While undeniably popular, there remains a trove of unanswered questions about influencer marketing in the B2B technology space. It’s certainly all the rage for B2C brands; but does influence work for enterprise technology companies?
During this week’s live webinar, Mark Schaefer and Evy Wilkins answered that question, sharing new data and real stories from 10 B2B marketing leaders who have implemented and scaled influencer marketing at brands such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, and more.
Whether you attended the webinar (and if you did, thanks for submitting such insightful questions!) or want to understand B2B influencer marketing success, we hope you’ll check out the following resources. Below you will find:
- The webinar presentation deck
- Link for the full webinar recording
- Answers to common questions in B2B influencer marketing, submitted by attendees
The Rise of Influencer Marketing in B2B Technology Organizations
If you’d like to access the webinar insights, the recording can be found here.
Answering Common Questions about B2B Influencer Marketing
We asked webinar attendees to submit their burning B2B questions, most of which pertained to identifying influencers, managing outreach, and measuring effectiveness. Since we didn’t have time to address them all during the webinar, we’ve answered them below, and provided you with access to the report to peruse at your own pace.
How does a software company find and partner with influencers?
Regardless of industry, influencer identification is not easy. In fact, 79% of marketers cited finding the right influencers as a top challenge for their brand (Source: EMarketer.) Avoid the temptation to focus on people with mega followings. Instead, begin the identification process by brainstorming your brand pillars and your audience’s interests. Where the two overlap is a great place to start looking for influencers.
Influencer Discovery Framework:
- Name one core element of your brand
- Describe several customer interests, pain points, or desires
- Identify themes at the intersection of your brand and customer needs
- Find the influencers who lead these conversations
To go deeper in building your influencer network, read Traackr’s New Guide to Influencer Marketing.
How would you differentiate “influencer” from “analyst” (e.g. Gartner, etc.)?
There’s certainly overlap, as online influencers come in many forms.
WOMMA defines an influencer as “a person or group of people who possess greater than average advantage potential to influence due to attributions such as frequency of communication, personal persuasiveness or size of and centrality to a social network.”
As a subcategory or an archetype of an influencer, Analysts play a big role in the discovery and evaluation of technology. Check out The Many Faces of Influence to find out what motivates each type of influencer and understand the best ways to engage with them.
What’s the fastest, most accurate way to develop and engage key influencers?
While there’s no shortcut to building relationships with influencers, there are workflows to make the process easier.
These worksheets and planning materials (click on the the Always-On IM Manager Workflow tab) will help you understand what needs to be done on a weekly/quarterly/monthly basis in order to develop and engage key influencers.
How do I convince influencers to work with my brand, besides $$$?
To convince influencers to work with your brand, you must understand what motivates them. You can do that by looking at their content to get a feel for who they are. Also, try asking them directly: what is valuable to them? Depending on the context, offering access to your executive suite for conversations and networking can be very effective. Or invite them to your tech campuses to join a focus group and engage with their peers.
Traackr’s CEO, Pierre-Loic Assayag, gets approached with influencer compensation questions more frequently than not. That’s why he wrote The Seven Golden Rules to Paying Influencers, an evergreen article that still holds its relevance today.
How do you detect a fake B2B influencer?
You need a combination of technology and input from your internal team. Finding the right influencers--and detecting the fake ones--has to be a team effort. Tap the intelligence of your team and ask them what they think. And then look to technology to understand the influencer’s performance and makeup of their audience, noting any red flags in the audience or its engagement metrics.
Measuring Success in B2B Influencer Marketing
In addition to the questions answered above, we also heard a constant theme around measurement. In The Rise of Influencer Marketing in B2B Technology white paper, you’ll find an entire chapter dedicated to the subject.
What are your additional questions about B2B influencer marketing? Feel free to comment below, and we’ll get you an answer.