In 2021 B2B marketers have witnessed a continuing rise in the power of influence, expanding on the explosion of interest in the practice of B2B influencer marketing over the past several years. With more savvy practitioners than ever going all-in, B2B influencer marketing has continued to be a primary focus on our blog throughout the year.
We’re fortunate to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank Marketing blog — which will celebrate its 19th year in 2022, and as an industry topping $20 billion annually, influencer marketing has grown in sophistication. The insight and expertise our team has acquired helping some of the top brands in the world including 3M, Adobe, SAP, LinkedIn, and Oracle plan, implement and measure influencer programs has often made it here to our blog. To help our blog community grow their influencer marketing knowledge, we’re happy to offer this list of our most popular influencer marketing posts of 2021.
Collaborating with influencers is something we do daily for clients and ourselves, and during the global health crisis influencer engagement has become even more central to our B2B content marketing solutions, alongside social media marketing, SEO, and other forms of digital advertising.
The 10 B2B influencer marketing posts that proved to be our most popular of 2020 are listed below. We hope that they will help you ask the right questions and provide truly best-answer solutions to some of the most important challenges we’ll all face in 2022.
We give a massive thank you to all of our blog authors for their work in advocating influencer marketing best practices, and to each of you who read our blog.
Our Most Popular Influencer Marketing Posts in 2021:
1. 50 Top B2B Marketing Influencers, Experts and Speakers To Follow In 2022 — Lane R. Ellis
Our annual list of 50 top B2B marketing influencers to follow offered a refreshing mix of professionals to learn from into 2022 and beyond, and it proved to be the most popular influencer marketing post of 2021 on our blog.
This year’s list highlighted the increasing importance of resonance over mere follower numbers, as audience size itself is not a predictor of a successful outcome, and we also placed increased importance on the degree to which each influencer’s social activity has driven engagement on the topic of B2B marketing among their audience.“The business landscape of 2021 includes a wealth of B2B influencers who are shaping the future of marketing for 2022 and beyond.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
Our CEO Lee Odden wrote the second most popular influencer marketing post of 2021 on our blog, introducing our 2021 B2B influencer marketing study.
How can you help shape the future of B2B influencer marketing? Join some of the top B2B brands in the world by taking the 2021 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Survey. As more B2B brands enter the realm of influence and grow more sophisticated with the practice, there are important questions to be answered, and in our second most popular B2B influencer marketing post of 2021, Lee explores them all.“Optimizing marketing experiences with influence represents one of the most important digital growth strategies in 2021 and beyond.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
Our third most popular influencer marketing article of the year was also penned by Lee, who shared 45 key statistics to optimize your marketing — insights from our groundbreaking State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, to help inspire meaningful engagement and community, motivate authentic brand advocacy, and boost influence among brand executives and subject matter experts
Whether you’re just getting started and considering a pilot project or are looking to optimize your existing influencer marketing efforts, this insightful post by Lee is chock full of data-backed B2B influencer marketing tactics.“Engaging with influencers provides a myriad of competitive advantages.” — Rani Mani, Head of Employee Advocacy at Adobe @ranimani0707 Click To Tweet
4. 5 Examples of B2B Brands Rocking With Influence in 2021 — Lane R. Ellis
In the fourth most popular influencer marketing post of 2020, we looked at how influence helps B2B brands achieve success, and I shared how Dotgo, Mastercard, Google, Oracle, and Northwestern Mutual are rocking with the power of influence by engaging audiences and telling captivating brand stories.“Companies do need to be more customer-centric, deliver a better customer experience, personalize the content, align with sales, and measure themselves differently.” — Kelvin Gee of @Oracle Click To Tweet
5. B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy: 5 Questions to Ask First — Lee Odden
What do B2B brands need to know before beginning their influencer marketing journey?
In our fifth most popular influencer marketing post of the year, Lee shared 5 top questions to ask first, from influencer engagement models and operational considerations to dark influence and more.“Influencer engagement is not simply an advertising buy or some kind of programmatic marketing tactic. It’s simultaneously dynamic and open to certain kinds of optimization and scale through process, operations and expertise.” — @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
How can you successfully scale B2B influencer marketing?
In our sixth most popular post of the year, Lee showed the strategy, process and technology to scale and optimize while still maintaining the highest levels of quality. This insightful piece will help B2B marketers learn the key B2B influencer operations that drive influence at scale.“The operations behind influencer marketing is the less glamorous yet essential side of relational business. You need to come up with a strategy, plan of action, and a process.” Ursula Ringham @UrsulaRingham Click To Tweet
7. Top 5 Benefits of Influencer Marketing for B2B Brands — Lee Odden
From accelerating pipeline to boosting SEO, in our seventh most popular B2B influencer marketing posts of the year Lee shared the most impactful benefits that come from working with both external and internal influencers at B2B companies.“While many B2B marketers may skim the surface of what’s possible from working with influencers, those who can look a little deeper can find tremendous upside and value.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
How does influence add value when integrated with B2B content marketing?
Lee explores the value of influencer content integration, and shares top opportunities for content that’s optimized for both findability and credibility, in this helpful article that was our eighth most popular B2B influencer marketing post of 2021.“Customers know authenticity when they see it and naturally trust humans more than brands. Working with credible B2B influencers helps to build brand authority through real, human conversations and interactions.” — Sarita Rao @saritasayso Click To Tweet
9. 5 Ways B2B Marketers Sabotage Influencer Marketing Success — Lee Odden
Have you succumb to any of these 5 all-too-common approaches to B2B influencer marketing that end up sabotaging your strategy?
- Waiting to Recruit
- Believing the Hype
- Content Mismatch
- Transaction = Little Action
- Failure to Communicate
In our ninth most-popular B2B influencer marketing post of the year, Lee shared best practices to overcome each and achieve greater levels of expertise, empathy, and skill.“Avoiding bad practices is a strong first step to ensuring investments in influencer marketing programs result in expected returns.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
10. Inside B2B Influence 14: Ann Handley of MarketingProfs on Content Marketing and Influence — Lee Odden
What is the B2B content and influence connection?
In the tenth most popular B2B influencer marketing article of the year, Lee was joined by Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs, for the kickoff episode of our #InsideB2BInfluence show’s second season. Together Ann and Lee explored confluence, the nature of influence, trends in influencer content collaboration, plus much more.“Everybody has influence, but not everybody has credibility.” — Ann Handley @marketingprofs Click To Tweet
Thanks TopRank Marketing Readers & Writers
With that you now have our full list for 2021 — a powerful selection of the 10 most popular B2B influencer marketing posts to guide and inform your own B2B marketing in 2022.
We published dozens of posts this year specifically about B2B influencer marketing, and we plan to bring you even more in 2022, so stay tuned.
Please let us know which influencer marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2022 — we’d be honored to hear your suggestions.
Many thanks to each of you who read our blog regularly, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels at Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.