We all know the impact that sponsored posts to have on YouTube and Instagram and several other social platforms, but it can also be a valuable strategy in the B2B world.
Here’s how to do the right thing for your business.
Understand the meaning of influence
The first step in designing a successful B2B influencer strategy is to determine what an influencer really is. For some, this will reflect on how they approach the flu.
It’s all about passion: passion creates energy and people get energy. That’s why you need to find and work with people who are already passionate about what your company does – these are your real influencers.
The goal should be a long-term partnership, rather than a one-time financial exchange where you pay the influencer for your approval. To get value from working together, you need to find people who want to work with you as much as you want to work with them.
Instead of looking for macro-influencers or those with more followers, find lawyers who naturally buy your product or participate in the experience you offer. Finding the right people is the key to building trust and authority in the B2B space, whether you’re working with your customers on case studies and testimonials, or joining forces with prominent people in your industry.
The element of trust is fundamental to the success of the influencer. It doesn’t matter if you sell technology or training solutions; people will trust someone else’s confidence if the person they come from is relevant to the industry and speaks from experience.
In short, the influence must be organic and genuine: working with an influencer who is a long way from what you do, or giving him prescribed positions to share, costs you the important “human” element.
And trust works both ways. As a B2B brand, you use a tone of voice, heritage, and identity to build confidence in who you are and what you do. Clarifying your values and your position is essential if you want to create meaningful and lasting partnerships with influencers.
Search your community
The community is the center of influence, especially for B2B brands. It is important to cultivate a community that speaks with passion about what you are selling.
So, how do you find these people? Traditional influencer discovery tools are less useful here, so start with Facebook and LinkedIn groups. I am part of several social media and digital marketing groups where there is a real sense of community because everyone is there for the same reason: to improve themselves and their skills. We influence each other most naturally and biologically. Also, consider starting conversations or collaborating with people who have their own groups or forums.
The benefits of online dating go beyond finding influencers. In addition to providing a natural introduction to the conversation, asking group questions can provide valuable information. For example, I recently prepared a college degree and asked a group what advice they would give to graduates who want to work in digital marketing. I received 40 or 50 responses. This is the kind of power that comes from connecting with networks and communities.
Can’t find a relevant group? Make your own. This is a great way to make conversations easier and learn more about what your customers and audience want.
Use passion in your organization
Employees are often an untapped resource in implementing B2B influence strategies. You will have to find people in your organization who are really passionate about the space you work in and what you offer because they naturally want PR.
Talking about what is happening in the sector, in their own words on their own platforms, draws the attention of employees that can lead to new business opportunities. I quote the content that opinion articles produce.
Another advantage of this approach is that it naturally brings a human element to your business. As a company, you often set guidelines on what to say and how. But when your employees speak for themselves, they convey understandable feelings and opinions, without restrictions.
So, what can you, as an organization, do to encourage it? Well, if you want to be successful, the desire to influence must be genuine and come first from the employee. Whichever company you work for, there will be people in your organization who are passionate about your business and will hear comments about it on their platforms. Even if you don’t want to force anything, you can create a culture where people are naturally more open to talking about your brand and the amazing things you do.
That is why your recruitment strategy is so important. Hiring passionate people, even if they don’t have the skills you want in the long run, maybe a better option than hiring someone with more experience, but less likely to hire you.
By renting separately, you can also help practically. For example, if employees want to create content but don’t have writing skills, you can provide support by connecting them with someone in the organization who will do ghostwriting for them.
Learn from B2C brands
final tip: although B2B strategies are different from B2C, you still learn a lot from B2C. B2C brands, for example, tend to connect better with their audience at the lifestyle level. But in B2B organizations, the instinct is to maintain a corporate voice. However, remember that you are still talking to people, even when they are at work. So be brave and stick to your cause if you want your strategy to be successful