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Kiersten Toye
By
July 24, 2017

A First-Timer's Guide to Onboarding Peer Influencers

entrepreneur-696959_1920-1024x499.jpgWheaties made meeting Steph Curry at the local grocery store a reality in 2015. The gaming app Mobile Strike entertained Super Bowl 51’s audience with the help of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even Ikea paired with YouTube’s Superfruit hosts Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying to lend some decoration advice to this year’s dorming college students.

These celebrity-endorsed collaborations are examples of influencer marketing, or the marketing method of a business collaborating with individuals popularized among their target audience. This method has existed for decades, and the recent discovery that influencer marketing generates an average of $6.50 in revenue for every dollar spent only validates its utilization.

Though most renowned as influential representatives, celebrities aren’t the only influencers in existence. B2B peer influencers are valuable to B2B companies, especially small businesses and startups, trying to boost their industry presence. These peer influencers have various professions, such as industry-relevant journalists, podcast hosts and executives who’ve branded themselves as industry experts.

Enlisting peer influencers in your marketing strategy can be done through a variety of methods.

Conference Panels

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During the B2B Ignite 2017 conference in London, host B2B Marketing paired their Editor-in-Chief Joel Harrison with representatives Sally Wright (Samsung), Brian Macreadie (Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP) and Jeremy Knott (Deloitte). Their combined experiences allowed them to debate and affirm answers to questions like the proper evaluation of creative ideas and the best strategies for working with creative people.

Conference panels give businesses the opportunity to openly demonstrate their industry knowledge among a peer audience. After analyzing the themes that best suit the conference’s needs, brainstorm a topic for a panel discussion and propose the idea to peer influencers. The amount of participants and their experience ranges assist your panel’s credibility to the conference audience, as well as builds your brand’s own credibility in the space. Best of all, your openness to outside opinions increases external peer influencers’ appeal to you.

Guest Writers

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The publishing site Entrepreneur is no stranger to pushing out various pieces of insightful content. To ensure their site provides a voice for every type of entrepreneur, the site’s editorial team supports a network of outside contributors who provide advice on solutions and issues in their industry. Murray Newlands, founder of Chattypeople.com, is an example of an active VIP Contributors who covers topics such as chat bots and communications.

You can continue an all-inclusive reputation for your business with guest writing. Alongside your present content strategy, decide what type of writers you’d want contributing to your blog, newsletter or other active, business-owned publication. After onboarding the desired contributors, offer clear guidelines on the submission frequency, entry deadlines and the topics they are invited to cover.

Social Media Shout-outs

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Social media is one of the strongest, cost-effective marketing channels available. As recorded by Hubspot, 90% of marketers indicate that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses, while over 50% of marketers using social media for at least two years credit it for improving their sales.

Increasing your presence on social media can be as easy as creating shout-out posts. These posts are created by one company to highlight an achievement or notable aspect of an internal  business member or an external business partner. In terms of business content, a shout-out post would include a link to your company’s new article while tagging the social media pages of the writer(s) of the article. Employee spotlights and announcing new partners are also potential formats.

Through these posts, you position your business as one run on collaborative support while exposing your presence to alternate parties’ active audiences.

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