You Ask, I Answer: B2B Influencer Marketing On The Rise

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You Ask, I Answer_ B2B Influencer Marketing On The Rise

Tammy asks, “Are you seeing the use of #socialmedia influencers for B2B on the rise? I think most of us primarily think of it in terms of B2C.”

B2B #InfluencerMarketing is already huge, especially in tech #B2B. I work with IBM on this front as well as a few other companies. Many of our peers do as well.

The difference between B2B and B2C is real in #influencer #marketing compared to the rest of marketing. B2B requires, I’d argue, much more refined domain expertise and specific chops than B2C.

Watch the video for more details.

You Ask, I Answer: B2B Influencer Marketing On The Rise

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Tammy asks, Are you seeing the use of social media influencers for b2b on the rise, I think most of us primarily think of it in terms of b2c

as funny because, for me b2b influencer marketing is already huge, especially in technology and b2b technology, marketing technology, it a Service Cloud all that stuff there is a tremendous influencer marketing wave already in place. So I

work with IBM, for example, the lovely IBM certificate right here.

I work with IBM on cloud and on analytics and things like that and help promote things like IBM Watson studio, for example, FTC disclosure My company is an IBM Business Partner, if you buy anything from us for IBM, we get some compensation for it.

And there’s a trouble this amount of I would say smaller influencer activity

than b2c. When we think of b2c we have a tendency to think of like really big B to C influencers, like the Kardashians, right, and, and,

and major celebrities, but they’re also a ton of other

folks in b2c with smaller audiences. The same is true in b2b. There are a few, like really big b2b influencers, typically, they’re also speakers, for example, someone like a Malcolm Gladwell,

who is very popular in b2b circles, somewhere to Seth Godin, very popular in b2b circles, that wouldn’t necessarily popular in in the b2c circles. And then there is a, I think, a much larger tier of mid level influencers than and b2c and b2c, it’s kind of, you know, you have the major celebrities and you have everybody with 500 followers, Instagram, trying to be a food, influencer,

in b2b there is, I think, much more of that

granularity, which is you can have people hundreds of thousands of followers, thousands of followers, even hundreds of followers as far in terms of audience sizes,

and they do okay, because

the dynamics of b2b sales are that you don’t need a lot of people, you need the right people, whereas on b2c, you do need volume except for high value sales, like mortgages.

But on b2b, if the top 50 CMOS in the world all follow you guess what, you only need

50 people

to be interested, incredibly influential,

because most b2b sales are also complex sales. There’s also more nuance about where an influencer plays a role with b2c, particularly transactional, b2c, the purchase cycle is very short. So an influencer has to be able to get awareness, build consideration, get evaluation and, and purchase all within a very short period of time with b2b

you can be influential just in a very now a part of a very large sales cycle and still be able to deliver tremendous value to a company because the company selling for example, say firewalls, they may have no problem with awareness, but they may have a great deal of issues with credibility, like people may not understand that their their firewall is

slightly more secure than the competitors, but in a unique way. And so an influencer, who can

speak credibly about how modern threats are targeted to as a very specific little angle can be very influential in overcoming bias hesitation. Someone like a Brian Krebs, for example, or Bruce Schneier would be the type of people that say, okay, yep, that that person can help overcome our credibility issue. So there’s a difference there. b2b,

particularly complex b2b, I would argue is also requires a lot more very specific domain expertise than their counterparts and b2c, someone with

5000 followers and b2b who’s specify specific in, say, machine learning,

that’s someone

who’s going to need to be able to talk to their audience credibly

about the very detailed specifics

of machine learning. Like this person is an expert, maybe even in in just reinforcement learning.

Or maybe they’re just influential in ATL, whereas someone with 5000 followers and b2c, they still require expertise, they still need to know what they’re talking about,

but there may not be as much nuance to it. Someone if, for example, is who’s doing travel photography

and has 5000 followers, they’ve got to go to interesting places,

and they should have a unique point of view that is

different than everybody else who’s doing travel photography,

but they don’t know necessarily need to be exacting in their in their expertise in order to be to be credible, and in order to create influence to

to create awareness, consideration, evaluation and purchase.

So those are

there those are the differences I would say between two influencers. And one of the reasons why people don’t think of b2b influencers first, I think there’s tremendous potential for influencers in b2b. There’s also one other catch

b2c is very difficult to quantify, particularly when there’s so much other interference, big brand campaigns and stuff like that.

On the b2b side, b2b,

his tradition has been much better at analytics, tracking, and ROI marketing automation systems are typically tuned for b2b, which means that influences have to be able to prove their value much more rigidly than B to C, and B to C. And you can have some say, hey, the celebrity was at our car launch and got 100 million people to look at the car. And that’s a success in b2b. It’s like, hmm, so how many leads drive, right? How many? How many mq else showed up in in, in our marketing automation software? How many opportunities Did you bring in? How many deals Have you pushed forward,

because of the nature of b2b analytics, it can be a little more challenging

for influencers, to be able to really prove their value.

Not always, but companies in b2b do, take a much harder look at like,

what’s the ROI here than a b2c company that is willing to accept like, Hey, you just help build our brand, right? You just we don’t, we’re not even gonna attempt to quantify it. We just know that having your name attached to our thing is a good thing

I would definitely say for any company that is considering b2b influence look at your cost per acquisition for new audience in particular,

go and do your numbers like what does it cost you to get a lead What does it cost you to get a prospect What does it cost you to get an SQL or an SQL or whatever it is in your marketing automation system and then when you start looking at influencers say okay influencer in your experience you have you brought in 50 prospects if I if we pay for you to speak at this show,

will you what’s likely you’ll move had the KPI that that you care about most

you will find depending on the influencer, if it’s the

right influencers, just like a VC, if it’s the right influencers, they will move the needle for you on the right metrics that that move your business forward.

I know a campaign I did for IBM, one of the things that we were being

asked to do is drive traffic to a particular site. And, you know, we have we all have very good analytics and the show Yep, hey, look, this many more people walked in the door and signed up for free trials of the thing. And that’s how success was measured. And so there’s a lot of great ways to measure b2b influencers. There’s a lot of great b2b influencers out there. And it is absolutely something that b2b marketers should be considering, and evaluating and deciding, yep, I want to I want that person’s expertise to to be loaned to my brand and my products and services to drive my marketing numbers. So great question Tammy. As always, if you got questions, please leave them in the comments and subscribe to the YouTube channel newsletter. I’ll talk to you soon. Take

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One response to “You Ask, I Answer: B2B Influencer Marketing On The Rise”

  1. Robert H. Woodman Avatar
    Robert H. Woodman

    This is good information, but I have a more basic question about B2B influencer marketing. My company manufactures specialty chemicals for a niche market. We know that companies use our products, but we need some influencers to help drive our sales more. The problem is that companies that use our products are typically quite secretive about their patented products, which are typically used in highly regulated environments.

    To counter this secrecy, I have been blogging for my company on the company’s blog site about published reports in scientific journals where individual researchers and research groups have used our products successfully. This has helped drive sales a little bit, but not much. I also do social media outreach (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) on behalf of my company.

    What I would really like to do if find influencers who can speak credibly about our products. Unfortunately, the people who would be the best influencers work in this niche industrial space and are bound by company policy and/or NDAs not to talk about what they do. So, given all of that, how do I go about finding people who are influencers but who can also talk about how our products can make these products better? Or am I sort of stuck since this is a normally-highly-regulated niche market?

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