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B2B Influencer Marketing 2021: Meaning, Expert Guides, Top 20 B2B Marketing Influencers And More  

B2B Influencer Marketing Oct 2021: Meaning, Expert Guides, Top 20 B2B Marketing Influencers And More

Influencer marketing has been a hot topic in marketing circles for years. Traditional advertising is rapidly being ignored by today's customer, and suggestions from trusted sources seem to be more genuine. Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity in both the B2C and B2B sectors in recent years, and for good reason. With 63 percent of B2B marketers agreeing that influencer marketing improves the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, and another 89 percent claiming that the ROI from influencer marketing is the same (if not greater) than other marketing channels, it's something your company should be embracing.

Keith Peterson
Jul 26, 2021

Table of Contents

Influencer marketing has been a hot topic in marketing circles for years. Traditional advertising is rapidly being ignored by today's customers, and suggestions from trusted sources seem to be more genuine.

Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity in both the B2C and B2B sectors in recent years, and for good reason. With 63 percent of B2B marketers agreeing that influencer marketing improves the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, and another 89 percent claiming that the ROI from influencer marketing is the same (if not greater) than other marketing channels, it's something your company should be embracing.

A solid digital strategy may be the difference between a thriving company and one that goes bankrupt. If you run a small to medium-sized business and want to expand your online presence, you'll discover the finest advice from industry experts and professionals on what's working in 2021 below. Keep reading through the end.

What Exactly Is Influencer Marketing?

When a business employs (paid) influencers to promote its brand, this is known as influencer marketing. These are often individuals who have shown professional skill, a high degree of knowledge, and, most importantly, a big and active social media presence. The advertising material may be created by the influencer or co-produced by the business. This effective approach is now widely used by B2C marketers. And an increasing number of B2B marketers are becoming aware of the concept.

Influencers do not have to be celebrities to be influential. The sole need should be that he or she has the ability to influence your target audience.

An entrepreneur with more than 10,000 followers or millions of followers on social media platforms, for example, is an influencer. They do, however, have a reputation for being able to influence people. This kind of business influencer responds to your users' or audience's queries. You should look for an influencer that is passionate about your business and has a lot of information about it.

Smart entrepreneurs are using the influencer marketing method to get more leads for their businesses these days. B2B marketers aren't far behind when it comes to using this approach.

What Is A Business-To-Business Influencer?

A B2B influencer is not the same as a normal B2C influencer who uses YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram. An industry insider, a famous customer, a well-known (specialized) journalist, or a company's workers are all examples of B2B influencers. A B2B influencer is someone in your business who has a high degree of authority and authenticity, as well as a particular remarkable level of knowledge. It's wonderful if a movie or television star loves your product and promotes it on social media, but it's not very relevant to your consumers.

Better suited are those that have purchased your product for an entire department or business and are confident in it. In the B2B sector, an influencer's degree of awareness as a factor is less important; what matters is his experience and know-how.

What Kind Of B2B Influencers Should You Be Looking For?

B2B influencers are often business experts that have developed strong personal brands centered on their field. You may also discover some similar blogs and video content producers in your field.

Based on their experience and professional competence in the area, B2B influencers may be classified into the following categories.

  • Brandividual - Influencers who have created their own brand identity are known as brandividuals. They are regarded as brand influencers because they have millions of followers on social media.
  • Up-and-coming- The up-and-comers, also known as emerging influencers, are rising social media stars who are attempting to make a name for themselves on platforms such as YouTube. A well-known YouTuber may act as a new-age influencer for your business.
  • Niche expert- Professionals with knowledge in your particular area are known as niche experts. Because they understand what your business is about and how it can be promoted, this kind of influencer can assist promote it.
  • Internal experts- Your clients and staff are these types of influencers. When it comes to marketing and promoting your business, client or employee evaluations are the most important.

How Can Businesses Find The Ideal Influencer?

One of the most important aspects of establishing a B2B influencer marketing plan is identifying the appropriate influencer/s. Many marketers rely on only one piece of information to figure out which set of influencers they're working with. This is often referred to as the "range."

The reach of an influencer is essential, but it isn't the only one. When selecting a B2B influencer, four distinct metrics must be considered:

  • Social media reach
  • Relevance to your services or goods
  • Follower response and participation
  • Other influencers' recommendations

Reach: How large is the influencer's social network across all digital platforms, including blogs, RSS subscribers, and contributed posts? The influencer's reach is essential because you want to know how far your message will go.

Relevance: How often do influencers mention subjects and phrases that are relevant to your business or industry? What kinds of subjects do influencers write about? Is the material consistent with your brand's concept, beliefs, and products? The content's quality is critical. Relevance is a statistic that either verifies or indicates whether an influencer is often involved in their subjects or whether they simply shared one item and then left the discussion.

