How to crack B2B Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity over the years, and B2B marketers are taking note.
Today’s network effect can’t be overstated. People with bigger networks get a wider reach, and a positive shoutout or recommendation can have a massive impact on your brand.
Webinar topic detail
Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity over the years, and B2B marketers are taking note.
Today’s network effect can’t be overstated. People with bigger networks get a wider reach, and a positive shout out or recommendation can have a massive impact on your brand.
To help you deliver results using influencer marketing, we’ve gathered a panel of B2B Influencers and marketing experts to share their tools and tactics.
During this power session, we’ll cover:
✅ The different types of influencer marketing
🏆 Why you should include influencer marketing in your B2B strategy
🤝 How to find the best partners for your brand
📈 How to monitor and track engagement of your influencer strategy
🤓 Easy tips and tricks to enhance your influencer strategy
November 10, 2022
08:30 MST | 11:30 EDT | 10:30 CDT | 16:30 GMT
Places for this webinar are extremely limited, please register for your place now to avoid disappointment.
Joe: Hello and welcome to this Essential B2B webinar, once again brought to you by Lead Forensics. I’m your host, Brand Awareness Manager Joe Ducarreaux and the theme to today’s webinar is How to crack B2B Influencer Marketing.
Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in B2C but can it offer the same benefits for B2B? Omni-channel marketing is a must if you want to connect with the right people and one of today’s trending strategies is influencer marketing. Many organisations are turning to influences to add value, drive awareness and connect with their audience.
Joining me to discuss B2B influencing we have James Gayle, Founder and Director of Shogun Social. Hiya James!
James: Lovely to see you all, thanks for having me.
Joe: It’s our pleasure. We are also joined by Shivi Jalota, B2B Influencer and Content Marketing Strategist at Stori. Shivi, welcome to the webinar.
Shivi: Thank you so much.
Joe: It’s our pleasure. We are joined also by, once again, Tom Armitage, Digital Sales Playmaker at Site-seeker. Hi Tom!
Tom: Ah, I feel special because I’m the only one here from the United States here.
Joe: Representing from across the pond. Last but by no means least we have Martin Boyle, Director of Brand and Communications for Lead Forensics. Hello Martin!
Martin: Hi Joe.
Joe: We will be using the chat function throughout the webinar so if anybody in our audience does have a question feel free to pop it in there. If we have time, we will get to it but I’m sure we are going to have a lot to discuss. I think we’ll just jump straight into it, shall we? What different types of influencer marketing are there and do you have a favourite or least favourite? I think James we’ll come to you first if that’s okay?
James: B2C usage of influencer marketing is massive. There’s mostly a push to use that for eCommerce brands. That’s usually the big push and there’s also a newer push towards user generated content by people who aren’t particularly classed as influencers. That’s a massive part of the Tik Tok meta at the moment as well. But I think there’s something to be said that just because it’s B2B it doesn’t mean there’s not a human behind the desk of that B2B organisation and I think that’s probably a key part of that, that different types definitely revolve around the different influencers. I always look on an influencer to influencer basis and it’s hard to classify them because creatives come in some many different shapes and sizes. Going by creator to creator basis is how we tend to do things especially when we are looking at what’s the best mix of things. You can classify some of the different sizes, we are looking at micro, nano, medium, big, whatever you want to call them, But it’s interesting to look at them from an individual perspective and that’s definitely what we do when it comes to looking at the influencer’s spread and how they would work in a B2B space as well. Because that is a massive exploding scene especially on Tik Tok.
Joe: Hmmm. I did wonder how quickly you would mention Tik Tok James because I know it’s very much your ……..
Joe: Fantastic. Tom? We’ll come to you. Different types of influencer marketing, favourite and least favourite.
