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How to Identify and Collaborate with Influencers to Promote Your B2B Brand

You may be familiar with influencers for TikTok dances, funny sketches or for promoting B2C companies. Still, in reality, there's a side of influencers that goes as a ring on our finger when we talk about B2B marketing.

By the end of 2022,  the influencer marketing market will have $22 billion in revenue, but meanwhile, we ask, how are B2B companies doing with this strategy?

In the "2022 Influencer Marketing Research Report," 86% of brands confessed that their influencer campaigns were successful, and 85% of them believe that their interest in working with one of them will increase in the coming year.

Meanwhile, in a Search Engine Journal article, we found that results are significant for B2B companies, showing that:

  • 72% say it helped improve brand reputation
  • 70% say it improved brand awareness
  • 56% say it helped generate new leads
  • 33% say it was a direct revenue generator

HubSpot's State of Marketing Trend Report 2022 puts influencer marketing in the top 5 marketing channels for the year, showing that today influencers represent a wide range of creators who build a rapport with engaged audiences. 

Now, as a brand, we come to the big question: How can we choose the right influencer for our brand? This strategy requires a budget and much planning, and we can only select an influencer based on their follower count. To get the most favourable results out of your campaign, in this article, we'll give you all the steps you need to choose the right internet celebrity to represent your brand and how you can use them to reach a wider audience.

Without further ado, let's do this!

CodeDesign is a leading digital marketing agency ranked #1 in Lisbon, Portugal. You could work with us to accelerate your business growth.

The B2B Influencer Marketing process.

When we work with an influencer in B2B, the process differs from B2C companies. While the second one maybe needs the celebrity to do an unboxing, try out the product or do a review, B2B is more of a collaborative campaign where both parties build a complete strategy to benefit each other.

Now, when we look for influencers for B2B, these stay on more than just social media influencers or YouTubers. There are many categories which you can find, like:

  • Bloggers
  • Podcasters
  • Thought leaders
  • Authors
  • Keynote speakers
  • Specialists

Influencer Marketing Campaign.

The main idea of an influencer is a person that drives too much "influence" on a decent amount of followers, and the mediums can be as different as we saw.

While brands usually spend a lot of money creating videos to share on their channels, these efforts pay less sometimes as the message doesn't reach new territories. The great aspect of influencer marketing is that it allows us to ensure both goals in a more authentic way for our customers.

But before even choosing an influencer, you must ask yourself, why? What is the purpose of working with one of them? Because it can't only be because they're trending and famous, you have to define it well.

Common goals when we talk about this strategy can be:

  • Improve authority in your industry
  • Build brand awareness for a new company
  • Encourage customers to buy a specific product or service
  • Invite people to register for an event

With clear goals in mind, it's easier to decide the best channels for this goal and who is the right person for the role.

To measure the ROI on your campaign, you should focus on metrics like:

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Conversions
  • Sales

Now that we established this, we can find out how to find the right influencer for your business.

How to identify B2B influencers?

In this article, we said that follower count isn't a judgment factor in choosing an influencer. Instead, the main goal is to add value to your audience through a source they trust and like. This part will give you a set of aspects and factors to evaluate when you choose yours.

Investigate which influencers your audience follows.

Although this step is predictable, this is the basis for building your database on who those personalities are that your niche admires. If you are already within your place, you likely know the most popular ones; it isn't like you live under a rock. Still, the idea is to collect a good number of candidates to evaluate the following aspects we will mention. But if you need more help, there are influencer marketing tools to help you find them.

Beware of B2B Influencerm possible Conflicts.

While B2C influencers can be more flexible to work with different brands simultaneously, B2B influencers are in another spectrum. A B2C influencer could live their entire life by selling Instagram posts, but B2B influencers are better known for being specialists in their work area - which is their day job - or also are the owners of their own business.

So, before hiring any of these, it's essential to inform them about their contracts or any other company they've worked with to check if there aren't any legal issues that could avoid their alliances. Take your time to investigate your influencer candidates.

Content Quality

Content is one of the pillars of digital marketing to keep people engaged. Therefore, when you associate with one of these, the ideal is to look for someone who can bring more value to your brand and insights or visions that can further boost your domain and knowledge in your niche. Being a B2B alliance, both will seek to benefit professionally - that's what it's all about - and therefore, the quality standards must follow your demands.

In the end, if the content is excellent and gives value to your customers, more people will associate your brand with good quality.

Engagement Rate

Before even considering an influencer, it is good to analyze their engagement, that is, how much their followers interact with their content.

This aspect can raise certain red flags if it is a fake influencer, and we will explain why.

An account with 2,000 followers and 400-500 likes on most of its posts is a decent number. Still, this person needs to reach several followers to be considered an influencer. However, their content must be pretty good because many of their followers interact with and like them.

Now, when you're an influencer with 10k, and you have posts that get at most 100 likes, there's an alarm that should go off and say, "Ummm, maybe someone doesn't have the engagement we need."

In the world of influencers, there are "tactics" to inflate followers and trick brands into hiring them; you must inform yourself well so as not to fall into their traps.

When hiring your candidate, asking them for reports on their engagement rates is a good option.

Engagement Rate.

Value Alignment

Now, this is the part where you both know each other and see if you match or don't. It's like a first professional date.

