2021 is set to be the year of B2B influencer marketing, with more and more brands looking to create innovative content and build lasting relationships with their audiences. Like with any form of marketing, there are lessons to be learned; after all, it is a still relatively new concept, so there are bound to be some obstacles. While we cannot guarantee a faultless influencer marketing strategy, we can offer some solutions for a few of the most common issues faced by businesses. Keep on reading to find out more.
Finding the right influencer for your brand
Avoiding vanity metrics
Maintaining relationships with influencers
Lack of budget
Having an understanding of ROI is fundamental for deciding whether or not something is worth investing in and how much of your budget should be allocated to it. When it comes to B2B influencer marketing, many marketers believe that it’s difficult to gain a true measure of ROI as there isn’t always a direct financial result and metrics can differ between platforms.
The solution? Start by defining a clear goal and selecting relevant metrics to closely monitor the success of your campaign and avoid any confusion. Then, set targets for each metric to allow you to benchmark the performance of your campaign and ensure you are getting the results you need. Thanks to the digital nature of influencer marketing, almost all metrics can be tracked and measured in real-time; this allows you to monitor your campaigns at every step of the way and use the data to inform your budgeting decisions moving forward.
While not all goals will have a direct link to sales, it is vital to understand that there are ways to measure the success of these objectives. You should also be aware that in the long run, they are likely to have some form of financial return, for example, while increased brand awareness won’t have an immediate financial impact, in time, it will help to drive sales.
For B2B influencer marketing to be successful, your business must collaborate with influencers who are aligned with your brand. This is particularly true within B2B marketing, where having a relevant audience and subject matter expertise is prioritised over the number of followers they have. But fear not, the solution is simple: research.
The best way to determine whether someone is a good fit for your brand is by getting to know them. Engaging with the wrong influencers will not only be costly but can also damage the credibility of your business. So, take your time researching and building partnerships to ensure you have made the right choice. With 70% of those involved in influencer marketing agreeing that researching influencers leads to more successful campaigns, there is no doubt it is worth the investment.
So, your latest influencer post has got 400 likes, great – but is that relevant to your goals? It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics (especially if the numbers are promising); to avoid this, it’s fundamental that you are clear about what you want to achieve for each piece of content and select appropriate metrics for each goal. Typically, the further down the marketing funnel you go, the fewer vanity metrics should be involved.
Along with acknowledging when it’s acceptable to use vanity metrics, you can also take steps to turn them into actionable measures. For example, focus on engagement rates over the number of followers. For blog posts, focus on bounce rates and social shares over the number of views, as this will give a good indication of whether your audience likes the content you are posting.
Many of the issues commonly reported by influencers – such as unreasonable terms or disputes over metrics and reporting – can be solved through communicating with them. From the very start of your relationship, you need to establish a clear communication plan to manage expectations, maintain relationships and ensure all parties are comfortable with the agreement.
You need to treat your influencers as what they are – humans – not just a form of advertising. Take the time to learn more about them; find out what they are passionate about and what they are interested in posting. Not only will this be great for your relationship, but your campaigns, too: with 70% of influencers agreeing that more involvement from them equals more successful campaigns!
But, it’s not just what you communicate that matters – it’s how you do it. Take the time to establish their preferred method of communication, and more importantly, how often they expect to hear from you. Perhaps it’s an email every fortnight or maybe a daily text message, but whatever the choice, make sure it’s clearly defined at the start. If an influencer is used to receiving daily updates and you choose to contact them once per month without setting any expectations, they are likely to feel frustrated.
Remember, good relationships can take time and effort to build, but they are worth it in the end. So, do your research, set expectations and ensure there is a mutual level of trust and respect in your partnership.
If you are a startup or small business, influencer marketing is a great way to build awareness and trust for your brand and get your business noticed, but there is one issue: the budget. Understandably, if you have limited funds available, influencer marketing is unlikely to be a priority; but, what if I were to tell you that you may not need to spend a penny to get an influencer on board with your brand?
A recent report from B2B marketing found that 72% of influencers say they would be willing to work with a brand for free, with many prioritising the brief, reputation of the brand or their personal belief in the product or service over monetary compensation. So, what’s holding you back?
Although simple, learning how to address these five common issues will put your brand in a much stronger position when it comes to influencer marketing. If you are looking for more advice on how to make your B2B influencer marketing strategy a success, check out our ultimate guide here. Alternatively, if you are looking for help with transforming any aspect of your digital marketing, contact us today for a free consultation.