Tom: If you’re talking actual specific types of formats. You have the ones that are much more native, where you get the influencer that’s doing the normal organic, natural type of content and they’ll give a shout out or applaud to a paid sponsor. You have the ones where it is actually completely owned by that brand and that post, that individual article, that individual video or image is actually on behalf of that brand supplied by that brand. That one is a little more forthcoming and naturally less native. Then you have co-marketing opportunities and I even see something just like this. I’ve been putting a lot of work into my Linkedin activities over the past couple of years, Lead Forensics is a partner of ours but me being on this webinar, I like this one the best because this is a two-way street. I like to view it as I’m helping Lead Forensics just as much as Lead Forensics is helping Site-seeker and my personal brand and that’s my favourite type of influencer marketing. That’s where in the B2B space there’s the single most value and the biggest area of opportunity.
Joe: Do you have a least favourite then, Tom? If Linkedin and this sort of thing is your favourite?
Tom: Yeah I think the natural, native type of plugs. I don’t know how much a lot of the brands are paying for that but I think it just goes in one ear and out of the other in a lot of cases and I don’t think there is much long term value to that type of activity. That’s where I stand.
Joe: Thanks very much Tom. Shivi? Let’s come over to you. Different types of influencer marketing, your favourite and your least favourite please?
Shivi: So I think there’s no different types of influencer marketing, there’s different types of influencer that you can collaborate with depending on what your brand wants and what your vision is and what your objectives are. These influencers go from say an industry expert for analysis to a niche specific creator who’s talking about a certain topic or maybe a generalised creator who is talking about anything and everything to stay relevant on different platforms, for example. You can also add on even your personal employees who are working with you and who have built their personal persona on different platforms, you can utilise those. When I talk about my least favourite I think I will go for B2C, that’s very, very (inaudible) that’s going on on Instagram. There’s so much cringe content, there’s a saturation out there, honestly and when I talk about the B2B influencer marketing I would definitely, definitely love working in that sector because I am also working with a lot of creators. There is so much opportunity there, there is so much creativity and it’s not in the face marketing, it’s very, very subtle. You’ve got to be very subtle with the marketing tactics out there.
Joe: I did love you bringing up cringe content, that’s very funny. Thank you very much Shivi. Martin, round us out then. Different types of influencer marketing, favourite and least favourite?
Martin: We have such a good panel that a lot of ground has been covered. So things that haven’t been covered. You could potentially lump in affiliate marketing along with influencer marketing. In terms of favourites and least favourites. So favourite creators I obviously have to shout out Thomas there but our audiences that we sell to are predominantly sales and marketing. The stuff that works for me, is the stuff that is engaging whether it’s funny or emotional in nature. So a couple of shout outs for a sales audience, Tom Boston does really good stuff at Salesloft, Will Aitken at Salesfeed and for a marketing audience there’s a guy called Rob Mayhew, he does more of a London agency type thing. Which are these really amazing well observed funny videos. What I would say is if you are watching this now and you are in the marketing function of a sheet metal manufacturer, that still could be you because it’s about identifying those pain points for your customers and creating the content around those. The stuff that I love is the funny stuff and in comedy there are basically two things that will make you laugh….across all comedy…..that is surprise or recognition. When it’s done well there’s not a lot that’s funnier than recognising someone else suffering the same pain as you. My least favourite, just anything that’s boring or disingenuous, not authentic really. I’m not going to name names….its just the stuff you go …..”oh boring, move on!”
Joe: Well I’m pleased you’re not naming names. I think everybody must be following Will Aitken at this point. He is really doing smashing stuff. Also I do have to shout out Chris van Praag who has also appeared on webinars and podcasts with us. He is fantastic as well, you need to check out his recent stuff. I won’t give away too much about what it is but Martin you would very much enjoy that one. If B2B organisations aren’t already, why should people be looking into influencer marketing? Shivi, let’s come back to you on that one.
Shivi: I have three points to add to this one. One, is its really cost effective. I’ve been working with a lot of Indian influencers as of now and if I compare the cost of what they charge to post on Instagram is literally they charge about £2,000-3,000. If you want to have a post or a marketing budget that you’ve set for Linkedin and if you want to collaborate with those kinds of influencers that are based on Linkedin then the cost is literally one fourth of what they are charging. So that is one of the reasons why I think you should definitely be investing. Honestly, now is the time because after 2 or 3 years this is going to become massive and they are going to charge literally the same amount that an influencer on Instagram is charging. Second, I think everyone is done seeing boring ads that you run on Youtube and your Google pages. I think you have a lot of opportunities to get creative. There are so many types of content, whether its webinars, whether it’s doing a personal story with them or whether it’s (inaudible) that you want to do with them or even promoting videos. It’s very easy to take on something and just post a video with a little bit of information about what the product is and what your take on it. These two things are massively going to help your business to grow, these two are the major points that you should definitely be investing in.
