5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers
By Lee Odden
Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:
B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.
As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.
One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it’s just not the only thing.
As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.
The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.
But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.
Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.
The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:
The 5 Ps of B2B Influence
Proficiency – In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.
As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.
Popularity – While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.
What matters is how network size factors in with …read more
Source:: Top Rank Blog