The Role of Social Media Influencers in Building Trust and Advocacy With Customers: A Guide for B2B Marketers

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Influencer marketing continues to gain headway, with nearly 70 percent of US brands investing in the medium in 2021 alone.

 Globally, the market size of influencer marketing increased to 21.1 billion dollars in 2023 — an over seven billion-dollar increase in just two short years.

And for good reason. 

Audiences turn to their favorite influencers for insights, advice, and purchasing decision input. 

As opposed to traditional advertising that focuses heavily on sales targeting, social media influencers build strong relationships with their target audiences.

In the B2C space, authentic content, such as sharing personal experiences, helps consumer audiences find what to wear, buy, eat — and where to shop and travel to.

In the B2B sector, high-value content, such as sharing business insights, helps organizations discover where to invest to grow or optimize their companies. 

This commitment to sharing quality content fosters trust and customer advocacy. 

Let’s take a closer look at the role of social media influencers. 

In this article, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the differences between B2C and B2B influencer campaigns. 

We’ll focus the rest of the article on B2B influencer marketing, including its benefits, how it builds trust and advocacy, and some key strategies you can use. 

Ready to learn more? 

Let’s begin.

What’s the difference between B2C and B2B influencer campaigns? 

While both B2C and B2B influencer campaigns encourage purchase decisions, the two use different methods to do so. 

B2C campaigns focus on selling a specific lifestyle. 

 For instance, that might be a “tidy and organized stay-at-home parent lifestyle” or a “luxury travel and high fashion lifestyle”. 

Some B2C campaigns use public figures or “macro influencers” to build consumer trust. Others focus on everyday people with smaller niche audiences — or “micro-influencers.” 

 Take StudioSuits, a brand specializing in custom and seersucker suits for men, as an example: 

StudioSuits partners with micro-influencers like Mauro Littera

(Image Source)

StudioSuits partners with micro-influencers like Mauro Littera, who represent and sell luxury fashion lifestyles. 

By sporting StudioSuit pieces in real-world environments, Mauro’s content establishes a genuine connection with his niche audience — and StudioSuits’.

Mauro’s content

(Image Source)

B2B campaigns, on the other hand, focus on selling business success. 

For example, that might be “how to grow your SaaS company by outsourcing content marketing” or “how to streamline project management operations with technology.”

Some B2B campaigns use business leaders and experts to build trust, while others use affiliate marketers who specialize in specific niches. 

B2B and B2B campaigns also tend to focus on different social media platforms and content types.

For instance, B2C social media campaigns often focus on drumming up user-generated content and posting day-in-the-life snippets on TikTok and Instagram. 

 B2B social media campaigns often focus on posting educational content on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. B2B brand advocates also use blog posts and email marketing sequences to connect with audiences.

Hightouch, for instance, partners with product evangelists and engineers to create informative LinkedIn carousels and blog posts about what customer data platforms are:

Hightouch, partners with product evangelists and engineers

 (Image Source)

 From in-depth guides to insightful interviews with industry leaders, Hightouch advocates dig deep into the ins and outs of data technology:

insightful interviews with industry leaders

 (Image Source)

 Now that we’ve cleared up some key differences, let’s hone in on B2B influencers and why it’s beneficial to use them. 

Benefits of using B2B social media influencers 

Social media users who own or operate a business are always on the hunt for ways to improve their organizations. 

 Whether it’s learning which data stack to invest in or how to craft the perfect outreach email, social media offers a “free business advice haven” they can turn to.

 By showing up consistently to provide them with the information they’re looking for … B2B influencers can help your brand become a trusted business expert.  

 Over time, businesses in your target audience will turn to your brand for insights or solutions to their problems. 

 Not only does this foster trust, but it also encourages natural advocacy. 

 It’s no surprise that business owners know other business owners. If you can provide a business with a solution to its problems better than anyone else can, its leaders will naturally (and enthusiastically) tell their peers about you. 

 They might even talk about your solution on social media — or offer to link up on collaboration campaigns or affiliate marketing opportunities. 

 If you partner with influencers who know SEO, they can also help you:

  • Build up a greater, more focused following on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter
  • Create content that ranks on Google and builds your domain authority score
  • Generate traffic to your website and landing pages
  • Attract more eyes on your content and offers
  • Create content based on search intent 
  • Generate high-quality leads

How can B2B social media influencers build trust and customer advocacy? 

