Influencer marketing isn’t new – although it has mostly been associated with celebrity endorsements for lifestyle products.
News alert: you don’t have to be an A-list celebrity to earn a profitable living through influencer activity.
What you do need is a targeted audience and content that is super-relevant to their interests. B2B influencers really score highly here – there are some astonishingly niche channels catering for really specialist trades.
Here at Ridgemount we’ve seen the impact an influencer campaign can have on awareness and sales and we count influencer marketing as an important part of a social media and digital marketing strategy.
To get back to basics of definition. A social media influencer:
actively engages with a particular topic and thereafter has the power to sway decisions from their position, expertise, or relationship/s.
has a following that is also actively engaged with the topics being discussed.
Influencers build trust with their follower network. Business recommendations and reviews from influencers are labelled as ‘social proof’ to potential customers – a powerful tool within digital marketing strategy.
49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations to make a purchasing decision and more recently TikTok, with a clear commercial eye on future marketing trends, has created a $1 billion Creator Fund to nurture influencers (ref).
Alongside their power of product recommendation, the right influencers can also be miles more effective in building brand awareness than traditional marketing methods.
It’s the first step in the marketing funnel: a fundamental foundation to winning customers (now say that sentence quickly).
Influencers can feed the top of the funnel with engaged individuals that reflect similar interests, building brand perception along the way.
Using influencers, with a very large following (macro) or small (nano) (ref) can all help in getting your brand in front of people that have an interest in your product/service/industry.
And brand awareness, as any marketer will know, is the first and arguably the most important, step towards growing sales. Brand awareness matters – even for potential buyers not currently in the market: one day they will be. (ref).
Influencer marketing has its place in all industries, including B2B, and construction is no exception.
Average purchase spend is a lot higher for B2B than B2C, meaning that using influencers can deliver spectacular return on investment.
It isn’t about head-hunting David Beckham to push your new quicker-drying shower sealant; it’s about finding people that have an influence over your target audience. So, in the case of shower sealant, your main target audiences are likely to be merchants, and, most importantly the plumber. The plumber is the most powerful supply chain stakeholder, they can help promote products to merchants, and they can advise homeowners on products for remedial works.
In a nutshell, you are looking for a plumber on a social media platform with an engaged follower network.
Established power tool brand Milwaukee uses influencers to increase brand awareness with niche audiences. These are typically harder to reach when using traditional marketing methods. Also increasing brand awareness among potential customers including joiners, bricklayers, electricians, landscapers, plumbers and agricultural workers.
It’s a wide-ranging audience and no single influencer would appeal to all groups. The strategy had to involve engagement with numerous influencers, each with their niche audience in a specific industry sector, and the Ridgemount team set out to find those influencers.
There’s much more to selecting the right influencer partner than just follower numbers. We look for evidence of relevant, engaged audiences and have developed our own system for working out the likely value of the individual influencer. We use this system to agree on what budget is fair and then work with the influencer to develop a really productive relationship.
This graphic illustrates the results of an early influencer campaign.
Part of the success was down to the mix of nano and macro-influencers. Sometimes having fewer followers is actually an indication of effective targeting, with the influencer being seen to have more credibility. They’re not overtly plugging products/services, the effect is more like a referral from a friend. We like to include nano influencers in the mix while recognising that it will take many such relationships to reach the same audience size as one macro influencer.
What we found with the Milwaukee campaign was that using different tiers of influencers delivered exceptional results. Finding the right option to suit your targets and budget is pivotal to success.
The main steps to building an influencer campaign would be:
Find them – research involves watching a LOT of video content
Contact them – reaching out to find out whether this is the right person to entrust with your brand
Deliberate – don’t rush decisions: take time to weigh up risks as well as benefits
Finalise – plan the whole campaign in advance. Be very clear about expectations and deliverables
Book – make sure your contracts are sorted out properly
Platforms wise… YouTube gave birth to influencers across every sector. Younger channels such as TikTok and Instagram have muscled in on the show and provide great platforms for emerging influencer activity.
It sounds easy – but finding the right influencer partner to deliver good ROI and containing the risk involved in working in such a dynamic environment is challenging.
The key to the measurement of an influencer campaign lies in an effective “value tracker”.
There is no industry standard when it comes to a value tracker for B2B influencers so we have designed our own – and refined it along the way.
It measures variables of an influencer and their potential for success within a digital campaign, including;
network exposure (followers),
interactions and engagements,
click-through rate (CTR),
average traffic from an included link and, if they have a website, further data such as average time spent and typical page views of that website.
We’ve been running influencer campaigns as part of our digital marketing offer for several years now and we have certainly learnt a LOT along the way.
Our bespoke influencer marketing package includes:
A range of influencer opportunities
All influencers thoroughly researched through several mechanisms
With many scammers and fake opportunities, we analyse each influencer to calculate their influencer ROI – value calculator.
Influencer campaign suggestions including draft artwork examples
All communications managed by our specialist team
Campaign/s booked with the chosen individuals or group
Regular reporting on success with an insight showcase at the end of each campaign
Just to confirm, we are unlikely to get David Beckham, but what we can guarantee is measurable results within your targeted audiences.
Want to know more? Give us a call – there’s no charge for a chat.