Ashley Zeckman

11 Qualities You Should be Looking for to Find Your B2B Influencer Match

Ashley Zeckman on Jul 2nd, 2019     Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing

At one point or another, we’ve all kept a mental list of the qualities we’re looking for in our perfect match. And over the years, that list has likely changed. Qualities that were once deal breakers (Justin Timberlake lookalike circa 2001), have now become “nice to have” or even “what was I thinking?”.

And over the years, influencer marketing has also matured in its tastes. Instead of simply focusing on the number of people in an influencer’s network, savvy marketers have begun to take a critical look at the qualities that REALLY make for a great influencer match.

At the core, working with influencers is about building solid relationships that last over time, not just a summer fling. B2B brands looking to partner with influencers should focus more on the quality of those relationships, and find ways to create mutual value for the individual experts that they co-creating with.

Caitlin Burgess

How to Intertwine Online & Offline Tactics to Cultivate B2B Influencer Relationships

Effective B2B influencer marketing is rooted in brands developing and nurturing relationships—relationships with individuals who have the relevant topical expertise, reach, and resonance to align with the goals of the brand.

Of course, those relationships are often cultivated in the digital realm via social media, email, and audio or video conferencing. And that’s OK. We’ve all gone digital.

But there’s simply no replacement for face-to-face communication—and B2B marketers may have more chances than they know to proactively facilitate interactions or take advantage of in-person opportunities as they arise.

It’s time to bridge the digital divide. How? When? Where? Let’s dive in.

Lee Odden

7 Top B2B Influencer Marketing Trends for 2020

b2b influencer marketing trends

While there are some who think the expression “influencer” is an expired term, the role of influence on B2B buying decisions is irrefutable.

According to the World Federation of Advertisers, 65% of multinational brands will increase influencer marketing spending in the next 12 months and there’s good reason for increased confidence: The 2019 Content Preferences Survey from DGR reports 95% of respondents favor credible content from industry influencers as a top preference, a 30% increase compared year over  year.

Earlier this year in a post about The Business of Influence for 2019, I shared 5 influencer marketing trends including:

  • Micro AND Macro influencers
  • Centralizing Influencer Operations
  • Always On Influencer Engagement
  • Focus on Quality vs. Quantity Metrics
  • Influencer Marketing Software Investment
Caitlin Burgess

Do Your Homework: Selecting the Right Influencers for Your B2B Brand With Tips from the Experts

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Selecting B2B Influencers

The influencer identification, validation, and recruitment process is time consuming, resource intensive, and high stakes. Without the right mix of influencers to drive awareness, intrigue, conversation, and action, your marketing initiatives will miss the mark with your audience and fall short of expectations.

But how? How do you artfully and strategically find, vet, and entice industry experts to partner with you?

You need to do your homework—and fortunately, insights from several seasoned B2B influencer marketing experts can provide some great guidance.

Read on to get perspectives and advice from leaders serving a range of B2B brands, as well as some of our own resident experts.

Nick Nelson

Trust Factors: The (In)Credible Impact of B2B Influencer Marketing

Nick Nelson     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

How Influencer Marketing Can Help B2B Brands Build Trust

Trust is a currency. It’s arguably the most valuable currency in today’s B2B marketing environment. And much like real money, it needs to be earned; the risks of attempting to counterfeit trust are grave.

In the first installment of our Trust Factor series, we discussed how creating best-answer content serves a long-term trust-building strategy. Today we’ll examine the ways in which partnering with influencers can provide a dramatic boost to your brand’s credibility and authority in the eyes of your audience. We’ll also share some examples of companies that are already doing this effectively, and the lessons we can draw from them.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to developing genuine trust with your customers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take the shortest possible path, so long as you know where you’re going. Walking this road with the right influencers at your side can expedite the journey.

Lee Odden

Inspiring Examples of B2B Influencer Marketing in Action

B2B Influencer Marketing Examples

While Instagram influencer marketing is expected to hit $8 billion in spend by 2020, the growth trajectory of influencer marketing is not limited to consumer brands.

B2B companies are also realizing the value of collaborating with influential experts for marketing purposes and count the practice as one of the top 4 tactics planned for 2019, according to a study by Spiceworks of B2B tech marketers in North America and Europe.

Many B2B brands are considering engaging influencers for marketing but are not clear on exactly how or what the best practices are. Having worked with B2B brands that range from Dell to SAP to LinkedIn on influencer marketing programs over the past 6 years, I’ve had a chance to dig deep into exactly what makes influencer marketing work for B2B.

