Why B2B brands should include influencers in their digital strategy

As organic reach ebbs and flows on social media channels, it is no longer enough for business-to-business (B2B) brands to simply post content to their platforms. There’s no guarantee that the intended target audiences will get the message on time, when they need it, or even at all. 

Sponsored (paid) social media content and advertising are proving effective in reaching target audiences in a digital world that is increasingly pay-to-play. A focus on content quality, dynamic visuals and informative or entertaining video help support the overall effectiveness of brand or company channel(s), ensuring they are interactive, engaging pages — when found.

There's another way for B2B brands to communicate directly with their target audiences — those target audiences themselves. Influencers may be one of the buzzworthy terms of the moment, but the concept goes beyond a trend. Any B2B brand or industry, no matter the perceived level of glamor, has them; from mechanical engineers to hand tools, there are groups of people who hold sway when it comes time for others to make decisions that impact the bottom line. 

Identifying those influencers, and offering content that serves a purpose for them, can work effectively on two levels.

Take, for instance, a well-known and respected brand in the pump manufacturing and HVAC space. The brand sells its products through a dedicated network of representatives throughout the country. By listening to the requests and needs of these representatives, understanding what helps them sell and generate leads, and actively watching what they engage with on social media, the team at Branigan Communications created a digital content strategy that delivers for both brand and rep.

After identifying the content and any digital asset creation, our team generates standalone posts for the brand’s social feeds. But thanks to our strategy of supplying content specially created for representatives, the post’s extra purpose lives in plain sight. Whether the end goal was to be useful, informative or entertaining by representatives and their audiences, each post is tailor-made to be shared by those representatives with their social networks of customers. When that happens, the post takes on new life in the form of a direct digital sales tool, testimonial or useful bit of digestible content. At the same time, it extends to local target audiences that the national brand channel may not have been able to reach without a paid social marketing campaign.

The end result is organic content that has earned, through simple engagement, not only the endorsement of one of the brand’s trusted network of influencers, but also the second and third level of distribution that comes along with shares and reshares, tweets and retweets, comments and tags. The difference starts with a sound digital strategy, and the knowledge that your influencers are not only the target audiences for that plan, but also the sources.