What Works in B2B Influencer Marketing and How to do Implement?
With B2B marketing, you aren’t always trying to grab the attention of the masses. Usually, you just want to catch the eyes of target clients and their respected gatekeepers and decision makers. Therefore, a celebrity’s face next to your logo may not be enough.
1. High Profile Guests
Many things have changed in the digital age, but the value of having a celebrity associated with your brand still holds weight.
- Cisco executed this (albeit very straightforward) strategy by featuring Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston in its closing keynote. Sure, there wasn’t a huge overlap in relevance — Cisco is a software developer, while Bryan Cranston played an ex-chemistry teacher turned meth manufacturer — but it was a chance for Cisco to showcase the status of its brand, and a lighthearted way to wind down its four-day event.
2. Brands as Influencers
When it comes to the B2B space, influencer doesn’t have to mean a person — and Microsoft proved that when it joined with National Geographic to leverage its relatively large social media reach.
- The goal was to encourage more females to pursue scientifically creative career paths (putting this particular campaign in the grey area between B2C and B2B). Microsoft brought in some renowned photographers to mark International Women’s Day with an Instagram campaign named "Make What’s Next," via the National Geographic Instagram account.
3. Client Testimonials
Testimonials have always been valuable, but with the right twist, businesses can amplify each testimonial into a fully fledged B2B influencer marketing campaign.
- Going the extra mile to capture those testimonials on camera or through audio will give them an even sharper edge — making them perfect for sharing on social media and at your events.
- The sweetest part of a testimonial coming from a company executive is the authenticity that it brings. That’s especially useful considering 48 percent of consumers assume most reviews are fake — an assumption that’s much harder to make when the testimonial comes from a respectable company.
4. Your Employees
Influencers don’t have to live too far from home. In fact, your employees have enough clout to bring in a crowd.
- This strategy demonstrates that in a B2B environment, influencers aren’t necessarily A-list celebrities. On the contrary, they tend to be those who have built a reputation within small corners of their respective industries. Micro-influencers, if you will.
5. Influencer-Backed Assets
In the B2B world, whitepapers, case studies and reports of all kinds can garner attention. So imagine a report filled with quotes and insights from industry thought leaders.
- TopRank Online Marketing and Content Marketing Institute took this strategy by the horns for the promotion of the 2014 Content Marketing World conference. They came together to construct an ebook filled with more than 40 influencers from major brands including LinkedIn, MarketingProfs, Kapost, Facebook and Copyblogger.