Joe: Happily, your point there Shivi of utilising your video capabilities that leads me very, very nicely to James and to Tom. James, I will come down to you first. Why should people be looking into influencer marketing?
James: There are infinite answers and Shivi is completely right, it’s an untapped and under priced market. I hate to sound like Gary Vee there for a minute but it’s very much all for the taking, especially in the B2B space, there’s not many…..B2B has a horrendous attitude, not intentionally, of being trapped in a bubble of their own professionalism. Just because it got to B2B, suddenly all fun, humanity just stops… and again it’s running all those boring YouTube ads that we’ve already mentioned. That’s to do with a couple of things, one obviously it’s the culture of B2B organisations. It needs to evolve over time and it’s evolved at a lesser rate because they’ve been forced to evolve not as fast as B2C had to adapt to consumer needs . But there are also a lot of things we need to kick into our organisations like ours. The culture of campaigns is one of them and what I say to a lot of my clients is you get stuck in saying “right, we’ve got these objectives to hit” and we whack a bunch of money and resource behind that for 3 months and poof it’s gone. Noone cares about that, noones remembers it. There’s something we need to change about providing ongoing value through these partnerships with influencers because again that’s going to be the easiest way for B2B organisations to plug-in and get video content. Most of us aren’t in a video content surplus, unless they own media like Lead Forensics do, like Thomas does, I’m sure Shivi does as well. They are always in a content negative which means they need to get ahead of that and you might as well leverage the trust that others have already built. Because that’s the main thing, piggybacking off the trust and authenticity built by these influencers. That will help B2B organisations to catch up. They do have some catching up to do and it’s building those long term relationships. Again, you don’t want this to be a campaign or cultural thing that starts and disappears in 3 months, it’s gone, boohoo no one cares anymore. This is, right, how do I find 5-10 influencers that I believe in their channel and I want their channels to succeed and push them forward. We will all have heard of the brands that constantly sponsor all YouTube videos, Squarespace, …… VPN, they appear on every single video and that goes from a space of “oh well done they are getting a pay day, what a sell out” to “Squarespace are keeping propping up my favourite creator, I love that”. There are so many things that can apply to….. that brand and resonance that can pare back around to those organisations that need to catch up. So this is one of the biggest things that B2B organisations need to jump on like yesterday, because it’s easy money and no-one is doing it as much as they should be. So that means infinite potential and depending on the platform that you choose, like a TikTok, it could be the opportunity of YouTube 10 years ago, TikTok is now….sorry to sound like Gary Vee again…….but that’s what we are looking at so super exciting stuff as you can I get a bit animated about it but it’s just opportunities galore.
Joe: Actually, to shine a light backstage James. We were speaking recently about a…..can you tell us about that construction company you mentioned, do you remember the content they were putting out?
James: Anyone in the webinar now and amongst the panel, go to a Youtube channel Ashville Construction. They are a waste management aggregates and construction company based in the UK. When you initially envision that content you think about moving stuff from one place to another or building a house or two. They have turned the whole thing….they have miked up the MD and he has turned it into a full blown Youtuber vlog influencer experience. Over 300,000 or 400,000 followers on YouTube, which is massive first of all because it’s another revenue stream for him. That’s another reason why B2B brands need to take it seriously. But he’s managed to take waste management and bringing trains in and building houses….which is nice actually to watch ……but he’s turned that into an absolutely outstanding experience and now he is building YouTube rooms for the likes of KSI and he is collaborating with influencers on a B2C high level that waterfalls down to him and it’s a fascinating example of how one person did something extremely different that has revolutionised how you document construction just because he decided to do something that creators do. And that’s the ethos of our business, post like a creator.
