Influence marketing in B2B: Should you use influencers to boost your brand awareness online?

The rise of the internet and social platforms since 2010 has been driven by the advent of brand content (B2C) or content marketing (B2B) and online advertising.

But, as you may have noticed, organic publications on brand pages have seen their reach divided by 10 over the last decade.

Today, less than 5% of the fans of a Facebook page actually see your publication unless you use advertising measures. Nevertheless, these often do not bring the expected ROI:

  • The implementation of really efficient campaigns is often very technical and therefore complex,
  • The regular changes of the social networks’ algorithms require a permanent adaptation.

Moreover, due to the multiplication of undesirable ads, pop-ups, banners and others, many users, weary, use various blockers, thereby wiping out campaigns that are often very costly. It is estimated that nearly 30% of Internet users use them. Given this, many companies have sought alternatives and some of them have turned to the recent phenomenon of influence.

Influence marketing is the set of techniques that tend to use the recommendation or prescription power of influencers

In short, it’s all about relying on people who are known and followed, to relay messages in the form of recommendations to their own community, which can be counted in millions. These digital opinion leaders have a real power to impact buying behavior.

B2B et marketing d'influence

Influence on social networks: an undeniable lever

Social networks have an undeniable virality potential and offer a high visibility to contents: people from all over the world have a direct access to the presented products and services. Influence thus allows brand messages to be communicated on a large scale and encourages the decision to buy. Influencers are then the relay between their community and the brands.

tableau des différents types d'influenceurs

The different profiles of influencers

Two groups stand out among these different influencer profiles:

The big influencers : a lot of visibility but a minimal engagement rate as their community is so large and diverse.
The small influencers : less visibility but an optimal engagement. Their community being more specific and limited, there is more proximity and real exchanges.

For a brand, having recourse to influence marketing represents real advantages depending on its objectives: gaining visibility, reinforcing its brand image or even acquiring new customers.
This strategy has been widely proven in B2C…

But what about B2B? Is this approach relevant? Are there any B2B influencers? If so, where to find them? How to identify them? And what budget should we spend on them?

Influence Marketing for B2C and B2B : what are the differences? What are the stakes?

For these two audiences, the motive and the buying journey are not the same.

In B2C, consumers are looking to satisfy a specific purchase need, in a simple and quick way.
While emotional leverage remains fundamental, users are increasingly looking for authentic and unbiased feedback, especially on social networks.

As for B2B, the sales process is much longer and requires convincing several decision makers.

They are looking for recommendations but above all for expertise. The number of followers in B2B doesn’t matter, it’s the authority that counts: its qualification and its (relative) impartiality are what is at the heart of a successful campaign.

A DemandGen study reports that 90% of B2B buyers are unresponsive to sales leads and prefer to start their buying process independently on the Internet.
At the same time, 78% of users trust information from their peers more than from a brand (Nielsen study).

B2B influencers, who are they? 

If we follow these studies, every professional could potentially be a B2B influencer.

Unlike B2C influencers, the role of B2B influencers is not to promote a product but to bring an expert point of view to help conversion. It is therefore crucial to take into account their knowledge of the industry. In short, they must be qualified, trustworthy and able to understand your brand’s positioning and values… Just that!

B2B influencers, where to find them? 

In B2C, there are many platforms such as Hivency, Traackr, Kolsquare and others. Influencers are also obviously present on social networks. By following your key themes, you should be able to identify the people generating the most conversions around them.

On the other hand, in B2B, it will be much more complicated to identify them: their main activity is not influence. Often authority figures, they can be journalists, consultants, analysts or even your partners and collaborators.

This approach is difficult in B2B and achieving sustainable results is not an easy task:

  • There are not that many mega or macro-influencers,
  • Many of them have a profession that forbids them to spread messages with a too obvious advertising character,
  • One-off actions can indeed have very good results, but these are ephemeral, due to the two previous points.

Finally, with all these prerequisites, who better to embody your company’s values to the world than… your employees? Making them your brand ambassadors offers you many of the advantages of external influencers, only faster and less expensive.

The advantages of mobilizing your employees
  • They are at the heart of your news,
  • They have direct experience with the brand
  • They have natural knowledge of your offerings and services
  • They represent a significant engagement rate – on the same scale as a nano-influencer,
  • Their audience is qualitative (family members, prospects, customers,…)
  • They already embody the human dimension of your company.

This approach, of mobilizing your company’s stakeholders to share branded content on their own social accounts, is called Advocacy Marketing. Similar to influence marketing, you reach a wider audience and generate more engagement on your content.

Advocacy Marketing involves not only employees, but also managers, partners, resellers and sometimes even customers, in a collective influence process.

This long-tail logic will seek to involve hundreds of nano-influencers to have a strong and above all lasting impact. This approach has many advantages, it is a win-win strategy for both the company and the stakeholders.

Limber offers you the possibility of piloting an Advocacy Marketing approach with ease.

Our platform enables you to :

  • Monitor the performance of the process in real time,
  • Automate recurring publication actions,
  • Suggest content to share,
  • Engage your ambassadors with a gamification system,
  • Implement employee contribution processes.

And to top it all off, it is possible to access it from your computer, and also from your cell phone! Of course, to be successful, such an approach must rely on the willingness of employees to become spokespersons and influencers for their organization. Do not hesitate to download our White Paper where we give you all the keys to launch your Advocacy Marketing project.

The following two tabs change content below.

Anais Tajan

With a degree in literature and a passion for marketing, I pursue my path at Limber where I am in charge of communication and content writing.

One comment on “Influence marketing in B2B: Should you use influencers to boost your brand awareness online?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.