Most people, even social media marketing practitioners, labor under the impression that Instagram influencer marketing is only for brands looking to build awareness and engagement with retail customers, and have no use for B2B marketers. However, this is far from the truth because, in recent times, an increasing number of businesses have been using influencers to impress B2B buyers. According to research, a whopping 95% of B2B buyers report a preference for trustworthy content from industry influencers. B2B influencer marketing on Instagram is important, but businesses will need to appreciate that it not only requires more strategic planning but also takes a longer time to achieve results than retail influencer marketing. Some important insights into B2B influencer marketing on Instagram:
Instagram Influencer Marketing Is More Beneficial In B2B than B2C
Even though it may seem surprising, more benefits accrue to the business from B2B transactions than B2C. It is simply because the average transaction size is significantly larger than in a typical retail transaction. Because the sales potential is far more in B2B marketing, businesses need to collaborate with influencers who are more credible to the buyers and have a better fit with the campaign objectives for expanding the brand reach and driving sales.
B2B Influencer Marketing on Instagram Mimics Word-Of-Mouth Campaigns
If one were to draw comparisons while B2C is more akin to conventional advertising by way of brand endorsement, B2C Instagram influencer marketing is similar to word-of-mouth publicity. No doubt in retail marketing, several factors influence the customer’s purchase decision, however, when two businesses need to collaborate, there is more emphasis on brand credibility in the industry, which again is reflected by the number of businesses that choose to work with the brand in question. In that respect, according to marketing experts, B2B influencer marketing on Instagram is essentially a bigger version of conventional word-of-mouth campaigning. When B2B brands are promoted by influencers on Instagram, the entire industry comes to know of it and starts talking with each other. It is important to appreciate that when businesses buy and sell, it not only about the transaction but also about mutual benefits and profit.
B2B Marketing on Instagram Requires Reputed Influencers While B2C, the Excitement of New Ones
Identifying new influencers who are trending with consumers is an essential element of B2C influencer marketing on Instagram. Customers are ever eager to engage with new celebrities and people hitting the headlines because they are curious about them. In conventional B2C marketing on Instagram, the credibility of the brand is directly proportional to the number of people discussing it. It is the reason why marketers buy Instagram likes. However, in B2B influencer marketing, the reverse is true because buyers are not at all curious about new influencers because to them, they are not reputable or credible. The best way of impressing B2B buyers is to use an influencer who is already well-known in your industry because when he advocates the use of your brand, the authority is already well established. For example, engaging someone who is acknowledged to be an industry expert will carry more value than a new name.
The B2B Instagram Influencer Must Be Completely Conversant with Your Brand
B2C influencer marketing has its own appeal because typically popular achievers and celebrities are typically involved; however, B2b influencer marketing is a much more serious affair. One mistake by the influencer can negatively impact your brand and make it very difficult for it to regain credibility. To prevent your investment in the influencer marketing campaign from going to waste, you must ensure that the selected influencer has a thorough knowledge of your product and its applications. You can either choose someone who already has in-depth domain expertise or work with an influencer only after you have educated them on the industry and your product features, applications, and advantages. Remember your brand credibility is on the line because the influencer will be interacting with people who are industry experts. According to Forbes, the identification of the right influencers is the biggest challenge for B2B marketers.
Beware of Possible Instagram B2B Influencer Conflicts
Unlike B2C influencer marketing exercises, B2B Instagram influencer marketing can be more prone to corporate and brand conflicts. Companies engaging Instagram influencers for short-term campaigns will typically not have any binding restrictions that prevent them from working with competing brands, however, influencers with long-term contracts will generally have specific guidelines and contractual obligations regarding avoiding any association with other brands. This makes it important for businesses to be careful about whom they sign on for their Instagram marketing campaigns if they are to avoid getting embroiled in brand conflicts. The best way to go about signing up Instagram influencers is to perform due diligence on the influencer so that you have all the pertinent facts with you before you share any important or confidential marketing campaign details with them. Ideally, your objective should be to have a contract the details the deliverables by the influencer and what they are entitled to in return. The contract should specifically address conflicts arising with other brands in their scope of involvement.
No Pause on the Need for Creativity in Instagram B2B Influencer Marketing
Many marketers labor under the impression that marketing campaigns should be led by creativity only if they are B2C because typical B2B influencer marketing is driven by technicalities like product specifications, pricing, and logistics. However, truth is that B2B influencer marketing does not necessarily have to dry and boring. While there is enough opportunity for marketers to be creative, they need to be extra careful to get the specifications more specific and customized to the buyer’s requirements. Marketers need to appreciate that B2B marketing is no less competitive than retail marketing. When the target audience comprises domain specialists and industry experts, it is all the more important for brands to wow them with a creative concept that has the necessary impact.
While conceptually Instagram influencer marketing for B2B marketers is no different from b2C marketing, the focus on B2B marketing is more on the reputation and credibility of the influencer. Brands have to be far more careful in their approach to their target audiences because they are more empowered with domain knowledge and expertise and are not easily swayed by marketing gimmicks. The best B2B Instagram marketing campaigns are the result of an intense collaboration between the brand and the influencer with both sharing their expertise and insights for evolving a more effective marketing campaign.