What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person with a significant and super-engaged following on social media or other online channels. Influencers possess expertise, credibility, and the ability to influence the opinions, behaviors, and purchasing decisions of their audience, often in a specific niche, such as technology or healthcare.
Influencer marketing is a $21.1 billion market that’s here to stay. Today, both B2C and B2B brands collaborate with influencers to promote their products, services, or causes, leveraging the influencer’s reach and credibility to meet their buyers right where they are.
Depending on your industry and business model, you may also hear influencers referred to as referral partners or affiliates. They operate similarly, driving business your way through their networks and often receiving a commission for each lead or sale.
For example, consider that you lead marketing efforts at a cybersecurity software company. An influencer could be a well-known cybersecurity expert who vouches for the effectiveness of your product on social, a thought leader who speaks about your product at industry conferences, or a popular tech blogger with a large following who reviews and recommends your software.
Especially in the B2B space, an influencer marketing strategy can offer some major benefits, including:
- Credibility and trust: B2B influencers are often respected experts within their industry. Their endorsements lend credibility and build trust in your brand among their followers.
- Lead generation: Perhaps most importantly, B2B influencers can help generate leads by endorsing your products, and directing potential customers to your website or landing pages.
- Targeted audience reach: B2B influencers have a niche following composed of professionals and decision-makers. Partnering with them ensures your message reaches a relevant and engaged audience.
- Thought leadership: B2B influencers are well-regarded for their insights and industry knowledge. Associating your brand with them enhances your reputation and can lead to collaborative working projects (such as co-branded white papers or reports).
- Network expansion: B2B influencers bring their network of connections, potentially opening doors to new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.
- Cost-effective: Compared to traditional advertising, influencer marketing can be cost-effective while yielding strong results due to its targeted approach.
- Engagement and interaction: Influencers encourage engagement and two-way communication with their audience, and this interaction can provide valuable feedback and insights for your brand.
- Content variety: Partnering with influencers can add diversity to your content strategy, offering fresh perspectives and formats that can appeal to a broader audience.
- Swift market entry: Influencer collaborations allow you to quickly tap into a relevant market and gain exposure to decision-makers who might be otherwise challenging to reach.
- Brand awareness: B2B influencers expand your brand’s visibility within your target industry, creating a ripple effect of increased awareness and recognition.
Incorporating a B2B influencer into your marketing strategy can rapidly amplify your brand’s reach, reputation, and impact within your industry.