Influencer marketing B2B vs B2C: differences & tips for both
When most people think of influencer marketing, they think of brands directly targeting consumers. This is what’s known as B2C influencer marketing (business-to-consumer). However, these days, an increasing number of companies are reaching out to influencers in order to target other businesses, known as B2B influencer marketing (business-to-business).
But what is the difference between influencer marketing B2B vs B2C? Should you use the same strategies or design different campaigns for each target market?
Let’s take a look at some of the main differences between the two domains and look at a few tips to keep in mind to help your key brand message resonate in each market.
Definition: Influencer marketing B2B vs B2C
You’ve probably heard the acronyms countless times already but let’s start by looking at a quick definition to highlight what each one means:
B2B stands for business-to-business, and it refers to a commercial transaction between one business and another. B2C stands for business-to-consumer, and it refers to a commercial transaction between a business and an end customer.
There are a number of differences between the two concepts that you need to be aware of as they can have a direct impact on your influencer marketing strategies.
Influencer marketing B2B vs B2C:
- Results: B2B influencer marketing doesn’t always show quick results, especially compared to B2C influencer marketing. This is because with B2B there are usually multiple people involved in the decision-making process.
- Tracking: Measuring the impact of a campaign is relatively straightforward with B2C influencer marketing, provided you track the right metrics. Less so with B2B.
- Channels: Most B2C influencer campaigns are launched through social media platforms, as this is where most consumers can be found. However, B2B influencer marketing often expands out to “knowledge hubs” or live web chat events, too.
- Emotions vs investment: B2C influencers tend to focus more on resonating with the emotions of consumers. If you are able to make an emotional connection, then you are far more likely to make a sale. However, B2B tends to be far more focused on ROI.
- Relationships: Long-term relationships are at the heart of a successful B2C influencer marketing campaign – it’s all about building connections and nurturing loyal followers. B2B is more focused on encouraging direct actions, with less of a focus on the emotional side of the relationship.
Tips for influencer marketing B2B
Now that we’ve looked at the difference between influencer marketing B2B vs B2C, let’s take a look at a few tips to help you design the best campaign for each market type.
Let’s start with B2B.
Find the right influencers
The success of your B2B influencer marketing campaign is ultimately down to the influencer you choose. Make sure they have experience with B2B audiences and know how to appeal to the market. Here are some things to consider:
- Do they have a large, relevant audience?
- Do they engage regularly with their followers?
- Do they post frequently?
- Does the strategy that they follow focus more on business ROI or emotional connections?
- Are they capable of encouraging direct CTAs?
- Do they have any experience with promoting “knowledge hubs” or live web chat events?
It’s also important to make sure the influencers you choose don’t have conflicting agreements with other brands, especially if those brands are your competitors.
Establish clear influencer marketing goals
Before you start looking for a B2B influencer to collaborate with, make sure you are clear about what your campaign goals are. Do you want to attract more B2B leads, build traffic or create brand authority?
The clearer your goals are, the easier it will be for you to determine the KPIs you need to focus on and the best influencer for the job. Clear objectives can also help you design a clear roadmap for success so that you can work together with an influencer to create a strategy that will keep you on the road to success.
Tips for influencer marketing B2C
Finally, let’s look at a few tips to help you improve your B2C influencer marketing campaigns:
Create attractive visual content
When it comes to B2C, it’s all about making connections and eliciting an emotional response. One way to do this is to focus on creating lots of attractive visual content. This might be in the form of videos, photos or infographics – or even a mixture of all three formats.
Make sure you fully brief the B2C influencer you are working with so that they know exactly what you are looking for with your creative content.
Run contests and giveaways
Another great way to get your audience excited and get those emotions pumping is to run contests and giveaways. These are very effective tactics for getting your target followers engaged. Stick to simple CTAs for entering contests, such as sharing your influencer posts or tagging a friend. These actions will also help to expand your reach, boost your brand awareness and increase your sales, especially if followers feel that they stand a chance of being rewarded for their actions.
Ask influencers for reviews
Finally, as we mentioned above, one of the biggest differences between influencer marketing B2B vs B2C is that B2B is all about rational purchase decisions, whereas B2C is all about emotional responses. This means that tactics like posting influencer reviews and recommendations can really sway consumers and encourage them to commit to a purchase decision.
To achieve this, you can ask influencers to try out your free product samples or services and share a review on their social media pages. Encourage them to give honest opinions so that their followers perceive them as authentic recommendations, not business propositions. The more genuine their review posts are, the more B2C sales you are likely to achieve.