The mental image of a Kardashian endorsing an Artificial Intelligence service provider on Instagram is laughable. But don’t let the incongruity of this example make you think B2B marketers can’t take advantage of influencer marketing. There are many great examples illustrating the power of influencers in the B2B arena too.
Who are the Influencers?
Influencers are simply people who can create attention for their passion through collaboration, community, and a shared vision.
So, really, influencers can be anyone with the ability to create and share content that shapes their followers’ behaviors and actions. Influencer marketing see B2B brands leveraging the authenticity of these influencers and the connection they have with an engaged audience to build awareness, generate leads, drive sales, and expand reach in a targeted niche.
B2B Influencer Marketing Examples
Consider Canva which makes it easy to create social media graphics and design content. The company tripled its user base and raised $6 million in funding within two years of launch. It’s CEO Melanie Perkins told Forbes: “Finding people who love the product has been the best marketing we could have.”
The company tapped its community of supporters to create video tutorials, write blog posts and in some cases even teach classes on how to use Canva. “Since launching Canva, we’ve grown our community to 3 million people, who have together created more than 20 million designs,” Perkins said. “People take great pride in sharing their designs with others and getting feedback.”
Developing relationships with influencers such as Guy Kawasaki and HubSpot helped too. Early Canva adopter Kawasaki became its “Chief Evangelist” and touted its democratization of design. The company also paired with HubSpot to publish a free resource on improving conversions with easy designs.
Salesforce similarly partnered with Vala Afshar as its “Chief Digital Evangelist.” The author and co-host of DisrupTV has blogged for the sales software’s site and released podcasts on the digital economy and innovation market trends under the Salesforce name.
When it wanted to promote its 2017 Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing report, TopRank tapped its influencers to add quotes, case studies, and analysis.
Identity and Device management firm Okta went to its clients to find influencers. The firm asked clients to share their brand experiences and then published the results in stories highlighting their services. These influencers, including News Corp, Adobe, and 20th Century Fox, were also featured on their own landing pages with statistics, quotes, and videos.
Another example from a renowned brand, American Express, exemplifies partnering with influencers with different skillsets. The credit card company’s My Store Campaign partnered with an influential graphic designer and a design blogger to help inform small businesses about the use of signage and design to drive sales (and for the businesses to announce that they take Amex).
These several examples highlight the many ways in which marketers in the B2B realm can successfully leverage influencer marketing. B2B Brands can leverage the same playbook as their B2C brethren for influencer marketing impact.
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