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Alex Edwards on the Evolution of Influencer Marketing in B2B

by | May 17, 2022 | Interviews,

We wanted to shine a light on a few of our team members and get their thoughts on the influencer marketing industry and how they think it’s changed over the past few years. First up, Alex Edwards! Alex started at Onalytica as a Customer Success Manager over 4 years ago, at the start of this year, she became a Global Account Director, focusing on Client Success and Strategy.

How has B2B Influencer Marketing strategy changed in the 4 years you have been working in the space?

Brands have been focused on building relationships and long-term partnerships with Influencers rather than just working with them in a one-off capacity. This enables brands to tell a continuous and integrated story whilst creating advocates for the brand along the way.

Influencers are being asked far more questions to help inform brands decisions on which partnerships to take up or extend. Brands are also scrutinising influencer audiences much more than before because they’re concentrating more on metrics – it’s not enough to show engagement. Good collaborations are expected to get engagement from the right audiences and the metrics should illustrate this.

TikTok and Instagram are finding their place in the B2B world, making the content more versatile and exciting. It also means brands can reach a wider range of audiences without having to solely rely on Twitter and LinkedIn.

How are enterprise organisations evolving their Employee Advocacy strategies to meet their influencer advocacy goals?

Enterprise organisations are no longer just looking at their senior leadership team to create content. They’re making sure they work with knowledgeable individuals across the company that might already have social presence or want to build on it. It’s a great way to create thought leaders across varying sections of the business and have technologists at the heart of the conversations.

What do you see as the most common client challenges to being effective at B2B influencer advocacy?

How much time someone is spending on influencer advocacy, or how much time brands are able to spend on advocacy is a big challenge in the industry. Spending time making sure you are working with the right Influencers at the right time and making sure you fully understand and have listened to the Influencer Community is key before starting any Influencer Marketing strategy.

It’s important to have great relationships across the different teams within an Enterprise organisation. Whether your focus on Influencer Marketing is in the Communications, Marketing or Social teams, they all need to link up in order to build on the overall brand narrative. This is linked to the work done between Influencer Marketing and Employee Advocacy. It’s essential that individuals understand how important it is to create engaging content, not only to build the brand’s trust and credibility, but also to create genuine thought leaders within the brand too.

What do organisations need to do better to leverage their SME’s and Execs to drive influencer advocacy?

Brands need to understand that they won’t be able to get everyone using social media, so only work with the individuals that want to do it. For most brands only a small percentage of their employees create the largest percentage of the engagement (and this doesn’t have to be the CEO!)

They should look towards the future and create the best partnerships with people who have engaged networks rather than just large followings.

Brands also need to make sure there is a great support network as well as collateral to guide teams through the Employee Advocacy process.

Which department will end up owning Influencer Marketing?

In time, I suspect that each organisation will have an influencer marketing team. It could sit either within social or within marketing itself. Ultimately, as long as companies have a good strategy, it shouldn’t matter as much which team it sits within. It only matters that the teams communicate well so that Influencers are thought of as part of any new marketing strategy or campaign (whether they’re utilised in the end or not).

How are organisations using influencer community insights?

A lot of organisations are using community insights for competitor or client listening but it’s also really insightful to use community insights to help guide the company narrative.

What data are clients increasingly needing to drive success on their influence programs?

The main ones that we’re seeing are influencer audience data, and previous results from campaigns that influencers have been working on.