September 16, 2019
You might be a consumer brand paying Kylie Jenner a million dollars per Instagram post or a tech company using your own CEO as an influencer like Salesforce. But today I want to challenge what you think you know about influencer marketing as I imagine what you do know is traditionally aligned with the consumer.
Here is what you need to know: It can be done no matter what your brand is, what industry you’re in, big, small, B2B, B2C, it doesn’t matter. There is an influencer out there for you.
B2B versus B2C
When we think about B2C we almost always have a product in mind. You’re utilizing an influencer who possess an expert level of knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields to build brand awareness and drives sales to your consumer-focused product. And for B2B this can apply to – there’s often times we have that traditional B2B brand who eventually reaches the consumer (B2B2C).
But what if you don’t have a consumer product or service? What if social media isn’t the ideal place for your lead generation efforts? You can still work with influencers! In a later blog post we’ll get into exactly what you can have those influencers do as alternatives.
Understanding the timing
If we go back to my earlier example of Kylie Jenner utilizing her Instagram to post about brands like Adidas or even her very own Kylie Cosmetics, we’re again talking about traditional consumer product focused marketing. Naturally, the timing for that type or promotion is almost instantaneous. There’s a link on the post that drives traffic directly to the purchase site.
Another key difference with B2B, and something companies must keep in mind when considering a B2B program, is that the results won’t pour in as rapidly. This can be the case for several reasons:
- You don’t have a direct call to action since you don’t have a product or service to drive a viewer to.
- The identification of B2B influencers is manual and can take upwards of 6-8 weeks to secure them.
- The purchasing decision is more nuanced and comprehensive.
With all this said, you won’t likely see results from a B2B influencer marketing program for at least six months to a year. Because of this, you should aim to develop longer term contracts that are in the same timeframe of your expected results. This differs a lot from B2C influencer programs, which can be as short as 30 days.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where I dive into the formula for identifying influencers in the B2B space.