So what is influencer marketing? It is defined as focusing market activities around key individuals that have influence over potential buyers rather than targeting the market as a whole. The increased use of brand influencers is among the most impactful trends in content marketing. Influencer marketing isn’t new. It has been fashionable with B2C companies for some time now. However, B2B organisations are recognising the value that an external, influential person can have as part of their content marketing strategy. Especially when used in the context of their video marketing strategy – think Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Periscope, Facebook.
Also, at least 309 million people are using ad blockers on their devices, according to PageFair. That fact alone makes it more appealing to conduct careful influencer outreach to open alternative avenues of reaching potential customers. The following is a look at several primary benefits of influencer marketing in achieving demand generation.
Better Trust and Credibility
At its most basic, influencer marketing is like having someone besides you brag about your abilities or accomplishments. Because when you author messages in company content, the audience realises it is your job to speak positively on your firm’s behalf. By partnering with someone external to your business that is trusted by the target market, confidence and credibility factors are usually higher. When people believe the genuineness of a message, they pay more attention and are more likely to respond.
Broader Content and Greater Reach
One of the biggest advantages of an influencer marketing strategy is that it affords you access to potential prospects with influencers that you wouldn’t reach as quickly through other demand generation efforts. This point is particularly the case if the person you go to has a strong following on a blog or social media channels in the industry in which you operate.
A recent Tomoson study on influencer marketing revealed that 37 percent believed blogs were the best influential marketing platform. Facebook was second at 25 percent, followed by several other social channels including YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. The types of content and formats used by the influencer may vary from your standard approaches as well.
A fresh take on content can attract attention from more people, and perhaps get individuals who have become desensitised to your message to pay attention. You might even get some new creative ideas to use in your internally-generated content.
More Sales Leads
The most tangible benefit of influencer marketing, when used, is a higher volume of sales leads. When people trust the influencer and pay attention to the message, the odds of them responding positively towards their brand are greater.
Shared interests and trust are what drive the impact of a brand influencer. Businesses are making $6.50 for each $1 spent on influencer marketing, with the top 13% earning $20 or more – Tomoson.
According to influencer marketing agency, Billion Dollar Boy, Danio wanted to create a fun and disruptive campaign to persuade men to think of Danio yoghurt as their preferred afternoon snack. Comedic YouTube personality Anto Sharp devised six videos letting out his renowned #HungerCry at 4pm snack time while enlisting his audience to create and share videos of the same. Audience members shared 400 “Hunger Cry” videos, and his videos resulted in 5 million views. His Facebook videos resulted in 3.3 million views. The return on investment for Sharp’s videos led to 97p per 1,000 Facebook views compared to an average of £35 per 1,000 Facebook views for paid media.
The effect was that Danio reported a 12% average increase in Danio yoghurt sales as a direct result of the campaign.
Higher Quality Demand Generation
More important than a high volume of sales leads is high-quality sales leads.
In the Tomoson study:
- 51 percent of marketers believed they captured better quality prospects with influencer marketing
- 38 percent indicated the same quality of people were won over with influencer marketing
- 11 percent thought demand generation was worse
Ideally, the influencer stokes the interest and enthusiasm of a prospect, priming him before interaction with your business. Higher-opportunity leads can improve the potential for sales cycle efficiency and conversions by your team.
Influencer Marketing Expectations
Another influencer marketing solutions provider, Linqia, reported that nearly half of marketers in the US plan to ramp up their budget for influencer-focused campaigns.
The driving force of influencer campaigns is content. Particularly relevant is that more than two-thirds of marketing and communications professionals (69%) cited content promotion as a tactic for which they engaged with influencers. Interestingly, according to eMarketer, nearly six in 10 (59%) said the same about content creation. And 75% found that identifying the right influencers was the biggest challenge with an influencer marketing program. Also, respondents struggled to get influencers’ attention and to measure efforts.
Depending upon your market, influencers provide several key benefits in a thorough content marketing strategy. So increase your reach and authenticity by leveraging an outside voice, while also driving a higher volume of high-quality leads to your business. Influencer marketing is still very new to B2B companies in the technology space. From the evidence to date, one of the key challenges for marketers is finding the best way to measure success.