B2B Influencer Marketing: It’s kind of a big deal
People are constantly asking me how influencer marketing works in the tech B2B space. And when I say “people”, I mean marketing executives at companies like Twitter and Microsoft. People who have spent their entire careers working with and marketing to tech professionals yet are lost at sea when it comes to effectively leveraging tech influencers to achieve their B2B marketing goals.
I don’t blame them. While influencer marketing in the B2C space is well understood, leveraging the approach in the B2B sector is a harder nut to crack. My business partner, Beverley Eve, and I have spent the last two years testing influencer approaches with tech companies (a core service of our agency, TechMode) and through years of trial and error, successes and challenges, we have established a process that works.
While I’m not going to dive into strategy here (I’m saving that for an exciting launch coming in the Fall, so watch this space), below I’ll fill you in on some key findings around the current state of B2B influencer marketing that prove why tech companies need to establish a thought leadership driven strategy now to stay ahead of the competition. Those that don’t will eventually - and sooner than later - fall behind.
The metrics included in this post were pulled from the Influencer Marketing Hub “The State of Influencer Marketing 2019: Benchmark Report” that surveyed 800 agencies and brands that was released earlier this year.
Influencer marketing is booming
The Influencer Marketing industry is growing at an incredible rate and is expected to reach $6.5 Billion in 2019. According to a recent study by Influencer Marketing Hub, nearly 2/3 (63%) of businesses who budget for influencer marketing intend to increase their spending over the next 12 months.
Wow. But not surprising given that those surveyed reported on average an 8x increase in ROI with influencer campaigns focused on branding or engagement.
There’s a ton of opportunity in B2B
Interestingly, a whopping 69% of influencer marketing campaigns are aimed at the B2C sector.
B2B approaches are less exercised, which is a benefit to tech brands looking to capitalize on the opportunities. Tech decision-makers are not fatigued by this as a tech marketing approach, increasing authenticity and credibility of content supported by thought leaders.
Another key fact to point out is that 65% of those surveyed leverage influencer marketing on a campaign by campaign basis. We advocate implementing a consistent influencer strategy to expedite momentum and beat out the Share of Voice with competitors. It also allows the opportunity to build exclusive relationships with key thought leaders and their audiences (before your competitors catch on and snatch them up).
Influencer Marketing = Big Opportunities
Most tech marketers simply don’t know how to get started. Or they have tested campaigns that didn’t work and failed to achieve the desired results. The challenges are great...and mostly have to do with strategic planning and daily activation management. That’s where we come in.
Having managed Billion+ Impression campaigns and winning Share of Voice (SoV) for clients during key marketing events like Mobile World Congress, we know how to build effective activation strategies, construct a team, coordinate content creation and rollout, optimize and report campaigns real-time, and everything in between.
Essentially, we handle the biggest challenges so companies can stay focused on their end goal.
The influencer approach is efficient and works spectacularly well in the B2B tech space. The reason it isn’t - yet - a staple approach for most tech companies is because it’s challenging to get right and most companies haven’t figured out how to do it correctly. But it’s only a matter of time before every tech company catches up and integrates it as a staple in their marketing roadmap.
Our brilliant friend and tech thought leader, Diana Adams, say’s it best:
It’s no longer a question of whether or not a tech brand will use influencers. Instead, it’s a question of how much money they’ll set aside in their budgets for influencer marketing.
If your company isn’t currently activating an influencer or thought leadership driven marketing strategy, there’s never been a better time to jump in. We can help identify your KPIs and develop a roadmap for success. If you already have a strategy in place, awesome! We’d love to hear more about your approach and see how our tactics and network may streamline your strategy.
Oh, also follow me on Twitter so we can stay connected there too @Chels_LA 😎