In this episode, I talk about the importance of planning B2B influencer program. Please enjoy the video below and subscribe to my Youtube channel to be the notified when new videos are added.
FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW
So today I am going to talk about yourB2B influencer marketing program specifically in the B2B space and technology space. Its been something Ive been doing for the last 5-7 years. I did a lot of consumer influencer marketing back in the day and did some healthcare as well; and with B2B I think it’s a little more complex because it required a significant amount of influencer research before you activate a program.
And unfortunately the media kind of ignores B2B influencer programs. It’s not sexy. It’s not glamorous. Adweek doesn’t write about. Digiday doesn’t write about it. But it think it’s really important, more important than most tactics and programs within that B2B ecosystem.
And the reason is that it’s a way to build trust and 3rd party validation. And it’s also a way to reach audiences that most brands can’t reach on their own.
So I am going to talk about this over the next 2-3 weeks and not just theorize, but based on real-work experience.
One of the first things that need to get done is to define your program–document those KPIs, determine how you are going to work with marketing if you work in PR or how you are going to work with PR if you work in marketing. Determine how its going to work globally and how it’s; integrated across different markets and platforms.
It’s also defining your methodology–who are your influencers, how are you going to determine which influencers you are going to work with, and what budget you have.
I have seen situations where B2B influencer programs were launched over night and marketers are scratching their heard wondering why the program isn’t driving the results they are expecting.
And so creating a plan that is integrated across the organization as well as how you execute externally is critical before anything else happens.
So, part of your plan should also encompass how you define influence. I use four data points that help me validate whether or not an influencer is really influential. Those four data points are:
- Reach: how large is their community across all social platforms
- Relevance: how often are they talking about topics relevant to your business
- Resonance: when they do talk about those topics, how is resonating with their audiences
- Reference: a manual process to see if the influencer is being mentioned in mainstream media
And these four data points are important because you can actually weight each one differently based on what you feel is most important. It’ll really help you define the right influencers that will define business impact for your B2B Influencer Marketing Program.
Then you have to start the identification process. You need to decide how many influencers you are going to work with, what are the tactics and what does the execution look like, and the activation plan behind it.
But even before that all happens, there’s a significant amount of research that needs to get done and let explain why.
If you believe that influencers are driving the conversation about a particular topic, then you need to study that topic and the words, language, vernacular, the context, the tone of that topic and begin to adopt that same language and tone into your own marketing for a variety of reasons.
One is, to be relevant to an audience you need to speak the same language as the audience. If you are saying something one way, and you are saying it another way, there’s no connection.
If they say it one way and you are mimicking it in your own way and providing context, all of a sudden you are that much more relevant to that audience.
Also influencers that are driving the conversation influence search behavior. As I’ve said before, if they are using certain terminology and buzzwords, what’ll happen is that their audiences will start using and adopting the same language verbally and in the search engines.
And so if you can get ahead of that, and predict and use the language influencers are using today, and build content that replicates that, then you’ll eventually start to rank high in Google.
So this process takes anywhere between 6 to 8 to 12 weeks, because it’s not just understanding the topics that you want to go after but also the research that goes behind it as you plan for your B2B influencer marketing programs.
It’s identifying the right influencers, it’s mining their conversations over the course of time, and in some cases it’s also mining their conversations in real-time, but that’s a different video. For now, I will say that your B2B Influencer Marketing Program must be informed by smart data and insights.
So the next video I am going to show you some real influencer analytics.
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