Social Influencer Marketing

in B2B & B2C markets to drive trust and sales.


Influencer marketing, driven primarily by social media, is predicted to emerge as one of the most potent tools for brand growth, according to The influence of social media is undeniable and has the potential to impact brand growth across the entire purchasing channel. However, it's time to ask yourself - is your B2B or B2C company still hesitant about embracing social influencer marketing? If you have questions, reservations, or simply don't know where to begin, read on.

Rust-Oleum influencer marketing

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing strategy where brands collaborate with influential social media personalities, commonly referred to as "influencers," to endorse and promote their products or services.

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, something we have embraced and fully understand. It's no surprise that most companies now incorporate organic and/or paid social media campaigns to enhance their search engine rankings and connect with new prospects, customers, and leads. But who exactly are these influential figures on social media? Social media influencers (SMIs) are individuals who have built a dedicated community of followers on their social media accounts and in related online blogs. Their content is so compelling that people say, "I follow what you post."

Micro-influencers attract highly engaged audiences compared to larger influencers because of their focused content and targeted topics. A branding partnership with a micro-influencer can be more cost-effective and flexible, and are also seen as more genuine by their followers. As a result, brands can expect better user-generated content and a higher conversion rate when collaborating with micro-influencers.

Followers of social media influencers (SMIs) are influenced by various factors. These influencers have been extensively researched in relation to parasocial relations (PSR), which play a role in their persuasive power during the product selection and purchasing journey. The credibility of SMIs is impacted by PSR, resulting in positive attitudes towards the brand, increased intentions to purchase the advertised products, and sharing of the SMI's content on social media. In essence, collaborating with influencers allows you to effectively reach your target demographic while benefiting from their inherent credibility.

Building Trust

With an understanding of the persuasive power of influencer marketing, we can now recognize how partnering with influencers in thriving and engaged communities can significantly boost a company's brand awareness, brand affinity, and brand loyalty. Social media influencers act as the personification of your brand, embodying a trusted authority who effortlessly connects with and resonates with your target audience.

B2B influencer marketing is emerging as a key component of sales outreach, capturing the attention of businesses. According to HubSpot's 2022 Marketing Industry Survey, influencer marketing has been ranked as the top marketing trend for this year. An impressive 71% of B2B marketers have expressed their intention to invest more in influencer marketing in 2022.

Elevating your Content

Marketing through social influencers can also help you create relevant content. When an influencer creates content highlighting your product or service, followers share, comment, or link to it. This can help you reach an even larger audience and increase the shelf life of your content. 

With 97% of consumers heading to the web and social media for pre-purchase information and the average B2B buyer doing half of his/her research online, the importance of organic search can’t be underestimated.  Although the effects of social media posts on search engine rankings may be minimal, blogs with proper SEO can reach the upper echelons of search results. Since a major component of Google’s search engine is linking, the more high-quality links your influencers create back to your content, the better the content is likely to perform in a search. Although less traditional, Google and Google+ have joined the ranks of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for B2B markets. B2C companies see great results with traditional social channels. Video content is on the rise with YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Reels, and of course, TikTok. YouTube is now the 2nd largest search engine in the world.

Rust-Oleum Influencer Marketing

How Influencer Marketing Works in B2B and B2C Companies

Now that we understand who SMIs are. Let’s look at how working with the influencers works in B2B and B2C companies. Instead of looking at what was, let’s stick to what’s working now. According to, B2B influencer marketing has evolved. Recent reports suggest that marketers are taking a more strategic, intentional approach to building their influencer relationships and that shift is leading to better results and more growth for brands.

Here are a few key insights from the report:

  • 86% of B2B brands consider their influencer marketing successful
  • 1/3 report influencer marketing has led to increased sales/revenue
  • 65% say internal executives have been effective at increasing the influence of the brand
  • 85% believe interest in working with influencers in the coming 12 months will increase

Although these businesses sell to other businesses, it is people who make B2B business decisions. In this way, B2B is not all that different from B2C. The main difference is that B2B decision-makers generally do more research. And since most of this research happens online, its more important for brands to optimize their online presence across all channels.

Place in the Buyer’s Journey

The typical B2B buyer follows a slow, well-researched journey before making a purchase. Unlike a standard B2C purchase where a consumer sees a promotion, likes the product, and makes the purchase off the store shelf, B2B firms usually have long buying cycles with many decision makers and influences on the way. As a result, it can be difficult to know which marketing tactic leads to a particular sale. This lack of a clear pathway Is particularly so with influencer marketing.


It’s important to understand that both B2B or B2C sales processes cannot be successful if the purchaser is unaware of the selling company’s products or services. Awareness is the first step in the buyer journey and this is where influencers pack the biggest punch. By making people aware your product, solution, and company exist. At the same time, they attach themselves to a brand, humanizing your company among its competitors.

Consideration and Purchase

A recent Forrester survey reports an average B2B buyer performs more than half his or her research online. Since research is performed in the Consideration Stage, we see that influencer marketing making way down the sales funnel. That means that he/she will have viewed many different pieces of content, possibly including a range of material presented by influencers.

The Search Engine Journal says 86% of B2B businesses will be successful with influencer marketing.

