The Good and Bad of B2B Influencer Marketing

The Good and Bad of B2B Influencer Marketing

With rates like that, it’s no wonder the practice has taken off. Based off this one influencer ad, Jenner probably earned enough money to buy herself a new pair of Beats every day for the next three years. Influencer marketing took off as a response to a simple conclusion: Consumers trust people over brands when it comes to product advice and recommendations. Expertise First, Influence Second Melanie Deziel is a branded content consultant, speaker and one of the world’s leading experts on native advertising. If people don’t trust your judgment, then why would a company pay you to offer advice? Deziel is never going to have 105 million followers on Instagram, but like Jenner, she is using her platform to build an audience that trusts her. He’s someone who does consider himself an influencer, and views influencer marketing as a necessity in content marketing. Regardless of whether you’re reading a blog post or liking an Instagram post, It’s worth asking what influencers get out of an endorsement. “The best influencer relationships come from an organic alignment between the influencer’s audience, the brand’s ideal audience, and a true appreciation or preference for the goods and services being promoted. “How can I inject my expertise in their content naturally?” So how do influencers avoid being seen as gimmicky and prove that their advice is good?

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In July 2017, Kylie Jenner posted an image of herself wearing Beats by Dre headphones on Instagram. The shot shows Jenner’s profile, brushed bronze with makeup. It’s perfectly lit against a lush brown backdrop. Over her ears rest a pair of metallic Beats, with the logo right in the center of the photo. To date, more than 2.1 million have liked the post.

If the prototypical example of influencer marketing exists, this is it. By now, most consumers are well acquainted with influencer marketing. Celebrities write #ad to disclose a paid post, and YouTube vloggers receive a portion of the sales from products linked to their videos. The benefits of influencer marketing are huge, with businesses making an average of $6.50 for every $1 spent on ads, and top influencers making more than $150,000 per Instagram post and $300,000 for a YouTube video, according to Forbes.

With rates like that, it’s no wonder the practice has taken off. Based off this one influencer ad, Jenner probably earned enough money to buy herself a new pair of Beats every day for the next three years.

Influencer marketing took off as a response to a simple conclusion: Consumers trust people over brands when it comes to product advice and recommendations. If a consumer sees glimpses of a celebrity’s everyday life on social media and that celeb recommends a certain headphone or tummy-flattening tea, then the consumer may want to purchase the same products. Especially if flawless skin or great abs are involved.

While all of that may be true, the conversation about influencer marketing tends to fixate on the B2C world. What consumers often overlook is that influencer marketing plays a big role in B2B as well. It’s more likely to look like a guest blog post than a sponsored Instagram photo, but some B2B influencers wield plenty of power in their industries. I spoke with a few experts about the pros and cons of using B2B influencers, and how the practice could evolve in the future.

Expertise First, Influence Second

Melanie Deziel is a branded content consultant, speaker and one of the world’s leading experts on native advertising. (And occasional contributor to this site.) Despite her resume, she doesn’t think of herself as an influencer—at least not in the traditional sense.

“While B2C influencers often list it as a job title … B2B influencers are often professionals and niche experts actively working in a given industry,” Deziel said. “Their influence is a byproduct of their expertise. Given my work in the content marketing industry, I’ve definitely been asked to make recommendations to clients, companies, and individuals about products, vendors, and services to help [them] achieve their goals”

Deziel usually recommends products and services that she loves without getting paid,…

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