B2B social media influencers create content in line with your target audience’s top questions and problems. 

This commitment to providing your audience with the answers they’re looking for naturally builds trust and advocacy. 

Some content your B2B social media influencers can partake in or create may include:

  • Comparison guides
  • Carousel guides
  • Product videos
  • Demo videos
  • Still quotes
  • Interviews
  • Webinars
  • Tutorials
  • Listicles
  • How-tos
  • Articles
  • Q&As

 What’s more, B2B influencers can use some of these assets to generate qualified leads for your business 

They might, for instance, create gated content that potential customers must “opt-in” to receive. For example, an ebook on top productivity hacks for remote teams — or an invitation to a data processing webinar hosted by industry leaders.

 After emailing over the asset, the influencer can segment the prospect and send over a series of tailored lead nurturing emails to establish more trust and connection. 

 By delivering consistent email content that solves their problems, they can encourage the lead to eventually convert into a loyal customer. 

4 B2B influencer marketing strategies to build trust and customer advocacy 

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s take a quick look at how to work with B2B influencers to build customer trust and advocacy. 

Here are some key strategies to consider:

1. Partner with influencers who complement your brand

Choose influencers whose values and expertise align with your brand. 

Look for influencers who specialize in your industry and have a knack for authentically connecting with your target audience. 

Partnering with the right influencers can significantly enhance credibility and trust

(Image Source)

 Partnering with the right influencers can significantly enhance credibility and trust. Partnering with the wrong influencers, on the other hand, may harm your brand image and even lead to customer loss. 

2. Create a high-impact content strategy

Collaborate with influencers on creating valuable and informative content. This may include guest blog posts, social media takeovers, and joint webinars

 Use SEO tools and tactics to choose topics and content types in line with search intent. (Hint: you’ll need to pull keywords for each marketing channel you target, i.e., LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Google.) 

 Remember to also consider gated content options so you can generate qualified leads. Create your landing pages and lead generation email sequences in advance when setting these up. Segment emails to hone in on each customer group’s core problems.

 By combining influencer skills, your brand’s knowledge, and SEO best practices, you’ll provide your audience with valuable insights — and strengthen trust in your expertise.

 And speaking of expertise …

3. Embrace thought leadership

Position your brand and influencers as thought leaders in your industry. 

 Encourage influencers to share their expertise in thought-provoking articles, videos, or live Q&A sessions on social media. 

 Have them share:

  • Relevant business stories and experiences
  • Personal insights into the business world 
  • Business insider tips and tricks 
  • Real business examples 

 Thought leadership content builds trust by establishing your brand as a reliable and consistent source of information.

4. Leverage employee advocacy

Encourage employees to become brand advocates and leverage their social networks to share influencer-generated content. 

 This amplifies influencer campaign reach and adds authenticity to your brand’s message

 Employees can also act as micro-influencers, further strengthening trust and advocacy among their connections.

 Consider having them post behind-the-scenes images — and other “day in the life at your organization” content that reflects your brand ethos. 

 You can also encourage them to share tutorials, guides, and helpful tips on how to use your product or solution. 

 When implementing the above strategies, remember that authenticity, alignment, and collaboration are key to success.

Wrap up 

Influencer marketing continues to grow as a medium that US and global brands trust. 

 By partnering with aligned B2B influencers, creating a high-impact content strategy, integrating thought leadership, and encouraging employee advocacy, you’ll have a powerful strategy for building customer loyalty and advocacy. 

 Are you ready to generate more trust and qualified leads?

 Start looking for B2B influencers in your niche with curated, ready-to-buy audiences. 

 Then, decide on your strategy, set up a content calendar, and track your results. You can also use influencer marketing or social listening software to track your influencer marketing campaign progress. 

 Always monitor and refine your influencer campaigns over time. 

 That’s it for now. 

 Here’s to your success!

Oliver Baker
Oliver Baker is a co-founder of Intelivita, a leading Web and Mobile App Development company based in Leeds, UK. Oliver has been at the forefront of the business, expanding it globally and into new technologies including iOS and Android, AR, VR and Mobile Game applications. Oliver excels in Project Management, Leadership, Quality Assurance and Problem Solving and has qualifications with Prince2 and APM. He aims to develop his skills further through a shared interest with other leaders in the Software Markets and the Clients of Intelivita.

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