How To Leverage Social Media And Influencer Marketing As Part of An Inbound Strategy

Social Media And Influencer Marketing

Inbound marketing strategies aim to attract, engage, and retain prospective customers. B2B marketers are constantly looking for effective tools that help expand their reach in the digital space, captivate customers, and drive conversions. 

For a successful inbound campaign, companies must choose a widely popular platform that gives them access to a wide demographic of high-intent prospects. With 4.59 billion people worldwide using social media in 2022, social media sites are one of the most lucrative marketing platforms for brand awareness. Further, B2B brands can reach out to social media influencers, who help them build trust and credibility among their diverse and loyal audience.

Read on to learn how social media and influencer marketing can boost your inbound strategy.

Social Media Marketing: An Overview

Social media marketing (SMM) is a strategy that uses social media platforms and apps to boost brand visibility and awareness, improve user engagement, increase conversions, or achieve any other KPIs the company sets.

A comprehensive social media marketing plan comprises a set of marketing techniques, which include:

  1. Social Media Management
  2. Content Marketing and Management
  3. Paid Advertisements and Sponsored Posts
  4. Influencer Marketing

How To Use Social Media For Inbound Marketing

Have you ever asked yourself, “How is social media used in inbound strategy and research?” Moreover, how do you leverage social media marketing to boost your inbound marketing strategy?”

You can use social media to formulate buyer personas, conduct in-depth client research, build effective social webs, and upload impactful and educational content. Let us explore how the different aspects of social media marketing can be a great way to supercharge your inbound strategy.

Social Media Management

Social media management involves optimizing your brand’s social media platforms to grow your social presence, engage with clients and followers, and establish a firm footing in the digital space. Brands can use their social media profiles to:

  • Curate impactful and visually striking posts
  • Build a strong and loyal community
  • Understand what their audience needs through social media analytics
  • Keep track of competitors on social platforms
  • Communicate with the audience and keep them engaged
  • Establish brand identity
  • Expand reach by optimizing the profile with SEO
  • Gather customer opinion using polls and surveys

Content Marketing and Management

Content marketing involves the creation of blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, and other audio and visual content on social media profiles or official websites. Their primary purpose is not to advertise the brand; content marketing aims to build trustworthiness and credibility through high-quality, buyer-centric content. 

Content marketing helps in:

  • Building a brand voice
  • Improve search rankings and brand awareness with the strategic use of SEO
  • Instil a genuine interest in the product and brand
  • Educating a target demographic on topics they care about
  • Entertaining and engaging prospective buyers

Paid Advertisements and Sponsored Posts

Paid advertisements on social media show up between stories, posts, short-form or long-form videos. Some social media platforms allow brands to sponsor or boost user-generated or brand-generated posts to broadcast them to their prospects on social media.

Paid Ads:

  • Enable you to target your desired buyer personas
  • Improve brand visibility and awareness
  • Improve social media engagement
  • Boost traffic on your brand websites

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a modern-day marketing technique companies use to build brand reputation, elevate brand visibility, and boost conversions and sales. Influencers provide high-quality user-generated content (USG) that helps gain social credit and increases the brand’s credibility.

The following section provides a deep dive into how influencer marketing helps bolster your inbound strategy.

Influencer Marketing: A Guide To Developing Your Strategy

By definition, influencers are social media users who create content in one to three specific niches. Depending on the size of their audience, an influencer can be categorized as a nano, micro, macro, or mega-influencer.

Since influencers often communicate and engage with their followers, influencer marketing is the right strategy for companies who want to gain trust and build brand reputation with their target audience.

Benefits of Using Influencer Marketing in Your Social Strategy 

Incorporating influencer marketing into your inbound marketing strategy has a host of benefits. Influencer marketing:

  1. Improves brand awareness among a niche audience
  2. Increases social media followers and engagement
  3. Helps you gain reviews and feedback for your product
  4. Drives brand reputation and credibility
  5. Generates leads with high buyer intent
  6. Boost conversion rates, resulting in increased sales
  7. Gives greater Return On Investment (ROI)

How To Develop An Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

Now that you know about the benefits of influencer marketing, this begs the question, “How do you leverage social media influencers to boost your inbound strategy?”

Developing an effective influencer strategy is the key to inbound marketing success. Follow the steps below to develop an influencer marketing strategy that works best for your brand.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Defining the goals your company wants to achieve through influencer marketing is the first step to crafting an effective influencer marketing strategy. Consider answering the following questions:

  • Which KPIs are the most important for your company?
  • What were the previous goals the company had? 
  • Has your company achieved those goals successfully?
  • Do you still want to work towards those goals?
  • What are the successes of the marketing strategy that is currently in place?
  • What are the shortfalls of your current marketing strategy?
  • How could influencer marketing remedy those shortfalls?
  • Social following? Brand visibility and credibility? Conversions? Which of these is of prime importance for your company?

Answering these questions will help you analyze what you want out of your influencer campaign and frame your KPIs accordingly.

Step 2: Research thoroughly

Once you incorporate an influencer strategy into your inbound campaign, conduct exhaustive research on influencers you want to collaborate with. Compare their engagement rates and follower counts to determine if they can help you reach your marketing goals. Look for influencers in particular niches as their audience is loyal and trusting of them.

Research the following before you begin:

  • Influencers that create content in your niche
  • All the brands that the influencer in question has collaborated with
  • How many of the influencer’s followers are liking, commenting, and sharing their posts
  • Whether the influencer’s values align with those of your brand’s

Step 3: Decide on a budget

Next, decide how much you will spend on an influencer campaign. Compensation is important in influencer marketing contracts and should be mutually beneficial. If your budget is limited, you can choose from a variety of other compensation options, including but not limited to:

  • Pay-per-post
  • Pay-per-project
  • Free products
  • Pre-launch goodies
  • Special discount codes
  • Sponsored giveaways

Step 4: Put transparency at the forefront

While approaching influencers for sponsorships, be sure to be as transparent as possible. You need to frame a contract carefully, keeping the inputs of your influencer in mind. This enables you to look after your business needs while allowing creative freedom to the influencer. Encourage them to mention paid sponsorships in their posts and give honest reviews of any products they receive.

Summing Up

Social media is a powerful tool for building effective inbound funnels for B2B companies. Leveraging social media and influencer marketing for your inbound campaign builds brand reputation, improves brand visibility, generates high-intent leads, and boosts conversion rates.

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective social media marketing methods, enabling brands to establish loyalty amongst highly niche audiences. When done right, influencer marketing is cost-effective and brings in high-intent buyers, resulting in improved conversions and sales rates.
Want to experience the magic of inbound marketing for your business? The Smarketers is here to help! Contact our content marketing, SEO, and email marketing experts to leverage the power of inbound marketing for your B2B company.

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