Joe: Absolutely. I think there is something really compelling about watching people at work particularly in an industry that you don’t necessarily know anything about. There’s something really oddly compelling about that sort of thing. Tom, why should people be looking into influencer marketing and what’s the best way to identify the need for influencer marketing then?
Tom: I think the need is always there. There’s always audience members out there, you just need to find them and traditionally that’s been done through more traditional digital tactics like SEO, like vlogging in content, like pay-per-click management. I think it is just a roundabout different way of finding those people. The value is there, there is no other way of looking at it because the influencer is helping you find your audience just as you would need to do through other tactics and you have done through other tactics. I think it comes back to a couple of points. The first is a very well known stat in social media marketing and that’s the 99 1 role. You have 1% that are creators, 9% are engaging and then that feeds to the 90% of people who are consumers and viewing. It’s just a logical step to look at because if I need to get in front of these 90 people or 99 people I’d better go to the 1% that’s creating to have the trickle down effect to the folks that are the viewers and those that are consuming. The model itself is set up to be very successful if you can find the 1% that is creating and helping you find your actual relevant target audience among the 90% or 99% if you include the engagers as well. The other cliche reference I’ll make is the very old and we hate this reference now, Content is King. What I’m going to spin on it is, personal content is now king. Long gone are the days where companies could be successful with creating their own content on their behalf because the algorithms have made it so you can’t, in most cases, be successful on your own without having help from other creators. Covid did a lot of damage to this, maybe the algorithms update coincidently at the same time. But within the past 2 or 3 years we have seen a massive, massive explosion among personal creators and creators getting a lot more comfortable in their own skin to step beyond just professional content, where they are sharing their own personal stories and getting a lot more ambitious with what they are saying on social media and that’s helping to pick up more followers, more authentic engagement. That’s made it a lot more lucrative and enticing for brands to tap into these people so in that way they can get in front of their audiences. So personal content is king and the 99 1 rule are the points I will make on that answer.
Joe: They are cliched for a reason Tom. If it works, then you know it works.
Tom: Fair point.
Joe: Martin, anything to add to that before we move on to our next question?
Martin: Everyone has pretty much covered everything. It obviously helps you reach a wider audience. It’s more cost effective, it can even be free. There are a lot of things you can experiment with for nothing, you can dip your toe in the water if you are not entirely sold. I think that’s a good place to start. What you are doing when you are working with an influencer, is you are tapping into their credibility as well. So you are borrowing some credibility from them. (inaudible) talking about B2B as logical, rational decision making but actually this is bringing in the emotion into it. I think that’s really the edge to this.
Joe: I do hope that people who have joined us for other Essential B2B webinars, I do hope you’ve got your bingo cards because we always seem to keep coming back to people buy from people, bringing emotion to it, putting people first. So Martin, you’ve helped us out a little bit there. You’ve touched on getting started and resources and things so Shivi I want to get your thoughts on where do you start? What resources are out there to help and support your influencer strategy?
Shivi: We go back to the basics I think. First of all, whatsoever your campaign is and whatsoever your product is, you’ve got to make sure you have your objectives in mind. Then you have to make sure you have a list of influencers in mind. Whether you want to go with the experts or whether you want to go with someone who is talking specifically about a specific topic that is related to your industry. Second, you have to keep in mind the kind of audience that you (inaudible). If you want to speak with somebody and you want to collaborate with somebody whose audience is not the ones you are looking at, there is no point of collaboration there. It’s going to reach a lot of people but it’s not going to give you results. Also keep in mind the KPIs, the brand awareness that you want, the engagement you are going to get, negotiations – how is that going to happen? So when you want to start the influencer campaign, I think you should keep to the basics as of now. Speak to them, when you are reaching out to them just make sure that you personalise your emails, don’t send a template based email just saying “hey you’re doing really great, we’d like to collaborate with you”. Just don’t do that. It should be more about them, just do a little bit of research and send out an email that will be really good. One point to add, their thought process and your thought process should be matching. Because if they do not believe in the vision and the product, the kind of marketing that is going to go out is going to look very, very fake. You don’t want to do that because any (inaudible) the image is going to be online, so you don’t want to do that.
