Like us collect data For new state of B2B influencer marketing report, it remains to be seen whether the 96% of last year’s B2B marketers confident in influencer marketing will come out, especially after the effects of the pandemic . With the evolution of B2B market models to digital first, influencer engagement has grown for many marketers as an alternative to spending on field marketing, real world events, and trade shows.
As B2B buyers increasingly rely on digital news sources, statistics such as 74% of B2B marketers say influencer marketing impacts the experience of customers and prospects. , becomes even more important. While this trust before and since the pandemic has opened the doors for many other B2B brands that are experimenting, piloting and learning about influencer engagement, this increase in activity has increased competition. So how can B2B brands raise the bar for their influencer marketing efforts?
Here’s a pretty compelling statistic from the State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research report:
12 times more B2B marketers are very successful at running Always-On influencer programs compared to those who engage periodically.
Ongoing influencer marketing is the practice of building relationships, engaging and activating a specified group of influencers on an ongoing basis to build community, content, and brand advocacy. The importance of Always-On influence is more important than ever in a world of customer-centric B2B marketing. As Brian Solis, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, says,
“Thought leadership and ongoing influence are more important than ever because the customer never turns off. »@Briansolis
In our research and a survey of hundreds of B2B marketers, we found some key benefits of an Always-On approach to working with B2B influencers:
- 75% Increase in views of brand content
- 70% Improved credibility of brand content
- 60% Increase in the share of votes
- 55% Increase in media mentions of the brand
- 50% increase in brand promotion
Permanent influence creates momentum in B2B marketing
The great irony of the number of B2B brands that work with influencers and an Always On approach is that many marketers see influencer marketing as buying on-demand advertising. They want to work with influencers only when they need them to amplify the content of a campaign. This just isn’t how it works – engage with influencers only when you need them to do something for you.
Influencers are people, and influencer marketing is a relationship business. An always active approach to working with influencers always involves activations at the campaign level, but also a planned and persistent effort to intelligently use the information to monitor, engage and advance mutual goals between the brand and the influencers. Smart B2B marketers apply Always-On best practices such as ongoing maintenance, reorienting influencer content, micro-activations, engaging public and private influencers, building an influencer community and inspiring organic advocacy.
What does Always-On B2B influencer marketing look like in action?
LinkedIn has built relationships with a community of business and marketing influencers of over 75 industry professionals using an ongoing approach to influencer engagement.
Starting from an Always On focused approach in influencer marketing strategy, influencers were sought according to criteria, qualified and committed. Then, rather than activating them all for a short-term campaign, these influencers were nurtured and activated on an ongoing basis through various types of content tactics ranging from simple social interactions to content contributions and ultimately (for some) to feature. in marketing. active on the LinkedIn platform itself.
Activations of influencers still active on LinkedIn:
- Social First Influencer content on LinkedIn
- Influencer interviews
- Electronic book contributions
- In-person event to co-create content
- Conference mixers
- Ongoing social development
The results of an Always-On approach over a small period of time include:
- Over 2,000 brand mentions by influencers and networks
- 84 million social reach thanks to influencer shares
- 200-450% above the benchmark social commitment
LinkedIn is very much in tune with how they want to be known in the industry and what that reputation, thought leadership, and credibility means in combination with the importance of authenticity and trust. Developing relationships with the people who actively drive conversations, opinions and actions in the industry allows LinkedIn to have an on-demand community of lawyers as well as influencers who gain even more credibility through the association. with the LinkedIn brand and the quality of the content collaborations.
“An always active approach means that the relationship stops being ‘transactional’. Through this foundation, we were able to immediately activate influencers for external and public advocacy and amplification. Garnor Morantes, Group Marketing Manager, LinkedIn
Using an on-going approach to engaging B2B influencers can help marketers achieve meaningful results, especially with customers digitally prioritizing where they discover, consume, and engage with credible information. to make purchasing decisions:
- Strengthen brand awareness
- Improve industry credibility
- Warming up the business development and sales market
- Drive demand and lead generation with content
- Inspire word of mouth
- Build trust for the brand and solutions
- Become the best answer to the brand’s areas of expertise
To learn more about permanent influencer marketing, see our influencer marketing publication series or talk to one of our experts at TopRank Marketing, where we’ve worked with many mid-sized and corporate B2B brands to create inspiring marketing experiences.
« TopRank Marketing is the benchmark for B2B influencer marketing. »
@BrianSolis, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce