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Leading the Pack: 4 Ways to Use B2B Influencers and Thought Leaders in Your Next Marketing Campaign

Ever wonder about the hierarchy of a wolf pack? It turns out that every member has their role. For example, the “enforcer” keeps the pack safe by making sure they follow all the “rules,” and the “omega,” who’s in charge of caregiving, is the social glue of the pack. And then, of course, there’s the leader of the pack, the one who decides where the pack goes – and the rest of the pack follows. The leader is the most influential member of the pack, though interestingly, not necessarily the strongest (a common misconception).

What does this have to do with influencer marketing and thought leadership, you ask? Well, just as there are influencers leading the pack out in the wild, the concept is equally as effective for humans. And the proof is in the research. According to marketing research from TopRank Marketing, 86% of B2B brands are successful with influencer marketing.

And just how can you be successful in leveraging influencers and thought leadership marketing as part of your strategies? We can break it down for you in 4 simple ways:

 

1. Increase awareness among current and new audiences

Before you can increase your brand awareness using influencers, you must first understand your audience, set your goals, and then identify your influencers. And to do that, you’ll want to select your B2B influencers because of their relevance and clout among your current customers and target audience. Remember, like the wolf pack leader, the size/reach of the influencer may not be the most important element to consider.

Aligning with the right influencer in your category can dramatically increase the visibility of your products and services to new audiences and potential customers based on whom they are connected with. These new audiences can become even larger depending on how the partnership is marketed and which channels are used to promote it.

Want proof? According to The Current State & Future of B2B Influencer Marketing by Onalytica, 84% of brand marketers trust that working with influencers creates brand awareness.

 

2. Create a thought leadership position: If you build it, they will come

Now that you know your audience and have identified your goals and your influencers, it’s time to build the infrastructure and take that coveted position of thought leader.

One-off campaigns can be great for building quick brand awareness and product sales, but when it comes to building trust and advocacy, longer-term, always-on partnerships are the way forward. (The research folks at Onalytica agree.)

What to do:

  1. Partner your B2B brand executives and subject matter experts (SMEs) with industry influencers to take that thought leadership position.
    • The influence of industry experts elevates the influence of the brand executivesand SMEs.
    • Influencer reputation is raised by association with thought leadership-level content and the brand.
  2. Include diverse voices from the industry and brand to add credibility and quality to the content.

Want proof? According to TopRank Marketing State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, 83% of B2B marketers consider influencer marketing because they want to be seen as thought leaders.

 

3. Increase attendance at events: Get the most from your influencers

Want more attendance and engagement at your targeted events? Use your B2B influencers:

  1. Influencers can be used to create buzz and drive traffic to the event or trade show booth by using their social channels to create awareness, or their name could be tied to promotional marketing materials published by the brand.
  2. Influencers can be used as speakers during the event, showing credibility on a particular topic, trend or technology, thus endorsing your brand.
  3. Lastly, influencers can be used as content creators during the event, extending brand awareness inside and outside of the event through their social channels or blog. Influencers could also become co-creators with a brand, developing assets to share after the event.

Want proof? According to this research, The Current State & of B2B Influencer Marketing – From the Influencers’ Perspectives – Onalytica, 74% of B2B marketers believe that collaborating on content with influencers helps improve the experience for prospects and customers.

 

4. Co-developed and improved content experience: You’re not alone!

Creating content can be challenging, but with influencers and thought leaders in your pocket, thankfully,  you do not have to do it alone. Outside of events, there are many ways to co-create content to increase reach to your target audience as well as drive quality conversions. This can be done with things like 1:1 interviews, collaborative content like whitepapers, guest blogging, panel discussions or social media activations.

And don’t forget, as you create and co-create your content, keep track of how it is resonating with your audience. This can be done through platforms such as social listening or web analytics, allowing you to understand metrics and adjust your content strategy accordingly.

According to TopRank Marketing State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, respondents found Webinars (81%), followed by social media (74%), followed by blog posts (71%) to be the most effective type of content for B2B influencers. But again, you’ll need to see what works best with your audience.

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These are just some starter tips to ponder as you consider incorporating influencers and thought leadership into your marketing strategy. At Domus, we are the thought leadership experts, with big strategy and even bigger ideas. Reach out to see how we can help you lead the pack and create influencers and thought leaders in your category – you might be surprised at what we can do together.

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