2023 will see budget squeezes in all business verticals and B2B marketers will too have to adapt their strategy to make the most of what they have. Influencer marketing can bring immense value to your brand. While 90% of respondents of our 2022 State of B2B Social Media Marketing study see the value of influencer marketing, only 30% run influencer campaigns or have always-on programs.
If you’re still unsure of why you should try influencer marketing, we’ve highlighted the reasons why you should and pinpointed the areas that will benefit the most from it.
Serve the changing B2B buyer
The B2B buyer is changing – 42% of B2B decision makers are now Millennials & Gen Z. It’s not surprising that the new generation of buyers has a vastly different approach to making decisions (they did, after all, grow up with the rise of the internet). On average, they spend 97 days before making a decision. That’s 13 days more than Gen X and 35 days more than Baby Boomers!
The 2022 B2B Buyer Behaviour Survey found that these new steps have been added to the buying process:
- Using more sources to research and evaluate purchases (32%);
- Spending more time using social media to research vendors and solutions (31%);
- Relying more on peer recommendations/review websites (29%).
In addition, 84% of survey respondents answered ‘Yes’ when asked if the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their buying decision.
If the new generation of buyers are more and more influenced by quality content, internet searches and peer reviews, then influencer marketing is a no-brainer because working with influencers will tick all of those boxes for you. Influencers are content creators above all else – they know what type of content on what platform works with their audience. Influencers are generally more trusted than brands and this is only highlighted by the fact that the new type of buyer is relying more and more on peer recommendations and researching vendors on social media.
Dominate the share of voice online
Since the number of Millennial & Gen Z decision makers in B2B is only increasing, it’s no surprise that social media’s importance in B2B marketing’s strategy is eminently growing as well. Millennials are 20% more likely to be influenced by social when making final purchasing decisions.
With many consumers and buyers turning to social media to fuel their opinion on a brand or product, it is more important now than ever to ensure you have a presence as large as possible across social that cuts through the platforms over-saturated with content. To ensure that your brand is on top of the search rankings (relevant to your brand) you should leverage all possible options to increase your share of voice, and one of them should be influencers. If you collaborate with experts within your specific topical area, your brand will be positioned as a go-to solution by a variety of people that others trust and follow for their industry knowledge.
Push out better performing content
One of the more obvious reasons for leveraging influencers is the fact that their content performs better than content from a brand’s social account. The reason is simple: people trust people much more than they trust brands.
Collaborating with an influencer on a campaign can significantly increase traffic to your website, landing page or campaign. We saw this happen when we aided a collaboration between Swiss Re and Antonio Grasso. 69% of all campaign traffic came from his social channels alone!
Want to host better performing LinkedIn Lives? Invite influencers to participate – just like Equinix did with Maribel Lopez & Keith Townsend. Their live viewers at peak were 225% higher than the industry benchmark. Engagement and participation were 15,581% above benchmark!
These few examples highlight the opportunity for your marketing content to achieve much better results & visibility.
Reach a larger and more targeted audience
Another key reason for leveraging influencers is reaching a much wider audience. Most B2B creators are not just active on LinkedIn or Twitter – additionally they might have a newsletter, a blog, a YouTube channel or a podcast. This means that your brand will be exposed to their whole collective audience. Influencers know their audiences well so they tailor their content to be the best for each specific type of content and platform.
Not only that, if you partner with the right influencers you can make sure that you reach the right people you want to reach. If you have done your audience research well, you will know who the people you are looking to target are. Before you leverage an influencer, you can identify their audience to ensure that they are connected with the correct people so that the collaboration with that influencer will drive the most value for your brand.
Become a key industry player
Lastly, having a presence on social media can directly correlate to your position as a key player in the market. A consumer making a decision about a brand wants to be able to make a relatively quick but rational choice – something that a scan through social media can help achieve. If you’re collaborating with influencers and posting content that is presenting you as an expert in a particular field, then this will bode well for your brand.
If you’re a marketer wanting to explore influencer marketing, why not learn more about how we can help!