There is a reason that brand influencer marketing spent $81 billion in 2016 and is expected to top $101 billion by 2020, according to a recent survey by PG Media and the Association of National Advertisers – because it works. Influencer marketing has become an integral part of the majority of B2C and B2B marketing strategies.

How B2B Influencer Marketing Is Different

If you are a consumer company you can hire or pay for influential consumers to directly promote your service or product, typically through celebrity endorsements. All you need is a sizeable budget and an idea or campaign. But, B2B buyers don’t typically click on a link from a social media post or go to a corporate website to purchase B2B products. They generally start their purchasing journey by Googling everything under the sun, verifying specs, and reading reviews, usually after having a conversation with a peer or co-worker. For B2B buyers, reputable reviews are more important than celebrity endorsements.

Who Are The 1:9:90 Influencers?

By using the 1:9:90 model, it is easier to locate, segment, and activate specific groups of influence online.
The 1% Influencers: These are the online trendsetters who are content creators and opinion leaders. They can reach an entire market any time they post content, tweet, or snap about a topic. They create new buzzwords and product categories and typically are intelligent with a large audience.

The 9% Influencers: This group of promoters are very active on a variety of social media and forums such as Reddit. They have opinions about every topic, product, and service, and love sharing their brand experiences in their communities. These are the consumers who leave Yelp and Amazon reviews and share and comment on downloaded content. This audience can make or break a marketing campaign, product, or service.

The 90% Influencers: This is the market that is reached through advertising such as million-dollar Super Bowl ads. This audience is easy to reach as long as you have the budget to do so. They typically don’t contribute much to the conversation, but their strength is in numbers based on their purchasing behavior and power.
Each of the groups in the 1:9:90 influence model has to be engaged with and communicated with differently than general consumers, but if you engage positively with an influencer or influencer group and spur them to talk about your product or company, you can potentially reach your entire target market.

Identifying the Perfect Influencers For Your Brand

Many marketers lean toward using only one data point to decide which influencer group to engage with, and they are typically focused on “reach”, but other data points should be considered as well:

  • Reach: How large the influencer’s social community is across all digital channels
  • Relevance: How often the influencers reference keywords and topics that align with your business or industry
  • Resonance: How far the influencer’s content travels on the internet and how engaged they are with their community
  • Reference: How often the influencer’s content is being liked, shared, commented on, or retweeted

By identifying and targeting the best influencers for each data point, you’ll be able to formulate a campaign for engaging with each in order to drive your brand.

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