17 best examples of B2B influencer marketing campaigns
Whether it’s among B2C consumers or B2B audiences, there’s one universal truth – people trust influencers. So it’s no surprise that influencer marketing is booming among B2B companies.
In fact, the 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Report found that 86% of B2B brands experienced success with influencer marketing. Moreover, 85% of those surveyed felt that there will be increased interest in working with influencers over the next 12 months.
So if you’re getting into the B2B influencer marketing landscape, it’s important to learn from these success stories and replicate their strategies for your own campaigns.
We talked to B2B marketers and executives who shared their favourite examples of B2B influencer marketing in action – from reputable brands like IBM and Microsoft to small startups/brands.
Based on their responses and our own research, here are 17 of the best B2B influencer marketing example to inform and inspire your next campaign:
According to Brack Nelson, Marketing Director of Incrementors, “Microsoft is both a B2B and a B2C company because of its broad reach.” Microsoft has put together a few exceptional B2B influencer marketing campaigns over the past few years.
On one of those campaigns, Microsoft wanted to promote women in STEM careers with the goal to encourage more girls to pursue this field. They worked with National Geographic photographers to put a spotlight on women scientists and their stories.
“The result was a phenomenal response that resulted in Microsoft reaching more than 91 million people,” explained Olivia Tan, co-founder of CocoFax.
Microsoft has also collaborated with some incredible adventure photography micro and macro-influencers on Instagram. As Bishal Biswas, a digital marketer at Word Finder elaborated, the campaign also included a select team of professional rowers who rowed the length of Amur River and crossed the Onon River in North Magnolia. “Cameras were set up at checkpoints to observe how the river's characteristics changed as the team travelled down further,” he explained.
“The results of this campaign are outstanding because the photos received 3.5 million likes in a day, and it reached 91 million people,” added Eden Cheng, Founder of WeInvoice.
In the case of GoToMeeting, their “influencers” were in the form of high-value content partners, who were activated for an affiliate programme.
As the market for video conferencing and virtual collaboration became oversaturated after COVID, the company needed a way to increase market share and drive signups for paid accounts. So they fostered a partnership with relevant content publications offering a three-month CPA (cost-per-acquisition) increase in exchange for a blog post or review.
The results were outstanding, with GoToMeeting getting 725% more paid accounts period-over-period (PoP). The number of free trial signups also grew by 701%.
This proves that your influencers don’t necessarily have to be influential individuals, contrary to popular assumption.
TikTok may not necessarily be a “B2B company” by definition, but it does have B2B offerings such as advertising tools and solutions.
With the platform being a social commerce hub, it sees a lot of usage among small business owners. So they decided to launch a B2B marketing campaign targeted at these users and featuring the platform’s valuable resource of TikTok entrepreneurs.
The goal was to help small business owners navigate the TikTok landscape so they could leverage it to grow their business. It also aimed to establish the benefits of using TikTok Promote.
TikTok worked with successful small businesses on the platform and curated content on how to use TikTok for promoting small businesses. These videos were then published on the TikTok Small Business Page and even amplified through paid social.
The results? 32 million views, 2 million likes, and more than 400,000 new followers for the TikTok Small Business Page. The authentic narratives from fellow small business owners helped to put in context how TikTok could prove to be of value to the target audience.
4. IBM Watson
The influencer marketing campaign for IBM Watson was another popular mention among our experts. The IBM team collaborated with designer Gaurav Gupta, who created an AI-inspired saree using IBM Watson.
“The saree was outfitted with color-changing LED lights, which, when paired with IBM's technology, changed colour based on each winner's personality,” explained Diksha Sharma, a marketing consultant at Glyph.
Besides the IBM Watson campaign, IBM also runs an always-on influencer marketing that leverages employees.
“Because they serve a very diverse set of industries it would be hard to find just the right influencer. So, instead of looking externally, they use employees to advocate for the products,” explained Francesca Nicasio, a content marketer at Payment Depot.
“The tech giant believes, and truly so, that there’s no one who knows your products better than the people who manufacture and sell them. So the company encouraged employees to tweet about their products on their social media to attract customers,” added Paula Glynn, Business Coach, and Director of Search Marketing & Digital Strategy for Pixel Storm.
