One sentence BIG IDEA:
Modern PR Must Include B2B Influencers
Why is this relevant to marketers? When you think of influencer marketing, what comes to mind? For many people, we immediately think of stylish Instagram stars who have built up a significant following around a lifestyle topic, such as fashion, food, jewelry, home decor and the like.
While this type of influencer marketing is useful for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, is it useful for business-to-business (B2B)? Indeed it is.
Influencer marketing has long been associated with B2C marketing, but now it is essential to B2B marketing as well. Influencer marketing focuses on building relationships with key influencers who share your message with their audience, and that is not limited to the B2C world.
While traditional media outlets, such as magazines, news publications and trade journals, are still powerful tools to gain exposure, B2B influencers cannot be ignored. If your public relations strategy does not include building relationships with B2B influencers, you are missing out. Influencer marketing is often associated with paid endorsements, but the most valuable influencer marketing comes from unpaid influencer relationships.
Signs of a B2B influencer include:
Frequent media appearances and interviews
Frequent contributor to industry publications
Large social media following
Content creators (Podcast hosts, bloggers, YouTube hosts, etc.)
Below are three categories of influencers that play a powerful role in the B2B market.
Podcast hosts are fast becoming a powerful force in the B2B market. Podcasts now reach over 100 million Americans every month. Americans over the age of 12 who have listened to a podcast has grown from 40% in 2017 to 55% in 2020. While some hosts charge guests to appear on their show, most podcast interviews are not paid placement, which increases the credibility of the content.
Below are some examples of B2B podcasters who are influencers in very specific areas of an industry. Look for podcasts like this in the industries you want to target.
Actions Prove Podcast - AEC Leadership Today (Industry: Architecture, engineering, and construction)
Thrive By Design with Tracy Matthews (Industry: Jewelry and creative brands)
She Conquers Capital (Industry: Venture Capital)
Shift Happens (Industry: IT and Microsoft 365)
Simple Pin Podcast (Industry: Marketing)
Making Chips (Industry: Manufacturing)
It is hard to be an influencer without a blog. Even if the following is not huge, a mention on a B2B influencer’s blog can be valuable if it is the right audience. Look for blogs that promote a single expert instead of industry blogs with multiple authors. Below are some examples of independent bloggers who are thought leaders in their industry.
Supply Chain Shaman (Industry: Supply chain logistics)
Breakthrough Play (Industry: Human Resources)
Retail Prophet (Industry: Retail)
YouTube is not just for entertainment. It is a great resource for business information and insight. B2B influencers can be found all over YouTube. Below are a few examples of B2B influencers on YouTube. Being featured on a YouTube channel like these channels is a great PR win.
Lumi (Industry: Packaging)
UpFlip (Industry: Business Strategy)
The Medical Futurist (Industry: Medical technology)
Challenge for Marketers:
Create a list of influencers in your industry for each category and include it in your marketing strategy.