We’ve finally turned the corner to 2021 and like many other marketers in the B2B world, I am ready to make this year better than ever.

One source of inspiration I’ve found effective are the insights from industry research. That’s one of the main reasons we conducted the first research survey around B2B influencer marketing.

Having watched the growth of influence in marketing for B2B companies closely over the past 9 years, 2021 represents a significant opportunity for marketers to connect with the trusted voices in their industry to co-create content, inspire meaningful engagement and community, motivate authentic brand advocacy and boost influence of brand executives and subject matter experts as well as the brand itself.

The data for B2B influencer marketing are compelling:

74% of marketers agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand
63% of marketers agree that marketing would have better results if it included a B2B influencer marketing program
12X more marketers are very successful who run always-on influencer programs vs. those who do periodic campaigns
60% of marketers who do not implement ongoing influencer marketing programs report not having the right skills in-house or knowledge to execute

But where should you start? Where should you optimize? What are successful B2B marketers doing when it comes influencer marketing? To help answer those questions and more, I’ve pulled out 45 key statistics from the State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report:

The B2B Influence Advantage

96% of B2B brands are confident about influencer marketing
90% of B2B companies expect their budget for influencer marketing to increase or stay the same in the next 12 months
77% of marketers say their prospective customers rely on advice from industry experts
84% of B2B marketers work with influencers to create brand awareness
69% of B2B marketers work with influencers to help generate new leads
78% of B2B marketers achieved increased social reach of brand content working with influencers
64% of B2B marketers increased the credibility of brand content working with influencers
53% of B2B marketers increased new leads by working with influencers
34% of B2B marketers increased sales by working with influencers
91% of B2B marketers say relevance of audience is the top criteria for selecting an influencer

“Engaging with influencers provides a myriad of competitive advantages.” Rani Mani, Head of Employee Advocacy at Adobe

See how Monday.com created a marketing advantage working with influencers to drive 1,790% above goal social reach from influencer shares of brand content. Case Study

The Engine of B2B Influence is Always On

60% of B2B marketers who use always-on influencer marketing are very successful vs. 5% of those who use periodic campaigns
34% of B2B marketers engage in always-on influencer marketing programs
25% of B2B marketers engage in intermittent influencer marketing campaigns
75% of marketers using always-one influencer engagement saw an increase in views of brand content
94% of B2B marketers using an always-on approach believe influencer marketing will grow in importance in the next 12 months
89% of B2B marketers using an always-on approach expect their budgets to increase or remain the same in the next 12 months
87% of B2B marketers collaborate on content with influencers
82% of B2B marketers engage influencers to promote brand content
66% of B2B marketers engage influencers to participate in events
58% of B2B marketers work with influencers as brand ambassadors
35% of B2B marketers work with influencers as brand advisors

“B2B brands would be wise to adopt an always-on influencer engagement approach and they look to build true brand advocates.” Garnor Morantes, Group Marketing Manager at LinkedIn

See how LinkedIn approached building a 75 strong influencer community organically with an always-on approach to influencer engagement resulting in nearly 2,000 brand mentions and 84 million in reach. Case Study

B2B Influencer Marketing Integration

90% of B2B marketers integrate influencer marketing with social media marketing
83% of B2B marketers integrate influencer marketing with content marketing
56% of B2B marketers integrate influencer marketing with public relations
50% of B2B marketers integrate influencer marketing with SEO
32% of B2B marketers integrate influencer marketing with ABM
83% of B2B marketers work with influencers to create blog posts
67% of B2B marketers work with influencers to create recorded video
64% of B2B marketers work with influencers to create webinars
59% of B2B marketers work with influencers to create interviews
52% of B2B marketers work with influencers to create podcasts
48% of B2B marketers work with influencers to create live video

“Integrating influencer content is a direct line to building trust and customer confidence.” Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs

See how Cherwell Software integrated their influencer marketing with content and social media to achieve a 342% better click through rate on content reaching a relevant audience that was 90% new. Case Study

B2B Influencer Marketing Operations

39% of marketers say their top challenge with influencer marketing is that the process is too manual
25% of less successful B2B marketers use software vs. 50% of the most successful to identify influencers
68% of the most successful influencer marketers have a documented strategy vs. 25% of the least successful marketers
76% of B2B marketers use software to identify influencers
66% of B2B marketers use software to monitor influencer social network activity
64% of B2B marketers use software to qualify influencers
63% of B2B marketers use software to measure and report on influencer campaign results
43% of B2B marketers use software to manage influencer campaigns
41% of B2B marketers use software to manage and nurture influencer relationships

“You need to come up with a strategy, plan of action and a process. All incorporate various tools and techniques and will give you the knowledge and skills to run a successful influencer marketing program.” Ursula Ringham, Global Head of Influencer Marketing at SAP

See how SAP’s influencer driven podcast, Tech Unknown was operationalized for multiple internal and external objectives resulting in a reach of 128 million from influencer shares and a 66% increase in downloads. Case Study

B2B Influencer Marketing Report Preview
Whether you’re just getting started and considering a pilot project or you’re looking to optimize your existing influencer marketing efforts, you can find insights and inspiration from the State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report as well as the Inside B2B Influence interview series featuring top B2B brand marketers from companies like Adobe, Citrix, Dell, IBM, LinkedIn, Onalytica, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, Sprinklr, Spirion, and Traackr.

B2B

Source: 45 B2B Influencer Marketing Statistics to Optimize Your 2021 Marketing

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