With 2022 in full swing, the team and I at TopRank Marketing are happy to share our second report on the B2B Influencer Marketing. As the business world has overcome challenges, pivoted, adjusted and innovated we’ve had a similar experience getting this research completed, analyzed and visualized for the B2B marketing world.
Without question, the pandemic has impacted all aspects of business including B2B marketing, with 74% of respondents in our survey saying they made adjustments to their go- to market strategies.
The good news is that many B2B marketers have emerged from the pandemic as confident: Nearly half of the marketers we surveyed consider their marketing very or extremely successful.
A lot of that confidence comes from a focus on what works, and 96% of marketers plan to keep some or most changes made in the past 2 years, including working with influencers. In fact, 71% indicated influencer marketing became more important during the pandemic.
In times like these, the importance of Influence is critical for B2B brands that need to connect authentically with their buyers and create meaningful experiences. @leeodden #B2BIMReport
So what’s next when it comes to B2B marketing? What do digital-first B2B influencers look like? What are the best practices and technologies for influencer marketing? How important is it for B2B brands to build influence with their employees and senior executives?
This report answers all of those questions and more including insights from some of the top B2B brands in the world including AT&T Business, Salesforce, Dell, IBM, SAP, Oracle, LinkedIn, SAS, Demandbase, Treasure Data, MarketingProfs and of course, our team at TopRank Marketing.
Here is a preview of some of our findings featuring statistics from each section of the report:
B2B Influence Elevated
- 70%+ B2B marketers say influencer marketing become more important due to the pandemic
- 72% of B2B marketers say influencer marketing improves brand reputation
- 33% of B2B marketers say influencer marketing directly impacted revenue growth
Growing Influence from Within
- 76% of B2B marketers make executive influence a priority to build credibility with customers
- 63% of B2B marketers prioritize executive influence to improve executive sales conversations
- 66% of B2B marketers working with executives say their program has been very or extremely successful at increasing brand influence
Profile of a B2B Influencer
- 77% of influencers that B2B marketers work with are industry experts and analysts
- 56% of influencers that B2B marketers work with are internal executives
- 12% of influencers that B2B marketers work with are prospective customers
B2B Influencer Marketing in Action
- 19% of B2B marketers running periodic influencer campaigns are very successful
- 31% of B2B marketers running always-on influencer programs are very successful
- 81% of B2B marketers engage influencers to create webinars
B2B Influencer Marketing at Scale
- 55% of B2B companies with 500 to 1,000 employees say working with an agency to source influencers was effective
- 27% of B2B companies with 500 to 1,000 employees say using software to find influencers was effective
- Onalytica and Traackr were the top B2B influencer marketing platforms used by B2B marketers
B2B marketers have a unique opportunity in 2022 to create more authentic, trusted and meaningful experiences for their customers, and this new report for 2022 and beyond will show you how.
TopRank Marketing is fortunate to work with some of the top B2B brands and influencers across a spectrum of industries. Rather than rely solely on the data and our insight for the report content, we decided to walk the talk and co-create this report with industry experts, thought leaders and top B2B marketing executives. Here are a few quotes from top B2B marketing executives that contributed their insights to the report:
“When it comes to where B2B influencer marketing can take business in the next few years, our only limitations are our imaginations.”
Brian Solis @briansolis
VP, Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce
“Influencers are thought to have a kind of star power. But their real gift is in their ability to help their audiences.”
Ann Handley @marketingprofs
Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
“Now is the time for B2B brands to invest in relationships with industry experts, thought leaders and creators to deliver elevated marketing experiences buyers can trust.”
Alexis Hall @Alexis5484
VP Client Accounts at TopRank Marketing
“Influencer marketing has accelerated amongst B2B brands and we’ll continue to see roles dedicated to influencer marketing since research shows buyers prefer to rely on industry experts.”
Justin Levy @justinlevy
Director, Social and Influencer Marketing at Demandbase
“To understand if an influencer is authentic, trustworthy and credible to partner with, first figure out who they are as a person. Read, listen and watch their content. What separates them?”
Ursula Ringham @ursularingham
Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP
“If the influencer fits your brand persona and core values align, it means that the content is authentic to both the company and the influencer’s audience. It is a win-win for both.”
Srijana Angdembey @srijanaa
Director, Social Media & Influencer Marketing at Oracle
“Two of the most important practices marketers should consider with influencers is to be clear on your expectations and to let the influencer have control of the creative.”
Rikky Britton @rikkybritton
Senior Brand Marketing Manager at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
“The most important thing with influencers isn’t reach, it’s authenticity. That’s why I prefer working with Subject Matter Experts that are making great content that resonates with our audience.”
Paul Leone @pauleone_inc
Integrated Marketing Consultant, working with brands including Smartsheet and Oracle
“Executives on social channels are uniquely positioned to connect with the human behind the prospect and deepen relationships with the brand.”
Alicia Dietsch @ATTBusiness
Senior Vice President, Business Marketing at AT&T
“Pairing executives with influencers is a great way to elevate their platforms to a new audience & share relevant industry expertise for a “stamp of authority” from the influencer’s community.”
Janine Wegner @JanineWegner
Global Thought Leadership Strategy, Content & Activation Manager at Dell Technologies
“For an effective B2B influencer marketing program, platform partners need to deliver impactful insights into the audiences of the influencers – line of business, interests, engagement, and title.”
Ryan Bares @RyanBares
Global Influencer Marketing Lead at IBM
“Ad hoc, spreadsheet-based influencer marketing programs are a big waste of time and money! Commit to a sustained strategy, leverage technology and/or agencies to drive the process.”
Tom Treanor @RtMixMktg
CMO at Treasure Data
To stay ahead of what’s next in 2023 and beyond, I encourage you to check out the report preview or download the full PDF of this 59 page report chock full of statistics, expert insights, case studies and predictions about the future of influence for B2B brands just like yours.
A HUGE THANKS to the TopRank Marketing team and our industry partners for their contributions to this report!