Influencers improve B2B marketing strategies

Partnering with an influencer can have a dramatically positive effect on B2B content marketing. An influencer is an entity or organization that informs and impacts a business' target audience. An influencer helps identify industry trends and meticulously applies them to generate higher quality content for buyers (1). Today, 65 percent of B2B corporations utilize a digital influencer marketing strategy (2).

An influencer is not the same as an advocate (2). An advocate is loyal to one specific company, whereas an influencer is merely a specialist within an industry. The site outlined a three-step strategy for implementing an influencer marketing system into a business' current practices.

Identification
It is important to find a variety of influencers. Both established leaders and fresh faces can be beneficial to a company. Scope out online conversations consumers are having about the specific industry to see if certain names or groups are routinely mentioned (1). Each enterprise should focus on the sites and forums specific to their sector.

Qualifications
In-depth analysis is necessary when choosing influencers. Data compiled on the prospective partner should include how frequently they interact with their industry and how the target audience responds to this engagement. Make sure these industry leaders have significant knowledge, produce quality material and interact on a regular basis with consumers. Even if one is not well known, do not discard him or her as a potential influencer. Above all else, they must have a strong connection to the target audience. 

Recruitment
Once an influencer has been identified, take care choosing the right person to deliver the pitch. If the prospect is a senior member of an organization, have an equally senior employee make contact. In addition, check their activity for personality traits that may give clues on approach methods. Very vocal and involved parties may respond well to a direct pitch, while a more reserved potential influencer will need time and space to consider the opportunity. Be aware of seasonal obstacles that may get in the way of recruitment; ends of quarters, tax season and holidays are just a few examples of events that may hinder their ability to substantiate the offer. 

Be prepared to establish why forming a partnership will benefit the influencer. This is an incredibly important part of the process. Financial compensation is not always an influencer's first choice. Often a boost in their status among other industry leaders will be more appealing than money. 

1. "9 Tips for B2B Marketing with Influencers"

2. "Marketers Tap Influencers to Build Credible, Buyer-Centric Relationships"

Sheila Kloefkorn (1031 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.