How Influencer Marketing Can Change the Face of your B2B Business
You must have come across with this trending buzz word “Influencer Marketing” but you aren’t sure about what exactly does that mean. You must be going through a lot of confusions and doubts as listed below.
- What is Influencer Marketing?
- How to research on finding the effective influencers in any particular business niche?
- How effectively to communicate with an Influencer in your niche?
No worries, we’re going to break it all down for you and as we further go through with this post you will have a fine understanding of the above-listed confusions and furthermore you will be in a much better position to start with it and take a necessary action for your business. Let’s dive in.
1. What is Influencer Marketing?
It is the process of achieving one or more combination of your business goals through influencers i.e.; Creating Brand Awareness, Increasing Website Visitors, endorsing a product or increasing sales or establishing an effective communication with an audience that you are trying to seek attention from or want them to take a particular action in your business.
Influencer is an industry-relevant dominant personality who has a good authority, thought leadership, special knowledge and expertise on a particular subject or product and has developed enough amounts of subscribers, followers, viewers, online trust through great content and moreover a targeted audience on social media networks that you are craving to reach for long time.
A small cosmetic company reaching out to a world-famous celebrity to endorse their product because he/she has a lot of fan following and audience trust towards that celebrity. Hence, recommendations from such celebrities make a huge impact on a business whose reach, followers, viewers, subscribers; are very less compared to the celebrity.
2. How to research on finding the effective influencers in any particular business niche?
Now that you have understood what influencer marketing is, let’s dive deep into the process of finding influencers to make it easy for you to start with your influencer marketing for your own business. Please be aware of the fact that this research process is lengthy and time-consuming but if done with patience you can yield a lot of benefits and achieve huge success in your business.
An Influencer could be anyone in below listings who talk or write about the business the same as you.
- Social Media Personality
- Industry Expert
- Thought Leader
- Lifestyle Brand
Influencers need not necessarily mean one with huge audience and followers and more famous like celebrities with 1M+ followers. There are Micro-Influencers too with fewer amounts of highly engaged followers (1000+) who share a particular interest. Macro-Influencers with a larger audience and broader group of fans (100k+).
Depending upon your industry you should also focus on which social platform to use like Beauty and Fashion brands industry top on YouTube and Instagram whereas Gaming Industry shines on Twitch. To help you get started in searching for influencers on social media in any niche you can use any of the below-mentioned tips.
On any social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter you can search for particular keyword in your niche and you’ll find list of hash-tags and accounts relevant to your industry and then you can spy on top hash-tags and accounts for their followers and try connecting to them.
In the below image just below the LinkedIn search bar you can see an option to follow hash-tags of your interest. From there you can easily find popular hash-tags in your niche. You can search for popular hash-tags in all other social media platforms.
Integrated Advanced Social Media Filters
All social media platforms have their own search tools to make your search relevant and easy. Let’s take an example of LinkedIn. You can type a keyword in your niche with apply filter options for better results as shown in below image.
Free Social Media Tools
There are many free tools which help in finding influencers in your niche for all social media platforms. Few are listed below.
Follower-Wonk is a free tool for finding influencers on Twitter. It shows your influencer’s number of followers, no of tweets, account age, and social authority. See below image for influencers in “b2b marketing”. You can type a keyword as per your industry and explore your influencers.
Same ways there are many other tools available for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to explore your influencers. You can find it on Google.
1. Paid Influencer Marketing Tools
There are many paid tools with a lot of advanced features and filters to sort out the best results for a query and analyze it for your benefit. Which is not available in free tools?
Like, Buzz-Sumo, Group-High, Tap-influence and more.
2. Search Engines
You can also make use of popular search engine Google with keywords and hash-tags relevant to your niche and industry and then start connecting them accordingly.
Google has advanced search commands to fetch relevant queries quickly.
Try with this search command.
