In some B2B spaces, where old-school approaches linger, there are a lot of misconceptions around influencer marketing. The phrase conjures a vision of a glamorous celebrity languidly waving a shiny new toy towards their phone camera and earning the average annual salary for it. In reality, influencer marketing is less about glamour and more about offering authentic value, empowering buyers to make better-informed purchases that align with both their personal and brand values.
We’ve talked about influencers before, but it’s important to emphasise how integrated content campaigns should have an influencer strategy built in. At the heart of any good influencer campaign is informative, expert content – the key tool by which B2B brands can build trust. It’s trust, of course, that forms the basis of the long-lasting relationships that ultimately drive growth. It’s much easier for a buyer to trust the endorsement of a person whom they and their peers follow and like than to put their faith in a ‘faceless’ company that’s talking up their own wares.
It’s essential to put the assets you’ve worked so hard to create in front of the most receptive audience. But how do you make that magic happen? When you develop content with influencers in mind from the very beginning, it becomes a little easier. Here are three tips on tailoring your B2B content to meet the needs of influencers, without adding extra effort to your workload.
1) Approach it as a partnership
An influencer is the one who knows their audience best. So, if you want to get the most out of your relationship, look at it as a partnership. You can approach an influencer with ideas, but they should be able to clarify what types of content their audience responds best to. Ideally, you can then work together to develop a story and a content journey that meets the needs of brand, influencer and audience equally.
2) Demystify the technical
Influencers offer a valuable connection to a highly-engaged audience, but they need to be armed with easily digestible assets that break down a brand’s core offering into comprehensible (and ideally interesting!) components. Can you turn any aspects of that white paper into shareable infographics? Are there any key statistics worth isolating from recent consumer research? Find ways to connect your brand’s USPs to the trends driving consumer preferences and customer needs.
3) Keep transparency central
In B2B spaces, transparency is arguably an even more crucial driver than it is in B2C circles. And no, ensuring an Instagram post comes complete with the hashtag #sponsored does not equal transparency. The best brand-influencer relationships are the ones where there’s nothing to hide: the immediate benefits to everyone involved, including the consumer, should be inarguable. When brand and influencer join forces to engage consumers in self-aware and innovative ways, everyone can benefit.
Go beyond the basics of content marketing in the January issue of The Knowledge, available to download free here.