The Cisco Champions campaign is another excellent example of B2B influencer marketing in action. The campaign connected top experts from the IT industry, enabling them to make an appearance on their podcast, radio, or video. The “champions” also get to enjoy other perks like early access to new products, which they can test and give feedback.
Jacek Żmudziński, Senior Marketing Specialist with Future Processing, said, “Making an appearance on one of Cisco's digital media was a good enough incentive, and combined with additional training as well as early access to products, it became one of the best campaigns ever.”
In his latest blog, #CiscoChampion @shaidom shares why the #CiscoCatalyst 9124 outdoor wireless access point is a must-have as organizations look to leverage outdoor spaces to enable a safer environment for their employees and customers. #Wifi6 https://t.co/ngLn6z5yUY— Cisco Insider Champion (@CiscoChampion) June 9, 2021
Informative and helpful “how-to” content is perfect for influencer marketing campaigns that involve B2B products that require a bit of time to understand.
That’s why InVideo incorporates a lot of “how-to” and “use case” content in their influencer marketing. Sanket Shah, CEO of InVideo, contributed their B2B influencer marketing case study as an example.
He explained that the InVideo tool simplifies video creation and editing. But for novice users using the tool for the first time, there may be a few challenges.
“In order to establish our USP and create the right impression, we firstly maintain a YouTube channel where we cast a famous vlogger to explain the steps of video editing with InVideo step-by-step,” he said.
InVideo also displays examples of their most important and famous clients as well as videographers to demonstrate the usages of the software. “This has helped us to a great extent to get more businesses interested in our software tool with reassurance from known faces,” Sanket said.
Like InVideo, Okta also leverages testimonials from reputable brands in their B2B influencer marketing. “People were convinced because there are testimonials from previous customers, making this campaign a huge hit,” said Caroline Lee, co-founder of CocoSign.
“One particularly popular example is that of 20th Century Fox which explains how they used Okta to create a seamless experience on multiple cloud-based applications,” added Olivia Tan from CocoFax.
Marcin Stryjecki, SEO Product Manager of Booksy, contributed an interesting B2B influencer marketing example from Introhive. He explained how the company managed to enter new markets with the help of influencer marketing.
Realizing the reluctance of the legal community to adopt CRM systems, Introhive released a playbook with answers to the biggest problems faced by professionals in the industry. The playbook was widely promoted by keynote speakers at events such as the Legal Marketing Association conference.
“The industry wanted solutions, and they provided them in a clear-cut way. Identifying the pitfalls of legal marketing was key to their success here,” Marcin explained.
“Introhive knew exactly what the issues were and what to do to mitigate them. As such, the playbook noted more downloads in the first month than the history of all their reports combined,” he added.
10. Point Blank SEO
Jon Cooper's link-building blog, Point Blank SEO enhanced site traffic and received more subscribers by guest posting on Moz and YouMoz.
“The number of visitors to his blog expanded to 400, in just 24 hours of being promoted as a guest blogger on Moz,” explained Shiv Gupta, Founder of Incrementors.
For this event, they invited top industry influencers and experts to speak (including Rand Fishkin, Nathan Latka, Wes Bush, and April Dunford). “The speakers were more than willing to invite their audience to the summit and we generated 2000+ leads for user.com,” she explained.
11. Pixel Storm
Paula Glynn from Pixel Storm also shared their own experience executing a B2B influencer marketing campaign like that of IBM. But they added a little twist – in addition to their employees, they also brought in their loyal customers and business partners to advocate for the company in the B2B marketing sphere.
“The experience was extraordinary and better than we had expected. We got a huge number of new leads and clients by the end of the first month of the beginning of our marketing campaign. I believe nothing would have worked this better for our B2B influencer marketing campaign,” she said.
In addition to sharing her favourite B2B influencer marketing example from Okta, Caroline Lee of CocoSign also shared her own experience working with influencers.
She explained that sponsored media content has been the most effective for her team. “Since there are many users of social media, it has been a perfect opportunity to promote CocoSign. After the sponsored media content, users of our platform increased,” she said.
