Directly targeting a small audience of influencers could help you reach a potentially huge numbers of prospects - if chosen and communicated with carefully.
Be aware though, this is not a quick win. You need to understand and accept that this can take anywhere from 6 months to a year, and probably even longer.
As we know, the decision-making process for B2B is often lengthy and involves more than one decision maker, so you can’t compare it with a consumer product banded about on Instagram that can start selling immediately. Equally, the correct approach is slower still, because the focus is to build strong relationships first, before asking for anything in return. Don’t forget, others have probably already started engaging with the influencers you've identified.
Because of the considered nature of the B2B buying process, word-of-mouth endorsements are valuable and more heavily relied upon, so being able to offer this to can, and will, improve your conversion rates.
What type of influencers do you want to work with? Think about your objectives.
Find them. Social media isn’t the only resource as there will be some who don’t use social media as a tool. So who are your customers listening to, reading and watching? Who are the keynote speakers at your industry events? Look at authors, speakers, podcasters and the like, to make sure you don’t miss any.
Do you already have influencers primed and ready? Analyse and evaluate the following for advocacy and influence – do they already follow you and share your content?:
Categorise your list. Think about the best way to group your list of influencers. By topic, location, need? Groupings should become apparent once you start reviewing your list.
Build the relationship. Get your internal team or marketing agency to plan the relationship building process for each group.
Evaluate the relationship. Try and keep a track of the interactions you’ve had and how the relationship seems to be progressing. Do any of the them feel like they might be open to a request?
Make an offer – but only once you know the relationship is strong:
Remember, you reap what you sow. So don’t kick things off by asking for what you want. Plant the seeds, nurture them and watch them blossom. It takes time and care but it’ll be worth it in the end.
Have you thought about running your own influencer campaign or want some help with getting the ball rolling? Get in touch with us today.
How we developed a unique targeting approach and improved lead volumes from direct marketing by more than 80%.