When we think of outreach marketing examples, we often think of B2C brands, particularly in the worlds of fashion and beauty. Influencers in those industries are forever inundated with free samples and collaboration proposals from major retailers. B2C brands spend big money on sponsored content from influencers like Susie from Style Bubble or Carrie from Wish Wish Wish.
But to think that outreach marketing is only suited to B2C brands would be a mistake. B2B brands can also identify and work alongside the major influencers in their industry, and reap huge rewards. But when you don’t have free products to give away, it can seem harder to initiate those relationships! So how do you do it?
Identify the influencers
Forget YouTube, as influencers in B2B industries will most likely not be vloggers. Instead they’ll use platforms such as professional blogs and eBooks to forge their thought leadership. Spend time on Google searching for your industry keywords to identify these experts. Another important location is of course LinkedIn, the number one B2B social platform. Check out posts on the Pulse as well as groups related to your industry to identify the key influencers you should be working with.
The main thing you can offer influencers as a B2B brand is the chance to shine the spotlight on them. Invite them to feature at your next conference or networking event, or even to have a starring role in your next ad campaign. Have them guest blog on your corporate blog about the industry topics they are passionate about, and retweet and share the industry-related content they publish on their own platforms.
You can also incentivise influencers to collaborate with your B2B brand by offering them sneak peeks at new product developments or industry research you are working on. B2B influencers are passionate about an industry and will love the chance to get the inside scoop on new initiatives.
Build a human relationship
Remember to keep it personal – this is especially important as B2B brands will often have a less ‘human’ brand image then B2C brands. Invite influencers to your offices so they can meet you staff. Better yet, invite them to have breakfast with the CEO or the CMO! By forging real relationships you’re much more likely to create a win-win collaboration with influencers.