B2B influencer marketing is not the same as it is in B2C, where you have celebrities like top athletes and Hollywood actors endorse a brand and post on Instagram about it. B2B marketing leaders can leverage industry influencers in their marketing efforts with a solid plan.
That is the topic of conversation with my guest in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine, Amisha Gandhi, SVP of Marketing at Tipalti.
Amisha is a groundbreaking B2B innovator with deep marketing and communications expertise across multiple industries and geos. She was recognized in PR Week’s Women to Watch 2020, Top 50 Influence Marketer by Talking Influence and Top Digital Marketer on LinkedIn. Amisha is also an accomplished speaker at multiple industry conferences including Content Marketing World, MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, and many others.
Listen to our conversation to learn how to find and work with B2B influencers.
What is a B2B Influencer? Influencer marketing is the practice of engaging internal influencers at your company or industry who are experts, analysts, bloggers or public speakers who have active networks of influence. They can influence their audiences to help you achieve your business goals.
“It's about people,” Amisha says, “it's about community. B2B influencers aren't celebrities, but they could be celebrities in the business world. They've written books, some of them are even academics.”
Start by asking yourself:
Whose audience do you want to reach? Why do you want to reach them? What are you trying to convey and what is the outcome that you hope to achieve by working with influencers? How to Find B2B Influencers Amisha says there is definitely a process to identifying and selecting influencers. There are specific tools you can use, but you can start by using Google and search for the top influencers in your industry. Then use LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Clubhouse.
“It just depends who you're trying to reach and how you would like to relate to your audience.” Amisha says. “You have to find out where your audience is and who they're listening to and who they’re influenced by. Look at the conferences, third-party associations and other places where people are speaking, you'll start seeing some names popping up.”
Then you have to look deeper at the content these people are sharing and the level of engagement their content has.
Once you have a list of potential influencers, you should assess which ones can help you achieve your goals in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Amisha says you should look at influencer marketing as a holistic practice that you can apply across the entire customer journey. For example, can you get some good top funnel content? Can you create some demand? Can you create a community of advocates?
“Once you find folks that are really influencing your audience, reach out to a couple of influencers, start talking to them, see if they’d like to work with you. Say, ‘we're thinking about doing this upcoming campaign, what do you think?’ And have a conversation, because they may tell you, ‘I don't think that's going to work for my audience.’ That will help you frame up your campaign and make it even better than what it is.”
Start with top of the funnel activities, like a podcast, to create awareness with their audience. Then you can go into demand generation content like co-authored ebooks or a webinar series where people are willing to give you their information.
“There are some influencers who are very speaker heavy and they don't do long form content. They are thought leaders and they do more podcasts. That's why you have a group of influencers. You're going to have some people that are going to do top funnel and events and some people who are great speakers and great on video. There are some people who are great only in voice and folks that do longer form content.”
Over time some influencers can become advocates. This happens when they keep