Influencer marketing has grown to be an 8 billion dollar industry. While most business influencers only focus on B2C content, it’s essential to note that some B2B influencer marketing campaigns have also seen some improvements in the last few years. Companies today already know the importance of working with influencers in their respective industries.
Traditionally, business influencers have found it more challenging to start influencer marketing practices for B2B businesses than for B2C companies. Working with business influencers is new for many B2B companies. There are many misconceptions about how the campaigns work, low technology adoption rates, and a well-documented strategy.
The two key factors include:
- Most marketeers view influencer campaigns through an advertising lens as transactional prearrangement- promote my service or product, and I will pay you. While this strategy might work for B2C businesses, it will not be effective for B2B brands. For all B2B companies, influencer marketing is a relationship business. Most influencers prefer working with brands they believe in, and their followers can get value from.
- Over 39% of marketeers state that their main challenge with influencer marketing is that the procedure is too manual. As a new field for many, the processes are not well refined, and over 40% of marketeers don’t use any technology to manage and identify influencers. This creates impact, quality, and efficiency challenges.
According to TopRank Marketing Co-founder and CEO Lee Odden, most buyers today depend on digital channels to give them important information about certain brands. This is in light of the pandemic, which has caused a loss of other in-person marketing strategies. This is where influence marketing comes in to provide trusted and valuable perspectives. Reach engagements and trust are challenges for many B2B brands. Collaborating with credible industry experts who have the respect and attention of buyers is an effective solution to these challenges.
Influencer identification is the biggest challenge faced by B2B marketers today. Most of them use subjective sources such as a recommendation from other businesses or their network without any data validation. Only 35% of B2B marketeers use any software to identify credible influencers, and they are more successful than those who don’t use this technique.
B2B marketeers are also finding it a challenge to maintain continuous influencer relationships- they tend to engage them in intermittent campaigns. Research shows that only 19% of them are running ongoing influencer engagement campaigns. Without the persistent effort and determination to develop relationships, most brands are at a disadvantage.
While many B2B marketers don’t know exactly where to pay attention when it comes to influencing marketing, 74% of them agree that it improves customer experiences. Yet, only 19% of them are running ongoing influencer marketing campaigns. Customer experience with brands is a top focus for B2B businesses, yet the marketers don’t follow through on their confidence in how influence marketing plays a part in their campaigns. Improving relationships and ongoing content activations with trusted industry experts help customers by giving them credible information they require to create trust and considerations for brands and inspire business influencers to engage and promote.
Most B2B brands only focus on one-time influencer marketing campaigns. This is because their marketing budgeting and planning are set around their campaign models, which creates individual prospects about how the resources should be allocated and how the marketing investment performance should be evaluated. This technique is failing marketers. To improve customer experience, their problems must be solved immediately and B2B marketers can only achieve this by continuous influencer activation and relationship building.
Many B2B businesses are not using influencer marketing to its full potential. Through software implementation to assist with business influencer tracking and identification, abandoning the current campaign model for continuing influencer engagement, and continuously nurturing influencer relationships, B2B businesses can start getting the outcomes they want from this powerful marketing strategy.