Similar to content quality, you have to evaluate if you share common values with your influencer; in this case, opposites didn't attract each other.

In a first meeting, check out if you both have similar goals and opinions or even check out how each of you can enhance your knowledge by their point of view on the industry.

When you both share similar visions, your content or company will most likely be liked by this influencer's followers, and you will be able to achieve your goal of reaching larger audiences in your niche.

Expertise in Industry

In the exact first professional meeting with your influencer, you can ensure how much expertise they have in your niche.

Do they have certifications, degrees or awards? Are they recognized and popular within your niche?

With this last step, you have a clear view of who can be the best candidate for your brand, but before going further, let us give you a pro tip.

Consider Micro-Influencers

If you haven't heard the term, you may think that a micro-influencer is an amateur and may not be worth your investment, but let us tell you, they can be even more effective than big influencers, and also you'll spend less.

Brands reported that influencer marketing budgets could reach up to $50K to $500K+. If you aren't willing to pay that amount, another option may be as effective as the other.

A Hubspot research found that 41% of marketers reported good results with influencers with less than 10k followers. A good reason behind this is that as a "smaller" community, followers still see this influencer as a relatable person. Because of that, they trust more in their opinion more than famous influencers worldwide.


What are the top qualities of B2B influencers?

In a Search Engine Journal article, we found the top qualities for B2B based on a  TopRank Marketing survey. These were the results:

  • Relevance of audience (98%)
  • The audience sees them as trustworthy (87%)
  • Subject matter expertise (78%)
  • Values align with the brand (69%)
  • Influencer publishes on at least one platform (65%)
  • Ability to create content (54%)
  • Size of the audience (49%)
  • Professional credentials (42%)
  • Advocate for our brand (33%)

How to promote your brand and reach a wider audience with B2B influencer marketing?

Now that we have enough information on how to identify an influencer for our brand, it's time to see what strategies we can use to get a wider audience with them. Ultimately, your goal is to reach those who follow them and expand your business to new horizons.

First, we want to point out something, and that is content. So, what is the most effective content for B2B influencer campaigns? The Search Engine Journal asked this question, and these were the results:

  • Webinars (81%)
  • Social media (74%)
  • Blog posts (71%)
  • Recorded video (67%)
  • Interviews (62%)
  • Podcasts (52%)
  • Live video (48%)
  • Case studies (38%)
  • Industry (33%)
  • Interactive content (31%)
  • Third-party analyst (29%)
  • Social audio (22%)
  • Infographics (17%)

Business owners tend to like webinars, and the reason behind this is that it's an opportunity to learn from an expert on a specific topic, while the company itself can gain some earnings from it.

But let's investigate what strategies we can use to reach more people.

Educate influencers on your brand for better results

Once you choose your perfect candidate and have discussed all the essential values you share, it's time to educate them on your business. They probably aren't so aware of your brand story, selling points and who is your target audience. Orienting them and introducing them to your brand allows them to get more into the game and propose original ideas for the campaign.

When telling your story, share how you look at your industry, what motivates and what goals you have achieved so far.

After all this introduction, they'll better understand your business's needs and audience's pain points to create a better strategy to hit all the spots.

Let creative freedom flow.

We get it. As business owners, we often like to have complete control over our campaigns, but in this case, you have to get out of your comfort zone and let the influencer unleash their creative freedom to help you grow.

When you start working with an influencer, the idea is to co-create, not dictate, all the assignments. When you try to restrict their creative minds to your brand-centric narratives, chances are that you'll get the same results that you had or even none. If you choose well, you must trust that they'll help you reach other goals with their talent or expertise. It isn't to give complete control to the influencer but to do a brainstorming session where both parties can share their ideas and see how they complement.

B2B Influencer Marketing.

Use video content to engage with audiences.

The video format is the most desirable for audiences around social media platforms. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and, of course, TikTok all of these platforms allow video content, and it is the most consumed of them. So creating various videos with your campaign will allow you to broadcast your brand's message all over these social platforms, allowing you to reach new places within the social media realm. Some ideas you can use are:

  • Do Q&A with the influencers where they can answer the audience's questions.
  • Create a podcast commenting on the upcoming trends for your niche.
  • Host a debate where two influencers can discuss important and contrasting topics.
  • Blogs about your co-creating process with the influencer.

Offer valuable free content that users can share.

In this recommendation, we want to reference TopRank's content library for aspiring content marketers. The idea was to reunite 40 influencers where they share some of their knowledge in this niche and then offer it as a free downloadable for all of them.

This idea is excellent as you can benefit all those interested in all that valuable knowledge, but what will make it even more powerful is to offer the chance to share it with their friends through social media or any other communication media.

You can even offer any benefit to those who share the most, incentivizing the spread of your campaign to a broader audience.

Final thoughts

Influencers are more reliable for audiences in social media, which is one of the most significant aspects of their success. Nevertheless, as we learn in this article, the idea is to look for something other than the influencer with more followers. Still, the one with authentic engagement with their audience can help your business with their ideas and knowledge in your niche.

In the end, influencer marketing for B2B is a win-win relationship, where both parties want to benefit and impulse each one to the next level. 

This is our goal for any client we work with, and we offer personalized treatment to adapt our strategy to your needs. 

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

Follow Bruno Gavino on Linkedin

About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

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