Influencer marketing is in a state of flux. In the past 10 days alone, I’ve seen suggestions that paid influencers are out, and that “influencer marketing — in the traditional sense — is in the midst of an irreversible fail from grace.”
Neither of these arguments is off the mark, per se, but they both frame the concept in outdated B2C-centric terms (the authors more or less acknowledge this with their qualifiers). No one can deny that the impact of hired celebrity influencers, transparently shilling products or services, is waning. It’s not an approach that builds trust or credibility.
However, strategic B2B influencer marketing is still very much on the rise, and nowhere near its peak yet. When done right, this practice isn’t about celebrity status, nor solely about paying for influence (although that can be part of the equation). It’s about building mutually beneficial relationships with established thought leaders in your space, founded on the focus of delivering value to your audience first and foremost.
In this growing field, Janine Wegner and her team 工作职能邮件数据库 at Dell Technologies* are blazing trails. Few other B2B organizations have developed a level of influencer sophistication that matches Dell, and we’ve been fortunate to partner with them on several projects.
Influencer marketing comes back those voices telling the story, helping our customers understand what the future looks like, and how they can get there.
TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis recently sat down with Janine, who is in charge of global thought leadership at Dell, for a lengthy interview on the path forward for influencer marketing in the B2B space, as propelled by her area of specialization.
Join us for a fun conversation that touches on the serious side of B2B influencer marketing while also incorporating lighter themes of “dating and fun games.”
Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Janine Wegner
If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.
0:30 — Definition of thought leadership
2:15 — Activating internal subject matter experts
4:00 — Identifying B2B influencers
6:45 — Democratization of influence
8:30 — Building relationships with macro vs. nano influencers
10:30 — Influencers at different stages of the funnel
11:45 — Challenges of getting started with influencer programs
16:30 — The future of thought leadership and influencer marketing
18:30 — How can marketers break free?
Susan: What do you think are the big gains or advancements in thought leadership and influencer marketing?
Janine: What I’m really excited about and what I’ve been seeing over the past years is that there’s this kind of democratization of influence, right? Social media provided us the tools to share our opinions, but now we advance to a stage where people are very passionate and have an incredible reach to — maybe a small subset of community — but their authenticity and their integrity are so valued that people listen to them. And I find this fascinating for society overall, let alone for us from a marketing perspective. So it’s all coming back to: what do you want to achieve as a marketer and what type of influencer is the right one?