Refinitiv provides data and infrastructure in the financial market. Since the company launched their B2B influencer marketing campaign in 2018, they managed to build a strong presence on social media around topics such as #finserv and #fintech.
However, their reach and engagement was mostly limited to the U.S. and U.K. markets. So the company decided to launch a truly global influencer campaign in 2020 with the goal to reach audiences in Asia. To achieve this goal, they hosted a 24-hour Follow the Sun livestream campaign on LinkedIn focusing on FinServ and fintech predictions for the following year.
The campaign involved 34 industry influencers and took place in various times across APAC, EMEA, and AMERS regions. Refinitiv was able to reach 7.8 million people with 12,000+ livestream views and thousands of engagements.
14. Birchwood Park
Birchwood Park wanted to enhance its reputation among business owners and potential occupiers as a leading business destination. To accomplish this goal, they leveraged the power of influential publications with the ability to reach their target audience.
They created campaigns that got coverage in leading business and trade publications as well as regional publications. Birchwood Park’s key priority areas were also highlighted through thought leadership and feature pieces. Additionally, there was targeted paid and organic social activity to further spread awareness and boost community engagement.
This campaign managed to reach 28 million people through 330+ pieces of coverage.
While U.S-based tech giant, Acquia was already a recognised brand in their home market, they were lesser known in Europe. So when they decided to expand their reach to the U.K., they launched an effective B2B influencer programme called #AcquiaInspire.
The campaign featured key opinion leaders who shared their experiences and insights with the goal to inspire senior professionals in digital transformation and customer experience.
Throughout the course of two years, 70 B2B influencers actively participated in the #AcquiaInspire campaign and drove an organic reach of 25 million. They achieved nearly 4,000 engagements through 1,200 content shares. Needless to say, Acquia’s influencer Share of Voice managed to exceed their U.K competitors.
In the case of Shive-Hattery, the company’s exceptional team members served as the “influencers” for their culture-focused Instagram campaign.
The architecture and engineering design firm was already recognised among prospective employees for their engineering expertise. However, the design aspect of their service offering was lesser known, which made it challenging for the HR team to attract talented architects needed for their firm to grow.
They used Instagram to highlight their values-driven workplace through employee stories. This involved sharing images that showcased the firm’s culture and strategically pairing them with captions from employee interviews. They also shared employee feature posts and career stories as well as posts showcasing the firm’s history.
Shive-Hattery had started from scratch but managed to acquire 975 followers and drive 4,400 engagements within the first year.
When Smartsheet wanted to raise awareness about their app’s integration with Microsoft Teams, they turned to influencers. The company launched a campaign featuring respected and visible experts who could help them build awareness about the integration and boost social reach while also cultivating community.
Named #FruitfulWork, the campaign involved sharing co-created brand and sponsored content across leading social networks. Smartsheet worked with a variety of influencers including productivity experts, employee ambassadors, client ambassadors, and relevant niche influencers.
They developed a creative theme where different work styles were associated with common fruits. The influencers then shared tips on how to collaborate with other “fruits” using the Microsoft Teams integration.
Smartsheet managed to generate 10,259 pageviews on the campaign content along with 23,000 video views. The company successfully achieved their goal as is apparent from 30% increase in app downloads.
Making B2B influencer marketing work for you
These brilliant B2B marketing examples can serve as an inspiration for your future campaigns. They also show you how it’s important to keep your target audience in mind when selecting influencers or deciding on a campaign approach.
According to Natalie Luneva, B2B influencer marketing is less about hiring influencers for direct product/service promotions and more about connecting with the influencer audience by providing real value.
“Nowadays, more and more companies are starting to use podcasts and webinars as a growth tool and invite industry influencers as guests. Influencers share the podcast/webinar info with their audience, teach them something, and mention the organizer as well. It’s not a direct promotion but a better and more natural way to connect with an influencer’s audience,” she said.
Now that you’ve seen some of the best B2B influencer marketing examples, it’s time to start creating your own. Download the comprehensive and relevant B2B influencer marketing guide for free.