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Influencer marketing has rapidly matured and keeps the interest of marketers also in 2020.  No digital marketing strategy should miss the golden opportunity. But how does it fit in our B2B strategy in 2020, who are the right influencer?

B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy
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Dieter Hovorka

CTO, Co-founder, Skillz Middle East

Where does Influencer Marketing fit in the B2B marketing mix?

In today’s infographic, authored by Ashley Zeckman of agency TopRank Marketing, focuses on B2B influencers – specifically, on how to build a B2B influencer marketing strategy.

When most of us hear the phrase “Influencer Marketing” our brains quickly jump to an image of the reality stars we love to hate pushing their latest protein shake or fashion wear.

But don’t fret B2B marketers, that’s not what we’re talking about today.

At the core, influencer marketing for B2B Is about partnering with Industry experts to add credibility to and support great brand content.

”Influencer marketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals”

Does B2B Influencer Marketing Really Work?

Check Out These Statistics:

  • 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations (ION)
  • Influencer campaigns earn $6.50 for every $1 spent (Tomoson)
  • 22% of marketers say influencer marketing Is the most cost-effective method of obtaining new customers (Tomoson)

Depending on your objective, there are many places you could start on your influencer marketing journey. Let’s assume for a second that you’re looking to build awareness around a new offering aligned with tech innovation in your industry. However, your audience is either resistant to or not aware of the benefits of this offering.

That is exactly what your client Prophix was experiencing around the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in the finance industry.

Their target (financial professionals) will very shortly see the impact of AI on their business but are understandably a bot leery and unsure of what that really means. So, we enlisted the help of finance and AI pros to tackle the topic with a fun, interactive, multi-media twist.

Results of the Prophix Interactive Influencer Microsite Campaign.

  • 64% increase in engagement
  • 10% conversation rate to gated assets
  • 86 new keyword rankings

What Does It Take to Get Leadership Buy-In on Influencer Marketing?

The most effective way to get leadership on board with a new program like influencer marketing is to do your homework. devise a hypothesis and recommend a pilot.

Executive leadership teams will want to see proof that influencer marketing is not only a viable tactic but also ono that can support the objectives of their business.

The nature of influencer-content programs is that they can support multiple objectives from awareness to engagement to conversion. When you’re developing your list of tactics and determining what types of influencers you’d like to work with, you have to keep your objectives In mind.

As with any tactic, it’s important to show how an influencer program can support key business objectives. Before going all-in, work with your internal team or an Influencer marketing agency to develop a pilot that will allow you to show a success.

Should You Focus on Short-Term Gain or Long Term Reward?

There are many phases on the road to Influencer marketing maturity, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on two.

Influencer Campaigns

Large and medium-sized brands are often looking for influencer campaigns to help generate quick awareness around a specific idea quickly. Campaigns are a great source for shedding light on a new idea and creating a splash in the Industry. This approach has proven to be very effective; campaigns create spikes of activity.

However, all of the hard-work and buzz eventually wears off if you don’t make a significant investment in ongoing promotion and optimization. Once you move on from promoting and optimizing campaign assets. your content (and the relationships you’ve begun to build with Influencers) will lose its value.

Always-On Influencer Programs

If you’re looking for an integrated. long-term play, an always-on approach to influencer marketing is your best bet. Overtime. you can focus on aligning your brand with the right Influencers (which we’ll explore below) and open the door for opportunities that include. but are by no means limited to content creation.

You can also recruit experts to speak at Industry events, host webinars, share briefings, spotlight interviews-the options are really endless. In addition, you can still integrate campaigns into the always-on influencer marketing mix. This Integration can enhance your audience and Influencer nurturing capabilities, create a steady content drumbeat and more.

Ultimately, you have to decide: Do you want the quick small win or the long-term steady benefit?

How Do You Choose the RIGHT Influencers for Your Brand?

Deciding on that finding tho right Influencer mix means using the right tactics to focus on the right topics to identify, qualify and engage the right experts.

Each Influencer type holds a different value for your audience and your brand. Here are a few brief descriptions:

  • Brandividual: A recognizable expert in the field with extensive network size who will broaden your network reach.
  • Up-and-Comer:  An individual who resonates well with their audience and is someone very motivated to engage and share.
  • Niche Expert:  A unique expert who can provide deep expertise on very specific topics. This kind of thought leader also provides hyper-relevant content for your audience.
  • Internal Expert:  An internal expert or leader within your company, this Individual can help build brand recognition and thought leadership.
  • Customer: An existing customer who fits ideal customer profiles who can help prospects see themselves in the content and your brand.

Choosing the right influencers can make it or break your program. Be selective in who you work with.

Is B2B Influencer Marketing Right for My Brand?

Now that we’ve covered the basic questions about developing a successful B2B influencer marketing strategy. It’s time for you to ask yourself: Is influencer marketing right for my brand? In most cases, there is absolutely an opportunity to collaborate with influencers to co-create content and improve marketing performance you?At its core, influencer marketing for B2B is about partnering with industry experts to add credibility, distribution, and engagement to great brand content,” explains TopRank CEO Lee Odden in the Social Media Today post accompanying the B2B influencer marketing infographic.

How to Build a B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy in 2020

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