Influence marketing

How to find B2B influencers for your niche market

, 28 August 2018

Influencer Marketing has its place in B2B. But a lot of marketers give up on the idea when they’re looking for an influencer in their sector. Are you one of them? For sure, finding a B2B influencer is not as simple as in the B2C domain where beauty, video game or cooking influencers are popping up everywhere. However, don’t throw in the towel! There are most centainly influencers for your B2B influence campaign. We’ll help you find them.

Finding B2B influencers on Linkedin

Linkedin is the leading professional social network and, as such, is a natural territory for finding influencers in your industry. The Linkedin search engine is created in such a way that, in the results, it usually displays the profiles that are the most active or those with the most connections.

If you’ve found an influencer, take a look at their connections: you may well find others. In a given industry, there might be just a handful of influencers and it’s a safe bet that they know each other.

It is not uncommon for a partnership with an influencer to open the doors to their network, and therefore new relationships with other influencers in the same sector. (Photo credit: Rawpixel, Pexels)

Linkedin is also a blogging platform, and the topics are professional. Prized influencers are those who publish articles on Linkedin; here they were able to gather a base of several thousand followers.

Lastly, check out the discussion groups. The most active members, or even the managers of those groups, may well be influential people in your industry.

By the way, if you’ve already identified an influencer via another channel (e.g. word of mouth), Linkedin can also easily allow you to get in touch with them. Linkedin members generally register under their true identity, so it is easier to find them.

Find B2B influencers on Twitter

Twitter is another natural platform for B2B but it depends on your sector. Media or marketing professionals are for example very present on the network. Have you noticed how Twitter is filled with journalists? You’re already saying, “I’m looking for influencers, not reporters! “. But a journalist can very well have a blog or an account on Medium (a blogging platform acclaimed by online writers) in parallel with their professional activity. In short nothing prevents you from approaching them for an influencer campaign.

How can you find them? Again, the inbuilt search engine is your ally. No, not the default one on the homepage, but Twitter’s advanced engine. It allows you to search for tweets with specific hashtags, or filter by language. As usual with Twitter, the tool can be a bit rickety. So you can use FollowerWonk which allows you to limit a search to the bio of Twitter profiles. It’s really effective!

The Buzzsumo gold mine

Another gold mine is the awesome Buzzsumo tool we often hear about. It displays the most shared articles on the web on all subjects including B2B. So you can find the successful bloggers who cover your industry. Yes, it’s as easy as that.

For a given keyword, Buzzsumo indicates the most shared articles, with a breakdown between Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest. (Photo credit: Buzzsumo)

In addition, it is not uncommon to find web articles listing the 10, 20 or 50 biggest influencers of a given industry. Don’t forget to bookmark such an article if you come across it as you surf the web!

Find B2B influencers on Facebook

Facebook, a private network? Only in part. Facebook groups are mostly public forums, and you’d be surprised to find out how much they’re still used today.

We sometimes hear about the decline of Facebook: it’s still the number 1 network, and a privileged space for discussion, including for professionals. (Photo credit: Pixabay, Pexels)

Another tip is to check out what’s happening on your competitors’ official pages. Take a look in particular at the comments on the articles. There may hide, at best interesting profiles, at worst ordinary, but very engaged, members. In both cases, you too want to bring them into your fold!

Use an influencer marketing platform

Influencer marketing platforms have already done the work for you: they have pools of influencers open to new collaborations, and their intermediary role helps to smooth the relationship and simplify the partnership. Be careful though, they’re not all flawless (see “What are the problems with current influencer platforms?”).

It must be recognized, however, that their focus is essentially B2C, for the simple reason that their influencers operate mainly on Instagram or YouTube (not really B2B networks). Therefore, check out a networking platform for connecting with influential bloggers. In this regard, lists almost 10 000 influential press media and specializied websites: it’s a safe bet that your sector is represented… But check for yourself, registration is free.

Have you found your ideal profiles? Before finding an agreement with them, make sure to explain to them the form of collaboration that you’re thinking of. If you are not sure of this point either, don’t worry, everything is covered in our dedicated article: the different types of collaboration with a B2B influencer.

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