B2B Influencer Marketing: It's Not Rocket Science

Mar 06, 2024
B2B Influencer Marketing: It's Not Rocket Science
82% of biz decision-makers consider B2B monotonous, creating an opportunity to redefine the category
B2B advertising is boring. That’s what nearly half of business buyers told PR Web in a 2018 survey. And it seems to have gotten worse since then.

In 2023, The Power of Provocation discovered that a staggering 82% of business decision-makers considered B2B marketing monotonous and repetitive, while a mere 1% believed it demonstrated a meaningful understanding of the human experience. This signals a massive opportunity for B2B marketers to redefine their approach, and the ideal place to start is on social media.

While creative campaigns are often synonymous with platforms like Instagram and TikTok, LinkedIn has emerged as an unexpected yet powerful player, especially for B2B marketers. Recently, we tested the waters ourselves with our first LinkedIn creator campaign for Hootsuite’s Social Media Career Report, and the results were astounding: 1.2 million impressions, 20,000+ engagements and over 8,100 link clicks within the first few weeks.

Here’s what we learned.

Why LinkedIn?
LinkedIn boasts a user base of 875 million, with 48.5% of U.S. users engaging at least once a month. An impressive 40% of LinkedIn visitors organically engage with a page every week, and 50% of brands are perceived as “higher quality” after advertising on the platform.

It’s not just about the numbers; LinkedIn offers a unique community of creators spanning various industries, making it an ideal platform for B2B influencer marketing.

What works in B2C can shine in B2B
When we think about social media influencers and creators, our first thought doesn’t always go to LinkedIn. But perhaps it should.

Here are some core tenets that we’ve applied to our social marketing on LinkedIn and the results are showing us … it’s working.

Humans are humans.

LinkedIn’s users are diverse. Someone who buys makeup on TikTok at night could be a marketing director by day. Preferences don’t clock out at 9 am. What works in B2C can shine in B2B. At Hootsuite, simplicity is our gold mine, and influencer strategies are no exception.

K.I.S.S: Keep influencer strategies straightforward.

My journey through working with influencers in toys, whiskey and streetwear taught me this very concept. Know your audience, align with the influencer’s tone and provide value.

Do your homework.

Before partnering, check if an influencer’s crowd matches yours. Chat with them as you would with any media outlet. Who follows them? What content flies high? You want your sponsored post to fit naturally within their feed.

We piloted our first LinkedIn influencer program last year. We sifted through creators’ social feeds to ensure the fit was natural. We found an opportunity to create an authentic partnership that spoke to their community of followers and aligned with their regular content.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Influencers know their turf. If their style aligns with your brand, let them take the reins. Narrow down your list, then step back and let them do their thing.

Provide freedom within fences.

Give influencers creative space, but set clear goals and boundaries. This balance allows them to bring their creativity to the forefront while ensuring ROI remains a priority. The post should first and foremost provide value to their audiences.

Did someone say ‘free?’

Leverage the allure of freebies. Take a lesson from the streetwear playbook—people, including influencers, love free stuff. Offer freebies that add value to your audience for remarkable returns at a fraction of the cost.

Play the long game.

Successful influencer campaigns should be viewed as a beginning, not a means to an end. Forge lasting bonds to establish deeper ongoing partnerships that will reap stronger brand loyalty and build connection twofold.

Redefining B2B marketing
We’re not just competing with peers on social platforms, but with creators and B2C brands on those very platforms. So, how does one stand out? By building authentic bonds with the audience.

Every interaction involves a human, whether in B2B or B2C. Success on social comes down to understanding your audience, delivering value and fostering a two-way relationship. Keep your objectives simple, stay true to your brand and let influencers do their magic.

Building relationships transcends traditional marketing boundaries and emphasizes an understanding of your customers’ needs and aspirations. Success hinges on delivering authentic value, creating a two-way dialogue and building a human experience. In this era of constant digital noise, personalized and relationship-driven B2B strategies cut through the clutter and ultimately create a lasting impact.

By embracing simplicity, staying true to the brand identity and empowering influencers on social to work their magic within clear boundaries, B2B marketers can redefine what it means to be a “B2B marketer.”

Source: adweek