Influencer Marketing: Does it Have a Role in B2B Marketing Strategy?

In the marketing industry, a new term has surfaced over the past few years, and skyrocketed recently – “influencer.” The demand for influencers has become just as, or even more prominent, than the demand for a traditional public figure endorsement. Is the industry forever changed, or is this just a fad? Which method of promotion is right for your business? What does “influencer” even mean?

A breakdown of sponsorships, influencers, and bloggers

With so many different forms of social media marketing becoming essential to both B2C and B2B industries , it can be a little confusing to differentiate between the terms. 

  • Influencers do exactly what their job title states. They are individuals with enough notoriety in specific industries to influence a product market or service, typically through social media channels. People look to influencers to guide them with their decision making. Influencers can have millions of social media followers (mega-influencers) or a small number of very engaged, topic-specific followers (nano-infuencers), and everything in between. 
  • Sponsorships typically include receiving compensation for an allotted number of limited promotional posts on social media, blogs or other forms of content. This can be done by way of influencers or through strategic product placement by a company. 
  • Bloggers use a modernized version of pen to paper promotion. A blogger will typically write product opinions on their respective forum or offer promotional pieces for a company or product. Popular bloggers often have a very loyal and engaged follower base, and many blogs have been in existence for a decade or longer.  

Have Social Media Influencers forever changed the way marketing works?

The short answer is, yes! Influencers have managed to substantially change the way different businesses look to cater to their respective audiences. It’s also important to note that social media has been on a steady uphill climb as of recent years, so the influencer “game” isn’t going away any time soon.

Previously, where some companies might have looked to a celebrity or public figure endorsement for their product, they’re allotting that same amount of funding if, not more, for the services of social media influencers – internet-based “celebrities,” if you will.

Should I consider influencer marketing as a part of my marketing strategy?

Much to the traditional business owner’s surprise, many companies can benefit from the use of both traditional sponsorships and influencers. With the emergence of LinkedIn influencers, especially in B2B industries, it’s becoming clear that influencers make an impact even in the most niche markets.

Now, does this mean you should focus all your time and effort into working with an Instagram influencer with millions of followers? Not necessarily. If you’re interested in partnering with a person or organization that could be considered an influencer, make sure their audience is the same as yours – that they use the same social media channels, focus on topics they’re interested in, and generally match your company’s personality.

Consider beyond traditional social media as well – YouTube, podcasts, webcasts and blogs all have niche corners where your product or service could fit in perfectly. It’s all a matter of finding the right fit for your marketing goals and budget. This is where a marketing or PR agency can help – if you’re interested in exploring new forms of audience engagement, TRINDGROUP can help. Email info@trindgroup.com for more information.