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How to Use Influencer Marketing in B2B

Jun 26, 2024 | Guest Author, Marketing Excellence, Partnerships

By: The Motherhood, Inc. For more than a decade, The Motherhood has been creating meaningful opportunities to connect brands with key consumers through our network of smart, passionate and diverse influencers – in every niche, consumer segment and with a wide variety of editorial focus and expertise. Learn more at themotherhood.com.

Influencer marketing has often been thought of as a mere tactic in consumer marketing. More specifically, to sell consumer products, such as fashion and beauty, but this only scratches the surface. In fact, influencer marketing can be used for a variety of businesses with different end goals, from healthcare to financial services to pharmaceuticals – and that includes business to business (B2B). Let’s dive in.

Influencer marketing started in the early 2000s and in these early days, it was only blog posts, which later matured into what it is today with social media at the forefront and blogs still an important part of every social-first brand’s SEO strategy. Fast forward to today, and the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $24 billion by the end of the year. 

In a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub in its “State of Influencer Marketing” Report, nearly one third of respondents are running B2B campaigns. So how can you use it in your business?

Lean Into LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a natural extension of influencer marketing in a B2B approach, since career-minded professionals are already engaging here, and many share thought leadership. In 2021, the platform launched “Creator Mode” to bring more influencers into the platform, but just this year it was removed in an effort to make these tools more accessible to its entire user base. More and more creators are moving to LinkedIn to expand their audience base, such as Natalie Marshall aka “Corporate Natalie.” The TikTok and Instagram star has been posting more content on LinkedIn and is expanding partnerships with B2B brands. She did a typical work from home routine video and integrated Adobe’s Acrobat AI Assistant into the content. 

FinTech company Tipalti has also been leaning heavily into influencers on LinkedIn because its target audience is on the platform. According to this Ad Age article, they have influencers use various tools, including LinkedIn newsletter sponsorships, LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Audio Events. One example of how they used influencers was to syndicate a research report it produced about the creator economy. 

Use Short Form Video 

Think TikTok is just for Gen Z? Think again! Brands like Adobe have tapped into TikTok to convey key product features. Short form videos like Instagram Reels, TikTok and YouTube Shorts can help humanize your brand and offer storytelling to help sell your product or service. Many of these services are often complex – particularly in the tech and software space – so having video can break it down in an easy to understand way. 

Square makes TikTok videos that share how small businesses use their equipment in a creative way. And SaaS company Breadcrumbs takes past presentations and splices them up into soundbytes in YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts is growing 135 percent year over year, and has more than 1.5 billion monthly users. And TikTok has 150 million active monthly users in the United States alone (and growing).

During the holiday season in 2023, Hootenanny Games – a games publisher based out of Nashville, Tennessee – selected The Motherhood to create a video-centric influencer campaign and Amazon Ads strategy to generate awareness and drive purchases of its games. Both Instagram and TikTok engagement rates exceeded industry average and influencer content drove 200,000 video views, with a click-through rate 3.5 times higher than industry average. Although marketing to consumers, Hootenanny also used this content in showcasing their brand to potential wholesalers and investors – both of whom have a pivotal role in the trajectory of their business.

Tap Into Franchisees

Many B2B companies have franchisees all across the U.S. and even the globe. These franchisees are part of the day to day business front lines, and can share a lot of insight that can be made into content for social media. 

Asking for brief videos from franchisees is a simple way to transform this into content you can use in your own marketing and to have influencers share. Kansas City-based City Wide Facility Solutions, which offers commercial cleaning and janitorial services, had a franchisee answer a question and posted the video to Instagram. Today’s social media does not have to be overly produced or polished – this video was taken with a cell phone and offered much insight into their business.

Influencer marketing is ripe for the B2B space and these thought-leaders can be tapped in many different ways across many channels. Plus, the content they develop can be shown to your existing customers and leads, integrated into your own social media, website, email marketing, sizzle videos and more. 

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