Evan Kirstelis the cofounder of eViRa Health, specializing in enterprise tech, health tech, B2B social media marketing and content creation
The old way of doing B2B marketing needs a shake-up. For the past 10 years, we’ve been seeing the same old tactics: webinars, blogs and emails, and to be honest, it’s boring.
While these B2B influencer tactics work to some degree, viewers are tired of this type of dry content. With so much noise in the influence sphere, it takes something special to stand out and get businesses to notice and remember your brand.
If you’re using B2B influencers to increase the prestige and notoriety of your brand, it’s time to step up your game with new, exciting ways to engage your audience via influencers.
Brands that rely on an influencer’s panache and energy to bring attention to their dry content are missing out on the true value of an influencer: the ability to bring a real human touch to their marketing.
An influencer is a person who specializes in a specific vertical and has an audience and community that trusts their opinion and recommendations. Influencers use their reputation as thought leaders to spread brand awareness to their audience.
The best way to spread that message has changed, at least if you want to see results. It starts with finding the right influencer and then using that influencer in creative ways.
Finding the right influencer for your brand isn’t quite as simple as a Google search, but a Google search can be a good place to start. Analyze your audience on social media and see who they follow. Notice which influencers have the biggest voices on topics that are important to your audience. How will you know? Look for people who constantly show up in feeds and on timelines.
Once you’ve figured out who is getting the most attention, take action to start collaborating with them. That can be as simple as making a phone call or sending a direct message, but if you really want to get their attention, interact with them online. Share their content, like and subscribe, retweet and follow. Real engagement shows the influencer that you’re not only out to access their audience, but that you genuinely care about their content and thought leadership, as well. In this way, you build an authentic relationship.
Some influencers can be paid outright, but others will be happy to showcase your brand in exchange for free products. When I started working as an influencer, people would invite me to events, pay for my airfare and hotel or invite me to fancy dinners, and that’s how I was “paid.” There are so many ways to engage without writing a check.
Now that you’ve found your ideal influencer, it’s time to put them to use in new and innovative ways. Try these and see which ones resonate with your audience. There’s no one way to work with an influencer, so get creative!
Events: It doesn’t take worldwide fame to get your audience activated by seeing an internet personality in the flesh. Have your influencer show up at your events. The excitement of seeing a known influencer in person can go a long way toward building recognition and goodwill for your brand.
Ad campaigns: Celebrity endorsements have been the backbone of advertising for decades, but you don’t have to have a million-dollar budget to jump on the train. Include your influencer in your ads of all kinds, from Facebook and Google ads to print materials, podcasts and more.
Meeting executives or venture capitalists: Looking to take on a partner, be acquired by an M&A firm or gain investment from venture capitalists? Bring your influencer to your meetings with these potential investors. The “halo effect” of being associated with a well-known figure could help you cross the finish line.
Focus on education: Working with a B2B influencer is different from influencers selling makeup on Instagram. Utilize your influencer not to sell directly, but to provide education and expertise to your audience.
Speaking at conferences: People come to conferences to soak up information. Your influencer speaking on your behalf or side by side at a conference is a great way to take advantage of your audience’s receptiveness to new information.
Interviews: Webinars are over, but podcast-style interviews are getting hotter by the minute. Interview your influencer on a topic relevant to your audience, then use that video or audio on your podcast, website, YouTube and in your marketing materials. You canlivestream the interview to your social media followers, too.
There are so many creative ways to use influencers to spread brand awareness. Let this list be a jumping-off point for your own innovative ideas. Don’t trap yourself in the box of “this is how we’ve always done it.” Dream big, and you can see real results from your work with an influencer.
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