It’s not that difficult making the case to launch brand influencer programs. Every company with a marketing budget and a small level of sophistication has been doing this now for well over five years. It’s still the bright and shiny object.
Brand influencer programs for consumer companies are easy(ish) to manage, launch and measure influence. If you have a cool product with mass consumer appeal, there are thousands of brand influencers that you can collaborate with and activate through paid campaigns. There are several influencer marketing agencies and networks that have access to thousands of brand influencers as a part of their opt-in influencer network.
Influencer software platforms make it easy to find influencers based in different variables, search queries and data points. It is table stakes to ensure that you do enough research on the influencer community to better understand where the conversation is going.
For consumer brand influencer programs, all you need is a good idea, a sizable budget and they’ll take care of the rest. These programs are so sexy that they get a ton of media attention in Forbes, Adweek, Digiday, and others. It’s sexy. It’s hot. And it make sense.
For B2B and technology companies, launching brand influencer programs are a little more complicated. For starters, the B2B buyer is more sophisticated than the average consumers. They distrust marketing. Ignore sales. Don’t click on paid search results or any ads for that matter. They Install ad blockers. They don’t press releases. And they reach out to software vendors on their terms, when they’re ready.
There’s also a significant amount of research needed when launching B2B brand influencer programs, mainly because everything is topical based. Most brand influencers within the tech sector are influential within a certain topic area like 5G, artificial intelligence or digital transformation.
Smart B2B marketers are spending a significant amount of time analyzing B2B brand influencers to understand the topics, trends and stories that are demanding their attention. They are using this social media data to inform how they create content and engage in order be more relevant to this audience and appear naturally in the Google search results.
B2B marketers are also using 1:9:90 influencer model to the segment the influencer audience and lunch specific programs for each, usually starting with an organic influencer marketing program.
Here’s a snapshot that illustrates some of the main differences between B2B and consumer brand influencer programs:
Here a few articles that might help put brand influencer programs in context:
- How Researching B2B influencers Can Deliver Actionable Intelligence – MarketingLand
- B2B Decision Makers Are Tired of the Same Old Marketing – Adweek
- Planning Your B2B Marketing Strategy – LinkedIn
- The 1:9:90 Model: A New Approach To B2B Influencer Marketing – Forbes
- 2018: The year of influencer marketing for B2B brands – MarketingLand
- Creating Trust-Based Relationships with B2B Influencer Programs
- Activating B2B influencers across earned, owned, shared & paid media
- Video Podcast: How to Activate B2B Influencers Across All Media Channels
- Video Podcast: Influencer Analytics in 2020: Leading with Data + Research + Insights
- Video Podcast: Planning for Your B2B Influencer Marketing Program in 2020
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