5 Ways European Companies Use B2B Influencer Marketing
With influencer marketing, brands tap into the power of social media figures who have established and loyal audiences in order to drive more traffic, awareness or sales.
In many aspects, influencer marketing is a form of “word of mouth” marketing. The difference is that the company approaches a respected voice of a community and asks for help. According to a survey published by Collective Bias, 70 percent of millennial consumers are influenced by their peers and mostly, their recommendations. They base most of their buying decisions on them. Moreover, 92 percent of consumers trust the recommendations made by people they know.
This is where influencers make their entrance. They are well known and respected by communities of peers and as a consequence, their voice is more likely to be heard than anybody else’s.
How do European SaaS companies use B2B influencer marketing?
There are a lot of things you can do in order to boost sales, to grow awareness on your brand or to actually build a new brand from scratch.
Influencer marketing may be one of your best choices but in order to apply it, you should at least learn about some of the best strategies accessible to your company. What can you do and how?
1. They educate their audience with a learning hub.
Free knowledge resources are always well received by the audience. They will more likely get an even better reception if there are being offered by influencers, people who have experience in a specific industry, people who are trusted for their professionalism and hard work.
Here’s an example from ClickMeeting, a Poland-based webinar platform that chose the strategy of influencer hosted webinars in order to boost their brand. In most B2C cases, influencer-produced content showcases the brand’s products in use, leaving it up to the audience to try and emulate influencer behavior by purchasing the product.
ClickMeeting’s approach takes the poignancy up a notch, by providing a stage for B2B influencers such as Larry Kim and Andrea Vahl to speak about best practices for producing webinars. Essentially, they’re nurturing their audience by educating them about the value of webinars, with the educational value delivered in webinar form by webinar masters.
Another great example comes from Paris-based Mention, a SaaS company whose educational hub is popular among marketers, writers and PRs.
Each category features a series of valuable resources, all offered by experts, people with professional competences and vast experience in their fields.
2. They identify a social need and act on it.
People love stories. At the same time, they love stories that can help them or others grow and learn. Also, people love to learn from good examples and follow them to the letter.
In this case, the example comes from a Maltese company, Hotjar. Their podcast series is based on the idea that companies and marketers should always put people first. This is the social, humane aspect of their project.
The podcast series, named simply “Humans,” focuses on various success stories with spokespersons who managed to thrive in the business sector by putting people first.
3. Find a good brand evangelist.
Let’s start by defining the main term. What is a brand evangelist and how can they help with a marketing campaign?
Well, a brand evangelist is a person who believes in your products, your company or your brand and aggressively promotes it to the public. Brand evangelists preach about the things or the services they bought or use and help spread the word on their quality/efficiency. By spreading the word on these products, they also help the company to build a powerful and well-known brand among the spokesperson’s peers and fans.
The example, in this case, comes from Agorapulse, a Paris-based business that offers social media and marketing solutions and services. Their brand ambassador is Mike Allton, an American author and speaker.
As you can see, his Facebook profile page shows he is Agorapulse’s brand evangelist. Also, he uses his personal account to share info on the company or on their latest services.
4. Inspire your peers -- organize B2B conferences.
Another effective way to mix together your brand and influencers from the same or adjacent industries is to organize conferences and seminars. Whether they’re international or just local depends on you and of course, your marketing strategy.
A good example that comes to mind in this case, an example that should be followed is that of Brand Minds, an international conference organized in Bucharest, Romania.
Former influencers who shared their wisdom at their events include speakers including Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk or John Maxwell.
5. Get the audience engaged through video tutorials.
A lot of influencers and popular vloggers use YouTube to distribute valuable and informative content. Can you include it in your B2B influencer marketing campaign?
Of course you can. It shouldn’t even be hard since there are thousands of popular channels and video blogs to choose from. All you need is to find the right influencers and convince them to help you. Or, if it is the case, to pay for their help.
The example I will give you, in this case, comes from SVGator, a web-based SVG animation creator. They chose YouTube as the main channel for influencer marketing, more precisely, a tutorial-based form of content. They choose DesignerCourse, a popular channel that teaches designers from all around the world on several skills and techniques they can use in their daily work.
Influencer marketing can be effective for brand building and sales boost. However, it is important to select the strategy that works best for your company.
What other examples do you know? What other strategies might work for a SaaS business engaged in B2B Influencer marketing?