Influencer marketing isn’t just for B2C companies
By: Matt Sourgoutsidis
November 24, 2016 | Reading Time: 4 mins
Think influencer marketing only applies to B2C companies? Think again.
Influencer marketing combines the best of two worlds. It has the personality of word-of-mouth advertisement combined with all the power of social media marketing. It’s about identifying individuals who have influence over potential buyers, and optimizing marketing activities around those influencers.
In short, credible influencers with a dedicated and connected audience can reinvigorate your sales funnel.
In the past, we lived by the notion that influencer marketing is only for B2C companies. But as Eric Lam, CEO of Revfluence points out, the power of influencers might be too great to overlook,
“Influencer marketing is incredibly powerful because it empowers brands to go directly to those authentic, trusted voices that buyers have already been turning to. Better yet, influencers can help boost the ROI across your entire organization.”
Still not convinced that influencer marketing can impact B2B? Here are some stats.
- A Forrester Research report showed that 85% of B2B decision-makers rely on trusted online communities when researching business technologies
- A DemandGen study that shows 72% of B2B buyers use social media to research a purchase and 53% rely on trusted recommendations to make a purchase
- A McKinsey & Company study that cites word-of-mouth as the primary factor behind 20% – 50% of ALL purchasing decisions
Influencer marketing is growing and digital marketing is crowded
B2B companies that put off influencer marketing in favour of more traditional techniques risk sacrificing access to a rapidly growing channel. The below graphic demonstrates that marketers rated influencer marketing as the fastest-growing channel over organic search and other methods.
A reason influencer marketing is growing so fast is our hyper-connected world. More than ever, people are able to find other people that share common interests. Reddit communities, Facebook groups, and Twitter feeds all connect people based on the content they are posting and consuming.
In addition, the digital marketing ecosystem is getting crowded. Ads are lost among the sea of competition or being blocked all together. According to eMarketer, 69.8 million Americans use an ad blocker. Next year, that number is expected to jump to 86.6 million people. Influencers allow you to fly under the radar, and provide credibility to your brand without coming off as an ad.
Influencer marketing is cost-effective and provides high ROI
Pictured in the graphic below, influencer marketing is tied with email marketing for the most cost-effective customer acquisition channel.
In addition, influencer marketing provides the highest returns on investment (ROI). On average, businesses generate $6.50 in revenue per each $1 invested in influencer marketing. Pictured below, most businesses receive results from influencer marketing, with only the bottom 18% seeing no returns.
We tend to forget companies are made up of people…
We’re always looking to separate the B2C and the B2B space. But we tend to forget that companies are made up of people. You sway organizations to make decisions, by convincing the people that work there to see your side of the story. Influencer marketing works for B2B companies in the same way it works for B2C companies.
For example, let’s use an example of a B2B company that sells enterprise software to large corporations. They can integrate influencer marketing into their campaign by interviewing clients and collecting testimonials. Clients are closely connected with your value proposition and branding. They can be some of the best influencers for quick growth.
In turn, with current clients posting curated content, prospective clients will be able to see the value your company provides hands-on with testimonials credible influencers. After all, B2B marketing is more than connecting with relevant influencers, it’s about becoming one as well.
The numbers don’t lie.
We’ve seen the stats and all the data. Influencer marketing is cost-effective, provides high ROI, and is growing fast.
So why wouldn’t B2B companies look to capitalize on such a lucrative channel? Odds are, you’re probably already doing some form of influencer marketing. If you’re not…
Partnering with influencers in your industry will grow your brand expertise and recognition. This will help attract quality leads and the attention of other thought leaders. It can give you access to new markets and new ideas.
As a B2B company, you need to reclaim your brand authority. Start today with a dedicated influencer marketing strategy.