When you think about influencer marketing, the B2B space probably doesn’t come to mind. Most B2B marketers wouldn’t consider using an influencer in their campaigns. Dani Hao points out that just because you’re in the B2B space doesn’t mean you’re selling to businesses. You’re selling to people within a business. People that have names, personalities, and interests.
That’s why Dani firmly believes that avoiding using influencers as part of your marketing strategy is a mistake. In this episode of The Content Callout Podcast, she shares why B2B brands should collaborate with influencers and lays out some best practices.
Dani is a startup marketing coach, speaker, and B2B marketing podcaster, whose mission is to help brands build authenticity and trust through content and community.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:18] Dani’s three rapid-fire tactics
- [2:46] How influencers can be used in B2B
- [7:46] How to build an influencer strategy
- [10:24] Content doesn’t just mean written content
- [12:40] How to make your content last
- [15:20] How to connect with Dani Hao
Should the B2B space utilize influencers?
Many B2B brands are conservative. When they think of influencers, they think of the Kardashians or Charli D’Amelio. That’s NOT what we’re talking about. Dani’s definition of an influencer is someone who has a lot of thoughts and opinions that people find valuable in a specific space. Simple. Influencers have built trust. Can you name people that you look up to? You trust them for their expertise and their advice.
Advice for B2B businesses using influencers
Dani believes that marketers for B2B brands need to take some risks. You need a unique voice. Otherwise, why should a customer choose you over anyone else? B2B brands are so afraid to have an opinion. But if you want to position yourself as a thought leader, you have to take a stance. You can’t always live in fear that you’ll offend someone. You will offend someone. As long as you aren’t diving into controversial topics, you’ll be okay.
Dani emphasizes that if you don’t have an opinion, you will be irrelevant. And if you don’t have an opinion that challenges the status quo, how are you an innovator in the space? All brands want to be innovative, but they aren’t willing to take a risk. If you take a risk, you may lose some customers, sure. But were they the customers you wanted to attract anyways?
How to build an influencer strategy
Look at your current customers. Who are your happiest customers? Who do they look up to in their space? Those are the people you want to collaborate with. When you work with an influencer, you are helping build each others’ brands.
The major hiccup is that many B2B brands try to stifle an influencer’s personal brand and control what they’re allowed to say. Influencers don’t want to be collaborating with a brand that stifles their creativity and unique voice. So how do you get a win-win? Be clear on your brand values and personality. Choose the people who fit those parameters, so you aren’t forcing someone to be what they’re not.
But how do you choose what to collaborate on? And how do you sell influencers on promoting you? Establish a menu, i.e., a clear list of what you want to collaborate on. You can share that list with the potential influencer and ask what resonates.