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13 min read | January 15, 2023

Strategies for B2B Influencer Marketing Success

B2B influencer marketing has become a popular strategy for businesses looking to reach a wider audience and build trust with potential customers. However, like any marketing tactic, there are dos and don'ts that businesses should be aware of in order to make the most of their influencer partnerships.

In today’s article, we will explain what B2B influencer marketing is and share a few tips and best practices to help you build an effective strategy.

 The secrets of influencer marketing are now indispensable for business success. Discover the basics by watching our mini-course on Dos and Don'ts and align  your strategy today to succeed tomorrow.


What Is B2B Influencer Marketing?

Let’s start by explaining the difference between B2B vs B2C influencer marketing.

Most people are familiar with B2C influencer marketing. This is where a brand collaborates with an influencer to promote its products or services directly to consumers (Business to Consumer). This form of influencer marketing can help B2C businesses connect with the public and convert more online users into paying customers.

B2B influencer marketing, in turn, is where a brand collaborates with an influencer to promote its products or services directly to other businesses (Business to Business). This form of influencer marketing is used exclusively by B2B organizations.

So, how does B2B influencer marketing work, exactly?

As with B2C influencer marketing, the goal of B2B influencer marketing is to create content that is both valuable and relevant to the target audience, while also promoting the brand's products or services in an authentic and effective way. The only difference is that, instead of targeting consumers, you target other businesses. By leveraging the influence of industry experts and thought leaders, B2B influencer marketing can help you build brand awareness, establish credibility and trust with potential customers, and ultimately drive business growth for your B2B brand.

B2B Influencer Marketing Benefits

By partnering with relevant and influential individuals, B2B companies can reap a multitude of benefits that can significantly enhance their marketing efforts and overall business growth. 

Here are some of the key advantages of B2B influencer marketing:

  • Enhanced brand awareness and credibility. Influencers, due to their established reputation and expertise, can effectively amplify a B2B brand's reach and visibility. By collaborating with influencers, brands gain access to their engaged followers, who are more likely to trust and consider their recommendations. This can lead to increased brand awareness and credibility and a stronger brand reputation.
  • Targeted audience engagement. B2B influencer marketing allows brands to bypass the traditional mass marketing approach and instead reach a highly specific and engaged audience. Influencers connect with individuals who have a keen interest in their niche, ensuring that the brand's message is conveyed to the right people. This targeted engagement can lead to stronger brand affinity, increased lead generation, and a more efficient marketing funnel.
  • Content creation and promotion. Influencers can serve as valuable content creators, producing engaging and informative content that resonates with their audience. By leveraging the influencers' expertise and creativity, B2B brands can amplify their brand messaging and reach a wider audience. This collaborative content creation process can also foster a sense of community and trust among potential customers.
  • Lead generation and sales conversions. When influencers showcase their experiences with a brand's products or services, it can influence the purchasing decisions of their followers. This can lead to increased lead generation, improved conversion rates, and a more efficient sales pipeline.
  • Competitive differentiation. By associating with influential figures, B2B brands can enhance their perceived value, expertise, and innovation, setting them apart from their competitors. This can lead to increased brand differentiation and a stronger competitive edge.

How to Create a B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy

B2B influencer marketing requires a well-structured strategy that aligns with your business goals and caters to the specific needs of your target audience. Here's a step-by-step guide to crafting a winning B2B influencer marketing strategy:

  • Define clear goals. Establish specific and measurable objectives for your influencer marketing campaign. Having clear goals will help you find suitable influencers and execute a successful campaign.
  • Identify your target audience. Understand your ideal customer profile, including their industry, job title, interests, and online behavior. This will help you identify influencers who resonate with your target audience and can effectively reach them with relevant content.
  • Research and select relevant influencers. Use social media analytics tools and influencer marketing platforms to find influencers who align with your target audience and industry. Evaluate their engagement rates, content quality, and authenticity to ensure they align with your brand values.
  • Establish a clear campaign brief. Create a detailed brief outlining your campaign goals, target audience, brand messaging, and desired content format. This will ensure that influencers understand your expectations and deliver content that aligns with your strategy.
  • Negotiate compensation and collaboration terms. Determine the appropriate compensation model for your influencers, such as flat fees, pay-per-post, or revenue sharing. Clearly define collaboration terms, including deliverables, exclusivity, and approval processes.
  • Measure and analyze campaign performance. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, lead generation, social media engagement, and brand sentiment. Use analytics tools to measure the impact of influencer marketing on your business objectives.
  • Nurture long-term relationships with influencers who perform well. Consider offering ongoing partnerships, exclusive content, or opportunities to participate in industry events.
  • Adapt and refine your strategy. Regularly review campaign results and make adjustments as needed. Identify areas for improvement and refine your influencer selection, content formats, and campaign messaging to optimize performance.

