When it comes to marketing for professional services firms, it’s all too easy to fall into the objectivity trap. Campaigns will lack creativity and humanity as they are fuelled by the belief that all B2B buyers base their purchase decisions on completely rational factors: a belief, of course, which we know to be untrue. Consumers are human, no matter the industry. We live for emotion and crave human connection (and this has only been heightened by the pandemic). More and more people are now expecting brands to show a more human side to their business, and what better way to do this than to involve someone who is known, trusted and loved by your target audience?
If you are looking for a way to increase awareness of your brand, drive sales and build your credibility, then look no further: influencer marketing is here to help businesses do all of this and more (& it’s here to stay). With influencer marketing on a steep incline thanks to the pandemic, and 96% of B2B brands now saying they are confident about the benefits of influencers for their business, now is the time to start developing your strategy. But don’t just take our word for it; check out 4 of the biggest benefits of influencer marketing for B2B brands below and then make your mind up:
#1 Brand awareness
Thanks to their impressive number of engaged followers, influencers can get your brand both seen and heard. And there is no doubt it’s effective, with 84% of B2B marketers now using influencer marketing as a means to increase brand awareness.
It can be hard to get noticed in a crowded market, such as the professional services industry, so if you want to cut through the noise, you need to establish a powerful position for your brand. And how do you do this? Influencer marketing is a great way to create trust for your brand and help establish your firm as a leader within the industry, with 64% of B2B marketers agreeing it has helped improve brand credibility.
#3 Quality and quantity
It comes as no surprise that influencer marketing is a powerful lead generation channel, but did you know that it helps to improve the quality of customers acquired, too? Yes, that’s right, 71% of marketers say leads obtained through influencer marketing are better qualified than those from other digital channels, whilst a further 51% say the quality of customers acquired through influencer marketing is higher than other digital marketing channels.
#4 Impressive ROI
Still wondering whether influencer marketing is worthy of an investment from your professional services firm? Well, with an average return on investment of $6.50 for every $1 spent, we would certainly say so.
So, now you know why your professional services firm should embrace influencer marketing, it’s time for the million-dollar question: how can you ensure that your strategy is effective? Like with any area of marketing, influencer marketing for professional services firms requires careful planning and execution. There is no quick fix or one-size-fits-all solution, however, there are several tips to get you headed in the right direction:
#1 Choose your influencers based on interests and values
If you want to see results from your influencer campaigns, you need to ensure you are working with influencers who are aligned with your brand and truly believe in your business. They need to be passionate about what they are promoting for their followers to engage with their content on the level that is expected. So, don’t rush into any partnerships without first establishing whether the influencer is the right fit for your brand.
#2 Manage expectations from the very start
Whether it’s delivery times, payments or content, you need to ensure that you devise contracts that manage expectations for all areas of your partnership – and make sure your influencers are happy with those terms, too!
#3 Create a clear communication plan
For your partnership to be effective, you need to take the time to build relationships with each of your influencers and as mentioned above, you must also ensure that you establish a clear communication plan from the very beginning to avoid any issues further down the road. This should include everything from the frequency of contact to their preferred method of communication.
#4 Repurpose and reuse influencer content
Influencers are masters of content creation, and they really understand what your target audience wants to see, so be sure to make the most of it and share across all of your channels again and again.
#5 Always keep your goals in mind when planning your campaigns
If you want to achieve your goals, you need to plan your campaigns around them. Ensure you understand which metrics should be monitored and how each campaign will help bring you closer to your objectives.
#6 Listen to your influencers (they are experts, after all)
Influencers are professionals with a lot of experience, so never underestimate their value. It will pay to involve them in the creation of briefs and to get their feedback at every stage of your campaign. Don’t believe us? Well, the numbers don’t lie: 70% of campaigns that involve influencers in the brief are deemed to be ‘very successful’, compared to just 14% of those who allow them no say in the matter.
So, now you understand how and why your professional services firm needs to embrace influencer marketing in 2021, what are you waiting for? If you are ready to take the next step and are looking for a helping hand with the process, why not contact us today for a free consultation? Or head over to our professional services page to find out more about how we can help your firm transform its digital marketing strategy.