“For each dollar spent on influencer marketing, marketers see an average of $7.65 in earned media value returned”
But how exactly can influencer marketing translate into direct benefits for your business?
If your business is considering using influencer marketing, it’s essential that you have a sound understanding of how to implement an approach that will maximise your investment.
In recent years, the growing popularity of online platforms has facilitated the emergence of new avenues that organisations can use to connect with their target market. Your business now has the opportunity to get your message out into the world with a broader reach than ever before.
Influencer marketing helps your audience truly engage with your brand and message. Through investing in influencers, your business has the chance to increase awareness, reach your audience on a more personal level and generate new valuable leads.
Those operating on a B2B level typically use influencer marketing less often than organisations with a B2C focus. In B2C, influencer marketing allows businesses to target their audience on an individual level, reaching a specified group within the general community in a relevant way.
So, why is influencer marketing relevant to your B2B organisation?
This approach doesn’t just have to involve endorsement from Instagram models, even in B2B you can find relevant ways to leverage your brand through the use of influencer marketing.
As a B2B orientated organisation, you’re trying to catch the attention of other businesses. By having relevant experts in your industry advocate for your product or service, potential consumers are reassured that you are providing trusted and quality offerings.
The following will consider why influencer marketing is an important component of your B2B marketing strategy, and how to go about implementing this approach to achieve the greatest benefit for your business.
IMPROVED SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Collaborating with influencers means that there are a number of backlinks being made to your brand online.
People are referring to your organisation, so it’s likely that the content you’re posting is of value. To truly optimise your business’ search engine optimisation, your website needs to be recognised by Google’s algorithm as digitally important. Backlinks significantly help with this.
By getting influencers talking about your brand, you’re able to increase the overall relevance of your business’ online domains and, essentially, boost your position in the search results. This means that individuals are able to find your content more easily online.
Search engine optimisation is crucial as, if they’re unable to find you, your business risks potential customers simply looking to have their needs met elsewhere.
Improved SEO increases your digital accessibility and, as a result of this, gives your business more opportunities to drive traffic to your online domains and attract new valuable leads.
REACHING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
When deciding on an influencer to promote your business, it’s crucial that you ensure the individual is an appropriate fit for your organisation. Platforms such as LinkedIn can assist your business in doing this, allowing you to connect directly with a large pool of potential influencers.
Your message needs to be shared by someone whose followers view him or her as an expert in the area, therefore increasing the overall credibility of the endorsement.
Influencers are often seen as someone who is knowledgeable in their field and a trusted point of contact for information. Those who follow them are likely to have a distinct interest in what their profile is all about.
To truly maximise the benefits you can achieve through influencer marketing, it is vital that the individual endorsing your brand makes sense when paired with your business.
In doing this, you’re able to reach an influencer’s relevant audience and directly communicate with a large pool of individuals interested in the type of content your brand is sharing.
BUILDING A CONNECTION WITH YOUR BRAND
Individuals who interact with a page of particular interest to them often satisfy the Social Identity Theory. This concept considers how people gain an aspect of their own personal identity from the group they feel they belong to.
Individuals who follow a certain influencer are likely to perceive themselves as a member of that shared group. This allows them to build a strong and meaningful connection with the influencer and their content.
Influencers have already established this mutual relationship with their audience and, essentially, their endorsement gives you a foot-in-the-door when making efforts to reach your target market.
When an influencer shares your relevant promotions, their following relates to your content. It makes sense in the environment that they’ve already expressed interest in and engagement towards.
Effectively, this adds value to your target market’s perception of who you are. You become more than just another offering, and your audience starts to resonate with your business. Through nurturing this genuine connection, you can foster an enhanced culture of brand loyalty and endorsement.
OVERCOME ADVERTISEMENT BLOCKING
In 2017 it was found that over 600 million devices were actively using ad blockers.
The option to boycott advertisements is making it increasingly difficult to truly target individuals and ensure that your message will reach them.
Influencer marketing is integrated into the content that your audience is already accessing, reaching consumers through their usual areas of engagement.
Although this can be effective in avoiding ad blocking, it’s vital that your marketing efforts aren’t overly invasive. If you flood your audience with influencer content, this may make the endorsements appear to lack authenticity.
It’s essential that you remain transparent.
The influencer you’re collaborating with needs to openly communicate with their following about the promotion, this could be as simple as adding #ad to their post. If these measures aren’t taken, they risk being perceived as disingenuous, which will affect their credibility and, by association, your brand.
The relationship that’s been built with their audience relies heavily on trust and, if their following feels they’ve been deceived, this could negatively impact both of your reputations.
By being upfront about your business’ collaborations, you have the opportunity to reach your audience directly without dishonesty. This genuine approach supports the development of trusted relationships with your target market and, essentially, assists in avoiding backlash.