Over the past decade, the number of influencers has grown at a pace most firms can’t keep up with. The proliferation of social media, and its ability to broadcast far and wide has given influencers the power to create content and become brand advocates. Even though reach and volume play a vital role in both B2B and B2C markets, 69% of influencer marketing campaigns are B2C, while only 31% have B2B focus. But, is now the time for the B2B market to tap into influencers?
Opportunity to spark thought
Since all brands compete for a share of market and voice in their respective industries, partnering with influencers holds benefits for both B2B and B2C players. Especially as working with people who have already earned respect from an audience provides recognition and visibility in crowded spaces. With the average person spending 142 minutes on social media per day, consumers are quick to use their social channels for inspiration, opinions and recommendations. Therefore, B2B campaigners need to take advantage of these platforms and place their content where most people interact and spend their time. The biggest misconception in the B2B sector is that social media channels and influencers are for consumer-focused organisations, yet behind every employee is a consumer. B2B businesses need to look at influencer marketing as an opportunity to provoke thought and educate target audiences, initiate conversations outside of the office arena.
The power authenticity
While many business leaders doubt the impact influencers hold, the transparency currently being sought and implemented across the influencer industry through new Advertising Standards Agency regulation is going some way to creating an authentic space for businesses to participate in. On top of that, influencers engage with their audiences on a human level – speaking their audience’s language and doing away with business jargon. They have the freedom to be more personable and informative than traditional media, who must follow a ‘house style’. If B2B businesses want to educate their target audience on a much deeper level, influencers can provide a valuable platform while keeping their values intact.
Influencer marketing has undoubtedly proven its worth amongst marketers, with 89% agreeing that its ROI is comparable, if not better, than other channels. The landscape of traditional media has shifted in an almost unrecognisable way, where most platforms now compete for the same marketing budget. As a result, utilising influencers can undeniably be an excellent way for B2B brands to tap into niche markets to raise brand awareness.
B2B brands can no longer avoid influencer marketing. Whilst the social channels utilised and content created will be different, there are influencers out there who have gained trust from target audiences and can draw them to brands in ways unavailable to the brand owners themselves. So, when planning your next campaign, consider if influencer marketing is territory to be explored. If approached in the right way, there is an opportunity to get bang for your buck.