What if you could open up a completely new marketing channel and double audience engagement? You can – with Social Influencer Marketing.
Hang on a minute, you say: getting third parties to talk about a brand is just good old-fashioned Word of Mouth, right? But in today’s always-on, social media-fuelled world, Social Influencer Marketing has reached dizzying new heights. Product sales can skyrocket if the right vlogger, YouTuber or Instagrammer says it’s a Good Thing.
Word-of-mouth-based marketing generates twice the sales of paid advertising – and customers acquired this way show a 37% higher retention rate – McKinsey
But with Zoella, Marcus or Alfie unlikely to wax lyrical about the latest secure servers or accountancy software, can Influencer Marketing really work in the world of B2B, where audiences are time-poor, buying decisions protracted, and there’s more at stake?
It can, and it does.
B2B’s carefully-considered purchase cycles rely heavily on opinions and input from multiple parties. In fact, according to USM, 9 out of 10 B2B buyers are influenced by word of mouth , while IDC reveals that 86% will follow – and indeed swallow – the opinions of vocal individuals in their domain of interest across social media. With up to 80% of B2B buyers’ research being done before they’ll even think of talking to you, Influencer Marketing is a savvy way to get your brand on their shortlist.
So what makes a social influencer?
According to the Content Marketing Institute: Credibility. Trustworthiness. Authenticity. An additional consideration is “objectivity”, since independent content is trusted by almost twice as many customers (51%) as branded content (27%) . Identify influencers in your market – bloggers, journalists, industry experts, consultants and analysts with social media reach, relevance and resonance – by tapping into LinkedIn Groups, Google Hangouts, live Twitter chats and other forums they frequent.
What does Social Influencer Marketing look like in B2B?
You, too, can generate greater levels of engagement with your content as long as you take the time to identify the right voices, and provide a clear value exchange between brand and influencer.
Take Oracle’s recent Influencer Marketing programme. The tech giant identified influencers in the Digital Banking space and recruited them to co-create a piece of consumer research, along with carefully sourced FinTech experts, to share with Oracle audiences. The value to the influencers was that the content positioned them as experts to a fresh audience. Oracle benefited from the credibility that the influencers added to their content, plus vastly increased exposure when the content was, in turn, shared by the influencers across their own considerable networks.
B2B Social Influencer Marketing
Your 12-step insider guide
In influencer marketing, it’s not always the size of your following that counts. It’s what you do with it.