Okay, enough of B2C marketing, it seems like commercial brands are having all the fun! When we talk about influencer marketing, all we think about is commercial brands marketing their products with professionally edited photos and yoga-like poses of top celebrities and influencers. The truth is that, B2B companies can benefit a lot from influencer marketing as well. By making use of influencer marketing, you will be able to market and position your company more effectively on social media. So B2B companies, please don’t feel in the least bit excluded from the game! These are some ways in which you can make use of influencer marketing on instagram to increase brand engagement and drive your ROI.
1) Employee Advocacy
Who understands your company and its products more than your employees themselves? The truth is that, they are the ones having hands- on experience with the products and has participated in the whole development process to know exactly how reliable and effective the products are. By making making employees the advocates for your company, not only will you be able to build relationships and trust with both employees and clients, you will also be able to increase your brand engagement and thus drive your ROI in the long run. Please don’t just take my words for it though, the global multinational technology company, IBM can vouch for just how effective influencer marketing has been for them.
We drove 50,000 new registrations to IBM Verse in the first two weeks of launch, a lot of that is due to employee advocacy.
(Marketing Social Business Program Director, IBM)
IBM has been a strong believer of employee advocacy and has been very active on social media. Their instagram account is filled with employees at work, showing off their projects, going on business trips and enjoying their time together. By providing their employees with voice, independency and ownership to their projects, IBM has been effective in not only building strong relationships with employees but also enable them to drive brand engagement and awareness in the long run.
Besides employee advocacy, users’ generated contents are equally important. Adobe has been doing a terrific job in sharing stunning visuals on instagram posted by users. Doesn’t this make anyone wants to join try out some of Adobe’s products? Well, this is B2B marketing done right!
In B2B marketing, the most reliable source of information comes from the brand’s employees and users of the brand. It is only by allowing such unique voices and perspectives into your marketing campaign will you increase engagement and brand awareness and thus benefit your brand in the long run.
2) Showcasing company’s vision and culture
Rather than being technical and bombarding your clients with information, it is important to stick to a central theme and let the personality of your company shine through. This will not only humanize your brand and reach out effectively to your targeted audience, it will also enable your followers to understand and connect with your brand on a much more personal level.
Wework for example does an exceptional job in their B2B marketing on Instagram. With their company mission being “to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living”, their instagram account showcases the theme of passion, excitement and their employees traveling and having fun in funky offices.
By sharing the company’s values, mission and culture, B2B companies can gain trust and partnerships with clients and customers while also strategically positioning their brand on social media. IBM uses instagram effectively for this purpose. With the hashtag #inclusiveIBM, their account showcases their employees on Pride Marches, their LGBT employees and also their employees with disability. Running IBM account through Popular Chips, it turns out that their top instagram video, garnering 12k views features their software engineer Brent Shiver communicating in sign language.
Through the use of social media, IBM has been effective in positioning their company to be one of inclusivity and equality. This thus shows how important influencer marketing is for B2B companies who want to strengthen their company’s brand awareness and promote more engagement with their followers.
3) Be creative while you are at it!
B2B marketing need not be boring even though your company does not have all the creative and visual features that commercial brands may have. By leveraging on social media, you can create interesting content to market your brand more effectively. Take a look at MailChimp for example. MailChimp is a marketing automation platform and an email provider company. But if you think their instagram account is anywhere boring, you are dead wrong. Everything that they do, from product launches and information deliverance is conveyed through quirky and fun Instagram posts (made easier with their cute chimp logo of course!).
Microsoft also manages to provide a more humane side to their brand by focusing on storytelling. By creating a human element in their marketing process, through the use of thought leaders, Microsoft is successful in building stronger and more personal relationship with its followers and users.
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To end off….
It seems that B2B companies are not maximizing the use of influencer marketing as much as commercial brands. However, we have to remember that even in B2B marketing, we are still dealing with human connections and thus would benefit a lot from influencer marketing since people trust information from words of mouth more than what they read online. With the right magical ingredients, brands can effectively build engagement and drive their ROI in the long run.