This week at MarketingProfs B2B forum, some of my favorite influencer marketers took the stage for a lively discussion on how they’ve been able to scale content creation by collaborating with influencers.
The panel was led by TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden and included the following rockstar marketers:
Dr. Konstanze Alex – Head of Corporate Influencer Relations, Dell
Amisha Gandhi – Vice President, Influencer Marketing, SAP Ariba
Luciana Moran – Senior Vice President, Content & Creative, Dun & Bradstreet
If you’re interested in influencer marketing, then you’re in for a real treat. In this post, I’ll outline some of the best insights for B2B influencer success. But first, let’s look at WHY influencer marketing is a must-have for B2B marketers.
The Current State of B2B Marketing
To open up the discussion, Lee walked the audience through some B2B highlights.
According to CMI and MarketingProfs, 50% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is a top challenge. It doesn’t matter if you’re a large organization or small business, the struggle is the same.
One way to increase quality content production is to collaborate with influencers. And, interest in influencer marketing among marketers is currently outpacing trending searches for content, social and email.
Unfortunately, when it comes to implementation of influencer marketing, B2B marketers are still trailing behind their B2C counterparts. Which is why this panel of experts is here to help!
Exploring the Benefits of Collaborating with Influencers
In Luciana’s experience, working with influencers has been instrumental in growing their audience. Even when you’re implementing tactics such as PR, paid and organic content, your reach is only going to get so far.
Additionally, working with influencers can help you build credibility both internally and externally. One of the reasons is because it can help to humanize your brand. Because so much of what we do is digital, influencers can help humanize your marketing.
At Dell, Konstanze and her team have created the B2B Luminaries influencer program. One key factor with Dell’s program is that their B2B buyers are also consumers. So partnering with influencers has proven essential for building trust. Dell focuses on partnering with deep subject matter experts and conducts extensive research to ensure that they’re partnering with the right people.
Amisha and her team at SAP have done a fantastic job of working with influencers that offer different value. They partner with a mix of influencers which includes people who have hyper-relevant expertise, large network size or are effective at building awareness.
Advice for Measuring Influencer Marketing Success
Konnie cautions brands not to focus so much on vanity metrics. Of course, everyone still uses them but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We now have more and more data around content engagement but should also begin tracking how are our influencers performing overall and what is considered awareness versus conversion information.
To Amisha, engagement metrics are their top priorities. Additionally, they are effectively tracking downloads, views and shares which allows them to create a complete picture of how the program is performing.
Luciana advises anyone executing influencer marketing to be very clear up-front with the team what the goals are and the impact you expect it to have on the business.
Where Should You Start?
Luciana encourages marketers to start with their regular content roadmaps and then identify areas where you can incorporate influencers. Then determine if it makes sense to partner with an external agency. You’ll want to start building your influencer program gradually so that you can remain nimble and identify what is working and what isn’t.
Want More Influencer Marketing Advice?
Thank you to Konnie, Amisha, Luciana and Lee for all of the great insights! For more from these great marketers, download our new un-gated eBook: The Business of Influence – Formulas for Success from Top B2B Brands.
Disclosure: SAP and Dell are TopRank Marketing clients.