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Influencer Marketing in the B2B sector – a useful strategy?

PR & Marketing

Influencer marketing offers a lot of advantages, that is why companies use this method in the B2B sector as well. In a previous article, we have already explained this marketing concept in further detail. However, not everything which applies to the B2C sector (Business-to-Consumer) can be transferred to the Business-to-Business-sector. A few things have to be kept in mind when using this marketing strategy in companies.

Organizations also rely on recommendations from influencers to promote their offers to business customers. Before the age of the internet, this had to be done personally or via mail. Nowadays, there are other channels especially because social media has simplified a lot and still offers great potential. According to the B2B-Social-Media-Report 2016, you can find 62 percent of the references to products, services and company activities on social media. Besides highly qualified employees, especially influencers are the reason for this success because they are the ones who talk about a brand on social media and make products or solutions in need of explanation easy understandable.

The basic operating principal stays the same as in the B2C sector: An influencer uses his impact on a determined target group to place a product. The difference lies in the selection of the influencers since if you want to sell something to end consumers you have to choose a person with a high sympathy value. In contrast, in the B2B sector authority plays a more important role because business costumers trust people who have good knowledge in their field and demonstrate that. Of course, they should at best also be likeable and vice versa it is also helpful if an influencer in the B2C sector shows expertise at the same time. Since influencer marketing is always addressed directly to people, there is no general strategy because it matters which product should be sold and which target group should be addressed.

Nevertheless, for influencer marketing in the B2B sector applies: Better not to choose YouTube or Instagram stars who have hundreds of thousands of followers, but don’t have the ideal setting for B2B products. Here, the reach is rather secondary because the personal recommendation of experts and their experience make a campaign successful. The target group of B2B companies is usually rather special, so with influencers who have many followers, you also risk high scatter losses. For this reason, working with a small number of selected influencers is useful, for example, special-interest bloggers, with whom a long-term relationship can be established.

In doing so, the most important thing is that the respective campaigns are filled with content, focusing on the product and its benefits. This allows customers to compare the specifications with those of other suppliers. However, neutral information from influencers also plays an important role because they are not classic advertising messages, but rather should they reflect the authentic and credible opinion of the influencer. In this way, customers can eventually be convinced.

B2B influencer marketing is quite a useful strategy which should not simply be adopted from the B2C strategy. Only with the right objective and appropriate information on the target group and market, you can build trust in a brand and influence the customer’s decisions.

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