Not a day goes by when we are inundated by news over how influencers are being more of a bane than a boon in the marketplace.
Interestingly, B2B marketers are exploring the idea of how they can latch on the influencers in their marketing and advertising activities.
According to new research from the WFA, multinational brands are planning to increase their spending on influencer marketing in the next 12 months, with 65% aiming to spend more.
The goal of such investment is primarily to boost brand awareness (86%) but influencers are also used to reach targeted/new audiences (74%) and to improve brand advocacy (69%).
However, despite their willingness to invest more, marketers will only do so where standards on transparency are met.
Credibility, reputation and quality of followers are at the top of their selection list when they decide who to work with.
The top criteria for multinational brands was quality of followers, cited as “absolutely essential” or “very important” by 96% of respondents.
Similarly, the credibility and reputation of the influencer was also critical for the vast majority, scoring 93% on the same measure.
Marketers’ transparency concerns also extended into the way that the relationship is declared to consumers, with 71% saying the way the relationship is disclosed was an “absolutely essential” or “very important” part of the selection process.
The findings are based on a survey of 34 companies representing 15 categories and approximately $59 billion in global media and marketing spend.
All respondents use influencers to market their products online, with 54% doing so “only occasionally / in some markets” and 46% using them “very often”.
The WFA works with members such as Unilever, which has been outspoken about the need for influencers to behave ethically, to use this research as the starting point for the creation of best practice guidance to ensure that brands of all sizes are able to make the most of the influencer space.
“In February I set out our agenda to rebuild trust back into the digital ecosystems and wider society…one of the ways we can achieve this is to increase integrity and transparency in the influencer space…Unilever values the relationships we have with influencers, but we have made it clear we will only work with those who don’t buy followers so we can be confident we are reaching engaged audiences through strong partnerships,” said Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Unilever.
Other key findings from the research include:
- Instagram is the most popular platform for collaboration used by 100% of respondents, with Facebook in second at 85% and YouTube used by 67%.
- Snapchat is used by 44% of respondents, with Twitter next at 33% followed by blogs on platforms such as Tumblr and WordPress; WeChat and Pinterest were tied on 19%, followed by Line on 7%.
- Key KPIs being used to assess influencer activity are reach and views (96%), engagement (80%), traffic generated (44%) and other earned media (44%). Research into audience sentiment was used by 40%.
- Concerns about the risks involved in influencer management were focused around four key areas, with consumer trust and blurred lines cited as “very concerning” and “concerning” by 64%, legal and financial risks by 60%, reputational risks by 64% and brand safety risks by 59%.
- Much of the role of identification and management has been outsourced, with 64% using external partners to find relevant influencers and 63% using them to manage the partnership.
Apart from the use of influencers, there will also be an increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will play a much greater role.
A new state of democratized influence will ensure brands continue to tap into the niche influence of many, whether they are employees, customers, industry community members or traditional influencers.
The rise of the ‘brandividual media’ is also happening as influencers with complementary domain expertise and networks can offer a B2B brand the reach of a major publication.
Potentially more engaging content formats as well as integration with other marketing technology is also why the consumerization of B2B influencers and content will exponentially permeate the ecosystem soon.
When it comes to B2B Marketing, Marketing Magazine Malaysia will like to take this opportunity to announce that Hando Sinisalu, will be conducting a special B2B Conference on the 21st of August 2019.
Hando Sinisalu is a “SKILLED SPEAKER AND CONSULTANT WITH 20+ YEARS’ EXPERIENCE IN MARKETING AND JOURNALISM…THE MAN BEHIND THE NOTORIOUS BEST OF GLOBAL DIGITAL MARKETING SERIES”
Coming from a digitally savvy nation like Estonia (the leading country in digital innovation), Hando is passionate about discovering and sharing exciting opportunities digital marketing has to offer for B2B.
The digital age has transformed the way B2B buyers research, navigate and most importantly – make purchase decisions.
Sadly, most B2B companies are still stuck in their own personal silos, with little to no intent towards understanding customers’ needs.
In this hands-on workshop, Hando will analyse, deconstruct and construct your company’s digital presence as well as offer inspirational ideas from B2B brands, who have managed to produce content with real business results.
Anyone with existing responsibility for developing digital advertising campaigns and looking to take their knowledge to the next level.
This includes Brand Managers, Marketing Managers, Digital Marketing Managers, Campaign Managers, Strategic Planners, Creative Professionals, Media Planners and Buyers as well.
There will be Award-winning B2B Marketing case study examples from all over the world! The case studies will be from the following sectors:
- IT service providers
- Software companies
- Financial services
- Business consultancy services
Obsession for Smoothness by Double A & SPA-HAKUHODO (Japan)
Machine Conversations by KONE & hasan and partners (Finland)
Finlandia by Forest Machines by NESTE, PONSSE & Kurio (Finland)
Business Facelift by Mastercard & McCann Worldgroup (Poland)
Paradise Found by SAS & Cheil Worldwide (Germany)
And many more!
A Few Points To Remember About This Workshop!
1) THIS IS NOT YOUR TRADITIONAL WORKSHOP
An innovative hybrid between training, consultation and creative brainstorming.
As a result of a highly personalised approach, each delegate will get practical advice on how to improve their content marketing.
3) CREATIVE BRAINSTORMING
Working as a creative team and sourcing from an extensive case study base, Hando will guide the group towards producing actionable marketing ideas.
You will leave with a clear marketing action plan for your company.
B2B CONFERENCE: MALAYSIA 2019 CUSTOMER-CENTRIC B2B SALES & MARKETING
DATE: 21 August 2019
VENUE: Ballroom Eastin Hotel
Tel : (+603) 2089 3688
TIME : 8.30 AM – 5.30 PM
ADMISSION FEES :
*1 Delegate – RM1,650* per pax*5 or more – RM1,500* per pax
* plus 6% SST