How to Run a B2B Influencer Marketing Campaign with a Small Team Guest Author A guest blog from Michael Quoc, founder and CEO of Dealspotr, Influencer marketing is already a widely popular tactic in the B2C space. It’s easy to see how influencers can help drive regular consumers to make purchase decisions. But what about for B2B marketers? B2B businesses are just as able to use influencer marketing for better ROI, even if they aren’t taking advantage of it yet. Some big brands (think IBM, Microsoft) are already doing it, but that doesn’t mean small teams can’t win big with B2B influencer marketing as well. Here are five steps you can take to launch your own B2B influencer marketing campaign today. Step 1: Identify your marketing goals and message Just like with any marketing initiative, the first step to launching a successful B2B influencer campaign is defining what you want to achieve. Building brand awareness and driving sales are probably the most common influencer marketing goals. But you might want to target something more specific, such as building your social following or encouraging retention. As part of the planning process, you’ll also want to develop a clear idea of your brand message. Influencers will be doing the storytelling for you, but be prepared to offer them direction about your brand narrative, and how you want your audience will remember your business. Step 2: Choose your platforms Next, you’ll want to figure out where you want your influencers to help spread your brand message. This will mostly depend on two factors: (1) where your audience is, and (2) what kind of content you want to create. If you’re engaged in social media marketing, you probably already have an idea of which social platforms your target audience uses (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Choose platforms that best help you reach your audience and supports the kind of influencer content you create. For example, if you want to create a branded video with your influencers, then you should choose a platform that optimizes your use of this content type (e.g., YouTube). Of course, influencer marketing isn’t all about social media. Influencers in your industry may have a blog or website you want your business to appear on. Or you could use your own site as the platform to launch and promote influencer content. A well-rounded influencer campaign will use a combination of platforms to publish and promote. Step 3: Find the right influencers The success of your first influencer marketing campaign all boils down to your influencers. They must be good at creating and promoting impactful branded content for you to see ROI from your efforts. Luckily, there are a lot of tools and resources out there that can help you find the right influencers. Ninja Outreach, for example, is a paid tool that allows you to access and search a network of more than 25 million websites to find the right influencers for your business goals. If you’re on a budget, then really all you need is your industry keywords and the search features of social platforms like Twitter and Instagram to start finding potential influencers. But when it comes to B2B influencer marketing, you can look beyond your typical social media personalities to find great influencers as well. Don’t overlook your current customers or even your employees as potential influencers. Identity and device management software Okta, for example, reached out to their customers (Adobe, 20th Century Fox, and the like) to create videos explaining their customer journey and value they got out of the tool. To highlight these real-life success stories, Okta created unique landing pages on their site for each influencer, complete with success statistics, videos and quotes. Step 4: Create content together There are a lot of benefits to working with influencers, and reaching their engaged audiences is just one of them. Influencers are also real-world people who have insight into what consumers like themselves want. They also have the creative chops to craft a compelling message around your B2B products/services. American Express does a great job of leveraging influencer talent with their #AmexAmbassador campaign. Targeting managers and executives with their Platinum card, they enlist the help of jet setters with luxurious lifestyles to create and share their brand message: Once you do find the perfect influencers to work with, make sure you give them the creative freedom to do what they do best. Step 5: Track your results There are a lot of ways you can track the results of your campaigns. Many influencer platforms have conversion tracking built right in. If you use Traackr, for example, it not only makes it easier to build relationships with your influencers and manage your campaigns, it also helps you benchmark your brand’s influence and monitor conversions from your efforts. If you’re running a small team (and small budget) influencer campaign, then it’s easy enough to track conversions by hand. If your goal is to drive sales, for example, you can use custom coupon codes for each of your influencers or UTM codes to see which influencers are driving the most sales or traffic. Wrapping up Influencer marketing is still a fairly new strategy in the digital world, which is why B2B marketers are just now starting to try it. But just like with everyday consumers, B2B decision-makers rely on the recommendations and opinions of others to make purchase decisions. Influencer marketing is a huge opportunity for B2B and B2C businesses alike to spread their brand message and work towards marketing goals. Follow the steps in this post and see your business become one of the forerunners in B2B influencer marketing, alongside big names like IBM and American Express. About the Author Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting trend-seeking shoppers, up-and-coming brands, and micro-influencers. Michael previously served as the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s media lab, launching multiple innovative live video & mobile social networking services. He has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Follow Michael on Twitter at @michaelquoc.