Working with influencers can be a great way to get your message out, and it can even bypass the need for marketing and sales altogether because you’re effectively outsourcing the job to your army of loyal brand advocates. When someone else takes the time to sing your company’s praises, it taps into a phenomenon known as social proof in which people trust what other people say about brands more than what those brands say about themselves.
The problem is that many B2B companies don’t take the time to think about influencers. They assume that influencer marketing is only for B2Cs and that there are better ways for B2B companies to spend their marketing budgets. But the good news for you is that this means that there’s less competition for these influencers’ attention, so if you’re able to identify them, to reach out to them and to work with them then you’ll be a step ahead of your rivals.
Believe it or not, the hardest part about working with influencers is identifying them in the first place. This is particularly true when it comes to more obscure industries or B2B companies that work in a specific niche. For example, finding influencers in the finance industry is relatively easy, but finding influencers who specialise in offering advice about grants to manufacturing startups is much more difficult. Sometimes you have to make compromises and work with who you can find.
Working with influencers
Once you’ve identified who you want to work with, the next step is to reach out to them. Remember that many of these people run their blogs, vlogs and podcasts in their spare time and so when you ask them to help to promote your brand, you’re also effectively asking them to give up their time to help you to make money.
That’s why you need to make sure that you go in with a strong offer. In many cases, this takes the form of free merchandise in exchange for an honest review, but there are other ways to add value such as by providing unique content or offering discount codes and free trials to their readers. In some cases, all you really need to offer is your own expertise. On top of that, each influencer is different, so it’s worth putting in the time up front to get to know what makes them tick and to understand what kind of offer might work with them.
Be prepared to go out of your way to accommodate these people and their desires. After all, they have the power to introduce your brand to their army of followers, but they’re not going to take the time to do that unless they can see how it benefits them.
Working with influencers isn’t necessarily easy, but it is rewarding and can have all sorts of unexpected benefits, whether we’re talking about the value of inbound links to your website or whether we’re talking about an increase in sales. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it, but the fact that not everyone is trying to do it is what makes it so powerful, particularly for B2Bs. Try it sometime. You’ll thank us.
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