In today’s episode, I explain how the demise of Twitter has created major challenges for measuring influence. With key conversations happening across new, disparate platforms lacking data access, brands must get creative. I advise asking your audience who influences them and embracing community-level influence in addition to individual influencers. Tune in to hear my predictions on the evolution of influencer marketing measurement and trends.
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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, Caitlin asks, What are your predictions for influencer marketing in the b2b space in 2024 and beyond? How do you foresee the industry evolving and what trends do expect to emerge? Okay, so here’s the biggest thing about influencer marketing that is going to be a challenge for pretty much the entire industry data.
A lot of influencer marketing tools have been calibrated on Twitter data.
Twitter was the most popular data source because it was an open network graph that everyone could look at that was predominantly accessible to by API.
And with the recent changes, we actually let’s let’s call a spade a spade.
Twitter is gone.
We’ve got this new company called x that has a very different population than Twitter did back in in the old days.
And a lot of the discussions, particularly for b2b marketing are happening in places where we don’t have data.
So you have the Twitter diaspora after Twitter’s demise, you now have people on x you have people on threads on mastodon on blue sky, etc, etc.
You have a ton of new communities, b2b communities, tech communities, on places like discord where there’s absolutely no monitoring whatsoever, nor is it even allowed.
You have a lot of conversations and a lot of the social media influence, if you will, on LinkedIn, which is a huge b2b source.
And again, very little data, there’s, there’s not a lot that you can get out of LinkedIn, at least not to the breadth and the depth that we get from we used to get from Twitter.
So one of the big things that major players in the space are going to need to figure out is how do you calculate influence? And there isn’t a clear answer.
There are obviously publications, things like news articles, for example, that you can you can see if someone’s in, say, martech.org, or martech post or any of the those publications, you can certainly gauge Okay, well, this person must have some influence to have you made a contributor.
You have things like speaking at events, people who are on stage inherently have more influence than people who are not on stage.
At least from a visibility perspective.
And if you think about it, a lot of the categories of influence that are out there, you have people who are sort of network hubs, they’re the center of their networks.
You have people who are subject matter experts, you have people who are broadcasters, big mouths, right? All of those different categories, again, we’re reliant on over reliant on Twitter data.
So the big question becomes, what do we do instead? How does a company judge influence? The single best way to judge influence right now, and this is going to vary from company to company, is to ask your audience is to go to your audience and say, Hey, who else do you read? Who else do you pay attention to? Send out email surveys, ask on social media, etc.
And gather that data, because ultimately, the point of b2b influence is to influence buying decisions is to influence awareness, consideration, and eventually conversion.
So we need to ask our ideal buyers and our current buyers.
Who do you pay attention to at each of these stages in your journey, so that we know where to spend our time and money.
And it may turn out, for example, that influence is not a person anymore.
This is a relatively infrequent perspective that a lot of people don’t have.
Influence isn’t just a person, right? It’s only Hey, pay attention to Christopher Penn, right? It is now also at the community level.
Hey, I’m a member of the analytics for marketers slack community, which is 3500 people.
I’m a member of the marketing AI Institute slack community of the spin sucks PR community.
And these communities have influence in of themselves.
When someone’s in for example, analytics for marketers, they ask, Hey, I’m looking to buy this thing.
Has anyone had any experience with it? No one person that community may be the influencer.
But instead, you may have a network of hundreds of people contributing their answers.
And if one answer keeps popping up over and over and over again, that community has conducted the influence.
Now, here’s the challenge.
Many of these private social media communities have absolutely no measurement.
And outsiders are not permitted to measure them, I’m permitted to see the content.
So this remains a challenge for B2B brands, that you need to have essentially ambassadors in as many communities as you can manage.
So just not even to participate, just to listen, just to pay attention, just to see where people spend their time and what they talk about.
So those are the major trends in B2B influencer marketing.
And I think it’s really important when you’re when you’re looking at engaging influencer marketing firms, influencers themselves and things like that, you’d be looking at the person, the community, and what data you have to back those decisions.
And it’s going to be really challenging for the industry to manage all three of those any of those three without a substantial amount of manual effort.
So good question.
Thanks for asking.
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