Don’t laugh, no, I have not decided to fish in the social media lake with link bait, but as part of a post about B2B Influencer Marketing, of creating relationships via social, I also share a list of fabulous folks talking about B2B marketing on Twitter…
As traditional marketing is greeted by a skeptical, informed consumer, annoyed by retargeting and hypersensitive to all the internet fakery, Influencer marketing is a hot topic in B2C, as people look to who they believe they can trust to support their buying decisions.
But, as we all know, B2B buyers are people too and influencer marketing now needs to be part of every marketers toolkit.
Influence in B2B marketing used to be simple, it was called Analyst Relations and it involved spending a lot of time (and sometimes money) with the big analyst firms, Gartner and Forrester. Folks that the B2B buyer hold in the same level of awe as my 15 year old feels about Instagram star Huda Kattan (aka Huda Beauty- who is reportedly paid $33k/post).
Of course, the word of Forrester and Gartner still holds a lot of weight and an engagement with them must be part of a B2B Influencer program, but they are not immune to a bit of digital disruption and there are plenty of credible folks that are shaping B2B markets and dare I say shaping the views of traditional analysts.
When I say “Influencer Marketing” I don’t just mean the simple “paying someone to mention you”, that is fuelling these millionaire Youtubers, a process that has more in common with old school media buying than anything fresh that we can do on social media.
(And something CEO’s often get confused by when the work with Gartner/Forrester with the cry – “but we pay these guys!” – when they don’t get the review they wanted, it doesn’t work that way.)
What I mean by Influencer Marketing is to understand who the influencers are in your niche, find them, listen to them and then try to develop a relationship.
Pick the right ones and you’ll create mutual value, they’ll share insights into your industry niche for free that could be as valuable as a subscription to Forrester Research. And in return, as you would with a traditional analyst, you provide them with great content, stats, client stories that they can share with their network and maybe a paid speaker slot, webinar or white-paper, if that’s their gig.
So, back to the list I am sharing here as an example.
I’ve been looking at B2B Marketing influencers, a very broad criteria and using a fairly crude process, using a social media tool (Brand24) and a bit of manual noodling, I discovered some less obvious folks to follow on Twitter, if you are into B2B Marketing – and I’ve included my method below.
My process may not stand up to the rigour of a true data scientist, but I’ve been following these guys and they share the good stuff, exactly the kind of people you need to find in your B2B niche. And if you are into B2B marketing perhaps there are some new names here that you might not be familiar with.
Finally, thank you to Kelly, Martin, Mario, David, Alex, Rachel, Tim, Shelly, Paul and Peter for sharing their B2B marketing thoughts.
(Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to Brand24 or anyone featured on this list).
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With a massive apology to my genuine data scientist chums, but it shows that we can all quickly find industry influencers, with an inexpensive tool and a little work.
I used Brand24 to find who had used the #b2bmarketing hashtag in the last month (yes, I know this is crude), filtered the top influencers (according to the Brand24 algorithm), removed all the company accounts, did a bit of personal noodling to check the data, validate they were not robots, that the majority of their tweets were relevant, not political, the content was interesting – and that I would follow them.
To create a “less obvious” list I then removed the names you always see on these lists (like Lee Odden, Jay Baer and Michael Brenner – who are splendid, of course, but you probably know that already) and then.. I had my list.
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I’m a B2B CMO, advisor and podcast host at Rockstar CMO. Although, I’m not a rock star, but a marketing leader, strategist, content marketer, columnist, speaker, industry watcher, and creator of ART (Awareness, Revenue, and Trust) for the companies I work with. But most of all, an enthusiastic tea drinker.
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