B2B marketers are pressed more than ever to attract, engage and retain customers, given the challenges of the pandemic, inflation and economic uncertainty. To become more relevant in a crowded marketplace, many marketers have turned to influencer marketing. Yet despite growing momentum around the practice, there are many unanswered questions about working with B2B influencers. A newly released report from TopRank Marketing seeks to provide answers.
The firm’s newly released second edition of the B2B Influencer Marketing Report was created in partnership with top B2B brand marketers and influencers from LinkedIn, SAP, Dell Technologies, AT&T Business, IBM, MarketingProfs and others. Survey research findings are complemented with case studies, insights from top B2B marketers, and predictions on the future of influence in the B2B marketing mix.
The insights help B2B brands develop an influencer marketing strategy, best practices, and approach to engaging with software and agency resources.
The research shows that while interest in B2B influencer marketing is continuing to gain momentum, many brands find themselves still lacking a plan:
- 48 percent of B2B marketers say their top challenge with B2B marketing is a lack of a documented strategy
- 53 percent of B2B marketers either do not have a strategy or it’s not documented
Although many lack a documented strategy, their belief in the effectiveness of influencer marketing is strong:
- 85 percent of respondents believe there will be increased interest in working with influencers in the coming 12 months
- More than half think their budget for influencer marketing will increase during that same time frame
Brands are seeing the impact of B2B influencer marketing:
- 95 percent of those using influencer marketing report that it has helped them achieve at least one of their marketing goals
- The most common goals marketers have achieved include improved brand reputation (72 percent) and increased brand awareness (70 percent)
- One-third report influencer marketing has led to increased sales/revenue
“But what’s next? What do digital-first B2B influencers look like? What are the best practices and technologies? How important is it for B2B brands to build influence with their employees?” writes Lee Odden, co-founder and CEO of TopRank Marketing, in the report’s introduction. “This report answers all of those questions and more.”