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10 Tips To Build Trust With B2B Influencers & Buyers

2020-07-31 13:00:23| Marketing and Public Relations - M&O

How can marketers build trust with B2B influencers and buyers, and how can brands begin a pilot or expand an existing B2B influencer marketing program? Luckily, our CEO Lee Odden spent time with Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang as a guest on her Social Media Marketing Live Streaming Show, exploring the increasingly-popular use of influencer marketing among B2B organizations. Together Lee and Ai came to a number of fascinating conclusions, and shared helpful take-aways for those looking to learn more about B2B influencer marketing. Lets jump right in with 10 insider tips to build trust with B2B influencers and buyers. 1 The Foundations Of B2B Influencer Marketing Influencer marketing is about the practice of activating people that are external to a brand, but also those internal to a brand who have active and engaged communities people who are publishing and who have communities of people listening to them. Its important to collaborate and co-create content with influencers in a way that creates mutual value for the influencer and the brand in a way that is measurable with a measurable outcome. 2 Micro-Influencers & The Voice Of The Customer Gone are the days of having to just go after true celebrities, inviting them to do something, and hoping for massive engagement instead, influence has been democratized, Lee noted. Everyone is influential at some level. We're all empowered to connect with like-minded individuals to create our own communities, and people are paying attention to what we have to say. We're publishing fairly regularly, and we are creating influence, which really is something that one can view holistically in 2020. Going for a little bit from a lot of different people thats the niche,  the micro-influencer approach is increasingly more relevant as a way to create advocacy and co-create content in a way that's really close to the voice of the customer. Its definitely not some pre-packaged thing that a brand made and just copied and pasted and gave to a celebrity and said, Here, publish this. 3 The Nature Of Influence Is Changing And Evolving TopRank Marketing did a study with data-driven influencer marketing platform Traackr and Brian Solis at Altimeter Group a couple of years ago, and at that time only some 11 percent of B2B brands were actively engaged in influencer marketing. Now that number is more likely somewhere around 50 percent. One of the big changes in the last couple of years is the advent of the E.U.s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and in the U.S. the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), along with pending updates to FTC guidelines around influencers and working with them. This means that brands really need to take compliance seriously, with disclosure and that sort of thing it's not something to mess around with or leave to chance. Theres got to be some level of governance, especially when you're paying influencers. There are clever brands like Adidas that have started to use dark social social that can't be tracked publicly as a way to connect with influencers, using SMS and text messaging. They're creating things called Tango Squads (see How Adidas is using WhatsApp as a direct marketing channel) clusters of youth that are advocates around soccer, and around the world they share things with them. It's not public it's all through text messaging, or WhatsApp or similar apps. That's becoming more of a problem, as more brands are starting to understand that their audience isn't necessarily engaging in the same way publicly as they might through private messaging, Lee noted. 4 In Influencer Marketing Specificity Rises To The Top If someone wants to know about this one thing, they know they can get all of it from the right influencer. Today we have so many more options for engaging with people that already have influence. If you can find ways to create value for them, even if it's just giving them relevant kudos, giving them feedback on something that they wrote about, giving them a reaction, or inviting them to contribute. Ask a group of people just one question, and then create a round-up post. If you can create value for people in a relevant way, you're going to start to become more influential yourself. When you can help other people become influential as you rise in your career as an influencer if you help other people who are coming up in the world to become influential and give them exposure, that is even more powerful at creating influence for yourself. Most of the time brands will have a fixed budget, and go Look, this is how much money we have. Are you in or not? However compensation comes in different forms. 5 Identifying Influencers & Their Topic Of Influence Its important to identify your own topic of influence. What is it that you want to be influential about that your customers also care about? You can use search engine optimization (SEO), customer relationship management (CRM), and social data to get an understanding of what it is that people are thinking about relevant to the brand and customer connection. That intersection of topics can then be used to go find the right influencers. First its key to look at topical relevance. Next is resonance the degree to which that topic resonates with their audience. Once you've used data to identify a raw list of people that are candidates, you literally have to manually inspect their accounts to make sure that they are who they say they are, and that their publishing cadence is good, and not someone who hasnt tweeted in two years, for example. 6 What Are The Maturity Levels Of Influencer Marketing Programs? Its important to know where a company is in their maturity of working with influencers and influencer marketing, Lee urged. There's an argument to be made for beginning a pilot program. Get your feet wet in terms of understanding what it's like to work with influencers, and collaborating with them.

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