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B2B Key Opinion Leader & Influencer marketing: A Guide

B2B companies are recognising the importance of using key opinion leader & influencer marketing to garner brand reputation and generate warm leads. It is an indirect method for businesses to connect with their potential customers/audience on friendly terms. However, the difficulty lies in accurately targeting your potential customers who are in the market for your services. Despite its effectiveness, a failed campaign is extremely costly and accurate selection of key opinion leaders or influencers is difficult due to difficulty in predicting results. But, what if there's an alternate way to run your campaigns addressing these issues?


So, why key opinion leader / influencer marketing for B2B?


In the B2B world, connections are important. The main reason is because B2B purchasers trust referrals and word of mouth. B2B purchases are usually significantly higher in monetary value, with longer time horizons. This translates into potentially high losses should the purchase be a doomed one. Hence, most business decision makers rely on their connections to get an idea of who to trust in the B2B space. KOL / Influencer marketing provides just that - the word of mouth effect for B2B companies looking to reach out to organisations' decision makers. 

Impact of referrals & word of mouth

The purchase process is lengthy. It begins with the business decision maker reading reviews, looking up specs and basically googling everything under the sun. Weeks and sometimes months are spent on research and brainstorming with their teams/colleagues/management. The benefit influencer marketing provides here could be the word of mouth effect that may tilt the business in your favour. Similarly, it could bring attention to these business decision makers to your product/services, which may not have happened considering the highly competitive B2B sector.

An informal feedback loop channel

By getting the word out of your latest product/service with influencers, it can create an intimate conversation around your brand. Businesses debut new or improved services year after year. KOL / Influencers can be the main resource to bridge the gap between those updates and your audience. They function as an informal platform for those audiences and their responses to your updates. Viewers will respond to them with likes, shares and comments, providing insights and consumer reviews, bringing interactions to your business like never before.


How to run successful B2B Influencer & Key Opinion Leader Marketing Campaigns?

1. Understanding your clients

Any B2B company must certainly have a basic understanding of their clients. Similarly, to fully capitalise on the targeting capability of KOL / influencer marketing, your understanding of clients is key. Even without advanced analytics tools, it is still possible. Simply take note of the leads you've generated, and obtain these few details (non-exhaustive list, please feel free to take in more details if you can):

  • Job Position & Seniority of key decision maker
  • Company Industry
  • Company Size
  • Conversion rate by industry & size

Using these few details, it should be sufficient to understand your consumers. When you select a KOL / influencer, get one with a demographic suitable for you. Take for example, you notice majority of conversions are in automotive industry with decisions made by the CTO of the company. In this case, you can engage KOL / influencer who has an outreach to predominantly CTOs and another KOL / influencer with outreach to upper management in the automotive industry. This way, it allows you to gain outreach to consumers with a higher likelihood of engaging you as a vendor, compared to a KOL / influencer with an outreach to middle management, for instance.


2. Diversify & strategize your campaign portfolio

Many businesses think higher followers/web traffic equate to higher conversion. Generally speaking, that is not wrong. However, depending on the nature of your business, it may not be the most efficient use of marketing budgets as it may not achieve the best ROI for you. The cost of hiring a KOL / influencer with high followers/web traffic is certainly higher. If you were to do proper targeting and selection, you can achieve the same results with a KOL / influencer with lower followers/web traffic. With the same budget, you can engage 2 others with similar profiles to further increase your results.

To aid your understanding, let's have an example. Engaging an instagram influencer with 3m followers and 1% conversion - will bring you 30,000 new customers. Engaging a targeted instagram influencer with 300k and 10% conversion - will bring you 30,000 new customers as well, essentially the same result, but with lower cost. Hence, it is highly recommended to diversify your campaign portfolio by engaging multiple KOL / influencers instead of blowing your entire budget on 1 single big influencer. 


3. Value-based KOL / Influencer Marketing Campaigns

It is worth noting that compared to traditional ads, costs of a failed campaign is significantly higher. Take for example, a facebook ad, it can be stopped at any time, should you decide the ad is not doing well. Unfortunately, for an influencer marketing campaign, you drop money upfront, which cannot be stopped/paused even if campaign results aren't going well. Fortunately, modern technologies have enabled Marzze to create a free-to-use platform that allows you to find KOL / influencers and run hybrid performance based KOL / influencer marketing campaigns. It is the world's first of its kind world's 1st automated campaign management application enabling a multi-tier fee structure that can be customised according to your business needs:

Total Fees = Token Fee + [pay-per-sale / pay-per-lead / pay-per-action / pay-per-engagement]

With this model, it makes more financial sense for you to engage a KOL / influencer. On top of avoiding high upfront costs, you will instead pay based on actual value delivered to you (i.e. % of sales value or no. of leads generated). You are more assured that your marketing budget is being spent on delivering actual results.


Making a decision

Key opinion leader & influencer marketing is arguably one of the most powerful modern marketing channels right now. There are already many companies who have grown from a small business to a $100million dollar company within a few years, simply by capitalising on KOL / influencer marketing. It is the perfect opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the proven strengths of KOL / influencer marketing. If you're new to KOL / influencer marketing or would like to improve your KOL / influencer marketing strategy, we're specialists who can help you adopt KOL / influencer marketing successfully, together with lifetime access to our platform you can use as a SaaS tool managing and automating all your future value-based KOL / influencer campaigns

Undoubtedly, influencer marketing is currently having many issues, regarding fraud, high upfront costs and high sunk costs for failed campaigns. However, with Marzze, you can engage influencers with the value based business structure of Facebook Ads, Google Ads. In other words, you pay for what you get, allowing you to truly capitalise on the effectiveness of KOL or influencer marketing to boost your business while eliminating the risks of high losses.