There is something about a product with mass consumer appeal that makes influencer marketing extremely effective. Once you figure out what it is that makes your consumers want to buy your food or drink or shoe or car, there are potentially hundreds—thousands—of influential consumers (called creators now) that can create interest and demand in your company, and potentially endorse your product. And, you can almost instantly start tracking your progress.
But for the business whose product or service is targeted solely at other companies, this isn’t the case. Someone with 50,000 followers on Instagram isn’t going to be able to take a picture of using your SaaS platform or data center and drive sales anytime soon, unfortunately.
Executives and business decision makers don’t typically click on a link from an Instagram post, go to a website, add “enterprise software” to the shopping cart and check out. They’ll read about the service, do research, ask questions, ask more questions and spend countless hours reviewing the options before deciding.
Consider the minimum average sales cycle of 3 – 6 months for technology software. That’s down from 12 to 18 months from a few years ago. Even though social and digital has significantly decreased the B2B buyer journey, it’s still quite longer than that of a consumer.
B2B decision makers get as far as two-thirds through the journey before they reach out to a vendor, and that’s if the vendor meets the minimum technical requirements. The reality is that reaching B2B decision makers is difficult; they are sophisticated, well-educated and extremely skeptical about marketing. The way to overcome this skepticism and capture attention? Influencing their decisions through trusted third-parties.
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