B2B marketers are looking for new and creative ways to promote their business to other companies. With the success of influencer marketing campaigns for B2C companies like Airbnb and Coca Cola, the question arises, can B2B influencer marketing campaigns be a successfully strategy?
When it comes to buying and selling, B2B and B2C are not very different. In both cases, people are involved in making decisions to purchase. The major variation is the extent of research conducted before agreeing to move forward with a purchase. This opens the opportunity for B2B companies to step in and succeed at influencer marketing
According to Forbes, people will buy from people/brands they know, trust, respect and admire. This is still true when it comes to influencer marketing. Sales and marketing still work best when the focus is on building solid, long-lasting relationships.
Let’s look at some brilliant examples where B2B influencer marketing has successfully utilized to increase sales, build brand awareness and create brand recall. Here a few key lessons that you can take away.
American Express Ambassador Program
American Express has an ongoing ambassador’s program. The company uses branded hashtags #AmexLife, #AmexPlatinum and #AmexAmbassador to highlight its brand advocates. To promote the exclusivity of its Platinum club membership, American Express selected micro-influencers who lead luxurious lives, travel often and use their services. Look at this post:
SAP – Event-Based Influencer Marketing
SAP is a multinational software corporation. In the 2016 edition of their annual Sapphire event, they invited 11 influencers to attend the event, they created long form and short-form content to be used across platforms. This content was streamed through Facebook Live and reached 80000 viewers globally. In return, these influencers got a chance to interact with the top executives at SAP.
The enterprise software firm has cracked the code to leveraging B2B influencer marketing. Choosing influencers whom their target audience looks up to and respects. They can be people from the same background. The influencers included industry experts, academics, business consultants, and authors. Here’s an example:
Microsoft – Encouraging Women in STEM
It is important to understand that influencer marketing can do so much more for companies than just increase sales. It is can be a vehicle to promote social causes and also do an image makeover.
Here’s an example of some brilliant out-of-the-box B2B influencer marketing campaigns is the collaboration between Microsoft and National Geographic on International Women’s Day 2017.
As a part of Microsoft’s Make What’s Next campaign, they released 30 inspiring photos on Instagram featuring women scientists and adventurers in their element. The aim of this campaign was to show the philanthropic side of the tech giant and encourage women to pursue a career in STEM.
This is a stellar example of collaboration between companies from very different genres, one can strive for such originality when planning the next campaign. This campaign reached a total of 91 million people and accumulated 3.5 million likes in a single day on all photos combined.
Okta – Sharing Consumer Experiences
Nothing builds more trust than your customer’s experience and stories especially if other companies in the same industry vouch for you. Okta has its existing clients put out testimonials on video talking about the benefits they get by using Okta’s services.
Imagine the kind of credibility your business will gain if other companies feel the way Adobe feels about Okta. Have a look:
Probably one of the most powerful ways to utilize influencer marketing across the board is showcasing customer stories. It is an accepted fact, customers buy on recommendations than advertisements. So why not put more testimonials out there and let your customers do the talking for you.
Influencer marketing is a great way to establish trust and credibility in the industry. B2B companies can utilize influencer marketing to their advantage by identifying influencers who influencers the decision makers. Influencer marketing can help a company do more than just promote products and services. So many B2B companies have found success in this domain, the only question is, when will you get started?