Much like B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing, taking advantage of the latest trends in B2B (business-to-business) marketing can help brands engage and work with other companies. Let’s take a look at some of the latest trends and find out how you can take advantage of them for your B2B efforts.
The rise of B2B influencers
Influencers have become an essential force in marketing, and they have the same impact in the area of B2B engagements. There are some differences you need to consider, though when connecting with B2B influencers.
The audience B2B influencers cater to is one such difference. According to IBM Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Peluso, that difference in the audience requires a different approach to content creation. In an interview with Forbes, Peluso said that B2B influencers work on a large variety of offline and online platforms, as well as engage with the workforce.
In IBM’s case, Peluso said that they typically work with one influencer at a time. Their goal is to break down advanced concepts, like artificial intelligence and cloud computing, into content that will be easily understood by a wider audience. She noted that their B2B influencers utilize the same channels, like Facebook Live and YouTube, to reach out to their audience.
Peluso also noted that employees could actually become effective B2B influencers. She remarked that companies need to actively look out for them, understand their audience, and support their efforts. IBM itself has taken advantage of this approach, often using its engineers to present the capability of the company’s technologies in an entertainingly.
Discovering the right kind of influencers
While they use large-name influencers, Peluso said that they also rely on micro-influencers. These are people that have just around a few thousand followers. Peluso said that they are not focusing only on the number of followers but also on what really makes these micro-influencers valuable to their followers. This helps the company build a more authentic message for the influencer’s audience and leverage their credibility.
IBM used this approach with its “Dear Tech, Let’s Talk” ad campaign which featured IBM employees alongside celebrity endorsers. One employee influencer is Lisa Deluca, an engineer. Deluca’s message that science and technology careers are not limited to men is the focus of one campaign ad.
The push for better storytelling
Peluso notes that one of the challenges they face with B2B marketing is that their work is often concerned with intangible things, like AI and cloud computing. To relay these concepts better, she said that they need to showcase the impact of their technology with their business audiences.
The IBM head said they again took advantage of B2B influencers’ ability to present content in engaging ways, including visual content. She added that businesses could also make use of B2B influencers to build brand affinity and eventually boost sales.
These trends highlight how impactful influencers have become for B2B engagements. If you want to successfully reach out to other brands and get them to do business with you, connect with influencers and, see what the two of you need to work together.