Influencer marketing has become an indispensable strategy for B2B brands looking to drive awareness, engagement, and revenue. However, collaborating successfully with B2B influencers requires a strategic, nuanced approach.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore four proven techniques for productive partnerships with B2B influencers. From identifying the right influencers to measuring program success, we will break down how B2B marketers can maximize the impact of their influencer programs.
The Growing Importance of Influencer Marketing in B2B
Influencer marketing was once seen as the domain of B2C brands. However, 92% of B2B marketers now view influencer content as effective for achieving marketing goals.
Influencers offer B2B brands several compelling benefits:
- Targeted reach: Influencers provide access to clearly defined, engaged niche audiences.
- Brand awareness: Influencer content drives discovery among relevant buyer personas.
- Lead generation: Promotional influencer posts and gated content produce high-quality sales leads.
- Thought leadership: Associating with respected influencers enhances brand credibility and prestige.
Skilled implementation of the following techniques allows B2B marketers to maximize these benefits.
Technique #1: Defining and Building Relationships with Relevant Influencers
The first step is identifying and vetting influencers who truly align with your brand and audience.
What to Look for in a Relevant B2B Influencer
- Niche expertise that complements your product or category
- Engaged community in your target buyer personas
- Strong niche authority and credibility
- Content voice and style that fits your brand
- Ethical business practices
Avoid chasing generalist influencers with reach but low relevance. Hyper-targeted micro-influencers often generate the highest ROI.
Best Practices for Building Relationships
- Research influencers and customize outreach. Avoid mass template pitches.
- Offer value, not just money. Promote their content or introduce them to contacts.
- Start small to prove mutual benefit before expanding partnerships.
- Maintain consistent communication outside of paid deals.
Taking the time to nurture true relationships will pay dividends in authentic, effective collaborations.
Technique #2: Collaborating on Compelling B2B Content
Influencers thrive on creating content. Therefore, enables them to work their magic by collaborating on formats that attract and engage their followers.
Types of Content to Produce Together
- Co-authored articles, ebooks, whitepapers, and case studies
- Webinars, podcasts, and videos
- Infographics, list posts, and stats breakdowns
- Reviews of your product
- Sponsored social posts
Match content types to each influencer’s specialties and audience preferences. Don’t force unsuitable formats.
Best Practices for Content Collaboration
- Co-create an editorial calendar to strategize content.
- Brainstorm content ideas together to spark their creativity.
- Avoid excessive brand control; give influencers creative license.
- Promote their content across your social channels and site.
- Repurpose content into multiple formats for extended mileage.
Strong content partnerships will organically integrate your brand throughout an influencer’s ongoing content flow.
Technique #3: Prioritizing Authenticity
Today’s buyers value authenticity and can detect inauthentic influencer partnerships from a mile away.
Signs of Authenticity with Influencers
- They proactively want to work with you, not just for compensation
- They integrate brand mentions in organic content, not just sponsored posts
- They openly share feedback about your brand or product
- They turn down or customize content that doesn’t fit their brand
Building Authentic Collaborations
- Give influencers creative control instead of forcing overly promotional content
- Don’t script out posts word-for-word
- Facilitate honest product feedback from influencers
- Have open conversations about what value they expect in return
- Spotlight influencers’ unique passions and perspectives
Inauthentic partnerships won’t boost your brand – they may actually damage trust.
Technique #4: Measuring the Impact and ROI of Influencer Programs
Without tracking key metrics, it’s impossible to assess influencer program effectiveness.
Critical Metrics to Track
- Content views, clicks, and engagement
- Website traffic and conversions from influencer content
- Brand mentions and sentiment analysis
- Changes in brand awareness and consideration with target audiences
- Sales influenced by influencer partnerships
Maximizing Program Success
- Set benchmarks for each metric you track.
- Use tracking links, discount codes, and UTM tags to monitor traffic and conversions.
- Analyze data to identify your most valuable partnerships and content.
- Continuously optimize based on performance data.
Robust analytics will allow you to double down on what works and refine less effective elements.
Successfully collaborating with B2B influencers requires strategic relationship building, compelling co-created content, authenticity, and analytics. B2B brands that apply these techniques will be able to tap into the marketing power of influencers to achieve revenue goals and raise brand profiles.
The time invested in nurturing true influencer relationships will pay dividends. Approach influencer marketing as an ongoing initiative, not a one-off campaign. Soon you’ll see tangible business growth driven by high-impact influencer collaborations.