Response: Does the influencer use his or her power on a regular basis? Is it possible to learn more about a person's history and discuss it with them? Is it possible to share your thoughts with others? Influential influencers actively participate in the formation of views. This statistic distinguishes genuine influencers from those who have a big social following but get little interaction from their followers. In certain instances, you may filter out influencers who use unscrupulous methods to make themselves seem more powerful than they are.

References: Do other influencers mention your favorite influencers? In other words, do your community's other influencers share, comment, like, or retweet content?

Connecting with your influencers on social media is a fantastic method to connect with them without placing a burden on your marketing budget. Begin by like, sharing, and commenting on articles that are relevant to your company and audience.

Maintain a shared culture. Once you've established a relationship with an influencer, encourage your entire team, particularly your most active salespeople, to share the content you create in conjunction with the influencer's activities, whether it's an interview on your company blog, an infographic, or a simple link to her most recent article. This can assist you to increase the impact of the industry expert with whom you've established a connection in a very "human" manner while simultaneously boosting the reach of your company's content.

Top 20 B2B Marketing Influencers & SEO Experts To Follow In 2021

Dave Gerhardt - Is one of the most well-known brand builders in today's B2B industry. He built Drift into one of the fastest-growing SaaS businesses in history as its VP, and now he's the CMO of Shopify's most popular product, Privy. Dave runs the DGMG marketing club on Patreon, which has over 1300 members, and his Conversational Marketing Book was one of Amazon's top 20 business books and the #1 in the marketing & sales categories.

Lee Odden - Is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and a B2B marketing strategist, author, and worldwide speaker. The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Forbes, as well as CMO.com and MarketingProfs, have acknowledged his work combining search, social, content, and influencer marketing for B2B companies.

Rand Fishkin - Dubbed the "Wizard of Moz," is the undisputed reigning SEO king. He is the co-founder of SparkToro and the former creator and CEO of MOZ, one of the most popular SEO tools.

Brian Dean - Brian Dean is regarded as an SEO Genius and has an award-winning blog. He is a globally recognized thought-leader in SEO. Entrepreneur Magazine even dubbed him a "great entrepreneur" - now that's praise! Do you want to enhance your SEO and blog copywriting abilities? Backlinko, Brian Dean's well-known site, has a wealth of SEO and link-building tools.

Ann Handley - Is a household name in the world of digital marketing. She was the world's first Chief Content Officer, and Forbes named her one of the "Top 20 Female Bloggers" and "The Most Influential Woman in Social Media." Her books "Everybody Writes" and "Content Rules'' were both Wall Street Journal best-sellers.

Neil Patel - Is the co-founder of Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics, has set a goal of teaching one new marketing technique every day; his YouTube channel has over 14 million views. He is a New York Times best-selling author who has won many awards for his successful enterprises, including recognition by the United Nations as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35.

Jay Baer - Convince & Convert was founded by Jay Baer, and he is most known for it. He's a New York Times bestselling book, a well-known digital marketer, a customer experience specialist, and a keynote speaker. Do you want to work more efficiently? Follow his Social Pros Podcast, which won the Content Marketing Awards for Best Marketing Podcast.

Seth Godin - Is the founder of Seth's Blog, the biggest blog on the internet, with over one million followers and 7,000 articles over the last two decades. Godin is a renowned expert on marketing best practices, having written 19 best-selling books, most of which are on marketing.

Lilach Bullock - Is one of the most influential digital marketers today, having been named one of Forbes' Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers. Career Experts called Lilach the #1 Digital Marketer, while Oracle named him the Social Influencer of Europe.

Houston Golden - Is called the "#1 LinkedIn Marketer" and is part of a younger generation of B2B influencers. He has managed growth teams and marketing campaigns for businesses such as Pioneer, Mindvalley, TEDx, and Volcom, among others, as Co-Founder and CEO of BAMF Media.

Jeff Bullas - Is regarded as one of the best digital marketers on the planet. He's a well-known keynote speaker, businessman, and best-selling author. Forbes called him a Top Influencer of Chief Marketing Officers, and Entrepreneur named him one of the Top 50 Online Marketing Influencers to Watch. He was awarded the #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer by Onalytica (a tool we highlighted in our Top 7 Influencer Relationship Management Tools).

Adam Grant - For the last seven years, Adam Grant has been the top lecturer at Wharton Business School. He was named one of the ten most important management thinkers by Thinkers50, and he was named one of Fortune's 40 Under 40. His Ted lectures have received over 20 million views, and his Ted-sponsored podcast WorkLife is at the top of the streaming charts.

Karl Gilis - According to PPC Hero, Karl Gilis is one of the world's most prominent conversion specialists. His blog is a comprehensive resource for digital marketers, including topics like usability, user testing, conversion advice, copy and content suggestions, SEO, and more.