Joe: Absolutely, a fantastic point you make there. So make sure that the goals are aligned but also you know why you are making this particular piece of content and using this particularly B2B influencer. Fantastic Shivi, thanks very much. Tom, where do you start? What resources are out there to help with influencer strategy.
Tom: A lot of the tools around the B2C side, you’ve got Scrunch and UpPoints and things like that but you’re not going to see a ton of value from those on the B2B side because its a lot more of niche creators that you’re going to need to tap into and they are not necessarily going to be indexed in those types of databases and that type of information there. A lot of times they are not what they would consider to be a creator or an influencer. They are probably not even going to be considering themselves that, they are just doing it because it’s part of their job or part of their interests. Those can sometimes be the best relationships because that’s going to be the most authentic. They are going to be creating regularly, trying to cater to their audience in a way that’s most appealing and most natural to them and what their audience wants to hear. You can’t really discount people that are not already monetising their personal brand. They might still be a really good fit for your company. Put all those aside, the best place to start is you have to become part of the community first and foremost, before you even start doing your outreach. I just saw a post the other day on Linkedin of a girl who got approached by a company to do some sort of joint collaborative influencer effort. There was a big checklist that she went through to make sure that this company was valid, because there are lots of spammers out there you don’t know if they’re just promising you empty promises. So initially she went to their Linkedin page, saw how many employees there were, looked up this individual that contacted her, looked at the website, just verifying that they were credible and that this person was credible and it was a legitimate influencer marketing program. I would do the exact same thing too. You need to make sure that before you start doing your outreach, you actually have a presence there, you understand the community, that you are actively creating content inside of that channel. So that way you are already building your own audience at the same as leveraging the creators’ audiences or ahead of leveraging the creators’ audiences and there is more credibility there that the creators themselves can make sure that you are legit and that you know what you are doing. They are more likely to back you and participate in your program if they actually know that you are active, you’re there, you know what you are doing, you know what you are talking about and the community has belief in you as a brand and as a business. I would say even before you begin your influencer program make sure that you are diving head first into whatever that platform of choice is; Youtube, Instagram, Tik Tok, Linkedin or whatever it is for probably at least 6 to 12 months, minimally. So that way you can build a foundation, a fan base and make sure your employees and your staff and whatnot are actively engaging there before you start doing your outreach.
Joe: And that recognition will absolutely help you if you are established slightly in that community to then go on. Fantastic Tom, thank you for swooping in when the gremlins had taken over James’ internet. Martin, we come down to you on that one. Would you like a repeat of the question, has it been so long?
Martin: No, no, no! It’s all good. What resources are out there to help us all, right? So webinars like this one, have great insights from everyone. Like Thomas said, I’m going to think creatively to come up with some extra stuff. What I would say is I’ve worked in both B2B and B2C and the obvious difference is between the two, there are quite a few fairly obvious ones. The one that really will probably resonate with everyone here is B2C influencers you can get hold of. B2B influencers are very busy people doing their jobs quite often. So what I would say is don’t be annoying but be persistent because they might have just missed a …..they are trying to get through their list of things to do on that day. The other thing I would say is, if you have an absolutely killer creative idea it could well be worth dropping the big bucks on a well known influencer. You have to be prepared to take the risk and you have to have a killer creative idea. That would be my answer on that one.
Joe: Thanks very much Martin. Shivi, I want to go back to something you mentioned briefly, you mentioned KPIs. What KPIs should you have in place to monitor influencer engagement?
Shivi: Okay, if I’m a brand….depending from brand to brand and the campaigns they want to run, different KPIs would be in mind. Some would talk about brand awareness, some would look for followers, some would be looking for engagement, that can vary. According to me, if I’m executing a campaign, the first thing I want to keep in mind is the kind of content I want to post. With an influencer it should be more engaging and more conversational so that sparks some emotion. People can come and tap on something, comment, ask questions or answer certain polls that are asked. So what happens here is, I know that the brand is going to get awareness, of course. We know we’re getting awareness because the person is coming down they’re asking certain questions. What else happens here is that if you tap into that emotion they would go back to clicking on your website and understanding what the product is. To add on to this, I think that one more thing because an influencer is posting certain things, they have a very loyal audience. They would engage with certain things that they are posting. Another thing is what impact is it having on the audience. These are two major things, these are the two major KPIs I would keep an eye on while I’m executing a certain campaign with the influencers.
