Lifestyle influencers have bathed in the spotlight of media attention by building massive Instagram followings on the strength of their foodie photography or unattainable beauty and travel adventures.
The advertising dollars followed, leading to the rise of the #SponCon hashtag and nonfluencers faking it till they make it.
Now brands are creating their own influencers so that they don’t have to deal with real-life kind and can control their message.
But influencer marketing is nothing new to B2B companies. They have quietly been employing industry influencers–otherwise known as thought leaders–for many years as keynote conference speakers, webinar hosts, and subject matter experts for earned media and industry reports.
Now the consumer spotlight appears to be casting some light on the influencer marketing tactic within the business-to-business sector.
Some 4 in 10 (38%) B2B marketers expect their influencer marketing budgets to increase into 2021, with a further 42% expecting that these budgets will stay the same, according to TopRank Marketing’s first report on the state of B2B influencer marketing.
The study explores how marketers are choosing the right influencers, the kind of marketing activities being integrated into influencer campaigns, and the myriad benefits associated with the practice.
Influencer marketing has been growing in popularity for some time in the B2C world but has received less attention in B2B marketing.
Among the survey’s more than 300 B2B respondents, though, the perceived benefits of influencer marketing are clear.
Indeed, more than 6 in 10 respondents agree that their marketing results would improve if they included an influencer marketing program, and virtually all (96% of) B2B marketers who do engage influencers feel that their program is successful.
Respondents were most convinced by an influencer marketing’s ability to increase social reach (78%), with increased credibility of brand content (64%), increased share of voice (62%) and increased media mentions of brand (55%) also cited as benefits by a majority of respondents. Read the rest at Marketing Charts.