Do you remember the time when all the social media platforms were just used for connecting with friends? Seems like a scenario from the distant past, doesn’t it? What started only as a medium to connect people has now become the most significant aspect of digital marketing.
To be fair, marketing opportunities are like an omnipresent phenomenon. You can find them anywhere and everywhere. All you need is the right kind of outlook.
Just like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the other social media platforms, LinkedIn has also now become something more than a platform for building a professional network.
There are a lot of marketing opportunities and models hidden on this platform as well that have helped a lot of businesses grow significantly. One of the most popular and successful of these models is — Influencer Marketing through LinkedIn.
The Need for Influencer Marketing
With information now available at their fingertips, customers are getting empowered and smarter in their buying decisions. Especially when it comes to B2B events, persuading customers is really not feasible using the conventional marketing techniques like advertisements or endorsements.
Businesses undertake a lot of research before making any buying decisions. That is why you need a marketing model using which you can educate your customers about your products or services. For that, you need some influencers that can communicate your message to the audience.
Conventional event marketing models use celebrities as their influencers. But since the ‘new-age marketing’ requires an altogether different approach, a better alternative for the celebrity influencers is also required. In this case, your influencers are the popular thought leaders of your respective industry, in this case, the events industry.
Why is LinkedIn your best option?
The concept of influencer marketing makes it seem like a universally flattering idea that can be used anywhere and everywhere. Now that may be only partially correct.
Because though there is nothing that would essentially “prevent” you from using influencer marketing on a range of platforms, the one platform that would give you the most effective results for B2B marketing is definitely LinkedIn.
This is because people identify LinkedIn as the “professional website”. It is a platform that is meant to handle only the business-related activities. On the other hand, Facebook or Instagram are rather personal and informal.
That is why a person browsing through LinkedIn is by default in the “business mood” and would respond better to any new idea. While if the same idea is presented to them when they are in the “informal mood”, the response won’t be that effective.
This makes LinkedIn the most ideal platform for B2B influencer marketing.
The HOW of Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing through LinkedIn is an elaborate process that requires meticulous planning, smart application and attention to detail. A lot of things need to be taken care of before you can have efficient results from the process.
However, the one step that defines the course of action of your marketing campaign is choosing the right influencers.
Finding the Influencers
LinkedIn today is filled with people who are famous influencers and are associated with a lot of different companies because of their fame. However, each and every such influencer is not of use to you. You need someone who has a working background related to your industry.
A detailed scan of the market will acquaint you with the popular thought leaders on LinkedIn from your industry. Apart from being related to your field, they should also have the following characteristics:
1. Though this goes without saying, their connections should comprise of the people you are directly looking to target. Otherwise, there is really no point in using their fame to market your product.
2. Another obvious yet essential thing is that they should be qualified enough to understand the nitty-gritty of your product. In conventional marketing, a tv actor can endorse a software and it really won’t matter.
But in this case, since the influencers are supposed to inform and educate people about your product, they should themselves be able to understand it well enough first.
3. They should be active content creators who have a substantial following. No one will read about your product if they are posting something one day out of the blue.
Only if they are popular content creators would people bother to go through what they are saying. Plus, without a good quality and quantity of audience, any marketing effort is a total waste which is why their followership also matters.
4. The most important aspect here is that the ideologies that they have propagated till date should be either supporting your product or be neutral towards it. Otherwise, they will lose their credibility with the audience.
Take a simple everyday life example. If a chef who has previously participated in campaigns for organic farming now endorses packet noodles, people are obviously not going to trust him.
Using these filters, you can find influencers that will actually be the best for your product’s marketing.
The Marketing Campaign
Once you have found the right people, you can actually start using LinkedIn for your influencer marketing. The tools available on LinkedIn have a rather professional outlook making the process better for you. Some of the best tools that you should definitely incorporate in your marketing campaign are:
1. LinkedIn Articles — LinkedIn allows users to post long content, otherwise known as a blog. These articles are very popular with LinkedIn users since they exhibit a smarter and more professional version of the conventional blogs.
These articles can be of immense advantage to you when working with influencers. Your selected influencers can write an elaborate article/ blog talking about your product, how they used and benefitted from it, etc. This will acquaint their followers with your product and interest them to know more.
2. Company Pages — If your chosen influencer is a top-level manager of a company, their LinkedIn company page can also be used for marketing your product.
Here, they can write a post or blog or video or anything else that tells the viewers about their experience with your product and how you helped a certain aspect of their company to grow.
The basic thing that underlies influencer marketing on LinkedIn is efficient content creation. No matter what medium you choose, the content being delivered has to be engaging, informing as well as intriguing.
Information is the basic pillar on which influencer marketing functions. That is why, the content, its portrayal and its distribution are the most important things to look after in influencer marketing.