Site:LinkedIn.com “k followers”
The site: filters results only for LinkedIn and “k followers” is the terminology Google uses to fetch the results having with over 1000 followers along with their profiles, usernames, and follower counts.
Now as we are focusing on finding influencer in our niche, I’ll use Real Estate as my niche, I am a commercial space provider and looking out to reach commercial space seekers. We can use the below command to find influencers.
“K followers” Site: LinkedIn.com Real Estate.
It throws you the results only of real estate influencers. See below image to get a clear understanding. You can also add the location to the end of the search command (real estate).
3. How effectively to connect and Start Conversation with an Influencer in your niche.
Now that you know and clear about who is Influencer, What is Influencer Marketing and How to find them, it’s not an end to the influencer marketing strategy. The major part of influencer marketing involves connecting and starting a healthy conversation with them not just randomly sending friend request or connection request and asking them to help you with your product and service promotion. Influencer marketing works by “you help me and I help you” it should be a win-win situation for both not one-sided.
Influencer Relationship Building Guide
Once you explore influencers in your niche, make sure you don’t stick to just one, make a list of more than one.
“Pro-Tip: Make a list of Influencers competitors as well because your competitors possibly are following same as you at that time focusing on influencers competitors might go good for you”.
Your approach should be gradual, non-aggressive and polite. Invest some time reading on each of your influencer’s contents (Text, Image, Article, Podcast, Videos). Be kind enough to Like, Share Leave a thoughtful comment wherever and whenever you get a chance to do so.
You can also reply to the comments thread in the comment box. Bear in mind don’t just start flushing your comments you would be considered as spammy. Subscribe to their newsletter, white papers, and also keep spying their presence on Online chat forums like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram group chats and also there are many others like Quora, Yahoo Answers and more.
There are few tools that will help you reduce your notification noise and still notify you about your influencer’s latest updates. You can use “Feedly” it consolidates news feeds from a variety of online platforms and help you share with other people.
You can also explore “Talkwalker” and “Newsle” These tools will notify you when your influencers are being mentioned in the news sources.
Start Building In-person and Human Connection
A real in-person human communication always works best and has a proven great impact than the above mentioned online interactions. Look for events and places they visit so you get a chance to meet them personally and once you get that don’t just start talking about yourself but instead talk about themselves, their work, praise and appreciate their work, exchange each other’s business cards and all the while you can find a room to introduce yourself and the work that you do and what you are seeking from them.
Through all these outreach efforts you should be able to make your mark to the influencers and be successful in achieving your end results.
Let’s take an example of a case study below.
Inspiring Real B2B Influencer Marketing Case Study
Prophix – Driving a Message of Innovation and Influence with Interactive Audio
Situation: Prophix is a firm that serves the finance industry with corporate performance management software solutions. They were very sure and confident about their new thought that finance professionals have the ability to shape the future of business and hold a more prominent position at the leadership table.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will be critical to finance innovation, so Prophix wanted to begin talks and answer important questions about AI's role in next financial evolution to their target prospects.
Solution: Top Experts and Market Influencers worked together to co-create an industry resource to build thought leadership for the brand around AI and ML finance innovations among its audience.
A simulated AI character voice called Penny was developed to assist users navigate a microsite featuring industry professionals to add a tech-savvy element to the content experience of this resource. The title of the page was "Adapt & Innovate: AI and the Next Evolution of Finance".
The microsite content was included with promotional graphical motion video, email campaign promotions, landing page promotions, supporting high-quality blog content, social media content and custom graphics for the contributing influencers to share.
Results: 642 percent increase in engagement, fresh relationships with top influencers and countless discussions about AI and finance in association with the brand Prophix among the target audience.
I hope this post was helpful and includes enough information to start with your influencer marketing strategy for your business. Remember, Make friends, if you don’t do so, you’re doing it wrong. Influencer marketing has a lot of benefits like long term relation with the influencer and with their followers and along with a long term revenue generation process.