Influencer marketing is a marketing trend that has become increasingly popular in recent years.
That's because influencers have the power to share your brand with new audiences, create social proof, and educate consumers on your products.
There are many strategies for influencer marketing. Creating a solid strategy specific to B2B sales is essential for success - so is implementing that strategy.
We'll explain B2B influencer marketing, how it works, its benefits, and how you can build a successful influencer marketing strategy to help your B2B business grow.
A solid B2B influencer marketing campaign goes hand in hand with selling on Alibaba.com, one of the world's largest B2B online marketplaces1.
So if you're thinking of opening a seller account, and using B2B influencer marketing to grow your business, read on!
Table of Contents
Before we get into your B2B influencer strategy details, let's break down B2B influencer marketing.
B2B influencer marketing is a powerful tool many brands use to help their business grow.
Influencer marketing, in general, is the use of leaders or figureheads with a large following to promote and sell your products for you. By sharing your brand on their platforms, you can reach new audiences.
B2C influencer marketing works differently than B2B influencer marketing, but we'll explain more later.
Influencer marketing is content marketing and social media marketing combined into one strategy. Pair that with a trusted individual with a valuable reputation, and you have a recipe for success.
Influencer marketing is like getting a public testimonial or review from someone with a loyal and dedicated following.
There are many benefits to using influencers in your B2B marketing strategy. We've created a list of our top five and how they can help your brand.
When you use an influencer marketing campaign, you now have a new untapped audience: their followers!
When an influencer broadcasts your product, they share it with their followers and even their followers' followers, thanks to the shareable nature of internet content.
Influencers are creators with a dedicated audience and knowledge of how to reach viewers beyond their current audience.
By using influencer marketing, you can increase your brand awareness quickly.
Influencers share products alongside their opinions and feedback. If you partner with an influencer who loves your product, they'll share a positive recommendation with their followers.
And since their followers are often dedicated and loyal, they have a special kind of trust built.
If your influencer raves about your product, their followers will be eager to try it too!
Collaborating with knowledgeable and influential people in your market gives your brand a new voice, especially when it comes to B2B influencer marketing and especially when you work with people who are figureheads in your industry.
Take advantage of the opportunity to work with well-informed individuals who can offer insights and ideas about your advertisements, products, and brand.
Social proof is the idea that consumers will make decisions based on what other people are doing.
Influencers are powerful leaders who influence other people's choices. You can increase your brand's social proof by having an influential spokesperson sharing your brand with internet communities.
This phenomenon has been around since celebrity endorsements began. And now, you can access the same marketing method without paying celebrity prices.
Plus - 62% of consumers find influencers more trustworthy than celebrities2.
User-generated content, or UGC, is a great way to gather marketing creatives.
When you partner with an influencer, they'll create content to share on their social media platforms. Whether it's a picture or a video, you'll now have creative material you can use in all your marketing strategies. Share it on your website, in print marketing, in emails - you name it!
If you're wondering how B2B influencer marketing differs from B2C influencer marketing, we're here to help.
B2B influencer marketing is similar to its B2C counterpart. It relies on recommendations from influential people. However, your B2B influencers will need more credentials than a B2C influencer.
B2B influencer marketing relies on influencers with deep industry knowledge, whatever your industry may be. You'll also want them to be a well-known, influential person within your industry. An industry expert will have a better return for your business.
Your target audience will also be those with deep industry knowledge. So you'll need your influencer to know what they're talking about.
You'll need to reach decision-makers, people who make corporate buying decisions, operational decisions, and those who are involved with business-to-business matters.
And that is a simple breakdown of B2B influencer marketing. But how does it work? And how do you implement it?
There are many ways you can implement B2B influencer marketing into your marketing strategies.
Social media and influencer marketing go hand in hand. This is the standard format of influencer marketing, where your influencer shares your brand on their well-established social media platforms.
You send them your product, and they share content reviewing or recommending your brand.
Having industry experts guest star on your website and write a blog post is an excellent form of B2B influencer marketing.
Use their expertise and let them share industry insights, and then direct their audiences to your website.
Using knowledgeable influencers to educate their audiences and yours is a highly effective form of B2B influencer marketing.
Pair with other businesses and industry leaders to educate consumers on your brand, products, and offering. And you'll enjoy watching your B2B marketing strategy take off.
We've detailed B2B influencer marketing, its benefits, and how it differs from B2C influencer marketing. Now we'll share how to build your strategy in 7 easy steps.
The success of any marketing strategy relies on clear goals and a sufficient budget, especially if you want your strategy to be results-driven.
To define your goals, determine what KPIs are most important to you and most indicative of success and growth. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, impressions and reach could be great KPIs to track. If your goal is sales, conversions and action-focused KPIs would be beneficial to focus on.
And with your goals and KPIs, you should also be aware of the budget you're setting. Ensure your KPI goals reflect your budget and vice versa.
Look for influencers who are known or acknowledged in your market and industry. Once you identify the right influencer, examine their credentials.
Influencers often have a media kit that details their rates and statistics, such as their follower count, average reach, and other performance indicators.
You'll want to make sure their credentials match your goals and budget.
Make sure you do your research when sourcing influencers and determining whether you want to work with them. This isn't always an easy process, but it's well worth your attention.
Various software and tools can help you do research and help you narrow down which B2B influencers you should work with. So can social networks, like LinkedIn, Twitter, or professional Facebook groups.
Make sure you keep your goals in mind, as well as your KPIs when conducting research. This will help you narrow down your results and make the best decision possible.
Working with influencers is a business partnership and should be treated as such! Influencers have the power to broadcast your business to the masses. This is a step many brands and companies don't prioritize - don't make that mistake.
Nurturing this partnership will help to create a positive, long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship between your business and your B2B influencers.
Influencers are advocates for your brand, so make sure they have plenty of good things to say about your company!
By setting clear guidelines and expectations, your influencers can create content that will work for them and you.
You'll want top-notch content that attracts customers and aligns with your other marketing strategies. Consistency is key, after all!
Use contracts for both parties to sign and be transparent about how you'll measure success. Since influencers are also experts in marketing, they'll be able to share insights into how they'll aim to meet your goals.
They'll also be able to identify whether there are issues with your strategy.
Give them the tools to succeed by educating your B2B influencers on your brand and products. Whether you organize a Zoom call or share an informative product brief, you should teach them how to educate their viewers on your products. And in turn, you'll lead them on how to sell your products.
Make sure they're clear on the benefits of your product or offer, how it works or how to use it, and what problem it will solve for consumers. Once you educate your influencers, they'll be able to educate their audiences too.
B2B influencers are experts in both their industries and content creation. Give them creative control and let them do what they do best: create content to share on their platforms!
Be clear with your expected deliverables, and let them do the rest. For example, define whether you would like them to share photography, create a video, or write a blog post. Once the deliverables are confirmed, let them work their magic.
Influencer marketing is a lengthy process, and it's all about building relationships - which takes time.
While you're building your relationship with your influencers, they're building relationships with their audiences. That's how they become trustworthy and influential leaders!
Repetitive, consistent partnerships perform better than solo campaigns. Invest time in your partnership and be ready for the long haul.
Alibaba.com is one of the largest B2B wholesale marketplaces in the world. It's an easy-selling platform that reaches millions of buyers in many countries.
Plus, Alibaba.com shares helpful resources such as valuable insights, professional services, and informative articles.
With influencer marketing campaigns, you can direct your customers to your easy and informative storefront on Alibaba.com. Selling your products on a familiar platform will help new customers feel comfortable purchasing from you.
Getting started on Alibaba.com is as simple as five easy steps:
Open a seller account today and watch your business grow.