Dianna Albanese, SourceMedia
Social media has allowed popular users to build empires among channels such as YouTube, Instagram and more. Mass followings have crowned the users “influencers,” which brands have used as a tool in their marketing toolbox to extend their audience reach.
According to Marketing Land, influencer marketing is “when brands partner with social media “influencers” - people with a large following on one or more major social media platforms - to promote their products or services.” While these influencers can be celebrities, which have been used as “brand ambassadors” in more strict and concrete advertising campaigns, “influencers” can also include popular figures who have large followings and fan bases on a social media platform.
Entrepreneur magazine lists four benefits of investing in the influencer marketing trend:
1. It provides your brand with a “built-in” authenticity from an influencer’s already established reputation.
2. It offers authority by partnering with influencers who are looked to for insight and advice in their respective industries.
3. Influencer marketing creates content that isn’t “being sold” by your brand, because it’s not coming directly from your brand.
4. Influencers can extend your reach significantly by putting your brand in front of brand new audiences.
Along with these benefits, there’s significant proof that influencer marketing works. Salesforce understands the significance of having an influencer marketing program in place.It reported that 83% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, followed by 66% of consumers who trust online reviews and ratings.
“Simply put, people trust people they know. This includes friends, family, and the influencers they have faithfully followed for years.” -- Salesforce
Image Credit: Salesforce
B2B’s shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to include influencer marketing in their strategies.
One example of a B2B brand who is benefiting from influencer marketing is Salesforce itself. It utilizes the command and expertise of its CEO and founder, Marc Benioff. Benioff is not only the leader of the Salesforce pack; he’s also a huge influencer in the tech space, averaging around 972,000 followers on his Twitter account. This social platform provides him an outlet to develop his credibility and create thought leadership within the tech space. In turn, this boosts Salesforce’s authenticity, authority and reach.
“Influencers are the very basis of successful and far-reaching content marketing and insightful campaigns,” says Ezra Hernandez, veteran marketer from Blue Raven Solar. “But the hard part comes in making exact pairings of influencers and companies - the yin of a recognized influencer with the yang of a product or service that they can instantly brand in a positive, forceful way.” According to Forbes, while it may be challenging to find the right influencer for your B2B brand that will compliment your brand’s message and convert marketing efforts to sales, it can be a huge help in furthering your success.
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