A lot has been written about Influencer Marketing and most people see Influencer Marketing as B2C initiative, but for the B2B Marketer there is a lot to be said for an Influencer Campaign.
And for those Sales people that might be reading this, getting your Marketing team to under take Influencer Marketing will help with you medium to long term prospecting and demand generation.
Let's not forget, that if you need pipeline and pipeline now the fastest and most efficient way of getting this is social selling. Anyway, back to the Influencer Marketing.
The problem with most B2C Influencer Marketing is that it is actually advertising. The film celeb wearing a designer dress at the awards, isn't Influencer Marketing, it's advertising. The YouTuber telling you a type of make-up is good, isn't Influencer Marketing, it's advertising. You can spot advertising a mile away. Because people say "this is the best product in the world", "it's world beating", "I wouldn't use anything else". That's advertising.
Many B2B companies are looking to talk to new people, new accounts, new markets. Events and conferences are losing their appeal and in most cases are just sales pitches. Nobody looks at adverts anymore, they have just become noise. And technology and legislation have killed off email marketing and cold calling. So how do you fill the funnel with new names?
You get influencers to work with you, you then get access to the influencer's network.
Stop right there if you think this is a way to "stuff" another channel with boring content. It isn't. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Influencers and neither is anybody else interested in that boring corporate content. Sorry!
You also have to remember that influencers have opinions and they will express them. I had a customer experience marketing brand come to me and offer me access to their conference for free. A list price for a ticket was £1,400 ($1,820). I declined as all of the sessions were sales pitches. Why would I spend my time listening to their sales pitch?
As a brand you need to understand that the Influencer owns the network, not you, but you can work with the influencer to create and craft something that will appeal to their network.
Over the coming year, more and more marketers will realise that they need to be in the latter category. As businesses begin partnering a mix of influencers and putting more marketing budget into this, a good brief that extracts the most creative interpretation will become increasingly important. Even the biggest critics of influencer marketing do not necessarily believe that it is a bad way to market products, just that most brands are currently doing it badly. There is a need for it to be done more elegantly, in a less superficial way.