2022 has seen B2B marketers continuing to find creative new uses of influencer marketing, which has proven to be more recession-proof than other marketing tactics — and why 2023 is expected to see even more marketers and brands utilizing the power of B2B influence. We’ve been fortunate to feature many fine articles on our blog over the year that explore how B2B marketers are making the most of social media marketing to elevate and achieve new levels of success.
We’re also fortunate to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to and reading the TopRank Marketing blog — which will celebrate its 20th year in 2023.
The expertise our team has acquired in helping some of the leading brands in the world including Adobe, 3M, SAP, LinkedIn, and Oracle plan, implement and measure a wide range of marketing programs has often made it here to our marketing blog. To help our B2B blog community grow its social media marketing knowledge, we’re happy to once again present our annual list of the most popular B2B influencer marketing posts of the year.
The B2B influencer marketing articles that were our most popular of the year are listed below, and we hope they can play a part in helping you ask the right questions and continue to provide best-answer solutions to the challenges we’ll all face together in 2023.
We give many thanks to you — our dedicated readers, for continuing to make the TopRank Marketing blog a go-to B2B marketing resource for two decades.
Our Most Popular B2B Influencer Marketing Posts in 2022:
This year saw the release of our comprehensive 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, featuring Brian Solis, Jay Baer, Ann Handley and many others in 59 pages rich with survey insights, case studies from B2B brands, predictions from top B2B marketing experts, a list of 20 top influencer marketing practitioners from major global B2B brands, and much more.
With all that, it’s no wonder the blog post announcing the report by our CEO Lee Odden was the most popular B2B influencer marketing post of 2022 on our blog.
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.
“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 of @Salesforce Click To Tweet
2. Spotlight on Talent: 20 B2B Influencer Marketing Experts to Follow in 2022 and Beyond — Lee Odden
On the heels of publishing our 2022 State of B2B Influencer Marketing research, there are many questions that go beyond what can be contained within a robust 59 page report, especially when there’s so much optimism around the practice. For example:
- 73% of B2B marketing organizations are working with influencers
- 95% of B2B marketers that work with influencers have achieved one of their top marketing goals
- 72% of B2B marketers have improved brand reputation working with influencers
- 86% of B2B Marketers working with influencers are successful
Another way we’re working to elevate the B2B marketing industry is by putting a spotlight on marketing talent. A favorite way to do that is by curating and publishing thoughtful lists of professionals that are both practitioners and publishers of useful information. When it comes to influencer marketing in the B2B world, there’s a lot to learn and luckily the B2B marketing pros on the list that follows have a lot to teach us.
“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 of @Oracle Click To Tweet
3. Infographic: 20 Key Insights From The 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Report — Lane R. Ellis
What are some of the key B2B influencer marketing insights that B2B marketers can use to create more authentic, trusted and meaningful experiences as we forge ahead to 2023?
In our third most popular B2B social media marketing article of the year, I shared an infographic filled with 20 valuable insights and statistics taken from our 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Report, including the fact that 86 percent of B2B marketers that work with influencers consider their programs to be successful.“86% of B2B marketers that work with influencers consider their programs successful.” — @TopRank Marketing 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Report #B2BInfluencerMarketing #ElevateB2B Click To Tweet
4. 5 Ways Influencer Marketing Builds Trust for B2B Brands — Joshua Nite
How can B2B marketers build trust, and why is it more important than ever today? In the fourth most popular social media marketing post of 2022, our own Joshua Nite shows how B2B influencer collaboration boosts visibility and credibility, diversifies voices, builds community and more.
“'The way to build trust is to align the brand with trusted, authoritative, influential people, and work with them to bring useful content to your audience and prove your commitment to the brand’s values.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
Ever notice that the people who say, “trust me,” are the least trustworthy people around? Something about those two little words immediately puts people on guard. If you were really trustworthy, we think, you wouldn’t have to ask.
Right now, we have a serious trust gap in our cultural institutions. The Edelman Trust Barometer for this year shows a continued downward spiral. Nearly half of respondents view the government and the media as divisive forces in society, rather than sources of reliable information.
Thankfully, this is one of the many B2B marketing challenges that co-creating content with influential industry experts and thought leaders can fix. Here are five ways that B2B influencer marketing can build trust.
Elevating with influence provides a wealth of powerful new opportunities, and in our fifth most popular social media marketing post of the year, Lee Odden shared a helpful influencer marketing strategy checklist featuring the key considerations for developing a B2B influencer marketing strategy.
“There are different levels of sophistication when working with B2B influencers. Once you’ve identified the topics that matter most to your brand and customers, those same topics will be used to find the right influencers.” — @LeeOdden Click To Tweet
Did you know? 48% of B2B marketers say their top challenge with influencer marketing is a lack of a documented strategy. And no wonder: 53% of B2B marketers either do not have an influencer marketing strategy or it’s not documented. (2022 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report)
While influencer marketing for B2B brands has gained momentum and popularity, a lack of strategy is recipe for disaster. Of course no company can have all the answers right away, but working with influencers in a way that creates a positive impact on the business requires a unique approach.
If there is an expectation that partnering with influencers will advance marketing and business goals, key questions need to be answered.
- Who are the right influencers?
- How do you get the influencers to work with your brand?
