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What does everyone get wrong about B2B Influencer Marketing?

This content was originally featured in the May 3, 2023 newsletter found here:

I wanted to take a break from talking about AI this week and switch gears. Instead, let’s talk about something that AI can’t do – B2B Influencer Marketing.

At it’s core, B2B Influencer Marketing is about human connection. At the start of a customer journey is a human and at the end of a customer journey is a human. AI can assist with getting a human through the steps of the journey, but at the end of the day, it’s all about a human getting their problem solved.

Where does B2B Influencer Marketing fit it? This is where you find other humans to help the humans that are on the journey get from start to finish.

Since I’m not an expert in Influencer Marketing, I turned to a couple of good friends (thanks Ashley Zeckman and Justin Levy) for some advice. I wanted to know what everyone get wrong about B2B Influencer Marketing. They did not hold back or disappoint. Here is some of what they had to say:

What does everyone get wrong about B2B Influencer Marketing?

It’s boring

One of the misconceptions is that B2B is dull and bland. You’re often selling software or services, so where’s the fun in that? How can you make compelling content or social posts? If you don’t follow Demandbase, you should – purely for the content they share ( They very smartly use B2B Influencers that drive really fantastic awareness to their brand. They make it exciting and fun. Their B2B Influencer Marketing program is the opposite of boring.

Not presenting influencers with campaigns or ideas

This is a misstep in any kind of relationship building. Reaching out to someone and immediately making asks of them is going to start you off on the wrong foot. If you have an influencer in mind that you want to work with, you should take the time to thoughtfully put together ideas that you want them to build on. This way you and your influencer can be more aligned with your goals and their comfort level.

Too much focus on quick wins, skipping the relationship building

This is very similar to the point above. Effective B2B Influencer Marketing means relationship building and trust. This means that it will take time. If you want to find someone to endorse you and then move on, that’s fine – but you’ll miss the long term benefits. Which leads us to the next point…

Lack of partnership

A lot of companies approach influencers with pre-existing content. A better approach, and a more authentic approach, is to partner with your influencer and co-create things. You’ll get the benefit of their perspective and expertise (that’s why you hired them, right?) and they will feel more comfortable sharing with their network.

Lack of measurement

Perhaps the biggest area where companies get B2B Influencer Marketing wrong is measurement. This starts with knowing your Purpose (yes, of the 5Ps!) – what is the problem you’re trying to solve? When you make the decision to engage with an Influencer, you should have a solid plan in mind not only for what you want them to do, but how you’re going to measure impact. Is it for awareness? Is it for engagement? It it for sales? These are three different goals with three different outcomes. Take some time to figure out what you need, and how you’ll determine success.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. B2B Influencer Marketing, like any kind of marketing, has it’s own set of skills and education. There is a lot that can go wrong. But with some thought and planning, B2B Influencer Marketing can go very right!

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