In B2B influencing is developing at 5 levels, and more precisely on 5 distinct profiles. We list them for you below.
Influencers are opinion leaders. The CEO is supposedly the company’s foremost leader and therefore potentially its most influential profile. For purely subjective reasons, linked to the aura attributed to this position, a CEO’s voice will be more respected and listened to than any other account, including the corporate one. On Twitter, Xavier Niel’s account is followed more than that of his company Free.
A lot of companies put their CEO to the forefront, like Salesforce. Marc Benioff is a key element of the communication by the B2B giant, especially on Twitter.
Companies have long been hiding behind corporate and therefore inhumane communications. Several trends are pushing them to put their employees back in the foreground to relay their official communication.
First, social networks favourise human profiles. So, it’s impossible for a business page to post an article on Linkedin. The author has to have a standard user profile. Similarly, it’s not possible for an official page to post on a Facebook group: only personal accounts can.
Next, it gives prospects the opportunity to identify their alter ego in the company and to get in touch with them directly. IBM is well known for highlighting the leaders (CMO, VP, Directors, etc.) who form its executive committee, especially at international conferences.
A disadvantage? By putting its employees in the limelight, a company is likely to have some of its best talents plucked by head hunters who are on the prowl.
Your customers are your best ambassadors! Don’t hesitate to encourage their sharing of experience and to amplify the reach of their positive comments, by sharing them on your site’s home page or on your social networks.
An excellent practice is even to create videos to collect their feedback and especially the direct results obtained through the use of your B2B service. These videos will be used as a sales pitch to convince other companies to become your customer.
Customers are also generally honoured to be so celebrated in your sales materials and other official communications. They’re more likely to reorder from you in the future. A virtuous circle in short.
They are usually what comes first to mind when identifying B2B influencers. That makes sense, even if some experts are ultimately not very present on social networks, and therefore not necessarily relevant to an influencer campaign.
In any case, for every B2B sector, there is ultimately a small number of genuine influential experts. So be sure to look after them, sometimes without asking for anything in exchange: an invitation to a networking lunch, exclusive access to a new service, gatherings with other influencers in your network, etc.
Specialized media may be professional websites and / or influential blogs. There are three ways to work with them:
- Press Relations, for a long term relationship,
- Influencer marketing, through the ordering of sponsored articles, to strengthen your links with them and guarantee media coverage of the highlights of your campaigns,
- The guest post.
It’s not a question of choosing one over the other but of combining all those levers for maximum impact, in the short, medium and long term.
To finish, here are the latest B2B articles on the getfluence blog. After that, B2B influencer marketing will hold no secrets for you.
- How to find B2B influencers for your niche market,
- The different types of collaboration with a B2B influencer,
- B2B Influence Marketing: the best of the top case studies,
- 5 things you absolutely need to know in terms of B2B Influence Marketing.