What is the Definition of B2B Influencer Marketing?
As part of the Thinkers360 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Outlook Survey, we asked Thinkers360 members to share their perspectives on B2B influencer marketing.
The purpose of the research was to examine the current state of B2B influencer marketing from content creator and content consumer perspectives and their plans for 2022.
Firstly, we asked “Please share your definition of an influencer.” Here’s some of the perspectives they shared with us:
- A person who is a credible source for the audience; Whose opinions contribute to the formation of people’s attitudes; Has a significant influence on the decisions and behaviors of other individuals.
- An influencer is someone who can persuade many other people, for example their followers on social media, to do, buy, or use the same things that they use.
- An influencer has the ability affect change.
- An Influencer is anybody with a following of individuals who trust their opinions or advice or who are entertained and inspired by their content.
- An influencer is someone who is selflessly seeking to share thoughts, information, experiences and expertise for the benefit of everyone in their subject matter.
- A person with specialized knowledge, authority or insight into a specific subject – and the ability to sway opinion.
- An individual who has the influence to affect the behavior (purchasing decisions, reputation, world view) of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
- Influencer is a person that has gained a status and following for being insightful, interesting and often active contributor in specific channel(s) and within a specific topic, and eventually has influence over other people following the person and/or topic.
Key Attributes of B2B Influencer Content
Influencer content consumers cited “relevant” (98%), “engaging” (96%) and “impactful” (93%) as extremely important or very important attributes of influencer content.
Traditional notions of thought leadership such as “adopted” (31%), “peer-reviewed” (34%), “provocative” (30%), and “counter-intuitive” (27%) were cited by the majority as only moderately important.
In contrast to thought leadership content, the primary requirements for influencer content are that it’s “relevant” and “engaging”. While “insight” is also important, there’s less emphasis on it being “forward-looking”.
Benefits of B2B Influencer Content (Influencer Content Consumer Perspective)
Influencer content consumers cited “building subject matter expertise” (91%), “informing strategy” (75%) and “aiding decision making” (73%) as extremely important or very important.
“Making purchase decisions” was rated as extremely important by 18% (up 3x from 6% last year), and a total of 85% cited it as moderately important or higher.
While motivations and benefits of consuming influencer content vary widely, over 80% consider it moderately important or higher across all potential benefits.
Measuring B2B Influencer Expertise (Influencer Content Creator Perspective)
Influencers stated that “holistic metrics (e.g. across all content)” were the most effective measures and metrics for brands to gauge their expertise.
Interestingly, “social media metrics (e.g. follower counts)” were cited by only 21% as the most effective measures and metrics for brands to gauge their expertise.
Since most B2B influencers are delivering more than social media services for the brands they work with, it makes sense that holistic metrics were cited by influencers as the most effective measures and metrics when compared to social media metrics.
The complete report, including extensive analysis and interpretation, is available to Thinkers360 members at the Pro Plan level and above.
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