[Research] B2B Influencer Marketing – More Important Than Ever

As B2B marketing advances with technology that enables more sophisticated audience targeting, automation, and personalization, the unsung hero is influencer marketing, which can cut through the clutter, build trust, and impact growth.  

New research by TopRank Marketing and Ascend2 finds some significant trends and predictions for B2B influencer marketing in 2024.  

Influencer Marketing Maturity: While 15% of marketers are just beginning their influencer journey, 48% of marketing teams have reached a moderate stage, with 23% achieving expert status. 
New for 2023: More than 85% said that influencer marketing is now an integral part of their marketing mix, and 23% of businesses have adopted an always-on influencer marketing program.  
Predictions for 2024: Expect more use of short-form video, more diversity with partners, and more co-creation between brands. The impact of AI is top of mind for marketers. The data shows that 42% of businesses leverage AI-powered solutions for influencer identification and research. 

The 39-page research study, The 2023 B2B Influencer Marketing Report, surveyed 425 B2B marketing decision-makers in management or higher roles. These individuals represent mid-market and enterprise B2B brands from various industries. The survey was fielded during July and August 2023. 

Here are a few insights and tips from the research study:  

Insight #1: Habits of Highly Successful Influencer Marketers  

When you compare the “very successful” influencer marketers vs. all others, you discover that utilizing an always-on influences program is critical. Also, outsourcing your program is a very successful strategy 

Credit: Ascend2

Here are five tips for outsourcing your B2B influencer marketing program.  

Strategic Partner Selection: When outsourcing your B2B influencer marketing program, prioritize selecting strategic partners who align closely with your brand values, industry, and target audience. Look for influencers with a proven track record in your niche, ensuring their expertise complements your business objectives. 
Clear Communication and Objectives: Clearly communicate your brand goals, values, and campaign objectives to your outsourcing partners. Establish a comprehensive brief that outlines key messaging, target audience, and desired outcomes. Transparent communication ensures that influencers understand your brand narrative and can authentically convey it to their audience. 
Performance Metrics and Analytics: Define measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your overall marketing goals. Establish clear expectations for deliverables and performance metrics, allowing you to assess the effectiveness of the influencer marketing campaign. Regularly monitor and analyze the data to make informed decisions and optimize the program for ongoing success. 
Legal Compliance and Contracts: Ensure legal compliance by having clear contracts in place with your outsourcing partners. Clearly outline deliverables, compensation structures, exclusivity agreements, and other relevant terms. This protects your brand and establishes a professional and ethical foundation for collaboration. 
Collaborative Content Creation: Foster a collaborative relationship with influencers during content creation. Provide them with the necessary resources, information, and creative freedom to represent your brand authentically. Developing an original research study and using influencers to generate content for it and promote it is highly effective. Encourage open dialogue to refine the content and ensure it resonates with the influencer’s audience and your B2B target demographic. This collaborative approach enhances the authenticity and effectiveness of the influencer marketing program. 

Insight #2: Benefits of an Influencer Marketing Program 

Why should your team level up your influencer marketing program? All who use influencer marketing report key benefits like increased sales revenue, more brand awareness, and improved brand reputation. However, the most advanced programs see higher benefits in many vital areas. 

Credit: Ascend2

Tip: Tap into Industry Credibility. B2B influencers often possess industry expertise and credibility, which can significantly enhance your brand’s reputation. By aligning with influencers who are respected thought leaders in your niche, you leverage their authority to endorse your brand. Their endorsement boosts credibility and positions your business as a reputable player in the industry, garnering trust from your target audience. 

Insight #3: Use of AI Influencer Marketing 

AI’s advancements are reshaping influencer marketing, and that trend will continue to grow in the years ahead.  

Credit: Ascend2

Tip: Content Personalization. Implement AI technologies to personalize content based on audience preferences and engagement patterns. AI can suggest personalized content ideas for influencers by analyzing user interactions and feedback. This ensures that the content produced by influencers is tailored to the unique interests of their followers, increasing engagement and reinforcing a genuine connection between the audience and your brand.  

Insight #4: Content Used in Influencer Marketing 

B2B influencer marketing relies on providing value to the audience. The most relevant and meaningful content is a co-creation between brand and influencer, each adding credibility and insight to the other. 

Credit: Ascend2

Tip: Facilitate Industry Networking and Collaboration. Social media platforms offer a valuable space for B2B influencers to connect, collaborate, and share insights. Encourage influencers to participate in industry-related discussions, webinars, and virtual events. Facilitate networking opportunities for influencers within your industry, fostering a sense of community. This expands the reach of your influencer marketing efforts and positions your brand as a catalyst for meaningful industry connections, further enhancing your reputation in the B2B space. 

Insight #5: Activating Influencers

Most influencer programs start small by asking a single question or soliciting a brief quote from an influencer. These contributions can be combined and repurposed into everything from eBooks to social media posts. There are many other ways to engage influencers. Various content types and activities can keep influencers enthusiastic about working with your brand and provide more engagement opportunities for your audience. 

Credit: Ascend2

3 Tips: Promoting content with B2B influencers.  

Strategic Cross-Promotion: Encourage B2B influencers to cross-promote content across social media channels and platforms. This expands the reach of your content, tapping into different audience segments and maximizing visibility. Ensure the influencers tailor their messages to resonate with each platform’s audience while maintaining a cohesive narrative that aligns with your brand. 
Create Engaging Multimedia Content: Collaborate with B2B influencers to produce diverse and engaging multimedia content. This could include videos, webinars, podcasts, or interactive content that provides value to the audience. Multimedia content tends to capture attention more effectively and is more shareable, increasing the likelihood of your message reaching a wider audience. Leverage the influencers’ creativity and expertise to craft content that is both informative and entertaining. 
Utilize Influencer Networks and Communities: Leverage the networks and communities that influencers are part of to amplify your content. Encourage influencers to share your content within industry forums, LinkedIn groups, or other relevant platforms where B2B professionals gather. By tapping into these communities, your content gains credibility and exposure among a targeted audience that values the insights and recommendations of trusted influencers within their field. 

Download the report for more insights, recommendations, and a list of 25 top influencer marketing experts to follow. Here is a link to download the report. 

The post [Research] B2B Influencer Marketing – More Important Than Ever appeared first on Convince & Convert.

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