Examples of Successful B2B Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Let’s explore a few examples of successful B2B influencer marketing campaigns to showcase just how powerful and effective this marketing strategy can be.

Zoho CRM: Leveraging Micro-Influencers for Targeted Outreach

Zoho CRM, a cloud-based customer relationship management SaaS platform, employed micro-influencers on LinkedIn to target a niche audience of business owners and marketing professionals. The company collaborated with small-scale influencers with established credibility in the CRM industry. These influencers created personalized content tailored to their specific audiences, reaching a highly targeted and engaged segment of the B2B market. The campaign resulted in increased brand awareness, qualified leads, and sales conversions.

SAP: Engaging via Live Streaming

SAP, a global enterprise software company, successfully partnered with renowned technology influencers to host live-streaming events on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube. These events featured thought leadership discussions, product demonstrations, and Q&A sessions, allowing SAP to connect with its target B2B audience in an engaging and authentic manner. The live streams generated significant engagement, driving website traffic, lead generation, and customer satisfaction.

Salesforce: Partnering with industry experts for thought leadership webinars

Salesforce, a leading cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform, partnered with industry experts, including renowned digital marketer Neil Patel, to host a series of educational videos and thought leadership webinars on topics relevant to the B2B software market. These experts shared their insights and perspectives on how Salesforce could help businesses achieve their sales and marketing goals. The webinars attracted a highly qualified audience of potential customers, generating valuable leads, increasing brand visibility, and driving engagement and sales.

B2B Influencer Marketing: Dos

Whether you’re following a LinkedIn influencer marketing strategy or using other online platforms to reach your B2B customers, there are a number of dos and don’ts that you need to be aware of. The following tips and best practices will help you design an effective B2B influencer marketing campaign that generates the results you need for your brand.

Let’s start with the dos:

  • Do your research: Before partnering with an influencer, do your research to ensure that they will be able to market your product or service to your audience. Remember that in B2B you are marketing to businesses, and there is usually more than one decision-maker involved. As such, your influencer should be able to properly address the pain points you seek to solve with your product.
  • Do set clear goals: Establish clear goals and metrics for your influencer marketing campaign, such as increasing website traffic or driving sales, to help you measure the success of your B2B influencer marketing collaboration.
  • Do establish a budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend on your influencer marketing campaign and be transparent about your budget when reaching out to potential influencers.
  • Do create authentic content: Once you’ve identified a suitable influencer, work with them to create authentic, high-quality content that aligns with your brand values and resonates with your target audience.
  • Do promote your content: Once your content is created, be sure to promote it on your own social media channels and website to help maximize its reach and impact.
  • Do measure and optimize performance: Continuously measure the performance of your B2B influencer marketing campaign and make adjustments when needed.
  • Do build relationships: Building strong, long-term relationships with B2B influencers can be a powerful way to drive sustained business growth over time.

B2B Influencer Marketing: Don’ts

While B2B influencer marketing can be an effective strategy for reaching new customers and driving business growth, there are several common mistakes that businesses need to avoid in order to ensure the success of their campaigns. 

Here are some B2B influencer marketing don'ts to keep in mind:

  • Don't value follower count over expertise: It's important to choose influencers who have an engaged audience that aligns with your target market, rather than just focusing on their audience size. Expertise in the sector and prior experience with B2B campaigns is also a plus. 
  • Don't ignore authenticity: Authenticity is key in all forms of influencer marketing, so make sure you work with B2B influencers who are genuinely interested in your brand and can create content that aligns with your values.
  • Don't forget to disclose sponsorships: In order to comply with your country’s guidelines and maintain transparency with your audience, make sure you disclose any sponsored content or partnerships with B2B influencers.
  • Don't neglect your influencer relationships: Building strong partnerships with influencers takes time and effort, so be sure to invest in building and nurturing these relationships.
  • Don't forget about strategy: Before launching a B2B influencer marketing campaign, make sure you have a clear strategy in place. Your strategy should cover your campaign goals and how you will measure campaign success.
  • Don't expect overnight success: Influencer marketing is a long-term strategy that requires patience and persistence to see results.
  • Don't overlook the importance of metrics: Measuring the success of your campaign is essential as it helps you optimize your short and long-term performance.

We hope that these B2B influencer marketing dos and don'ts help you create an effective influencer marketing campaign for your B2B company that boosts your marketing ROI and drives meaningful results for your brand.

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