An effective influencer marketing campaign will deliver your message directly to your target audience with all the credibility of independence.
We’ve run some startingly successful partnerships with influencers over the last year and have some suggestions: call it “influencer marketing for beginners”.
It’s certainly flavour of the month and we get asked about it all the time. As usual with the B2B environment, it started in B2C and the initial reaction from many B2B marketers was “it’s not for us”. In 2021 that situation has entirely reversed and the success of our initial campaigns is encouraging more clients to dip their toes into the water.
The effectiveness of influencer marketing is down to two things: targeting and trust.
In the B2B environment, the right influencer can deliver the tightest targeting around.
We’re not necessarily talking numbers here, we’re talking quality. The skill in identifying the best influencers is all about understanding how to evaluate the audience for relevance to your brand.
Second is the trust thing. You need an audience who trusts the influencer, so a successful programme should never be seen as a simple “pay influencers to post about your brand”.
Rather, it’s a bit like inviting a top food critic to visit your restaurant. You have to believe that your offer will impress, but you also accept that the critic will be honest. Don’t ever put a dirty plate in front of a food critic, and only offer influencers the best products.
There really is more to it than finding a YouTuber broadcasting to a big audience and asking them to talk about your brand.
We have refined a selection process specifically geared to construction sector B2B influencers. It starts with the legwork and our digital team has probably spend a bit too much of their life recently watching people giving advice on carpentry, blockwork and landscaping.
The clever bit is working out the likely value of the influencer. This allows us to identify the best prospects and to suggest a reasonable cost for the partnership. We’ve developed our own “value tracker tool” to do this, and it certainly takes out a lot of the guesswork.
Get to know your influencer. Remember all of these guys (and it usually is a guy in our sector) have built their audiences from scratch and will be protective of their channel.
Make sure everyone is clear on what’s going to happen and when, and make sure everything is in writing (contracts are your friend here).
You will find individuals to work with, but there are always options. Start slowly and, when you understand better what can and can’t be achieved, build your activity into a coherent programme over time.
Measurement is key. Most importantly, be very clear in your own mind about what you are hoping to achieve and how you will demonstrate that you have done so.
Is it brand awareness? Is it web traffic? Is it direct sales leads. The result you are looking for may influence your choice of influencer and will definitely affect the way you structure your campaign.
Trying an entirely new marketing activity is always an adventure but remember that not everything works. We’ve had some astonishing success with influencer marketing, but we are very aware that getting it wrong could be expensive!