“B2B influencer, a job with a future”, Lalée Pinoncely (adopte.co)

Influencers are now well established in the internet landscape, so much so that those who are the most successful even make it their profession. A phenomenon quite visible in the “consumer” universe, but which also appears – even if it is more discreet – in the professional world. And here too, this trend is leading to the emergence of new professions, such as that of BtoB influencer.

But what is a BtoC influencer? What makes it different from the BtoB influencer? And first – without going into technical details – what is an influencer at all? A simple (and somewhat simplistic), but practical definition, consists in defining the influencer as a prescriber and relay of trends, opinions or ideas, present on social networks (but not only), and bringing together a community of fans with which he interacts.

To be recognized as such, regardless of the audience they are addressing, our influencer must meet at least two of these three conditions: be an expert in their field, be a content creator and/or curator and create a common. Here are the prerequisites.

More requirements

Now, how to define the specificities of the BtoB influencer? First, the latter extends into an elementary universe different from the BtoC world. The expectations of professionals correspond more to requirements, because the stakes are often considerable. It is therefore not a question of giving them unusable or non-applicable information. And it is here that the expert status of the BtoB influencer takes on its full value.

Himself an involved professional, a specialist in his subject, he engages with other professionals (his community) who, very often, have the tools to judge the relevance of his remarks. Clearly, the BtoB influencer does not have too much room for error.

Then, if the influencer in general is present on social networks, the BtoB influencer uses a wider variety of communication channels as vectors of influence. In fact, there are only a few social networks really popular with BtoB audiences: these are mainly Linkedin and Twitter, likely to add professional blogs. But the BtoB influencer is above all distinguished from the others by his regular presence in the many events that punctuate professional life: seminars and congresses, conferences and round tables, written and audiovisual press, among others.

A technique of lobbying

The professional character of the BtoB influencer is therefore indisputable. But does he practice a real job? In other words, are we witnessing the emergence of a new profession, as we have seen in BtoC, with personalities who live (sometimes very comfortably) on the income generated by their activity on social networks? ?

Insofar as BtoB influence marketing is characterized more by the notions of expertise and competence, we can without hesitation consider it as akin to a lobbying technique and, therefore, as a separate professional activity. whole.

The fact is that many BtoB influencers – especially those who are also business leaders – do not receive any remuneration, and even that remuneration would discredit their proposal. However, there is a typology of “independent” BtoB influencers.

Connector influencers

These influencers, who can be described as “connectors”, take on the task of identifying issues and then sharing the solution(s) with their ecosystem, ensuring information monitoring and curation, or to bring together communities which were unaware of each other, but which have things to share.

For these, it is not clear what, from an ethical point of view, could prevent them from benefiting from fair remuneration for their very real work and the investment in time spent and in skills acquisition. This is already the case with the principle of sponsored content, which has existed for a long time in BtoC and is developing in the BtoB sphere.

There is a condition to be set in order to maintain the essential trust between the influencer and his community: the sponsored solutions delivered by the influencer must respond to the issue raised, and the sponsor must be clearly identified as such. Once this principle has been applied, it is worth asking what can stand in the way of a trivialization of the idea of ​​remuneration for BtoB influencers.

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