B2B brands have been slower to adopt influencer marketing than B2C—but that doesn’t mean influencer marketing isn’t a worthwhile investment.
On the contrary. In fact, influencers in the B2B sphere can have an even greater impact than those that work in B2C, because credibility and expertise are so critical when it comes to those large B2B purchases.
We’ve used B2B influencer marketing for years, as we’ve seen the kinds of results our clients can get with it (hello, Chase for Business!).
But lots of the B2Bs we work with still aren’t sold on the idea of influencers—maybe you aren’t yet, either. And that’s ok. This post just might change your mind.
Let’s take a look at 7 great examples of effective B2B influencer marketing.
Microsoft’s partnership with National Geographic
Another major software company that’s winning at the B2B influence game is Microsoft.
Their campaign to highlight women in STEM careers, and encourage young girls to pursue work in these fields, was done in partnership with National Geographic photographers.
The photographers took pictures of women scientists around the world, and these were shared via National Geographic’s Instagram. With the combined power of Microsoft’s and NatGeo’s audiences, the photos reached more than 91 million people.
IBM’s employee advocates
IBM is one of those companies that seems like it wouldn’t need influencer marketing—right? It’s an industry behemoth—one that sells a huge variety of tech hardware products to a massive number of businesses.
But of course, one of the reasons that IBM has maintained that kind of reach in its industry over its several decades is because it continually works to stay relevant. B2B influencer marketing is one of the ways they’re doing that.
In addition to one-off campaigns, IBM runs an ongoing employee influencer program, encouraging employees to share information about the products on their social media platforms.
American Express and HGTV
American Express has a wide variety of influencer campaigns going at any given time, each geared toward a specific audience.
Since they have products for everyone from everyday consumers to business owners, AmEx needs to reach a wide audience—but with the right message.
In order to reach small business owners, they partnered with several influencers including HGTV personality Emily Henderson for their “Love My Store” campaign. The goal was to increase business orders of AmEx decals, which businesses place in their windows to show that they accept American Express.
As part of their influencer campaign, the company partnered with Henderson to create videos showing small business owners how they could adapt and update their store’s design (along with AmEx signage) to bring in more customers. All together, this campaign resulted in 50,000 social engagements from small business owners, as well as the distribution of more than 400,000 AmEx window decals.
TopRank’s content library
TopRank worked with 40 different marketing influencers to put together a library of marketing content that they offered as a free download to aspiring content marketers.
The brand gathered advice and information from each influencer, incorporating that into a variety of content: ebooks, blog posts, interviews, and Q&As. With the influencers also posting the content on their own social channels, this was a win-win for all parties involved.
What’s more, content like this can be downloaded and used to spur conversions years later—in fact, TopRank is still seeing downloads of their ebooks several years after the campaign ended.
Introhive’s partnership with keynote speakers
A CRM for legal offices, Introhive was facing challenges convincing potential customers to give their product a try—after all, the legal profession is both risk-averse and traditional, making it difficult to convince many offices to try out new technologies.
To help their target audience feel more comfortable taking the leap, Introhive developed a playbook answering the questions they get most regularly about their product. Then they partnered with various legal influencers who promoted the playbook—and the product—in their keynote speeches at legal conferences.
Monday.com supporting remote teams
When the pandemic struck in 2020, suddenly companies that had never built an infrastructure for remote work were in dire need of tools and platforms to manage their now-remote teams.
This was a perfect opportunity for project management software companies like monday.com to do what they do best: support employees and teams. They engaged influencers including Zen’s founder, Shama Hyder, as well as other leaders who’ve worked with remote teams to collaborate on informational and educational content that was promoted on monday.com’s site as well as their own.
The campaign resulted in a social reach more than 1,790% above their initial goal, with a potential reach of 17.9M from the influencer posts, and more than 300,000 organic impressions on social media.
LinkedIn’s “Always-On” influencer marketing
As a social platform that thousands of B2B influencers use every day, LinkedIn is in a unique position: how can, or should, it partner with those influencers?
One way they do this is through “always-on” influencer marketing. As opposed to one-off campaigns, which have a specific goal and timeframe, always-on influencer marketing involves building ongoing, fluid relationships with influencers over time. This way, marketers can adapt their influencer marketing as needed, creating a more robust give-and-take with the influencers they partner with.
LinkedIn uses this type of marketing as a way to build trust and confidence in its their brand. By partnering with influencers on the platform whose interests and messaging fits LinkedIn’s audience, they’ve achieved 84m in potential reach and more than 2,000 brand mentions by influencers and their followers.
Influencer marketing can have a huge impact on B2B brands’ reach, conversions, and even long-term viability. Why? Because in B2B purchases, trust and reputation are paramount. And influencer marketing is one of the best ways to build trust and boost your reputation with the clients you’re trying to reach.
If you’d like to give B2B influencer marketing a try, get in touch!