Living Stone blog 3

 

 

All Posts

Should you add an influencer to your B2B marketing mix?

Do you need an influencer to promote your B2B product or service? If you’re thinking of celebrity influencers like Lewis Hamilton or one of the Kardashians, the answer is probably no. But if you’re thinking of an influential person in your industry, or a top subject-matter expert, it’s something to consider, as it can add value and new dimensions to your marketing programs. 

Influencers in B2C are a fairly new phenomenon, since their efforts are so dependent on social media. But in B2B, individuals in a similar type of role have been around for a long time – often known as brand ambassadors. And of course subject-matter experts and thought leaders have long played key roles in B2B. So is the term “influencer” just a new way of referring to this type of activity?  

 

Let’s look at the key differences between influencers and brand ambassadors:  

Influencers

  • The size and demographics of an influencer’s social media following represent their primary value to the companies that work with them.
  • Influencers are usually paid based on the number of posts, videos and markers of engagement they achieve.
  • They don’t necessarily know a lot about the product they’re promoting to their audience.
  • The relationship between the hiring organization and the influencer is more transactional, often with a fee-for-service framework, tied to a new product launch or campaign.

 

B2B brand ambassadors

  • A brand ambassador’s knowledge, expertise and renown in the industry represent their primary value to the companies they work with.
  • Compensation comes through the boost to their own professional profile that the partnership provides, payment for speaking gigs, possible product discounts, or even the chance to collaborate on product development.
  • They have a deep understanding of, and commitment to, the product they’re promoting to their audience.
  • The relationship between the ambassador and the hiring organization is very strong, and lasts years or decades, rather than months or weeks.

 

Another important difference is the level of commitment required. B2C influencers can pick and choose what products or events they promote, moving on quickly from each assignment. Brand ambassadors, on the other hand, are selected for the long-term, and both the ambassador and the organization have to understand (and agree on) the workload that will be required, as well as the anticipated outcomes.

 

Are you looking at incorporating a brand ambassador program into your marketing plans? If so, here’s how you can get started:

  • Think about all the people in your industry ecosystem. Who are the thought leaders, who are the ones who spot the trends first, who are most often called upon to respond to an industry development?
  • Look at the experts in your industry. Who knows the tech better than anyone else?
  • Look at your customers. Who are the customers most interested in your product development, perhaps even working alongside your developers to shape your product? 

From this scan, you’ll likely come up with a list of potential candidates.

 

Then, figure out what the framework of the brand ambassador relationship would be, including the specific tasks and outputs. These are some of the things that a brand ambassador might do for your organization:  

  • Create a series of educational articles (co-produced with or by your marketing team)
  • Speak at industry events, either representing or sponsored by your company
  • Create a series of YouTube videos about your services or solution
  • Engage with your people and company on LinkedIn and other platforms relevant to your business
  • Participate in your media/PR campaigns as an ambassador for your company 

At Living Stone, we specialize in helping B2B marketers maximize their marketing efforts, with programs and strategies that boost awareness and sales.

If you’re considering adding a brand ambassador component to your marketing mix, we’d be happy to talk about how we can support you with strategy development and content creation. Contact Anne-Mie via anne-mie.vansteelant@livingstone.eu, or +32 (0)55 59 10 07.


 

 

Anne-Mie Vansteelant
Anne-Mie Vansteelant
COO | Managing Partner at Living Stone

Related Posts

Strengthen your brand through rock-solid branding and positioning

In today's dynamic world, it’s essential for companies to not only build a strong brand, but also maintain a clear positioning in the market. Our innovative approach and deep expertise have helped many companies in healthcare, engineering and IT transform and strengthen their market position. Below we explore three success stories that illustrate the power of effective branding and positioning.

World rare diseases day

As a B2B marketing agency that focuses on healthcare marketing alongside engineering and IT, we put a lot of effort into content marketing. Strong storytelling and credible content creation are two powerful tools to inform and engage patients, doctors or other stakeholders.

Should you add an influencer to your B2B marketing mix?

Do you need an influencer to promote your B2B product or service? If you’re thinking of celebrity influencers like Lewis Hamilton or one of the Kardashians, the answer is probably no. But if you’re thinking of an influential person in your industry, or a top subject-matter expert, it’s something to consider, as it can add value and new dimensions to your marketing programs.