Joe: Fantastic. So it can be quite difficult in terms of a B2B space trying to think of a way of tapping into emotions. It can be tricky but also it’s not impossible. Thanks very much Shivi. James, let’s hope the internet gods are kind to us when we come to you for this question. What KPIs should you have in mind to monitor influencer engagement?
James: Usually it would differ from campaign to campaign. You want to track the things you are after goalwise. Whenever I think of influencers, especially on your first go round, it’s one testing the reach and increase of your brand, web click throughs and the classic stuff but also I’m mainly focused on the qualitative data when it comes to it. I’m not really focused on the numbers, I’m focused on how’s it increasing your comments?, how is it increasing your brand perception? That’s the big thing for me. Is that trust we are trying to leverage actually having an impact? Sometimes it’s not going to work, not maybe the first video but the second, third or fourth video in the campaign starts to drive that traffic. It adds usual, ongoing interest in what you’re doing, that’s probably the most important thing for me. How are humans reacting to your brand and how are you recording that as something you track for brand reputation. It’s always going to go back to brand building, especially from my perspective. But there are plenty of things you can track from classic KPIs of reach, impressions, comments. Saves, shares and comments are the truest forms of engagement for me, practical because we work in organic social every single day. Those are things that people have to go out of their way most to do. Those for me show the most success because you made some that someone actually doesn’t give a monkey’s about and go “I have to comment on that” or “it’s so good I want to come back to it later” or “it’s so good I’m sending it to someone else”. So those are the ones I track the most.
Joe: Tom, is it a similar story for you or have you got different ideas of what KPIs to track?
Tom: I was going to take it in a little bit of a different direction. One of the biggest things between B2C and B2B is I think the metrics and the KPIs. With B2C, they are generally okay with soft metrics whether that’s impression, reach or engagement metrics. You might have B2C that’s looking at their brand visibility, their brand awareness and they are okay with it because in B2C that brand awareness is very important especially over the long run because there’s going to be greater recall of that brand recognition. I’ve never met a client whose goal in B2B wasn’t one thing…..sales! That’s all they want, that’s all they’ve ever been obsessed with and you can have a really great discussion and argument over the importance of visibility and brand awareness and the conversation ends and they still say “how many sales did you generate?” Because of that, those soft metrics that Shivi and James talked about are important but you still need to tie it back to real results at the end of the day, the hard metrics. With that being said, as long as you approach with the right strategy, you make sure the client is onboard with this being a long term program because you are not going to have overnight success. You still need to tie it back to form fills and phone calls if they are your primary conversion points, which in B2B still is. Live chats can be there as well. If you have form fills as your primary goal for conversion points you want to make sure that “how did you hear about us” is in one of the drop downs for those forms and make sure you have the options there that can tie it back to the influencer program or the social media program for the campaigns your are running, make sure that’s there or an open field so they can type in who or who they heard about you and why there are requesting information or requesting a demo. If you have phone calls a primary conversion point, you’ve got to make sure you have a call tracking solution in place like CallRail, so you can tie back to the source and the source medium, and if you are using the right parameters, and the right UTM tracking and the right referral links and things like that, you can tie it back to the campaign as well. So soft metrics are very good, very good to track to make sure it’s there but you have to tie it back to hard metrics in the B2B space, so that’s what I’ll add.
Joe: We always promise value in the Essential B2B webinars and I think as a team guys you’ve done really well with that answer. So we’ve got soft metrics, we got hard metrics, fantastic! Martin, any other KPIs you should have in place to monitor influencer engagement?
Martin: No I think you have absolutely nailed that answer, I’ve nothing more to add on that one.
