Last week at Marketing Profs B2B Forum it was pretty clear B2B marketers are more interested in influencer marketing than ever before.
Lee Odden’s session – Why to ROI: B2B Marketing Case Studies for Success– promises to deliver not only why influencer marketing is something we should all be talking about, but also how to use ongoing influencer marketing to deliver ROI to your business.
Some of us may still be thinking about influencer marketing as a B2C tactic. A Kardashian on Instagram touting the newest vitamin.
This isn’t exactly relevant to those of us in the B2B space.
Except, what if we think about influence more holistically. Lee points out that you don’t have to be a Kardashian to be influential. From singing the praises of the battery life on your new iPhone8 or telling your coworker about the new software you’re testing in your department, we’re all influencing each other.
This holistic view of influencer marketing, thinking beyond the brandividual, is what will help you drive ROI within your influencer marketing.
Spoiler alert – Lee thinks you should be doing influencer marketing if you’re a B2B marketer. And a lot of you are. 43% of marketers are experimenting with B2B marketing. But we’re still in the early days. Only 11% of B2B companies are running ongoing programs, compared to 48% of B2C companies (Influence 2.0: Altimeter, Traackr, TopRank Marketing).
So why are so many B2B marketers experimenting with influencer marketing? Largely, we believe that influencer marketing can help us with lead gen. 67% of marketers cited lead gen as a goal for influencer marketing. In fact, influencers can help us at each stage of the buying cycle, from awareness to purchase to advocacy.
So even though we’re just getting started. You believe in the why, and are very optimistic. 57% of marketers say influencer marketing will be integrated in all marketing activities in the next 3 years (Influence 2.0: Altimeter, Traackr, TopRank Marketing).
To achieve true integration, and keep our budgets and resources growing for more influencer marketing, we need to drive ROI from those programs.
Lee shares several examples of B2B influencer campaigns generating major ROI. He highlights several opportunities to drive value for your brand and influencers.
Now that we talked about all the great opportunities for ROI, Lee shares sometimes when influencer marketing is not an opportunity, including:
Once you have identified your opportunities, start putting together a plan to show ROI, including these critical considerations:
Planning ahead for these considerations, will ensure your team is starting your influencer program with appropriate goals to show ROI.
We already know that influencer marketing doesn’t work when there is a lack of consensus on your influencer strategy. To truly maximize ROI, you should consider influencer programs across your organization. In a cross functional model you’ll be able to tap into all types of influencers, including journalists, affiliates and customers, illustrated in the model below.
For best practice measurement, first you need to align your goals with influencer specific metrics. You want to look beyond your typical content KPIs, like views and time on page, and include:
Regardless if you are just starting to experiment with influencer marketing or you already have an ongoing program, there is an opportunity to take it to the next level.
Think about where you might fit into the spectrum of influencer marketing maturity progression Lee shared.
Then consider how you can optimize your approach. Here are 3 ways to start moving:
Get Expert Help:
An expert may be an agency that specializes in influencer marketing or a consultant you bring in to help you get started. An expert may be able to help you with these things:
Invest in Tech:
The right technology can help you quickly and efficiently assess and improve your influencer marketing tactics, for example:
Accelerate your influencer marketing efforts by activating your existing community and focusing efforts on what works best.
What is one way you are planning to take your influencer marketing to the next level this year?
If you have lot of great influencer content already, drive more engagement with these tips from Ardath Albee The Netflix Experience: Create Binge-Worthy B2B Content.
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