Ryan Deiss - The CEO and creator of DigitalMarketer.com, has been dubbed "one of the world's top digital marketers" by Shark Tank's Daymond John. He also created Scalable.co and Recess.io, and coined the term "Customer Value Optimization" to describe a new online business strategy.

Dan Petrovic - Is the owner and Managing Director of Dejan Marketing, is a well-known figure in the SEO industry in Australia. He is a well-known speaker, presenter, and online author in the field of digital marketing.

Joe Pulizzi - The Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing World, and the Orange Effect are all founded by Joe Pulizzi. Corona Marketing, Killing Marketing, Content Inc., and Epic Content Marketing are among his marketing best-sellers, with the last hailed by Fortune Magazine as a "Must-Read Business Book." This Old Marketing, his podcast, has been downloaded millions of times in over 150 countries.

Shane Barker - Is one of the most well-known digital marketing consultants in the industry today. He works with Fortune 500 businesses, as well as a number of A-list celebrities and influencers who are attempting to market digital goods. Influencer marketing, content marketing, SEO, product launch, sales funnels, targeted traffic, personal branding, and website conversions are among his areas of expertise.content marketing, SEO, product launch, sales funnels, targeted traffic, personal branding, and website conversions are among his areas of expertise.

Neal Schaffer - Renowned for his successful books, blog posts, and training manuals on digital and social media marketing, is one of today's top social media influencers. He founded PDCA social, a marketing firm that specializes on assisting Japanese companies with North American and English-speaking digital and social media marketing.

Leonard Kim - Is regarded as one of the most influential digital marketers and branding gurus in the world. Leonard is one of the most popular TED presenters, discussing subjects including business attitudes, influencer marketing, personal branding, how to start a company, and LinkedIn marketing. Forbes has named him a Top Marketing Influencer, and Inc. Magazine has named him a Top Digital Marketer. He's come a long way from his humble beginnings and has a fascinating tale to share.

Mark Kaigwa - Is the founder of Nendo, a strategy and narrative firm headquartered in Kenya. He is a well-known digital marketing specialist, a sought-after speaker, and a successful business. Forbes called him one of Africa's Top 30 Under 30: Best Young Entrepreneurs. His Nendo blog is a useful digital marketing resource that covers mobile marketing trends in Sub-Saharan Africa, social media, storytelling, content marketing, social networks, and research.content marketing, social networks, and research.

Useful Tools When Looking For B2B Influencers

Once you've figured out your brand's unique story, you can utilize a variety of online tools to identify the perfect influencers. The following tools might assist you in locating people who share your enthusiasm and experience in major business categories.

BuzzStream - Is a service that allows you to find out what's going on You can uncover and prioritize contact information for major influencers on any issue. The tool also keeps track of your interactions with influencers and allows for team cooperation. You can use BuzzStream to convert a webpage or blog post into a database contact record. BuzzStream, for example, collects all of the email addresses and social accounts associated with an influential journalist when you bookmark an article by that journalist. The influencer can then be contacted directly through the platform.

Onalytica - is a platform that allows users to conduct both biographical and content searches. If you're looking for an influencer that talks about "artificial intelligence," such as an editor, journalist, or engineer, Onalytica can help you find them and watch their content in real-time. Any content on your topic can be uploaded or linked to. The top influencers are discovered using Onalytica's technology. Onalytica shows off its tool's powers by compiling data-driven lists like the top 100 B2B marketing influencers.

Upfluence - Is an all-in-one influencer marketing solution for B2B companies. This influencer marketing platform has a lot of features, from finding appropriate influencers to administering your campaigns and tracking their results. Upfluence offers a large database with over 1 million influencers, according to the company, who can be found using advanced keyword combinations and filters such as geo-location, social network metrics, and language.

Successful B2B Influencer Marketing Examples

The following examples highlight how B2B influencer marketing is being used successfully by businesses all over the world. The fact that these are large corporations is purely coincidental. This isn't to say that B2B influencer marketing is exclusively appropriate for multinational firms.

SAP - Is the market leader in enterprise software, with thousands of business clients using its products. What is SAP's approach to influencer marketing? Top executives and industry professionals are SAP influencers. SAP is known for inviting influencers to events aimed at increasing social engagement and brand awareness. SAP, for example, asked five influencers to speak at an event about machine learning, data analysis, and the Internet of Things. 

These influencers were mentioned in 50% of the social media posts regarding the event. SAP collaborated with eleven influencers for another event. The influencers used live video streaming to reach between 80,000 and 100,000 individuals online. The influencers went live and answered questions from those who couldn't make it to the event. SAP went on to exploit this content in its blogs and social media accounts.

American Express - Is one of the most well-known firms that invests extensively in both B2C and B2B marketing. In terms of influencer marketing, AmEx has left no stone unturned, from working with celebrities to micro-influencers. To attract both corporate clients and consumers, the company has undertaken a number of influencer marketing efforts.

