B2B influencer marketing rarely (if ever) relies on Instagram celebrities, and some claim it’s much harder for B2B marketers to find the right influencers than for popular B2C brands. Typically, there are not a lot of mainstream influencers that cover B2B topics, and things get even more complicated the more niche your product is.
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For example, how many people out there have a blog about this particular topic if you’re selling CRM for lawyers?
You might get disheartened before you even start, but don’t be. While finding the right B2B influencer is harder than just typing “beauty blogger” in an influencer marketing tool and waiting for the program to select the best ones based on your filters, there are proven ways to find that particular person.
Instead of calling it quits before you even start and just sticking to traditional trade shows, PR, and other tools in your marketing toolbox, read the tips below.
Put in some manual work
As basic as it sounds, using a search engine like Google is always the first thing you should do when trying to find B2B influencers. The first couple of pages are likely to give you the most quality content to start with. To prevent yourself from going down the rabbit hole, note down everything essential, every site you find, and contacts immediately when you are on the site. I use Ninja Outreach or Buzzstream for this – a neat extension enabling me to send all contacts I find directly to the database.
Monitor your brand, your competitors, and your industry
Googling can only get you so far, as search engines tend to focus on providing only the most relevant content, and not all. If you want to know what anyone on the internet has been writing on a specific topic, monitor the name of your brand, your competitors and specific industry terms in a media monitoring tool like Determ. For example, we monitor industry terms and popular hashtags since our target influencers are PR bloggers.
Determ will give you an overview of who has been writing about your brand in a recent couple of months and more importantly, about competitors. If there are relevant texts, tweets, or posts, you will find them.
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Check backlinks for your site and competitors
One other tool we use is Ahrefs, an SEO tool that backtracks links to any site to the site where they were initially posted. For example, you can see if someone linked a keyword in their blog to your competitor’s site. Typically this will either be influencers or journalists, so it’s a great way of finding them. They go back in history quite a lot, so you get even more historical searches than with media monitoring.
Check top content for your niche
One primary source of influencer data for B2B marketing is Buzzsumo, which shows the most shared content on a specific topic. If I input “content marketing” as a term, it shows the top shared articles in the last 5 years. Excellent for finding niche influencers. The alternative is to use Inkybee, another tool specialized for finding blogs.
If nothing works, find influencers with your target audience
Say you have a CRM built especially for a niche group of lawyers, and all the previous steps yielded nothing. While there is doubtfully a lot of niche influencers obsessively writing about these tools, there are blogs, comics, and social media influencers that write about the law in general. These various tools have databases containing thousands, sometimes even millions of influencers.