Influencer marketing burst into popularity in 2016. But with that surge in popularity came a lot of misconceptions surrounding the strategy – including the myth that influencer marketing is just meant for B2C brands. Contrary to that belief, influencer marketing can drive massive success for B2B brands.
How Influencer Marketing Can Help B2Bs
While influencer marketing can help bring in customers, it can also be fundamental in driving thought leadership.
That was GetResponse’s goal. They wanted to be known as a thought leader in the marketing automation space and become the go-to resource for marketers interested in learning more about marketing automation. But GetResponse couldn’t do it alone – they needed the help of professional marketing automation experts that people knew and trusted. With these experts, they created the Marketing Automation Hub, a space to accumulate contributed content and resources around marketing automation.
One thing that was important for GetResponse was to provide content and tips even if it recommended a service that GetResponse doesn’t currently offer. By providing holistic information, GetResponse stands out in the space as a brand determined to provide the best, most credible information.
Take-Away 1: Identify Expert Influencers
The first and most crucial step in any influencer marketing campaign is to identify the right influencers. With more than 73% of marketers listing “choosing influencers” as their biggest challenge in influencer marketing, marketers can’t ignore the importance of this step.
By choosing the right influencers, B2B brands can effectively drive thought leadership and gain recognition among peers and potential customers as an industry leader. GetResponse started their own influencer identification by creating a list of the types of topics they wanted to cover in the Marketing Automation Hub, and then identifying experts in those spaces.
Your own influencer list can consist of:
- Industry leaders you’ve connected with at conferences
- Influencers your brand has previously interacted with
- People found through identification tools like Insightpool to find experts in relevant topics
When creating your list of influencers, keep in mind to value Relevancy over Reach. The people with the most followers are not necessarily the most influential. We’ve all seen the “expert marketers” with millions of followers who just seem to repost other people’s content without adding their own original thoughts. Those people may have a social following, but it’s not an active one.
Take-Away 2: Give Value to Get Value
In some cases, especially when influencers are creating original content, paid relationships can work. But there can be consequences: if influencers just seem in it for the paycheck, audiences won’t take your partnership with them seriously. A survey published in eMarketer found that 59% of respondents “said posts that are inconsistent with the rest of an influencer’s feed feel fake.”
There are other ways to give value to influencers beyond payment, including:
- Sharing their content. Quote them in your blog posts and resources to support their position as a thought leader.
- Granting them more visibility. Interact with them on social to share your audience with theirs.
- Sharing your services with them. By giving influencers access to your product or service, you can share the love – and it’ll make their recommendations more meaningful because they can speak to your brand’s value firsthand.
GetResponse shared their influencers’ content, which encouraged those influencers to in turn promote GetResponse’s Marketing Automation Hub content. The mutual sharing both spread the word about the blog and strengthened the relationship between GetResponse and their influencers.
Learn More About How GetResponse Used B2B Influencer Marketing
Through B2B influencer marketing, GetResponse increased their blog traffic by 30%. We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the insights that GetResponse shared in our webinar. Click here to view the webinar in full, or here to just view the slides on SlideShare.
Our webinar with GetResponse was recorded as part of our Age of Influence series.