The 7 Features of Highly Effective B2B Influencer Marketing Programs

November 22, 2023

By Joshua Nite

B2B influencer marketing is having a moment.

Our 2023 B2B Influencer Marketing Report found that 85% of B2B marketers have influencers in the mix. That’s up from 34% in 2020 and 46% in 2022. 

And not only are more marketers trying out B2B influence, more than ever are seeing success. Our respondents rated influencer marketing the 2nd most successful tactic in their programs, second only to social media marketing.

But for all the success marketers are seeing, only about a third rated their program as “extremely effective.”

I don’t know about you, but if I hear that some folks are getting “extremely effective,” I’m not going to settle for “somewhat effective.” The relentlessly optimizing marketer within all of us will not rest at “doing okay.”

Fortunately for all of us, TopRank Marketing asked all 400 of our survey participants how they run their influencer programs.

And we separated out the top performers from the rest of the pack.

What are the “extremely effective” folks doing differently? Here are seven stats that stood out to me.

Seven Features of Highly Effective B2B Marketing Programs

You’ll see as we go through the data that some less-effective programs are also using some of these techniques. But the extremely effective folks are far more likely to be doing them — the correlation of these features with success is high.

#1: Use professional influencers

Most effective: 54%

All others: 39%

What it means: B2B influence comes in a lot of different shapes, sizes and specialties. Some marketers stick with people who have direct experience in their industry: CEOs, industry consultants, respected practitioners and the like. While these types of experts add plenty of credibility to a program, they may have a smaller reach than others.

The most successful programs are more likely to approach professional influencers. These are experts who actively cultivate and engage with a large audience. They’re keynote speakers, pundits, best-selling authors. They’re in the business of self-promotion.

Why it works: While professional influencers may not have as much technical knowledge as a practitioner or consultant, they are generally well-versed in the topics they specialize in. These folks know how to create compelling content and make sure their audience engages with it. 

Professional influencers add reach and spice to your content — it’s well worth having them in the mix.

#2: Compensate influencers

Most effective: 53%

All others: 43%

What it means: In the pre-pandemic world, it was possible to entice influencers to collaborate without payment (or other compensation, like free products). The recognition and the potential to reach new audiences were enough for most influencers.

During the pandemic, those who rounded out their salary by speaking at events found themselves turning to online influence. Now B2B influence has become a profession for some and a relied-upon second source of income for …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog