Guest Blog by Mike Owen, Marketing Consultant, Modo Marketing
Recent studies have indicated that over 78% of the B2B software buying journey has already been conducted either through internal research, consulting opinion leaders and ‘word of mouth’ before reaching out to a vendor sales team.
It is clear that sales teams are being involved later in the purchasing process and that decisions are being made prior to their contact due to the ever evolving internet and power of social media.
One of the growing techniques of tapping into opinion leaders has been the rise of ‘Influencer Marketing’.
According to Lee Odden, Social Media Guru:
The future of influencer marketing is bright and with business to business marketers, it’s even more important to include influencers in ongoing marketing because buyers are so self-directed in the sales process and they trust experts more than brands (Nielsen)
More and more companies are looking to build relationships with social influencers to define their marketing content strategy.
Where are they?
Target influencers can come from a range of areas including: Opinion leading journalists, analysts, consultancies, reviewers and researchers and also customers and can facilitate a greater amount of reach for your content whilst improving buyer engagement and advocacy.
By building relationships with influencers rather than pushing sales driven messages or promotional information, a level of authenticity can be achieved about the theme or brand which can be believed and engaged with. As a result a greater number of target communities and buyers can be reached with more meaningful content.
Feeding relevant content around themes and topics and cross matching where the influencer is active provides a common link where the brand can be referenced and advocated. In addition providing responses and comments where necessary helps the relationship.
Finding the right influencer for your marketplace will be key to the next stage of your content strategy.
Mike Owen develops sales and executes marketing and PR activities for range of clients mainly in the technology, services and marketing sectors.