what you do.

Do your clients connect with each other on social media? Do they tag their friends when they refer someone to you? Do they tell their friends about the services and providers you offer as a way to add value? Where else are they sharing information about you, such as on podcasts, speaking events, or in books?

You can consider sponsoring an event where a potential business partner will be speaking. Build a relationship with them off-stage so that they will promote your company on-stage. You can also feature potential business partners on your own company podcast. Showing that you have relationships with influential businesses will add to the trust factor, which will make other businesses feel comfortable connecting with you.

Develop relationships with influential people in the business world

If you are a fleet manager and you are purchasing new tires for vehicles in your fleet, you might need to have the brakes fixed. You might also need some new decal work done. The tire dealer might suggest a brake shop that specializes in fleet maintenance, and suggests a painting and decal service that one of their other clients uses.

The tire provider did not need the brake guy or decal person. Most likely, the brake shop and decal creator reached out to create a connection that would be beneficial for the tire dealer (and themselves). If you know of other businesses that your clients regularly use, your business can build a connection with benefits for all by using influencers.

Make sure to check out any potential connections you might have

It is easy to quickly start doing business with a company. But you need to take some time to check if the company is affiliated with good companies and if the connection is relevant. To do this, you can use Google, website reviews, or social media audits.

Even if it seems like a good connection, make sure that their affiliations and company culture are a good fit for your business. Otherwise, it could create some reputation, brand, and image problems in the long run.

What are your thoughts on co-creation?

If you are just hoping that your B2B influencer is sharing your service/product accurately or referring potential clients to the right people at your company, you will not get the impact you are looking for.

B2B influencing is about co-creation. Co-creation means working together with the influencer—it is collaboration and partnership. It is developing a relationship, not just a tactical means to an end.

Some companies hire influencers to do a specific job. The company only gives the influencer what is needed to complete the job. But it is better for the company if the influencer has a relationship with the company and gets education and resources so they can have the most impact. Then the outcome will be better.

How will you compensate influencers?

Not all influencer marketing requires you to pay for time. Sometimes, valuable connections are made that don't involve money.

Before you decide to pay for an influencer's services, you should consider if a free connection could work just as well. An influencer's relationship with your brand should provide value for both parties, whether that value is monetary or not.

B2B influencer marketing and your business

Back a few years ago, businesses that sell products and services to other businesses (B2B) wouldn't have even considered using influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Influencer marketing was considered to be a "hack" and was only used by businesses that wanted to get quick results without putting in the hard work. However, businesses have been using this technique for a long time before it became popular and had celebrity status.

Influencer marketing is all about relationships. You need to have a good relationship with an "influencer" and their relationship with your customer or prospect. The key is to know the purpose, audience, and tools necessary to make it work effectively. Knowing your audience and the key influencers in your industry, professional network, or community can make the biggest difference.

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