You’ve probably heard about B2B influencer marketing. The strategy has exploded in adoption, with a 2023 Ogilvy study finding that 75% of B2B businesses are leveraging influencers in their campaigns.
Even if you have a general idea of how and why B2B influencer marketing works, you still might wonder how it plays out in practice. How do brands and influencers collaborate to bring these campaigns to life?
Good news: we have plenty of insight on this subject! Our agency has partnered with brands to create countless B2B influencer marketing campaigns and strategies, so we’ve helped put many of these techniques into action. Not only that, but our original industry research helps shed a broader light on the B2B influencer marketing tactics being used most today.
Top B2B influencer marketing tactics
B2B marketers are using a variety of different channels and mediums to reach audiences with their influencer campaigns. TopRank’s 2023 B2B Influencer Marketing Report found that social media, industry presentations and video top the list.
Note that laying the strategic groundwork for your program – influencer identification, relationship-building, goal-setting, measurement, etc. – is essential before these collaborative campaign tactics can be effective. Learn more about the evergreen fundamentals in our guide.
Social media influencer content
It comes as no surprise that social media is the most popular channel for deploying B2B influencer marketing tactics. Driving organic reach and engagement on these competitive platforms is a perpetual challenge for brands. Sprout Social found that half of all marketers consider elevated engagement rates on social platforms as the most valuable opportunity through influencer marketing.
Here are some examples of tactics you can use to activate influencers as part of your social media strategy:
- Featuring expert insight: Create text-based or multimedia content for the feed that highlights perspectives from industry experts in your influencer mix. Their inclusion increases the credibility and impact of your thought leadership.
- Influencer tagging and mentions: Frequently tagging and @-mentioning the influencers you partner with helps your brand gain visibility and recognition in their social media networks.
- Influencer takeovers: Have an influencer assume control of your brand’s social media account for an hour, or an afternoon, or a whole day. Make sure you’re aligned on values before handing over the reins, of course.
- Influencer promotion of products, features, or assets: When influencers speak knowledgeably about your company’s offerings, or help showcase them, it can help audiences see the value in unique ways. An “unboxing” campaign for social media would exemplify this.
- Employee advocacy: Don’t underestimate the influence your own employees and internal experts can have on your marketing strategy! Making it easy and incentivized for them to authentically advocate on social media is a smart play.
50% of marketers consider elevated engagement rates on social platforms as the most valuable opportunity through influencer marketing. (Sprout Social)
Partnering with influencers for industry presentations
LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Benchmark report found that events top the list of planned marketing techniques for B2B leaders. Presenting at a conference or industry event provides brands with direct access to an engaged and relevant audience. Involving influencers in your industry presentations helps add greater impact and reach, while potentially unlocking new opportunities.
Live or recorded influencer videos
The crossover between video marketing and influencer marketing is natural. This is clearly a format that buyers turn to when researching; a Gartner study found that 65% used YouTube to inform recent purchase decisions, more than any other platform listed.
Creating video content with influencers, whether live or recorded, offers an engaging experience for your audience that can also be repurposed for use in many different channels and formats.
Webinars, interviews, or other interactive content
The most successful influencer marketing programs create a sense of community. Interactive content is a great way to connect the brand, influence and audience around shared challenges, interests or passions.
A candid interview between your executive and a subject matter expert in the field, or a panel discussion that invites open Q&A, are great ways to bring the experience closer to your audience.
Podcasting is another highly engaging content marketing tactic that is perfectly suited for influencer integration.
Blogging with B2B influencers
Blogs are not the core atomic unit of content marketing that they once were, but they remain key for driving organic traffic to your company website. Bringing influencers into your blogging strategy supports this goal.
Influencers can help promote your posts, and their presence within the content can help your pages perform in search. Including unique, authentic views and insights from experienced experts differentiates your content from AI, while aligning to Google’s E-E-A-T quality-rating guidelines.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate B2B influencers into your blog, including guest posts, quotes and round-ups. It’s an easy win, and the fact that only 28% of respondents in our survey are using blogging as an influencer marketing tactic strikes us as an opportunity.
Influencer marketing is versatile and vital
As this list illustrates, B2B marketers are using influencer marketing in combination with many different tactics, and we’ve really only scratched the surface here. There’s no limit to the places your B2B influencer marketing strategy can go as digital channels expand and content consumption preferences constantly evolve.
Taking a test-and-learn approach, informed by audience research and an understanding of your influencers’ strengths, will help you continue to innovate and improve your tactical mix.
Learn about TopRank Marketing’s world-class B2B influencer marketing services and find out how to put these tactics into action for your brand.