Although not an entirely new concept, influencer marketing has seen major growth in today’s digital-first world. Celebrity endorsements have been transformed, through social media and content marketing, into a lucrative opportunity for businesses across the globe. For B2C brands, influencer marketing has been paying dividends – but B2B companies are lagging behind. In fact, in a recent survey, only 31% of marketing professionals who run influencer marketing campaigns said they were running campaigns for the B2B sector.
Are B2B businesses missing a trick? As mentioned in our blog ‘Influencer marketing: what does it mean for B2B? ’, business is no longer relegated to office hours and your work computer – modern buyers want their browsing and buying experience to replicate the content-rich, personalised experience they get in their personal lives. With up to 91% of B2B purchases at least somewhat influenced by word of mouth, it’s clear to see how influencer marketing can benefit B2B brands.
Here, we’ve compiled three examples of effective B2B influencer marketing campaigns – to serve as inspiration and proof that, when executed well, influencer marketing can be a game-changer for your B2B brand:
1. Bosch Power Tools: Using micro-influencers to great effect
Although influencer marketing typically brings to mind celebrities with millions of followers, in reality, many B2B marketers are focusing their attention elsewhere. Micro-influencers, or influencers with typically less than 30,000 followers, are often sought out by B2B brands as they engage and interact more with their followers, are more cost effective, and focus on very niche areas and sectors.
Bosch Power Tools, a leading provider of power tools for tradespeople, wanted to convince their target audience – typically sceptical of new technology – to upgrade their tools. To this end, they sent these new tools to micro-influencers and encouraged them to make video reviews, in which they commented on the features and benefits. As part of the campaign, the micro-influencers’ reviews were uploaded to their individual social media channels, to spark discussion and debate, and were also placed in trade media publications. The campaign paid off: Bosch exceeded their benchmarks for reach, engagement and conversions.
2. 3M: Creating engaging content
Influencer marketing and content creation are natural partners: by using influencers, brands can ensure their content reaches a larger, more targeted audience, meanwhile, the influencers want to share content to provide value for their audience in an authentic, engaging way. Global science business 3M sought to take advantage of the power of influencer marketing in a large-scale engagement campaign.
With the overriding aim to make science and its innovations more accessible to a broader audience, 3M conducted the largest ever science study about global attitudes towards science, the State of Science Index research report, along with the launch of their first ever podcast: Science Champions. Hosted by 3M’s Chief Science Advocate, Jayshree Seth, the first season of the podcast starred 21 science experts and influencers talking about everything from science in everyday life, to careers within the industry. By adopting this approach, 3M was able to develop relationships with influencers while providing their audience with exciting, engaging content – resulting in the launch of season two this year.
3. SAP: Boosting event engagement
Event marketing and influencer marketing have often been thought of as two separate strategies, but brands are beginning to realise that influencers can be invaluable when it comes to event promotion and engagement: in fact, 28% of marketers prefer to work with influencers mainly for events. Not only are brands able to reach a wider audience of potential attendees with the help of influencers, but influencers can also help with keynotes and user-generated content from the event itself.
Business solutions company SAP utilised influencers in this way for their annual Sapphire Now conference in 2016. The brand asked influencers to conduct interviews throughout the event, which were then live streamed online via Facebook’s live video feature. In this way, the content was available for all those who could not attend the event – reaching close to 100,000 online viewers. By involving influencers in creating the interview-based content, SAP gave attendees another perspective of Sapphire, and by sharing the videos on social media and SAP’s blog, the reach was maximised. Influencer marketing generated 17% of the online conversation surrounding the event. Without the input of these influencers, the social buzz would have been reduced, with significantly less brand engagement across the board.
Whatever the overarching goals of your B2B marketing strategy, influencer marketing has the potential to really transform your business results. With the ability to boost brand awareness, drive revenue and increase the rate of content creation, influencers offer a real opportunity for brands to optimise their sales and marketing functions – in a cost-effective way.
Would you like to find out more about influencer marketing and how it can revolutionise your marketing approach? Download our guide today for actionable advice on how to introduce it into your marketing strategy, and discover how influencers can boost revenue, increase brand engagement and differentiate your business from the competition.