The Business-fication of Traditional Social Media
If you’re like me, you’ve been targeted by an ever-increasing amount of business-specific ads on Facebook and Instagram; loans, software companies, recruiting sites…the list goes on and on. This stuff is blended in seamlessly alongside models and other typical social media content.
I can’t tell you how many times our agency leads tell us they only want to advertise on LinkedIn, and can’t fathom that executives or corporate decision-makers would click on an ad on Facebook. Pop psychology leads us to believe when people are not in business mode, they won’t check Facebook – but anyone who has monitored their employee’s computers knows checking Facebook is something people do during the workday. In fact, quite the opposite is true:
Around seven-in-ten U.S. adults (69%) use Facebook, according to a survey conducted in early 2019. …Among U.S. adults who use Facebook, around three-quarters (74%) visit the site at least once a day. (PewResearch)
So that myth is quickly dispelled. This is not to mention that networks like Facebook have an audience network – meaning they can place your ads in business or industry-relevant publications.
Back To The Influencer Marketing
So, you might be thinking at this point – Chris, you’re showing me advertisements – those things are not the same as working with an influencer. Ads allow you to control your demographics, timing, creative…
Guess what – when working with influencers, you can control ALL of the same variables. Heck, Instagram is even requiring influencers to disclose partner posts; and allow you, the business, to advertise on behalf of your influencers.
- The economics are better. (usually)
- You piggyback on the trust of an influencer who already has rapport with your target audience
- You can build on your relationship with the influencer into more deep partnerships (co-branded content, etc) over time.
Logistics and Caveats of influencer marketing
Ok. Ads are a little more secure, to begin with, than influencers. You may need to do an advanced search of tags in your industry to discover targets; you will certainly need to verify authentic engagement in the accounts you’re targeting (we use hypeauditor), and verify those demographics.
All in all, influencer marketing in B2B is a real avenue; and you will see more pop up in individual niches, especially in the tech world, in the next few years. Stay tuned for:
- A guide to top influencers in edtech, SaaS, HRtech and FinTech
- How to vet influencers on Twitter for SaaS
Chris Nicholas is a serial entrepreneur and marketer. He has personally managed dozens of influencers; spoken extensively on the topic. (including most recently in VICE’s web series on Instagram)