Getting influencers to post about your brand is a great way to win the trust of your customers.
You probably already know this if you’ve been following digital marketing blogs.
In a hyper-connected age, customers flock to those who have authority. The same can be said for B2B prospects who can be significantly more finicky with their investments.
In this post, we will discuss some of the best ways to get influencers to advocate for your brand.
Let’s dive in.
1. Start With Your Content
Unlike the B2C space where regular social media influencers can have a considerable impact on your campaign, B2B influencer marketing often requires you to aim for thought leaders, industry news website owners, and well-known bloggers.
These influencers have a reputation to maintain and won’t associate themselves with just anyone. If they are to promote another brand, they need to feel confident that their decision will legitimately provide value to their existing followers.
You can prove your worth by featuring a library of high-quality, relevant content on your own website.
It doesn’t have to be massive right off the bat, but it must show activity and potential for growth.
More importantly, you need to touch subjects that their followers care about.
This can be accomplished with the help of content research tools like Scoop.it —simply enter a relevant keyword to pull in thousands of popular content ideas.
You can give the influencer’s blog a quick skim-through and look at the content categories to come up with seed keywords that can fuel your research.
You can also broaden your scope by conducting keyword Research to look for long-tail keyword variations.
A free keyword research tool you can use for this option would be Ubersuggest. In addition to long-tail keyword variations, the tool also produces the metrics that allow you to gauge the demand for certain types of information.
2. Focus on Shareability
Sometimes, the best way to find influencers for your B2B business is to let them find you.
After you dig for topic ideas to write about on your website, the next order of business is to develop content pieces that are actually worth sharing.
To be clear, one of the ways to leverage an influencer’s reach is to have them share your content to their social media channels.
Writing about a topic that would surely benefit their audience is a step in the right direction.
However, you must first employ strategies that would put your content on their radar:
There are several tools out there that can push your content to influencers through automation. But before you get too ambitious, make sure you’ve already optimized your content for shareability.
A can’t-miss example would be the use of visual content in your blog posts.
According to statistics, Facebook posts that have images generate 2.3 times more engagement. This is because images tend to be more eye-catching than plain text in users’ news feeds
What makes Canva great for non-designers, however, is the drag-and-drop interface. All you need to do is search for the specific elements you wish to incorporate into your design and plug them into your draft.
While you’re at it, you should also translate data-rich information into infographics. These pertain to a collection of data visualizations that help readers digest in-depth information.
A survey by the Content Marketing Institute reveals that 65 percent of B2B marketers use infographics in their content marketing strategies.
Just remember to utilize lossless image compression so that your visual assets don’t hamper the performance of your website.
You don’t want your prospective influencers to be put off by content that takes forever to load.
Alternatively, you can leverage a CDN to ensure smooth loading speeds despite your visual-heavy approach. Short for the content delivery network, a CDN optimizes website data distribution by leveraging a network of proxy servers — all of which are geographically-distributed to minimize latency.
3. Comb Through Professional Networks
Great — you now have a content marketings strategy that works round the clock to build your authority.
It’s time for a more aggressive tactic in discovering relevant B2B influencers in your niche.
The good news is, there’s no need to utilize fancy tools or do some number-crunching for this step. By establishing your brand’s presence on networks like LinkedIn and Quora, your next professional brand advocate could only a few clicks away.
Similar to all modern social media networks, LinkedIn comes with a fully functional search bar that helps you find relevant pages using keywords.
Although LinkedIn lets you connect with influencers on a more personal level, a Q&A website like Quora lets you find influencers who are active in their marketing — thus, they may be more willing to work with brands.
4. Create a Roundup and Reach
With the previous step, you should be able to create a list of a handful of prospective influencers.
You are now ready for a strategy that’s proven to get their attention.
Remember, influencers care about their online presence as much as you do. That’s why one of the best ways to convince them to promote your content is to make it about them.
As the name suggests, a roundup post is a form of listicle that involves putting together similar tools, tips, or quotes from influencers. The typical route is to ask a compelling question that piques the audience’s interest and have the influencers or experts pitch in their answers.
When done correctly, this could help you gain dozens of social media shares without spending a single dime.
Naturally, content research plays a big role in this strategy.
Apart from digging up ideas from Q&A sites like Quora, you can also use a tool like Answer The Public to identify questions that online users have been asking. You just need to supply the right keywords, click “Get Questions,” and take your pick from the visualization generated by the tool.
Once you have decided on a question to ask influencers, the next step is to broadcast an outreach email that
You can use an email marketing platform like MailChimp to streamline this task, but it’s completely optional. As long as you can write an honest and straight-forward message, you should be able to convince enough influencers to construct a quality roundup post.
Here’s a simple outreach email message template you can borrow inspiration from:
As a rule of thumb, always use your authentic voice when writing your outreach email.
Influencers probably receive loads of outreach emails on a regular basis — they can tell right away if you’re simply pulling their leg or simply filling in the blanks in a pre-made email template.
Finding authoritative influencers for your B2B business isn’t fundamentally differentthan finding B2C influencers.
Once you understand the different value propositions that make B2B influencers tick, it’s only a matter of launching an effective outreach campaign that gets their attention. And with the strategies above, you should be more than equipped for the job. Good luck!
Jimmy R. is a Marketing Consultant. He has Been Contributed on Yahoo, SEMrush, SearchEnginePeople, AllBusiness and much more.