Influencer marketing is far from new. You need only to think of any mainstream clothes or shoe brand and a whole host of celebrity endorsements no doubt soon spring to mind.
What is emerging however, is a shift towards more and more B2B enterprises partnering with high authority influencers and thought leaders on content collaboration to connect and engage with a greater number of prospects in an authentic, native manner.
The results seem to speak for themselves: influencer marketing has been proven to generate 11 times more ROI compared to other marketing methods and produce a 37% higher customer retention rate.
If you’re ready to boost your marketing potential, read below as the expert marketers at Think Beyond drill down into what an influencer strategy looks like and share their top tips for partnership success.
The “what” of influencer marketing
In its simplest form, influencer marketing is a form of inbound marketing that utilises key figures to promote your brand values to a wider audience.
Malcolm Gladwell describes such key figures as “mavens” in his book The Tipping Point, claiming that they are “Information brokers” and “people we rely upon to connect us with new information.” Due to their in-depth market knowledge, a maven can start “word of mouth epidemics”.
In marketing terms, a maven provides a business with a clear go-to market to promote their product or services through their own channels and connections. Whether through guest blogs, video, social media or more, mavens connect your brand with buyer personas in an authentic manner and help generate trust between your business and prospects.
Trust matters: a recent study revealed that 92% of customers trust peer recommendations over other forms of advertising when making a purchasing decision. Trust thus not only helps engagement with your prospects, it can reduce purchase cycles and drive conversions.
The “how” of an effective influencer campaign
An effective influencer strategy should form part of your wider marketing plan and ultimately connect your business values with defined buyer personas.
When constructing your influencer strategy, do…
– Take time to analyse your value proposition and really understand your ideal audience firmographics.
– Deep dive into past data to determine your most profitable channels and use these insights to inform your influencer content production – does social, video or guest blogging offer you the best return?
– Determine and set KPIs; what do you want to achieve from your influencer partnership. Is it clicks, sign ups, links, shares etc?
– Promote and foster a culture where your whole team utilises influencer content – whether this is directly sharing material or using content produced such as infographics as a form of sales enablement to accelerate pipeline velocity. Your team are your brand ambassadors in waiting.
– Be swayed by vanity metrics such as number of followers when considering which ambassadors to partner with. Quality, not quantity is what matters here; focus upon partnering with high authority sources and thought leaders.
– Think of an influencer campaign as a one-way street. Rather, it should be a mutual relationship between your brand and a valued collaborator that is aimed towards content co-creation.
– Neglect user generated content and the power of reviews.
The “why” you need to invest in an influencer strategy now
As stated at the beginning of this post, influencer marketing is nothing new, yet investment in this channel is growing rapidly with 59% of marketeers planning to increase their influencer budget, having rated this marketing method as the fastest-growing channel by which to acquire customers (outperforming both email marketing and SEO).
The B2B applications of an influencer strategy are clear – what influencer marketing offers is a way for businesses to cut through the digital noise and engage with prospects in an authentic, meaningful manner. It is a partnership between business and individuals dedicated towards generating proven results with a clear ROI.
This ethos of partnership and mutual collaboration lies at the heart of our philosophy at Think Beyond. Our experts partner with directors, managers, CEOs and business owners to create measurable, managed marketing solutions. Our aim is to accelerate your business potential.
If you’d like to know more about how Think Beyond can help to support your business growth, including developing an effective influencer strategy as part of your marketing plan, call 01625 682110 to speak with a member of our friendly team. https://www.think-beyond.co.uk