B2B Influence On Your Target Market

influencers in businessIf you are in the business of selling to other businesses (B2B Marketing), how do you target key influencers in your market? Milkshake-factory has identified ways to connect with key influencers:

1. Building Your Network | Network = Networth

Build your business network where you wish to do business. There is no point in hammering away and trying to achieve over 10,000 Twitter followers in the UK if you want to do business with small businesses in Melbourne. Review your social media network, as you would if it were your database, and see whether you’re targeting the right business in the right region. Then search to connect with more businesses like them.

2. Analyse Key Target Market Segments

Influence your customers and prospects in your “target market” to consider using, reusing, trialling your products and services. Most small businesses have a gap between their social media activity and their social media influence in a targetted business community.

3. Business Buyer Behaviour Process

To identify key business influencers, we must first map the key components of the buyer behaviour process. That is “The who, what, where, how and why of buying behaviour.” Only by accurately analysing who buys, what they buy and when they buy can we identify WHO and WHAT the relevant business influencers are. For example, in the new B2B buying process the average B2B IT buyer needs to consume five pieces of content before they are ready to speak to sales.

Influencers are people that affect any component of the sales cycle, but are removed from the actual purchase decision. Consultants, analysts, journalists, academics, regulators, standards bodies are examples of business influencers. In terms of “what” influences, this is clearly in the realm of a robust content and engagement strategy and could include Whitepapers, Journal articles, Business Interviews and trusted Industry blogs, publications.

Therefore, each target market segment, must be mapped by which customers buy, where they buy, what they buy and why they buy. This needs to be done for each target segment. For example: small business, medium sized business and/or corporate business. This can be further segmented by industry type, size of business, number of employees, level of technology adoption and so on. Increasingly, what, how and why business buy, is mediated and determined by their online communities, network and organic search.

4. Identifying Key Influencers By Target Market Segment In Social Media

Only after you have defined your key target market segments and mapped your customers buyer behaviour across both traditional and social media channels can you determine your key B2B Social Media Influencers. Identifying influencers in the buying process is key to reaching the right people at the right place at the right time. For example, you may assume a certain business journalist is a leader/influencer in the field of technology. However by mapping the buyer journey, you discover, the influence on IT purchases for SME firms comes from the CEO of the business. Therefore, targeting CEOs through CEO-based online forums/networks or using a CEO-based case study on IT vendor selection may be more influential than getting PR via a high profile technology journalist. Influencers who may be pivotal to a key decision are not necessarily the “actual buyers.”

5. Creating a B2B Content-Based Inbound Marketing Strategy

Business buyers like to search, evaluate, discuss, consider and purchase. Increasingly, this means less emphasis on “traditional push based sales techniques” and more emphasis on a strong content based Inbound Marketing Strategy. While LinkedIn remains the dominant platform for B2B social media marketing, the fastest growing platforms are Twitter and Youtube. It’s one thing to “use” a platform for promotion and another to use it properly as an inbound conduit.

What Next

At Milkshake-factory, we are on a mission to make your small business marketing hassle free. You will find a lot of articles on our blog that can help you gain insight in the world of digital marketing. We hope these are going to be useful to you and we also look forward to your feedback on what else would you like to learn to help you to grow your small business. Consider hiring Milkshake-factory, complete marketing solutions, for all your marketing needs, contact us for a FREE consultation.