Social Media | 12-06-2020 | Ekta Patel
Influencer marketing has been around us for quite many years. With social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, influencer marketing has caught pace and changed the way products are endorsed. Brands have been partnering with Mega, Macro, Micro and Nano Influencers to promote products to the followers/connections of these influencers. It is an effective way to market your product since this sort of marketing doesn’t seem to force a product on customers. Rather, influencers have their tactics of interacting with their followers wherein they craft testimonials or stories around the product to be promoted.
What is LinkedIn Influencer Marketing?
LinkedIn is a platform for professionals and businesses are tapping into the potential of marketing through this medium. But since people on this platform are looking for authentic, credible and fresh content that adds value to their knowledge, a person who influences them should also be someone who has relevant expertise, industry knowledge, awareness of current trends, and most importantly, credibility. So LinkedIn Influencer marketing is when businesses collaborate with Influencers to target audience for spreading the word about their brands, or selling their product or services on LinkedIn.
How Influencer Marketing on LinkedIn is different from other platforms?
There are 630 million professionals on LinkedIn, of which 90 million are senior-level influencers, 63 million decision-makers, 43 million mass affluent and 17 million opinion leaders (that’s just how LinkedIn describes them). The content shared on LinkedIn mostly comprises job offers, thought-provoking articles, white papers, opinions on industry trends, latest news impacting different sectors, infographics, blog links, product reviews and feedbacks, etc., all revolving around things that are likely to enrich the minds of the users or help them shape their career in some way.
Thus, LinkedIn has its unique purpose of catering to professionals, which is different from that of other platforms. Using LinkedIn as a platform for leveraging B2B influencers to attain your business goal is specifically directed towards an audience which is smart, knowledgeable, and doesn’t shy away from giving you a helping hand for your success. 94% B2B marketers use LinkedIn to promote their content.
Who are LinkedIn Influencers?
LinkedIn invites foremost thinkers, innovators and leaders who discuss trending topics to become LinkedIn Influencers. Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, Adam Grant, Sara Blakely and Mary Barra are some renowned LinkedIn Influencers. A team of editors works with these Influencers to create content in the form of articles and posts that is meant to keep professionals well-informed and encourage thoughtful conversations.
But that’s not it. Many well-established thought leaders are open to partnering with brands to drive sales. They focus on a particular sector or niche and use their expertise to strike conversations about a particular product or service by means of thoughtful statuses, articles, blogs, videos etc. They are generally referred to as Micro or Nano Influencers.
Why use LinkedIn Influencer Marketing?
There are ample reasons to use LinkedIn Influencer Marketing, especially if your product is for a B2B market.
1. LinkedIn is a platform heavily used by professionals. It is one of the most used platforms to generate leads for businesses and target an audience who is likely to have a better understanding of your business solutions. LinkedIn Influencer marketing can open the doors of business partnerships and increased visibility for your business.
2. LinkedIn promotes organic content, one which is fresh and brings in a new perspective for the audience. So even if your online advertising budget is low, that is not an issue if your content isn’t ‘spammy’ and has value to offer for your LinkedIn network.
3. Consumers desire authenticity when they see an individual talking about a product. When a real-life individual who has carved out a niche for himself in the industry talks about the benefits of a product, he or she would sound credible.
4. 57% of LinkedIn users browse the platform using their mobile phones. So even if they are casually browsing and you deliver a thumb-stopping content through an Influencer, the chances of generating revenue increase.
5. LinkedIn has features like Carousel ad where you can feature a series of up to 10 cards that can be swiped and each card can be customised. So the influencer can spread awareness about the product in the first card, tell a story in the second, can talk about the functional benefits of the product in the third, and so on, making it a step by step guide for the audience.
How to use LinkedIn Influencer Marketing?
LinkedIn is an extremely popular social media platform among educated professionals who use it for finding the right connections, reading about the latest trends, getting to know opinions of world leaders, etc.
1. Set a goal
If you are looking to promote your brand through LinkedIn Influencers, the first step is to know what your goal is, i.e., what is it that you are aiming to achieve through this. Do you want to raise awareness about your product? Do you want to stress the benefits of your products? Do you want more people to consider your product to be bought? Do you want to partner with another company? There can be any goal, but you need to recognise it.
2. Find the right Influencer
The next step is to find the right Influencer for your business. And how do you do that?
If you think that your business is well established enough to approach the Influencers that LinkedIn selects by invitation, then you can connect with them on LinkedIn itself or drop a message to them through InMail, which gets 300% higher response rate than emails sent with the same content.
Alternatively, if your business is still in its nascent stage, then you can approach professionals through LinkedIn groups, or your 1st and 2nd connections on LinkedIn. Go through their profile, analyse it well, scroll through the content they post, take a look at their connections, see how much engagements, comments and likes their posts receive. Know all about them that you need to know to decide if they will be perfect to market your product.
3. Let the Influencers be
Once you have developed a perfect relationship with the chosen Influencer and explained them your goals, what your brand does, what you expect from them, let the influencers use their ways of promoting the content. There is a reason why they can form opinions and interests of their audience.
LinkedIn Influencer Marketing is still in an infant stage and there is more evolution to be seen on this platform in the coming years. There is a much higher chance for your brand to gain visibility on this platform than on Facebook or Instagram. But do add value to the LinkedIn community to reap long term benefits.