ABM influences key accounts that show buyer intent. This influence is internal (B2B through personalized content) and aims to sway decision-makers who green-light a purchase.
In an interview with Media 7, Mark Emond, Founder & President of Demand Spring, talked about the importance of content in marketing
“Content is at the heart of great marketing today. It needs to educate, inspire, and convert. It must be tied to the unique rational and emotional needs of each target persona.”
ABM’s focused approach leads to faster lead conversions and a higher ROI. However, B2B marketers still face the following challenges in their marketing strategy:
Maximizing Marketing Efficiency
B2B marketers must consistently drive higher ROI on their efforts while working within a limited budget.
Improving Customer Experience
Cutting through the noise of thousands of competitors and delivering an enhanced customer experience is challenging.
Generating Trust in Customers
Marketers need to humanize their approach and reach a level of undeniable authenticity to generate trust in the minds of customers.
Why Should You Use Influencer Marketing in ABM?
According to a CSO Insights report from Marketing Charts, brands fail to incite enough trust in their target audience. Interestingly, it is what the subject matter experts and third-party influencers from the industry say that counts. So, external influence is driving purchase decisions. Internal influence, though crucial, cannot sideline external influence and how it impacts sales and key decisions.
When you integrate ABM with influencer marketing, you co-create relatable, impactful content with relevant influencers to encourage your target accounts to move ahead in the sales funnel. An influencer becomes a credible touch point, powerful enough to convert a lead. The influencer’s performance-oriented content resonates with the target audience, engages, educates, and informs them of the strong points of your business, creating a strong foundation for lead conversion.
Here is how it can help strengthen ABM strategy:
Increases Content Authenticity
The words of a trusted subject matter expert or third-party niche content creator hold more weight than static website content or brand ads. Their followers trust them and consider their views authentic. If such relevant influencers create content with you, your target audience is bound to be positively influenced. This leads to higher conversions and ROI, qualitative reach, and better engagement.
Attracts New Audiences
Influencers attract new audiences that are similar to your ideal customer profile (ICP). Interactions, content promotions, and publicity can create brand awareness generate more interest in your brand.
Encourages Brand Advocacy
Positive reviews, customer success stories (voice of customer), testimonials, and word-of-mouth publicity that comes from influencers and their followers promote brand advocacy. Influencers also create incentives for referrals, thus bringing in better engagement.
Humanizes the Buyer Experiences
B2B storytelling is the key to conversions
. It has more impact than any other form of advertising. Influencers humanize the buyer experience by sharing their opinions, reviews from other businesses, and highlighting success stories through their content. This content is impressive as compared to any other content the brand hosts and promotes.
B2B Influencer Content is Priceless
B2B influencer content has high value because it has third-party credibility that attracts trust across all brand channels. Another advantage is that you can easily access the creativity of the influencer without having to hire someone. All the content that influencers publish on their platforms is brand content, highlighted with the voice of the customer. Influencer marketing generates traction and engagement for businesses.
Influence can be integrated through social media marketing, content marketing, PR, SEO, branding, and ABM.
How to Create a Powerful, Influencer-based ABM Marketing Strategy?
Brainstorm a Strategy
To make the most of influencer-based ABM marketing, you need to streamline a process and strategy. Find the answers to these two crucial questions:
1. Who influences your target audience?
2. Which topics interest your target audience?
Once you find the answers to these questions, you can zero in on a relevant influencer and approach them to participate in creating/co-creating high-quality marketing content
(text, podcast, video, interactive). Integrate the content and publish it on brand channels, and influencer channels. Promote the content via blogs, ads, other influencers, and brand sites to target your key accounts. Monitor the promotions (URLs, engagement) and adjust the campaign for maximum output. Most importantly, create and nurture relationships with industry influencers for future campaigns.
Understand the Demand
Understanding the demand of the target audience through keyword research and data analysis can boost the results of an influencer marketing campaign. Offering audiences solutions to their problems or information that will help them scale their business assist in lead nurturing and conversions.
Identify Ideal Influencers
Choosing a suitable influencer can help kick start your influencer campaign powerfully. An ideal influencer should be proficient in their domain, passionate about content creation, capable of publishing content across platforms, popular in the industry with keen followers, and knowledgeable and eager to promote content across different channels in different formats.
You can employ software to identify and qualify relevant influencers who create credible, high-quality content on the topic you want to promote. Filter influencers based on how much they charge and how well they align with your company values and brand voice. Focus on creating a long term association.
Shuffle the Content Formats
By shuffling between marketing content formats like blog articles, live video, third party analyst reports, videos, case studies, webinars, podcasts, industry presentations, infographics, and interactive content, the target audience can be engaged on multiple channels, and data can be collected to analyze which formats work best.
Remain Connected with Influencers
As a B2B marketer, you should connect one-on-one through email, phone, or in-person meetings with influencers frequently. You should monitor and engage with influencers on social media when they mention your brand.
By interacting with and sharing relevant influencer content on social channels, you can build a community and promote advocacy through continued partnership and engagement. Additionally, you can recycle content made by influencers to show you value the association.
Sixty-three percent of marketers believe they would have better marketing results with an influencer marketing program, while seventy-four percent of marketers agree that it improves customer and prospect experience with the brand.
How Cherwell Software Witnessed a 437% Year-over-year Increase in Content Shares?
Colorado-based Cherwell Software is an IT Service Management (ITSM) company. It engaged TopRankMarketing to create an influencer marketing campaign with the aim of increasing brand awareness, targeting CIOs, CTOs, and IT Directors of companies for business, and increasing sales and revenue.
With the help of the content 15 ITSM thought leaders created and amplified across five channels, Cherwell Software saw a 170% growth in their audience views and a 437% year-over-year increase in their content shares.
In B2B marketing and ABM, influencer marketing can help reach customers you would have otherwise missed. Engaging in an influencer marketing platform to maximize ABM strategy outputs is crucial to remaining ahead in the race.
What characteristics should a good B2B influencer have?
A good B2B influencer should be proficient, passionate, popular, a dedicated content promoter and creator.
How does influencer marketing help B2B marketers?
Influencer marketing can help B2B marketers target key accounts by leveraging content created by industry experts.