B2B Influencers -
Just a Hype?
By Aleks Boskovski
What’s an Influencer Anyway?
First things first: yes, the whole topic is a bit „hype-ish“.
But, what we call an „influencer“ in a social media and B2C-centric sense, is someone that is traditionally considered a Key Opinion Leader.
Now we could start breaking down different categories of Opinion Leaders, but that’s not the point of this article. What I’m trying to convey is that business influencers (or B2B influencers) are, generally speaking, the same kind of people that traditional sales and marketing teams would want to win over for a referral or a testimonial.
The modern social media spin on this involves another layer of engagement of both the influencer and the „influenced“ or audience, if you like.
Thought Leaders Exist Everywhere
Sometime people tell me, that influencers are strictly a B2C thing, and that „things work differently in B2B“. Well yes, but actually no.
When you are trying to figure out, who the B2B influencers in your industry could be, just think of them as the Thought Leaders among your peers.
These people always exist, because there always individuals, who we collectively listen to when they voice their opinions on our work environment. Traditionally, these would be high level executives and analysts from renowned consulting firms and highly esteemed economists.
What has changed through the advent of social media and the internet is the availability and diversity of Thought Leaders…and that is a good thing.
Those now range from traditional Macro Influencers, which are expanded through the likes of large YouTube personalities or celebrity investors and all the way to Micro Influencers, like pre-exit startup founders, smaller entrepreneurs, LinkedIn influencers, and so on.
All these people address your peers and inspire them through their thoughts and actions.
The Times Are Changing, But Everything Stays The Same
What do I mean by that? B2B Influencers are a new term for an old concept of „industry opinion leader“. However, since technology gives all of us a fair chance to voice our opinions and thoughts, the definition of who an Opinion Leader is, has changed.
Two decades ago, it was not feasible to work with micro influencers and drive real leads through them. Today, there are people you have never even heard of, that have audiences of 1000+ people, who listen very closely to what they have to say and will follow up on recommendations that they give.
Finding these people and crafting mutually beneficial partnerships will therefore put you at an advantage and ahead of the curve over your competition, since most businesses are still unaware of the untapped potential in B2B Influencer Marketing.
Because it is untapped and mostly still ignored, it is also greatly undervalued in terms of price to performance value.
So yes, there is a bit of a hype going on, which has spilled over from B2C Influencers and their success on platforms like Instagram. But frankly, the business world is next in line for this type of individualized advertising.
And at the very end of the day, this is an old concept, fuelled by modern technology. So no need to be confused about it…go out and find your B2B influencers, they will help your business grow.
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