How to Become an Influencer for B2Bs
Becoming a social media influencer is no longer the domain of vloggers on YouTube promoting consumer products. The role of influencers now extends to the B2B arena and if you aren’t doing it, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to market your product.
What is an influencer?
Influencers are people that are recognized as experts in their field. An influencer is someone with authority in the industry, whose opinions can be trusted, and to whom people will listen when making decisions. That authority and expertise can translate very quickly into revenue. In fact, in a recent survey of marketing professionals conducted by Tomoson, influencer marketing generates $6.50 for every dollar spent.
Influencers generate sales and revenue because people follow them on social media and trust their insights.
Becoming a social media influencer takes time and effort and is a long-term pursuit, but the rewards can be significant. As influencer marketing is extremely cost-effective and the fastest-growing online customer acquisition channel, easily outpacing organic and paid search and email marketing.
Influencer marketing works because people, including businesses, trust in the authority of experts in their field. So, how do you become an influencer?
Start off with credibility
Before you can establish yourself as an influencer, you have to establish credibility in the industry.
Focusing on your particular area of expertise is vital. Whatever it is your company does, to become an influencer you first need to do that thing very well.
Then it is important to share your expertise with others. Create a blog and produce content every day.
Respond to industry reports on Twitter and comment on developments on LinkedIn.
Doing these things consistently over time will help you gain traction with your audience in the market and help establish your credibility.
Leveraging that credibility will convert to leads, sales, and revenue. But it is important to begin by being a credible expert in the field. You can’t fake it. Before your social media influencer campaign is even begun, you really have to know what you’re talking about.
Choose appropriate channels
Facebook and YouTube are less important for B2B influencers than they are for consumer products. B2B influencers are better off spending their time curating their audiences on Twitter, LinkedIn, and through their blogs.
LinkedIn is especially important because the platform is regarded as a more serious social media channel than Twitter or Facebook. Your audience – your connections and those who follow the same hashtags – are most likely to be made up of people you work with, people in the same sector, and other associates.
YouTube can be an excellent accompaniment to your LinkedIn profile, but in a B2B landscape, you should be using YouTube – not because of the audience that channel itself generates, but to host videos you can link to from your LinkedIn posts.
Maintaining a daily presence on Twitter and Facebook is important. But, again, those channels should primarily be used to expand your reach by linking to your actual insights, which will either be written on your blog or hosted as videos on YouTube.
Set your LinkedIn profile as your anchor point, and make sure all the content you produce is linked to and from it.
Content is king
Most influencers operate at least one blog. Medium is an excellent place to host a blog, as it does the marketing for you by directing your content to those it thinks might be interested in what you have to say.
It is vital that you produce a constant flow of thought-provoking, insightful, and authoritative content on your blog, following up with a brief introduction to it and a link on LinkedIn and your other social media accounts.
It might be tempting to outsource your social media influencer marketing spend to an influencer who already has a built-in audience and an established presence. While that strategy works well for consumer brands, in a B2B marketing effort, it is better for you to become the voice of your potential customers’ trust.
You might be tempted to hoard knowledge to maintain a competitive advantage in your field. While some things do need to be kept secret, it is critical to share. To become an influencer that can sway peoples’ opinions and decisions, you need to establish yourself as a trusted expert. Unless you share your expertise, that will be difficult.
So becoming a social media influencer is the combination of two things: establishing credibility through the expertise you have, and sharing it with your audience on your social media channels.
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