Use B2B & Influencer Marketing to Achieve Success in 2016

Cassie Hull
January 14, 2016
According to Oracle’s Social Media Marketing Director, Mattias Drefs, the "social influencers can trigger 6x more traffic and 2x more conversions" when they share brand information on their social channels.1 Social Influence marketing is a type of marketing where businesses obtain endorsements from social influencers, i.e. Instagram Stars, Twitter Stars, YouTube stars, etc. Businesses want to know more about various forms of marketing to support sales during 2016. In this blog, you will find the statistics and methods for how to use influence marketing and B2B marketing methods to capitalize for a successful 2016.

Influence Marketing is Branding by Trust

Influence marketing, also called influencer marketing, is a form of marketing centered around the following theory: there is a higher chance a person will buy a product or service if he or she has been influenced by recommendations from someone they trust.3 An influencer is defined as a person who people consider trustworthy and who is also willing to offer recommendations on products and services. Influence marketing offers a win-win for businesses and consumers because expert marketers indicate that they received a “better customer” after using influence marketing. Moreover, customers are happy to accept recommendations from a trustworthy source.3 Statistica reports one key finding of consumers:
Customers prefer to share brand information through face-to-face contact with their friends.
In fact, 66% of consumers share brand information in person rather than other methods.3 Although only 17% of consumers share brand information on Facebook, it is increasingly becoming a successful marketing strategy. Success in Facebook marketing is likely due to the same consumer preference of sharing brand information with friends. It is important to note, more consumers trust friend recommendations on Facebook than recommendations written on specialized blog content.

Influence marketing strategy includes the following steps:

  1. Identify influencers
  2. Identify the influencer’s audience
  3. Utilize one or more of the methods below:
    • Market to influencers
    • Marketing through influencers
    • Marketing with influencers
Influence marketing can be performed through traditional methods, like celebrity endorsements or through non-traditional methods like Social Influencers. Social influencers can be a fraction of the cost of a celebrity endorsement, but may be more effective if deployed appropriately. To deploy social influence marketing appropriately, it is important to understand that the social influencer is one whom people trust. The social influencer should be able to freely discuss their thoughts on the brand and not come across too-promotional. If the message from the social influencer is too-promotional, the brand may lose credibility with the social influencer's followers. According to marketing professionals, influencer marketing can be a helpful tool when launching a new product, promoting or distributing content, and event or webinar promotions.3 Market experts also indicated blogs and Facebook are the two best platforms for influencer marketing. Finally, Statistica reports their findings from a 2015 survey: 60% of marketing experts in North America said they plan to increase their influence marketing budget over the next 12 months.3 [ctt title="60% of #marketing experts say they plan to increase their #influencermarketing budget this year." tweet="60% of #marketing experts say they plan to increase their #influencermarketing budget this year. http://ctt.ec/RNr5X+ via @HourlyNerd" coverup="RNr5X"]

B2B Marketing is Highly Useful, but Also Highly Software Dependent

The majority of B2B marketing is being done via the web and social. Print and Mobile marketing are less used platforms of B2B marketing. Marketers have a strong dependency upon software solutions to generate B2B demand. The following software solutions are used 86% to 97% of the time:
  • Email Marketing
  • CRM
  • Marketing Automation
  • Web Analytics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Social media monitoring
  • Referral marketing
  • Pay-per-click
In this blog, we will focus on methods for email marketing and marketing automation. Email marketing is the most common software solution used today for B2B marketing.2 In order to obtain prospects, collect opt-in contact information for businesses that can benefit from your products or services. Prospective contact information is commonly collected by offering, in return, the following: Product discount/samples, enhanced services, contest/sweeps entry, reduced/free shipping, and entertainment content. To convert prospects into leads, experts indicate referrals, emails and live sales visits are the most effective forms of lead generation.2 Marketing automation systems can be used to support B2B marketing. The most commonly used solutions, in order of use, are Marketo, Oracle Eloque, Hubspot, Salesforce Pardot, and Act-on. Marketing experts indicate the most valuable function of marketing automation systems are lead nurturing, analytics/reporting, and email marketing.2 Statistica reports that email, website and social media are the most effective B2B marketing channels. In fact, 31% of marketing professionals indicated that email marketing was their leading source of revenue growth in 2015.2 [ctt title="31% of #marketing experts say that #emailmarketing was their leading source of revenue growth in 2015." tweet="31% of #marketing experts say that #emailmarketing was their leading source of revenue growth in 2015. http://ctt.ec/OdqGf+ @HourlyNerd" coverup="OdqGf"] Moreover, marketing professionals indicate the following are the most important attributes that lead to B2B marketing effectiveness:
  • Audience relevance
  • Engaging and Compelling story telling
  • Effectively delivers message
  • Triggers a response/reaction2
If you are interested to start Social Influencer Marketing and would like to know where to start, please view the following infographic for some helpful information. Facebook and YouTube are rated as the most effective social media marketing platforms.4 References
  1. Drefs, M. (2016, January 10). Advocates, influencers and celebrities: your social media dictionary. Retrieved from Oracle.com Website: http://www.oracle.com/oms/social-influencer/blog-matias-influence-2212093.html
  2. (2015, March). B2B marketing in the U. S. - Statista Dossier.
  3. (2015, June). Influence marketing - Statista Dossier. Statistica.
  4. (2016, October). Statistica ID 331880 Effectiveness of B2C Social Media Content Marketing.

About the Author

Cassie Hull

Co-founded a successful Biotechnology manufacturing company. I specialize in IT, commercialization, and Quality in Healthcare & Biotechnology Manufacturing. I received my MBA from the University of Florida and I'm proud to be a member of the Mission for Mercy group that received a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

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