Joe: Fantastic, we’ve had a perfect answer. This has been a fantastic conversation. I was really looking forward to getting into this one….a really, really good chat. If I could come round to each of you now and ask for one key takeaway. It can be a do or a don’t or a blend of the two perhaps. When it comes to influencer marketing can you please just give me one key thing? Shivi, we’ll start with you.
Shivi: I think you have to be open to ideas for collaborating with the different influencers and it’s not going to happen overnight. You have to give your time and energy. If you go to an influencer and tell them I am looking for such and such sales or such and such downloads, it’s not going to happen overnight. You have to give that certain amount of time, say 2, 3, 4 months to show that the campaign is up and running. One campaign will not change anything. You have to have patience and give it time. That is my one big tip.
Joe: Thank you so much Shivi, that ties in quite nicely to what Tom was saying about seeding it. You have to seed it for enough time, play out the campaign and give it enough time to see those results coming in. Thank you very much Shivi, that was a fantastic answer. James, we’ll come down to your next.
James: It’s an interesting one to wrap things up. Experiment with lots of different content types and content platforms. So when you’re looking at it, can you take advantage of TikTok?, can you look at long form for content in video podcasting to create a relationship not only within the influencers space but your own. Can you come on more of a level pegging with an influencer so that it feels more of a collaboration than I pay you to do X. I think this is where optimising your own social presence comes back into it, really focusing on your own organic. Just making sure you are a master of edutainment when it comes to working with influencers. How can you put value out that’s not going to make people click away in 3-5 seconds. It’s going to mean pushing the influencer to be creative but do it in a quick way because the wall for attention online is ruthless. You have an average of 2 seconds to stop someone scrolling, think scrolling thumb. Depending on how they create you have to figure out a way. If it is long form, get them with that hook headline at the beginning, use that journalistic element and put your creative and journalistic hat on to think….you don’t want to cut the legs out from under your influencer but how do you give them all the tools to succeed and put that value in to what is their unique style. Have a really creative focused hat on and make sure your marketing teams have that resource there to go at it hard and work with them on a really, really interesting level.
Joe: Absolutely and as you say keeping peoples faces in your content as well, that’s where you see it really, really blown up. So James thank you very much for your point there. Tom, can we come to you for your one key takeaway.
Tom: My initial response was the same as Shivi’s because I think that is probably the most important….this is a long term play, this is not Google pay per click ads where you can start seeing results tomorrow. It needs to be looked at in the same vein as organic social. You have to give it time or it will absolutely backfire into your face and you’re going to have a hard time swallowing the pill of that investment if you don’t give time to grow and breath. But since she took that I have another one and that is to make sure you give it enough budget. Because this is not an easy or free tactic or initiative. That budget can come in terms of paying those influencers, it can come in terms of free swag or free promotional items or free software, whatever it is you might be bartering. Or it could come in terms of time, effort and labour. This takes a lot of time to manage if you are going to do it right. Keep in mind the budget as it relates to the resource that it needs to be applied to this program in order for it to be successful or it could, lastly, come in terms of salary. I saw a Linkedin post the other day that said within the next 3-5 years B2B companies will actually be hiring their top influencer and bringing that inhouse because this is going to become that valuable. Whatever is most cost effective with the strategy, when does it reach that threshold where it makes more sense to hire them, pay them a full time salary and have them be creating an endless amount of content during a 40 hour work week. Once that scale tips, then things are going to get really shaken up so make sure you give enough budget in terms of costs, fees going out to the influencers, resources or swag, labour and fees or even salary. That’s my point.
Joe: Absolutely, take it seriously is what you’re saying Tom. Martin, one final takeaway from you please.
Martin: Probably just building on Thomas’s point there. In B2B if you are after leads and sales one thing that you can offer to influencers that is of value to them of course, is a commission. So there’s that lever you can pull. My main key takeaway though is basically if you haven’t already, start doing this. Take the plunge, try different options and see what works.
Joe: Fantastic. Thank you very much Martin. Thank you everybody for joining us for a really, really good discussion. I think you’ve each contributed really valuable stuff to our audience and a lot of things to takeaway. Thank You very much to our panel, thank you very much to everybody who is watching this and we hope to see you next time.
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