Content marketing is now the standard for B2B, which means it’s time to shake up how you stand out by leveraging the power of influencer marketing benefits.

Influencers are more than a face for a brand. They offer a legitimate boost of credibility through endorsements, and the ripple of engagement they spark can last way longer than the life of a single marketing campaign.

In addition, influencers have built-in trust and engagement numbers in key demographics on social media that would take years for an organization to create independently. Connecting with the right influencer for your brand is a lot like getting into a high profile party. You can jump through hoops and try to angle for an invite, or join in as a “plus one” of a well-connected guest to maximize networking opportunities.

Still thinking influencer marketing benefits are all hype?

According to Adweek’s Social Times 2015, “60% of marketers plan to boost ad spend for influencer marketing in the following 12 months.”

With other brands strategically adding influencer marketing to their content strategy, it’s time to get serious about why it can work for your organization, too.

The best way to maximize the power of influencer marketing benefits is to know why you need an influencer in the first place, and the specific ways they add a little extra icing to your content marketing cake.

Influencer Awareness: 8 Reasons “Why” for Your Brand

There is true power in collaboration—when you can find the right partner. Instead of working one narrow angle of expertise and influence, partners rely on each other to pool goodwill and resources. This is why influencer marketing benefits are so powerful: both sides gain something they want that’s difficult to achieve independently.

Here’s why your organization should explore collaboration as a new path to content marketing success.

Increase distribution and reach into more refined audiences. B2B organizations spend a lot of time and energy building personas to improve the buyer’s journey. A connection with an influencer can provide access to specific target buyer persona, or offer insights to further refine the ones already created. Gaining specific information through social or direct feedback with an influencer’s built-in audience saves thousands in market research and provides clear information to optimize buyer personas.

Build trust with the right target audience. Talking at people through ads or crafted content can be hit or miss, but an influencer already has the eyes and ears of followers who trust them. Target audiences are wise shoppers and likely filter out “marketing speak”, but, they do seek out experts when making educated decisions about purchases. This built-in influencer trust can help organizations gain a stronger foothold with a specific target audience.

Save time, money and resources. An introduction by a trusted third party automatically increases the chances of getting seen, heard and considered, and requires a lot less effort and resources than a full out marketing campaign. If a marketing push is part of the plan, the influencer can offer very detailed insider marketing research information to help craft something targeted and mutually beneficial, without the added cost of market research and guesswork.

Reveal the “why” behind marketing efforts and fine tune specific initiatives. One of the best influencer marketing benefits is the clarity the marketing team can gain in working with one. Instead of executing a general marketing campaign, you can get really “meta.” Through a relationship with an influencer, you can work together to clarify the why, or purpose, and end goals for both sides, and gain insight throughout the process that suits the needs of you both.

 

 

Clarify the nuts and bolts of digital influence and learn how it shapes real world conversations on various platforms. Social media is an art and a science, and B2B organizations have various personality types they are trying to manage in the buyer’s journey. An influencer can offer their knowledge on building community, what key audiences need and how they prefer to receive information. This insight can be used to shape marketing campaigns and drill down expected actions and desired outcomes in more detail.

Gain exclusive access to influencer communities. Outside of the obvious, this one is truly a holy grail. It takes time to build community and trust, and an influencer can offer both in one shot. The added exclusivity through brand alignment puts you ahead of the competition and gives your organization a leg up in a crowded marketplace.

Create connections within a social network where you want more traction. Perhaps there’s one area of social outreach ripe with potential clients, but you have little to no presence in it. With an influencer, you can build social awareness using content in a natural, organic, seamless way.

Leverage an influencers strengths and match them with the organization’s goals through special, exclusive offers. This is big high-five for both sides. When a brand creates an action plan based on mutual benefit, each side is able to create, and reach, bigger goals.

Enhance customer education through partnership. Knowledge is power, so empower your influencer to be a natural ambassador through education. Create a campaign that focuses on how they are getting educated by your organization, the benefits and the exclusive way they are sharing it with followers—including why it was so useful for their knowledge base.

If you find an influencer relationship works well, research how to connect with more of them. Each influencer offers strengths in different content areas and target markets – so it helps to diversify your list to leverage the unique benefits of multiple partnerships. And remember, finding new and unique ways to leverage influencer marketing benefits one of the most powerful ways to help a brand stand out.

Not sure how to go about adding influencers to your content strategy? Here’s a little refresher on the ways thought leaders, and their power of persuasion, can help spread the word and build trust for your brand.

Katrina Pfannkuch

About Katrina Pfannkuch

Katrina Pfannkuch is a creativity consultant specializing in writing, editing, strategy & coaching. She's a bit of a data nerd & loves seeing how pieces of the informational puzzle come together to paint a creative picture. Catch Katrina & her insights on kick-starting creativity at @creativekatrina on Twitter.