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Influencer Marketing: Old Concepts, New Dynamics (Part 2)

Lars Smit    22/05/18

Social Media

 

   

 

Finding the Right B2B-Influencer and Best Practices

 

If you want to convince others of your high-quality service, credibility is the word. However, this cannot be bought, nor is it given to you. It takes a lot of effort to make your company credible towards your critical clients. Working together with the wrong influencer can ruin well-established credibility within minutes. So, it is also in your interest to find someone who is not doing it just for the money, but is also familiar enough with the kind of products you sell. A good influencer needs to be someone who wants to be a spokesperson for your brand and is willing to invest time in learning more about your company.

 

What kind of people would be suitable for your influencer campaign and where to find them?

 

Finding the right person can be a challenge, but there are some logical starting points.

You can start with thinking about well-known people in your field, like successful entrepreneurs or prominent speakers at exhibitions. Which influencers are branding products similar to what you are selling? How does this person advertise products or services? How is this person talking about the company he is cooperating with? Or, maybe most importantly, how do they talk about competitive offers? Here are some ideas that have proven to be successful:

 

Journalists

Journalists are always a good choice. Firstly, they are knowledgeable, or at least eager to learn more about new developments in their field to enhance their own expertise. Plus, they have the skills to convey information in a compelling way. Additionally, successful journalists already have a large audience, or are looking for ways to expand it. Chances are big that your fellow competitors and your future clients are also familiar with at least one research journalist who writes about developments within technology, internet and science. For these reasons journalists can be great mediators and are most certainly an option to consider for your influencer campaign.

 

Previous or current clients

Clients can give great and detailed testimonials about working with you. Positive feedback is always nice to get, but when used strategically, this might be one of the most convincing ways to appeal to new clients. The B2B-world is vast, but due to globalization and the internet, business networks are getting bigger and bigger. Using words of appraisal from someone you worked with is a very strong and believable marketing tool and is particularly strong in strengthening your brand and reaching out to new customers.

 

People that work for you

This is known as ‘Employee Advocacy’ and basically means that your employees actively brand your company. Research has shown that this kind of influencer marketing can be extremely successful and cost-effective, and it can lead to 561% more organic results. Moreover, authentic company content that was posted by employees on their private social media accounts had 8 times more comments, likes and shares in comparison to posts that were published by the company itself. Employee advocacy is not only a way to do marketing, but also to deepen the relationship between the company and its workers by making them feel more valuable. It is likely that your employees will turn out to be your most enthusiastic brand ambassadors.

 

The Do’s & Don’ts of Influencer Marketing – Best Practices

 

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

This quote, made famous by Scottish-born scientist, entrepreneur and founding father of the American Telephone and Telegraph company Alexander Bell, fits for the case of influencer marketing. Before you reach out to any possible influencer to cooperate with, you should first set rules of engagement. One thing you need to go through in advance is setting goals. What do you want to achieve with your influencer campaign? Is it brand awareness or should it lead to more sales? Do you want more people to engage with your brand on social media platforms? It is important to have these things clear in order to come up with an effective strategy. Other questions are: who are your buyers? Where can they be found online? Which influencers are active within the field? Would they be suitable for your brand as well? Furthermore, you should not forget to decide on a budget and how this budget can be allocated. Keep in mind that you will probably spend more than you initially think. Product samples or appearances on exhibitions need to be taken into account. Once you have a good overview of your expenses and your goals, it is time for the next step.

 

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”

Mark Twain’s words are timeless and in terms of influencer marketing surprisingly applicable. Whereas in the B2B-world business communication tends to be more distant, when reaching out to your influencers of choice, kindness is key to winning someone’s endorsement. Nowadays it is getting more difficult to cooperate with successful influencers, because more and more people get aware of their personal branding and what they can achieve with it. This makes influencers pickier, which means you should find a way to convince them of working with you for other than monetary reasons. Engage with the influencer’s content, be interactive and show that your interest is genuine. Once there is mutual interest, you can start working on a relationship and delve deeper into questions how you share a similar philosophy and how you can both profit from a cooperation. When you are on the same wave-length, you already have a strong foundation for a successful influencer campaign.

 

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Henry Ford’s quote is exactly what an influencer marketing campaign is all about. Once you have established a sincere working relationship, you can think about what kind of content the two of you want to create, which channels you want to publish it on and what the marketing planning is going to look like. ‘Together’ is the magic word here. Remember that an influencer built up their own social media following and created their own style. As a business marketeer you should respect this. Try to create content that both parties are happy with and that is in sync with your company brand as well as with the influencer’s personal branding. In addition, you can discuss how you want to brand certain products. Do you prefer for instance detailed product reviews, or would you rather see small hints to your brand name? Microcontent is an ideal way to brand your product, without overdoing it.

 

“Numbers tell the tale.”

This proverb should be hanging on the wall of every company’s cafeteria. How do you track the results of your influencer marketing campaign? As with any other campaign you can collect data, analyze it and ameliorate your campaigns accordingly. There are tools that can help you with tracking social media activity. How often was your content viewed, liked and shared? How many new subscribers did you get? How often has your brand been named online during your campaign? Traackr is a tool that was especially created to measure the results of influencer marketing campaigns and is a way for you to get insights in were successes have been made and which obstacles still need to be overcome. However, in order to do so, you should define at first what a conversion is and create landing pages that are conversion-friendly.

 

   In conclusion, don’t forget that even when your active brand campaign and the cooperation with the influencer is over, the effects can still be noticed months, sometimes even years later, so wait a while before you start analyzing the success rate of your influencer marketing campaign.