Influencers have become a key part of marketing strategies in the B2C world, but is there a place for them in the business sphere?

B2B buyers open to influencer-created content

It’s no secret that there has been a proliferation of influencers used by brands. In fact, research suggests that 75% of marketers have implemented influencer marketing, with 43% planning to increase spending in this area over the next year.

But, as AdWeek discusses, just 15% of B2B companies are running influencer marketing programmes. This means that the majority of businesses are missing out on an engaging way to communicate with their target audience, as 87% of B2B buyers give more credence to content created by an industry influencer. 

Before you head to Instagram to hunt for your new B2B social star, you can’t just copy the B2C world and hope for the same success. The publication notes that B2B influencer campaigns use internal subject matter experts, influential community members, industry-recognised authorities, industry specific analysts or consultants, or existing or former clients.

The type of content B2B influencers (should) create includes industry-specific educational materials, such as LinkedIn posts, e-books, videos, product testimonials, live appearances, or lectures. The aim of B2B influencers is to educate, rather than to, well, influence. 


Data overload

One of the many benefits of the digital world is the data it has created. Data-driven marketing provides businesses with the insights they need to deliver targeted and personalised messages. But is there such a thing as too much data? 

New research from Qualtrics suggests so. Over a third (35%) of marketers claim they have more data on their customers than they could ever effectively analyse. Meanwhile, a tenth (11%) of marketers believe their large data collection is adding no value when it comes to understanding their customer base. 

As B2B Marketing notes, this is causing a quarter of marketers to turn to their gut instinct to assess customer actions, instead of data. 

Head of enterprise for Northern Europe at Qualtrics, Ian McVey, commented: “While all of this data could prove useful in the right context, many marketers simply don’t know how to pull out the insights or identify the trends that will truly benefit their marketing approach. They have lots of data but not necessarily the right data.” 


Making a case for case study videos

LinkedIn’s decision to enable video uploads to its news feed last year showed just how important video marketing had become for B2Bs. But what types of videos should B2B marketers be creating? 

According to Entrepreneur, your B2B video marketing should centre around case studies. Why? Because B2B buyers want information rather than a sales pitch. 

Research from Frank V. Cespedes, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, revealed that the single biggest motivator for B2B decision-makers is learning how others use a product. 

What’s more, case studies provide social proof, and the best type of social proof is recommendations from someone that is known and respected. Why else do you think the majority (84%) of B2B buyers start with referrals? 

Why not kill two birds with one stone and use an industry-influencer in your case study video?