Equally important are the influencers’ alignment with your company’s brand values, the quality of their content and the alignment of your buyer’s journey with an influencer marketing strategy. The goal is to add various points of communication and add INFLUENCE along the journey (which can last months or even years in some businesses) to gain a prospect’s attention and eventually earn his/her trust leading them to eventually make a purchase from your company.


Why Major Brands are Adding Influencer Marketing to their Marketing Mix

With consumers’ increasing lack of trust in traditional brand advertising, reaching out to key influencers is becoming just as important, if not more important, than conventional tactics. Consumers and buyers trust other consumers and buyers they can relate to and with whome they share similar interests, circumstances or experiences. This is how influencers can drive conversations, influence opinions and present calls-to-action in a way that brands simply cannot.

Influencers can help solidify your market position are by:

  • Spreading the word about your brand, in their voice
  • Building new relationships with new audience segments
  • Partnering in the development of new products that will resonate with
    what their audience wants/needs
  • Creating sharable original content within the context of their audience (think about the additional ways you could repurpose a blog or video created by an influencer)
  • Gaining additional insight into your targeted audiences’ behavior, how they interact with your products and your desired market niche.

You can see now it’s important to note how these marketing tactics interact to enhance your marketing program. Having a piece of content that is promoted through your own social channels that is then bolstered by blogs of major influencers increases awareness and SEO as well as generating quite of bit of engagement. Like your website, SMIs act as an extension of your sales and marketing team that cover a lot of ground for the cost, with the added advantage of a built-in trust factor.

Getting Started with Influencer Marketing

If you’re a B2B or B2C business, it’s important to look at the costs before diving in. Compensation to social media influencers can run anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending upon the SMI’s perceived worth and influence within the market served. Most rates are negotiable.

Lisa Nielsen
Account Manager, Heinzeroth Marketing Group

"It is a pay-to-play world and pairing with the right influencer is a win/win situation for both parties. Your brand gets consumer level exposure to the SMIs loyal audience and the SMI can generate meaningful content to followers and be compensated for it."


Learning about the social channels where your audience(s) prefers to consume content is a great first step in discovering your market’s influencers. Facebook and LinkedIn are two powerful tools for finding influencers but depending upon your audience demographics, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or other media sites may be more relevant. Often one influencer will lead you to other influencers through links on their websites or by checking out their followers/friends and contributors.

Now that you’ve done your homework, you can consider influencers. Identifying the key influencers within your markets can be a daunting prospect. Internally, completing a brand analysis, honing your marketing strategy and understanding your competitive business environment is integral to identifying the influencers that will best engage with your current and prospective audience(s).

B2B social influencer marketing is proving to be a big feature of sales outreach in 2022. HubSpot’s 2022 Marketing Industry Survey ranked influencer marketing as the top marketing trend for this year, with most B2B marketers (71%) saying they were planning on investing more in influencer marketing in 2022. By employing some basic principles and lessons from B2C brands, B2B brands can gain an advantage against competitors and ensure they’re reaching their target leads in the most direct, effective, and intuitive way possible.

When it comes to dealing with influencers, it’s important to have partners who understand the negotiation process, your market, the order process, how to make sure your brand standards are upheld, contracts and insertion orders are placed correctly, products are represented correctly in the influencer’s blogs and social posts are accurate and according to contract. Not to mention proper research is conducted into appropriate influencers for your specific market and personas. Before you begin any program, your influencer program should have specific, measurable benchmarks, or KPIs that are reported and measured against the program cost.

This is the point where medium to large companies find it helpful to use a skilled Social Influencer Marketer to help them research, develop and execute their influencer marketing program.

The Bottom Line: Bottom of Funnel Performance

Influencer programs must be carefully crafted to bring in the appropriate sales versus the expense. And some are costly. Unlike other tactics, influencer results are relatively easy to assess by skilled influencer marketers. An experienced influencer will be adept at the analytics and reporting of KPIs (which differs from other tactics). Heinzeroth influencers monitor campaign engagement through the influencer’s website and social media outlets. In some instances, they work with bloggers who have software to provide campaign results (metrics) for our clients. In most cases we see exceptional results that keep top brands coming back for more year after year.

Which leads us to our next component—lead capture. Key performance indicators such as reach, engagement and click-throughs are great. But most companies who purchase through influencers expect more. This means tracking programs to leads or sales. It’s important for B2C and B2B companies to have a way to capture sales leads and inquiries that arise from the influencer’s published blogs and socials. For B2B clients, this can be accomplished by creating landing pages on your website for lead capture (and tracking results) from the various campaigns that you launch. For B2C companies, this might be a link to your ecommerce sight or a link to find their local distributor or retailer.

The bottom line – influencer marketing and email marketing are currently tied as the most cost-effective channels, narrowly beating out organic search, when marketers were asked for their most cost-effective online customer-acquisition channel. Surveyors reported making $6.50 for each $1 spent.



Heinzeroth Can Help

Social media has evolved into one of the most powerful marketing tools available, by humanizing the buyer’s journey.  With some foresight, market knowledge and the aspiration to develop and nurture relationships with the right people, your brand will be well on its way to brand awareness, affinity, and preference through a social influencing program.

Heinzeroth Marketing Group has been researching, developing programs for clients and forging relationships with key social influencers for almost ten years. The results have our influencer clients returning month after month. If you’d like to find out more about starting an influencing program, give us a call.

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