Ashley Zeckman

5 Essential Questions to Guide Your B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy

5 questions about b2b influencer marketing strategy

Greetings friend! If you’re here, I assume it’s for one of three reasons:

  • You’re interested in the concept of influencer marketing and want to identify if it’s a fit for your B2B brand.
  • You’re dabbling in influencer marketing and are looking for ways to formalize your strategy.
  • You fell down some crazy internet rabbit hole and you aren’t quite sure how you got here.

Regardless of the reason, I’m happy you’re here.

Today, we’re going to dig into five essential questions that many B2B marketers are asking themselves about influencer marketing—everything from what it actually is (very important) to how to gain leadership buy-in and show value.

So dig in, enjoy the ride and be sure to add any of your own questions in the comments!

Lee Odden

The Future of B2B Content: Data-Informed, Interactive, and Influential

the future of b2b marketing content

Before starting on any new marketing initiative or trying a new tactic, B2B marketers need to answer and essential question: Why?

While most B2B marketers won’t admit it, many still practice some “spaghetti/wall marketing” wherein each year they throw new digital tactics “against the wall” to see what sticks without really knowing why a tactic would work for their audience over another.

This is not to say that you should slow down on innovating and trying new things. But it’s important for success to be strategic and test. I challenge marketers to do more research around customer insights and preferences so that any changes they make are driven by data and informed hypothesis—rather than simply trying new things just to see if they will work.

Lee Odden

5 Key Trends in B2B Influencer Marketing Plus Critical Do’s and Don’ts

B2B Influencer Marketing Trends

Overall Influencer Marketing attracted a lot of attention in 2018 for some good and not so good reasons. Luckily, most of those unfavorable reasons were in the B2C space. Within the B2B marketing world, influencer marketing has made many advancements and more organizations are evolving their testing, use and sophistication of the practice.

There are many trends happening with influencer marketing right now, but here are 5 relative to B2B marketing that are worth paying attention to:

1. Micro AND Macro influencers. A lot of marketing press has emphasized micro and even “nano” influencers over celebrities. There’s merit to that but in B2B, the tier one influencers are still important. Successful programs incorporate top influencers that have large, relevant networks with more niche influencers with high engagement. When mapped to the right kind of content in the buying journey, a mix of influencer types is very powerful for B2B marketing.

Caitlin Burgess

The Intersection of SEO & Influencer Marketing: What B2B Marketers Need to Know

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing, SEO

The Intersection of SEO & Influence

Peanut butter and jelly.

Milk and cookies.

Steak and potatoes.

Wine and cheese.

Bread and butter.

SEO and influencer marketing.

via GIPHY

All of these exceptional pairings have something special in common: They work together.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. And I get it. From red or white to pungent or salty, there are several incredibly important variables to consider when crafting the perfect wine and cheese combo.

via GIPHY

For real, though. Integration is key for B2B content marketing success. But some tactics and strategies seem like natural fits, while others seem a bit mismatched. If you feel like SEO and influencer marketing fall into the latter category, it might be time to flip your thinking.

Caitlin Burgess

Bye-Bye Boring B2B: Lee Odden Shows B2BMX Attendees the Power of Interactive Influencer Content

Interactive Influencer Content Marketing

Quick question, B2B marketers: How many of you wake up feeling like this about your B2B content?

via GIPHY

Not so much? Hey, it’s OK. You’re a passionate and proud B2B marketer. But finding a way to create exciting, inspiring, infotaining content that connects with your audience is hard work. After all, B2B isn’t innately sexy—it’s booooooring. Oh, and between content overload, changing consumer preferences for personalization, and diminishing audience trust, it’s increasingly hard to capture and keep attention.

So, here’s another question: Are you ready to say bye-bye to boring content and hello to exciting, inspiring, and infotaining content experiences?

Yes so much? Good. Because, as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden told a packed room at B2B Marketing Exchange this week, you can.

Caitlin Burgess

Why Always-On Is Always Better for Driving B2B Influencer Marketing Success

Caitlin Burgess     B2B Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Show of hands: How many of us brush our teeth at least twice a day? All of us? Great.

Now, a follow up question: Why?

The reasons are numerous, right? We care about maintaining our hygiene on a daily basis. We want to keep our smiles bright. We need to defend against offensive bad breath. We want to ensure the long-term health of our teeth, gums, and mouths. And, mostly, we want to successfully avoid pricey and painful dental work now and in the future.

via GIPHY

The moral here? With consistency and commitment we reap both short- and long-term benefits—and avoid a whole lot of pain. And the same is true when it comes to B2B influencer marketing.