For example, to reach out to small businesses, American Express collaborated with renowned bloggers. "Love My Store" was the name of the campaign. The goal was to inform clients that small shops, too, take credit cards. The campaign generated 5 million impressions and resulted in the distribution of 400,000 Amex decals.

B2B influencers used assistance to persuade executives and businesses to embrace American Express's premium services.

4 Easy B2B Influencer Marketing Strategies That Will Help You Grow Your Business

Once you've identified prospective influencers for your company, you'll need to contact them and explain how you want to work together. You may also ask influencers for suggestions, but it's always a good idea to present your concept first so they know you're serious about it.

Show Your Support For B2B Influencers On Social Media

Make use of the power of social media by praising influencer content. Here are a few tips for using social media to promote influencers.

  • On your social media platforms, you can invite them to be guest hosts for webinars and chat sessions.
  • You might send them business cards or presents with your company's name on them.
  • With a personalized greeting, you can congratulate them on any of their accomplishments or life events.

Include Influencers In The Content On Your Website

Branded material is easily trusted and frequently followed. This is why marketers are now adding B2B influencers in their content on their websites. Any form of content can be used. For example, you could utilize a blog article to highlight a well-known influencer who has used your products or services.

You can also include films or podcasts in your content, in which the influencers discuss their experiences with your product or service. This is one of the most often used influencer marketing strategies.

Make Co-creation A Priority

B2B influencers aren't expected to just repeat your brand's message and retweet it verbatim. Just buy some advertisements if that's the game plan. The more influencers who put their own perspective on the benefits of your products and services, the more convincing and effective they will be on your side.

Finding and educating the appropriate people is the greatest approach to develop with influencer marketing. Next, describe why you want to work with influencers and what you want to achieve. Then all you have to do is listen. Allow the influencers to brainstorm ideas for developing engaging content, promoting your events, engaging with key customers, empowering your sales team, and more.

Simply ensure that the influencer you select is well-known among your target audience and well-connected in the industry.

Research Collaboration - Collaborate with industry leaders to gain their views or conduct research on specialized subjects relating to your organization. Conduct surveys, collect data, analyze it, and generate a comprehensive report that can be proudly shared. It would also have credibility due to the people who participated in the poll and study.

Co-hosting Podcasts - Another fantastic concept that no influencer will turn down. You can collaborate on a podcast or interview guests as a duo. This can also be utilized as YouTube and social media video material.

Publish Guides - If you own a SaaS company, this is the ideal idea for you. ConvertKit excelled at this by teaming up with Pat Flynn to offer video courses and guides. Pat Flynn is a well-known person in the podcasting and email marketing industries because he built his entire company around it. 

Turn Your Consumers Into Ardent Supporters

You can also check in on your clients and followers and invite them to become brand ambassadors, in addition to reaching out to successful or existing influencers.

The key strategy is to use the word-of-mouth technique to increase referrals. It's not simple persuading influencers to be your staunchest supporters. The majority of influencers will continue to dismiss your offers. However, you may find it easier to target your customers.

Request that they submit feedback and reviews after acquiring or using your items and services. SEMrush has invested in community building as a tool, encouraging individuals to engage with and contribute to their brand. To keep their clients engaged, they used the gamification mode.

You might also provide them with complementary products or services. As a result, you get a little closer to your consumers or clients. Giving away freebies is one of the finest ways to get your customers to promote your company through word-of-mouth or social media sharing. This is one of the first stages toward establishing a long-term relationship with your clients.

Continue Your Search For More Influencers

Do you know that influencer recommendations are trusted by more than 49% of customers? Influencer marketing is the buzzword for 2020, which is why B2B marketers are constantly on the lookout for the greatest influencers for their brands. Finding the best influencers is a game that never ends.

You must continue to seek out new influencers on a regular basis, as it is critical for you to expand your network of high-potential influencers as a marketer. Although the majority of high-ranking influencers will not answer your emails, this does not imply you should cease communicating with them. Send a follow-up email every two weeks or so to make sure they've received your message.

B2B Influencer Marketing's Advantages

B2B influencer marketing can help your company by bringing you into contact with an audience that would otherwise be impossible to reach, according to studies and successful B2B influencer marketing initiatives by well-known and lesser-known organizations. This is especially true if your business, brand, or items are still relatively unknown.

Final Thoughts

B2B marketing is more than just buying someone with a large social following, and the influencer's trustworthiness is an important component to consider when selecting the ideal person to promote your business. So, if you're just getting started, start with your best customers and work your way up to the other tactics we described earlier.

Working with an influencer allows you to tap into the influencer's existing network, allowing you to grow your client base and connect with previously inaccessible organizations.

Keith Peterson | I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 9 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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