- What kinds of influencer engagement and activations work best?
- Will the influencers be paid? If so, how much?
- What kind of content is best for the influencers you’ve selected?
- How will you know which influencers are effective?
- How will you measure success of the activations
Like all marketing disciplines, there are different levels of sophistication when working with B2B influencers. Once you’ve identified the topics that matter most to your brand and customers, those same topics will be used to find the right influencers.
6. 25 Top B2B Marketing Influencers, Experts and Speakers To Follow In 2023 — Lane R. Ellis
To celebrate and honor our industry’s B2B marketing subject matter experts, in our sixth most popular social media marketing post of the year we published our annual list of some of the world’s leading B2B marketing influencers.
Our list features a few familiar faces, along with many new B2B marketing industry influencers and creators, together forming a refreshing mix of professionals to follow and learn from into 2023 and beyond.
Today’s B2B marketing influencers face greater expectations for sharing content than ever, and the professionals on our list all rate especially well when it comes to audience engagement and resonance.“Today’s B2B marketing influencers face greater expectations for sharing content than ever, and the professionals featured on @TopRank Marketing's annual list excel in audience engagement and resonance.” — Lane R. Ellis @lanerellis Click To Tweet
7. Four Ways B2B Influencer Content Builds Better Marketing Reach & ROI — Harry Mackin
Effective B2B influencer marketing is all about connecting your brand with subject matter experts who have built a devoted following, and in our seventh most popular social media marketing post of the year our Harry Mackin helped us understand four of the ways that B2B influencer content builds better reach and return on investment.
“The long term, ongoing content collaboration relationships B2B brands develop with relevant and popular influencers can in turn, help create long term relationships with customers.” — Harry Mackin @Shiitakeharry Click To Tweet
Achieving marketing ROI takes place on a longer timeline in B2B than when selling consumer products. In most cases, B2B buyers aren’t one-time-only… at least, hopefully. Instead, they’re long-term clients you may enjoy a working relationship with for years. You want these clients to look to you as a trusted service provider and subject matter expert.
Influencer content can help facilitate those long term customer relationships. By partnering with the movers-and-shakers of your industry to cover the hot topics of today, you’re not just extending your reach or enticing highly-qualified new prospects. You’re also showing existing (and former) clients that you’re relevant and leading the competition.
Each new piece of influencer content can put your B2B brand back at the forefront of your industry’s combination. The long term, ongoing content collaboration relationships B2B brands develop with relevant and popular influencers can in turn, help create long term relationships with customers.
From identification to relationship building, in our eighth most popular social media marketing article of the year our Joshua Nite shared a great collection of tips and insight for creating an ongoing B2B influencer program that your competitors can’t match.
“At the heart of it, creating brand ambassadors means pulling your influencers into a purposeful community united in common interests and goals.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
Once you have a group of true brand ambassadors on board, you’ve got something wonderful that your competition can’t duplicate.
At the heart of it, creating brand ambassadors means pulling your influencers into a purposeful community united in common interests and goals. It means making an ongoing effort to engage and delight these folks so they can engage and delight their audiences.
9. Does B2B Influencer Marketing REALLY Work? — Joshua Nite
From a more sophisticated approach to the compelling success of always-on efforts, in our ninth most-popular B2B social media marketing post of the year Joshua Nite has plenty of answers and compelling insight.
“B2B marketers are seeing success through the entire funnel with influencer marketing.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet
Break out the monocle and top hat — it’s time to look at the sophisticated methods of the most successful B2B influencer marketers. Having a documented strategy and making good use of tools (or employing an agency for both, cough cough) are both ways to up your maturity level.
Another major component is refining your criteria for an influencer. We found that marketers are leaning away from sheer size of audience as a deciding factor, relying instead on relevance and resonance as key qualifiers. After all, would you rather reach 100,000 people including 15 potential prospects, or 1,000 people with 50 potential prospects?
When you look at reach and relevance first, it broadens the definition of who can be an influencer. It could be the practitioner with a ton of industry experience, the analyst with a broad overview of the industry, your company’s executive suite, and even your employees on the front lines.
10. 10+ B2B Influencer Marketing Predictions From Top Experts & Influencers — Lane R. Ellis
In the tenth most popular social media marketing article of the year, we turned to our 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report and put these questions to some of the top B2B industry influencers, leading B2B marketers from major brands, and influencer marketing technology platform executives.
The popularity of influencer marketing is on the rise, with B2B marketers increasing their level of maturity and sophistication and shifting towards always-on, relationship-based influencer communities, and in this helpful article we share an array of insightful predictions.
(Click Through For More Predictions)“Marketers will need to plug the influencer component into the complex process of B2B purchasing cycles across all the touch points (from blog content to gated experiences to ABM to advocacy) to drive engagement and ROI.” — @AmishaGandhi Click To Tweet
Thanks TopRank Marketing Readers
That’s a wrap on our list of the 10 most popular B2B influencer marketing posts we’ve published on the TopRank Marketing blog in 2022.
We published many other posts this year specifically about elevating B2B influencer marketing, a tradition we’ll be certain to continue in 2023, so stay tuned.
Please let us know which topics and ideas relating to the power of B2B influence you’d like to see us focus on for 2023 — we’d be delighted 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.
*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.