What Influencer Is Right For Your Brand?
The rise of social media resulted in a boom in influencer marketing, and thus of different types influencers. There’s your millennial social media influencer, all the way to more traditional academics. Both, however, held equally as high within their industry.
When 82% of consumers proactively seek referrals from peers before making a purchasing decision, finding a person to carry that marketing flame for you is a heavy job.
The diverse offering of influencers across different industries and channels means that nearly every company can find the right influencer for their brand.
This chance to tap into a mass audience, which mirrors your target audience, cannot be missed - even if you’re in the B2B space and you’re not familiar with this sort of influencer campaign.
Before you begin identifying the right influencer, you need to know who the different types are, what they respond to and the best way to approach.
The public figure
- This category includes the actors, artists and social media influencers. Often the top-of-mind influencers
- The shift from trusting brands to trust peers places incredible importance on public figures. Leveraging this group’s audience is great for B2C but not so much B2B
- Nearly everyone in the industry knows about them
- Build a relationship through interaction before approaching
- May prefer paid partnerships
- Traditional journalists still have a large impact on brands
- Befriending a relevant journalist is a good move for any brand in any industry
- Guaranteed reach via their publications
- Also has the same benefits as public figures
- Interested in exclusive stories and trends, so offer this
- If you have a product you’d like reviewed, bloggers are the answer
- Best known for covering niche topics and are likely to review your product in exchange for free samples
- Often more flexible than those in a more professional or clearly promotional setting
- This relationship is mutually beneficial so take advantage of it - host Twitter chats and interact on other social platforms
- Tend to be industry-specific people who have carved a named for themselves through social media or industry channels
- Don’t have a fraction of followers that public figures do, but they’re still influential
- Often more responsive due to being less in demand
- Followers often more engaged so may be more effective than big influencers
The corporate exec
- Thought-leadership has long been an asset to any brand looking to reach an audience within the B2B space
- Your CEO or any other exec carries great authority within the industry, you can utilize this more by taking an active part in networking, speaking at events and publishing expert blogs
- Providing the audience with valuable industry insights
- Likely to have an extensive professional network on and offline
- Leverage social media like LinkedIn
- Connector’s most valuable asset is their network, and they know it
- Add value to them by offering introductions to relevant people and they’ll do the same
- Hard to find but they’re important to your bottom line and reach
There you have it. The six types of influences that you need to be aware of. Who is right for your brand?
Bear in mind that micro-influencers appear to hold the most weight, with small to medium accounts offering more genuine encounters as their audience is more engaged.
But a lot of B2B brands actually work to establish themselves, and their employees as influencers too. This capitalizes on your personal reach, and that of your employees, instead of using a third party, and you’ll gradually grow into one of the influencer types identified above. A great platform to start natively building your own audience is LinkedIn.
A B2B influencer marketing example:
Matt Stevens, President and Co-founder of Alleva, a company that builds substance abuse treatment software, has worked to position himself as an expert in this field.
He said: “Up until about six months ago we were focusing all our marketing dollars on paid search and social media ads but we weren't getting much return on it. We decided to try something new and be an authority or influencer in our space.
“The goal is to help businesses treat people with mental health and drug addiction issues. We believe we can do that by giving out free advice, teaching people, and answering people's questions. Hopefully, we'll gain their trust, they'll see we know our stuff and they'll want to do business with us.”
“Start doing this right away and give it some time. The sooner you start giving out free advice in your industry, the sooner you will be seen as an expert and authority. That will result in gaining a following faster. This following will then trust you and you will get more sales. And don't be deterred if nobody in your industry is doing influencer marketing. That just makes it easier for you to be the leader."