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B2B marketers eye influencer marketing, but fail at human-centricity

B2B marketers eye influencer marketing, but fail at human-centricity

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While influencer marketing has been more commonly found in brand-to-consumer advertising, 93% of business-to-business marketers are planning to increase their usage of influencers. In fact, a majority or 76% of B2B marketers are already utilising influencers in their marketing strategies. These were the results of Ogilvy’s Influencing Business Global Report which also found that 67% of B2B influencer campaigns have more impact on marketing performance in contrast to brand-only marketing. The report was based on interviews with 550 chief marketing officers across 11 markets that include Singapore, Malaysia and The Philippines.

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Where B2B influencers shine is their ability to create hyper-targeted marketing and personalised messaging to increase brand consideration and customer acquisition, according to 92% of respondents. Through B2B influencer marketing, marketers have mostly seen a positive impact on brand awareness, while 40% stated they also experienced warmer leads and an increase in sales.

positive impact b2b influencers

“On LinkedIn, we have seen industry leaders carve a niche for themselves as thought leaders in their space, where their opinions hold significance within their network,” said Ashutosh Gupta, country manager and head of online sales for LinkedIn APAC. Gupta also explained, “Thought leaders often provide a more genuine connection than brand advertising thanks to the fundamental trust that is already fostered between them and their network over time.” 

It is paramount that brands leverage the trust between thought leaders and their network, as 55% of decision-makers are more receptive to business leaders when getting information. As 44% of them also find product or service-based content as the most influential when making a buying decision behind testimonials, brands must consider their talent wisely as their selection may lead to opportunities into hard-to-reach niche markets and diverse customer segments.

biggest impact b2b influencers

Interestingly, 47% of B2B marketers believe that influencer marketing has the biggest impact during aftersales when executed correctly to encourage advocacy, and trust in the brand to achieve more repeat purchases.

Lack of human-centric storytelling in B2B influencer marketing in SEA

Although research done by the LinkedIn B2B Institute found that inspiring emotion is seven times more effective that delivering rational benefits alone, Southeast Asia under indexes against the global average in using B2B influencers to bring a more human-centric storytelling narrative to their brands.

Only 41% of B2B marketers in SEA tap into human-centric storytelling compared to 62% in Kenya or 58% in the United States of America.

In fact, 98% of industry executives in SEA consider B2B influencers as vital tools to stay updated and engage with their respective industries compared to the global average of 90%, highlighting that its potential is underutilised in SEA due to its lack of human-centricity, according to the study.

As emotive, human, and purpose-driven storytelling often results in greater attention and memorability of brands, more SEA and APAC B2B marketers could do well in co-creating engaging stories that capture the attention and interest of audiences with B2B influencers, added the report.

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