What will B2B influencer marketing look like in 2021 and where will B2B marketers and brands lead when a post-pandemic world finally arrives?
To answer these questions, we have gathered the most important findings on B2B influencer marketing from industry experts as well as from our own team and presented their forecasts for 2021.
Let's jump right in and see how top B2B influencer marketing practitioners expect 2021 to change the way we do business and why it will likely be a breakout year for influencing building.
1 – Anti-Marketing and the Real versus the Ideal
“The trick is to find authentic advocates and keep the content short, sweet, current, and targeted! In 2021 everything will revolve around the real versus the ideal. "- Ann Boyd @annb Click to tweet
2 – Ethos, relativity, affinity and true partnerships
"A long-term approach to growing influencer marketing is the need for Miracle-Gro's B2B brands." – Ann Handley @MarketingProfs Click to Tweet
3 – More B2B influencer marketing experts will move the needle
“2021 will be the year of focus for the influencer marketer. Influencer marketing professionals are expected to show results and focus on the right influencers who are engaging with your target audience. "- Ryan Bares @RyanBares Click to tweet
4 – Virtual events become more powerful B2B marketing tools
"In 2021, influencer marketers will consider online events to be the most powerful influencer marketing tool." – Anton Shulke @anton_shulke Click To Tweet
5 – Better mutual long-term influencing factor
“As an industry, the early introduction phase is now over. B2B influencer marketing is now a more general strategy being incorporated by marketers who are not specialists. – Tim Williams @WilliamsTim Click here to tweet
6 – A mixed and humane approach
"B2B content will increasingly take a B2C approach as the way influencers develop content will be a little scratchier and more human instead of being buttoned up and polished." – Nic Michael @TopRank Click to tweet
7 – Deep commitment and search for a valuable sweet spot
“Influencers are getting smarter about the brands they work with and why. Businesses and marketers have to work harder to maintain important relationships and make sure we're not just asking for content or activation. "- Rachel Douglas Click to tweet
8 – Search for aspiring influencers who align themselves with brand values
“The importance of online influencers has only increased. Expect brands to increasingly partner with influencers in B2C and B2B environments. "- Tom Treanor @RtMixMktg Click To Tweet
9 – Always influence and greater sophistication
"More and more brands are looking to engage influencers throughout the year and have an ongoing influencer marketing program." – Debbie Friez @dfriez Click to Tweet
10 – Networking and Credential Building Activities in a Mature Influencer Industry
"B2B influencer teams will look for a solid balance between the influencer's network and their credential building activities." – Paul Dobson @svengelsk Click To Tweet
11 – Long-term cooperation and deepening of influence relationships
"It is much easier to deepen your relationship with someone who already loves your product and make them an evangelist than teaching the product to an influencer." – Michaela Underdahl @Nimble Click To Tweet
12 – Experiences, Doing Business with Influence, Network Influencer Networks, and Brand Individuals
CEO, TopRank Marketing
In our 2020 B2B Influencer Marketing report, 80% of B2B marketers agree that influencer marketing will be more important in the coming year and 80% expect their influencer marketing budgets to increase or equal stay. Since the pandemic has decisively digitized B2B marketing activities, the influence will continue to play an increasingly important role in the B2B marketing mix and as follows:
Experiences – 74% of marketers believe that working with influencers improves prospects and customers' experience with the brand. This trend will continue as more influencers get creative with brands for messaging and trusted content. The definition of influencer is expanding so that brands can engage more people, internally and externally, to play a role in delivering the best customer experience.
Business of Influence – In the B2B world, more professional influencers will emerge to bring brands everything from expert analyst-level knowledge to turnkey research and promotional projects to creating professional media and content not just for “potential social Impressions ”are responsible. “Business influence in 2021 is accountability to the bottom line, not just superficial KPIs.
Agency Influencer Networks – As more B2B brands get on the influencer marketing train, they want to speed up the hardest part: identifying, qualifying, and recruiting influencer partners. Specialist agencies maintain relationships with networks of industry-specific influencers and can provide new customers with near-instantaneous connections to experts that could otherwise take months to maintain.
Brand Influencers – Employee advocacy can make the difference in the B2B brands that their employees can activate, and this trend will continue. Additionally, more B2B brands will invest in building influence for their key executives. B2B brands that both build relationships with leading industry influencers and empower their key executives and subject matter experts could see a multiplier effect on market warming, trust building, thought leaders and credibility in terms of the trust needed to make buying decisions .
"The definition of influencer is expanding so that brands can engage more people, internally and externally, to play a role in delivering the best customer experience." – Lee Odden @LeeOdden Click to Tweet
Put 2021 B2B influencer marketing trends to the test
2021 will lead B2B marketers not only into a new year, but also into a new, more general, era of wider big brand adoption, and the insightful predictions we've examined here are sure to turn into Completely new and sometimes unpredictable situations affect ways.
* Prophix and Treasure data are TopRank Marketing customers.